The land upon which Madonna Church now stands was part of one of the first grants bordering the New Jersey Palisades. Given to Samuel Moore by British Army Major John Berry in 1726, this land remained in the Moore family’s possession until 1829. 
As county records indicate, Jacob Riley purchased it and started construction on the chapel, which was subsequently completed by Henry James Anderson in 1854.
A few years later, a rectory was erected at the rear of the church. His remains lie beneath the church’s floor with his wife and son. 
Reverend John Joseph Hughes, the first Archbishop of New York, appointed Father A. Cauvin pastor of the Fort Lee Mission in 1851, a position which Father Cauvin held until 1859 when he delegated his work to an assistant, Reverend Annelli.

This decade saw the Catholics from Hackensack and Lodi gather weekly at Fort Lee for Holy Mass and spiritual instruction.

The Church on the Hill is listed in both the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and the New Jersey Register of Historic Places.  
Church on the Hill portrait BW

Present Day 

main church exterior 1
Today Madonna Church serves over 1,000 families who speak over 60 languages, making it one of the most culturally diverse parishes in Bergen County. We hold 18 Masses a week (not including special Masses)
If you are not a parishioner, join us today by registering at the Rectory office MON-FRI, 9am-5pm. 

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