The founding membership of the Saints Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church in Passaic, New Jersey was composed exclusively of Russian immigrants and their families who emigrated to this country from the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, chiefly from the provinces of Hungary and Galicia where they were known as Carpatho-Russians. Families began to emigrate to this country in about 1885, a large percentage settling in the industrial districts of Passaic and Bergen County.
In 1890, the leading men and women among these people, realizing the need for the spiritual help and comfort afforded by the religious creed of their Fatherland, organized a parish in the Dundee section of Passaic and purchased a church building on First Street.
In 1891, the rector and two church trustees, without consent or approval of the congregation, subjected their church and property to the Roman Catholic Bishopric of the Newark diocese in New Jersey. This action caused much dissatisfaction and divided the interests of the parish. Despite efforts of the leaders and advisers of the congregation to settle the differences on matters upon which they disagreed, a strong opposition persisted from their rector, Father Nicholas Molchany. Discouraged by the actions of their rector and realizing that efforts to unite the congregation would be futile, a general meeting of the membership was called and it was there and then resolved to organize a new parish.