The First mission in Bucks County was established in 1744 By Father Schneider, a Jesuit missionary. The Jesuit priests ministered to the spiritual needs of the Catholics along the Delaware River from a chapel at Haycock Run.
Bishop Francis Patrick Kenrick, head of the newly formed Diocese of Philadelphia, established a second mission in Lambertville, NJ, which provided regular services for all surrounding communities.
The Diocese of Newark (NJ) was established in 1853 which separated Lambertville from the religious jurisdiction of Philadelphia. New Hope Catholics had “lost” their parish (St. John the Evangelist) but for 27 more years continued to walk across the bridge to Lambertville to attend services. At that time, the two newest parishes in Bucks County were quite a distance away (Bristol and Doylestown).
In the Catholic community of New Hope, in 1880, formed a committee representing 25 families who petitioned then-Archbishop James F. Wood to build a church on their “side of the Delaware”. The request was denied, and the petitioners were told that their families would be a “mission church” of the new St. Andrew parish in Newtown. Services were conducted in New Hope twice a month.
This situation was not to last for too long, in 1883 Father Henry Stommel (known as the official church builder of Bucks County–he had overseen the construction of 4 churches), then pastor of St. Mary Parish in Doylestown (now known as Our Lady of Mount Carmel), envisioned his fifth Church in New Hope. On April 8th, he collected $400 from the New Hope congregation to purchase the four-acre parcel on which the present-day Church stands. Parishioners began clearing the land and construction of the foundation (40′ x 70′) began the next year using local stone that parishioners hauled up the hill.
In March of 1885, Father Stommel purchased the five-acre strip of land adjoining the original parcel for use as a parish cemetery. On May 3rd of the same year, the cornerstone of St. Martin of Tours was laid. The church was subsequently dedicated and consecrated on September 17th, 1885 by Archbishop Patrick Ryan. It was a glorious day for the persistent New Hope Catholics.
The first substantial change to the interior of the church occurred in early 1910 during the time when Father Hasson was the pastor. A metal fire-resistant shield was installed to cover the interior walls and ceiling. Then the interior saw little change until the early 1960s when a complete renovation was undertaken under the direction of the renowned wood craftsman, George Nakashima. In 1993, the interior of the church was once again completely renewed respecting the simplicity of the past with the beauty and comfort of the new. The extensive renovations were prompted by the necessity of removing the church ceiling to repair major structural damage to huge support beams, which had severely deteriorated due to environmental conditions and old age.
The exterior of the church has changed only slightly over the years. Under Father Hasson, a covered bridge was erected that connected the rectory with the church. This bridge was later removed. During the renovations of 1993, a larger, safer, and more aesthetically pleasing outside foyer was added to the main entrance of the church, along with two statues. A wooden ramp to the sacristy and two entrances to the hall below the church were constructed. Additional parking was added. Drainage was improved, and the grounds were landscaped and lighted properly.
St. Martin of Tours Parish congregation is now over 1100 families and growing by about 10% per year. We opened our new facilities in December of 2000. Our school opened in September of 2001 and now acts as the Parish Life Center. These new facilities are located on 10 acres of parish-owned land off PA Route 179 in New Hope (adjacent to the Staples/CVS shopping center).
Rev. Frederick Kindon, Pastor
I would like to welcome you to the St. Martin of Tours Parish website. I hope that you are able to find the information that you need. If you still have questions, please feel free to contact the parish office at email@example.com or (215) 862-5472.
I invite you to join us for a weekend or weekday liturgy. Or you are welcome to just stop by to see what we as a parish have to offer you that will help you better "Belong to Christ, Live in Christ, and Serve with Christ."
Rev. Fred Kindon
Our parishioners have participated in a Parishioner Directory in order to stay connected as a community.
We invite all participating parishioners to access this secured site directory. Click here