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Montclair – Saint Peter Claver

Born of a group of five African American Catholics seeking a place to worship, St. Peter Claver today has a multicultural congregation including African Americans, Haitians, and Latinos.

The church building is a fine example of modern church architecture. It may appear plain to some but the use of brick interior walls provides a chaste background for some wonderful sculptural pieces. The economical use of simply painted stations of the cross on the windows produces a meditative effect. Here the use of economy in scale and style works very well. The quality of this small church far exceeds the larger and much more expensive churches that followed in the postmodern period. It is one of the finest architectural gems of the archdiocese of Newark.

From Architectural Forum: “The break with stylistic tradition represented in this example is by no means a radical one, but it does show a serious attempt to restate in present day terms an age old problem of buildings…the interior is impressive, thoroughly American in character, realistic in its rigid economy, the church is a distinguished and splendid example of collaboration among the arts.”

About The Building


  • Paul C. Reilly

Architectural Style

  • Modern
  • Art Deco

Interior Designer(s)

  • Albert Hoffman

Fabricator(s) of Windows

  • Vincent Pacelli

Notable Works of Art

  • George Kratina, sculptor Bronze doors portraying life of St. Peter Claver Exterior heroic-sized green granite hand of God Teakwood Christ Vincent Pacelli Carved Polychromed altar Stations of the Cross painted on glass


  • Some interior art works unfortunately have been removed.

Current Status: In use

Interior Pictures

Exterior Pictures

Year Opened: 1939

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