Our Lady of Peace

Our Lady of Peace Church is where I spent many of my younger days. I received all my sacraments here and even was married in this church. I took a ride over there today since it is only two towns over from where I live now.
After the Civil War, men looking for work in the clay banks and brickyards began moving their families into Fords, NJ. The first settlers to arrive were of Irish descent. I moved here in 1965. We moved to this town from Jersey City, NJ. I was just starting first grade and my third sibling and first brother was born that year. Compared to the city it seemed like the country to us back then. I laugh about it now when I drive through the town as it is anything but country. It is just a crowded suburb with homes very close together and all the houses look the same.
It is a large church with a seating capacity of 1100 and designed in Renaissance architecture. It is really a beautiful church. I went to the school here by the same name that is located right next to the church. Every Friday we attended mass in school. The girls were required to wear a 'beanie' hat and if you forgot your beanie, you were fined a quarter. I definitely paid my share of quarters. We also had to walk down a metal fire escape from the outside of the school three flights up! I was terrified of heights and remember feeling woozy when I looked down. Of course, the boys all loved it since they all looked up and under the skirts of all the girls' uniforms!
My siblings all went to this same school and on the Fridays when we were at church my younger sister would have this habit of passing out during the mass. I remember hearing a loud *clunk* and then see her being carried out of the church by the nuns. My classmates would always ask me, "Is that your sister again?" She was a little anemic and a little claustrophobic so the combination on a Friday morning did not sit well with her. I remember thinking 'darn, she got out of it again!' Hard as I tried, I could never faint. One time I did pretend that I was about to vomit and a nice teacher took me to the office of the school where I thought I would be able to sit and relax until church was over. No such luck. She called my mom and told her I was sick and she was to come pick me up from school. My mom was not too thrilled about this especially because she could tell I was perfectly fine. I never tried that again.
I have many good memories from both this school and the church and it comforts me to drive by and see it still looking so good.

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