Thursday, August 28, 2008

Holy Family, 14th Street, Park Slope

The parish of Holy Family was established in 1880 for German Catholics, the same year that another Holy Family parish was established on Flatlands Avenue, Canarsie! A third Holy Family parish was established for Slovaks in 1905 in Greenpoint. The parish school here closed in 1978. The church in the photo was built in 1928.

Please click on the word Comments above the photo for interesting memories.
Holy Family parish, 14th Street, has been merged with that of St. Thomas Aquinas, 9th Street, under one pastor. The website for the merged parish is linked here and a parish blog is linked here. Neither location offers a parish elementary school. It seems that Mass is offered at Holy Family once a week, 9 a.m. Sundays.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

St. Brigid, Ridgewood

St. Brigid's parish, at St. Nicholas Avenue and Linden Street, Ridgewood or Bushwick, served Catholics a hundred years ago, mainly Irish and German. Frescoes depict Irish saints, but some of the stained glass windows bear German memorial names. At present, the parish celebrates many ancestries with a collection of flags from the Caribbean and Latin America.
The mailing address of St. Brigid's church is 409 Linden St., Brooklyn NY 11237, telephone 718-821-1690. The parish website is linked HERE.
---St. Brigid Catholic Academy, seen at the right, has the mailing address 438 Grove Street, Brooklyn NY 11237, telephone 718-821-1477.  The school's website is linked here.

Now, in October of  2017, a Queens website has republished a history of St. Brigid that appeared in the Ridgewood Times in 1988. The link is HERE.

Purpose of this blog

On Google's Blogger, there is an efficient system of labeling posts, which leads to easy and extensive indexing. I propose to wander about Brooklyn's Catholic parishes and on this blog sort them by labels. Obviously, a community of believers is more than their historic church building, but the buildings do contain memories of worship, baptisms and weddings years ago or recently. Many friends have described for me their experiences of growing up or working in Brooklyn. Also, I rode many of the transit lines through the borough (streetcar, el, trackless trolley, and bus) and observed many of its spires. A ride on the J train or almost any bus is enough to convince a tourist that Brooklyn is the Borough of Churches. As Brooklyn hosts about 150 Catholic parishes, this blog will probably remain incomplete. For a better survey of this topic, please see this excellent 2003 book of history and photos, Diocese of Immigrants.
One of the puzzles I hope to solve is which Roman Catholic churches were sold to other Christian communities as houses of worship.
The following parish churches seem to have been closed or merged with other parishes: St. Ann, St. George, St. Ambrose, St. Alphonsus, St. Benedict, St. Bernard, St. Casimir, St. Columbkille, St. Edward, Fourteen Holy Martyrs, St. Leonard of Port Maurice, St. Lucy, St. Mary of the Angels, Nativity of Our Blessed Lord, Our Lady of Sorrows, St. Stanislaus Martyr, and St. Peter.
To offer a comment or correction, please use the comment link after each post, or email me at cjmcmann (at), using the word Brooklyn in the subject. Thank you. Joe

St. Joseph Patron of the Universal Church, Bushwick

The mailing address of St. Joseph's parish is 185 Suydam St., Brooklyn NY 11221, telephone 718-386-0175. Its website is linked HERE.
The parish of St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, is known colloquially as St. Joseph, Suydam Street, to distinguish it from other parishes named after St. Joseph. From its 1919 origins, the parish was principally Italian. Now it is administered by the Scalabrini Fathers, an Italian congregation founded to accompany emigrants to their new lands and help them there. In this instance, it is obvious that they now assist new immigrants from Latin America. Many of the Germans, Irish, and Italians of Bushwick have emigrated again, this time to suburbs.
The school, named St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Catholic Academy, is at 181 Suydam St., Brooklyn NY 11221, telephone 748-386-9277. Adjacent to the church on Suydam Street, between Central Avenue and Wilson Avenue, this is north of the Central Avenue station of the M train. For decades, the Dominican Sisters staffed the parish school.
Many thanks for the following comment received 6.17.2011:
I tried to leave a comment on your home page, but I was unsuccessful.
I've been searching for quite some time for a web site for St. Joe's and was happy to come across one tonight.
I am not sure if there is a historian or if anyone is interested in stories from years ago. If so, here is a brief family history.
My parents, Salvatore and Rose Marie Lardizzone, married in St. Joe's Church in April of 1950. My brother, sister, and I were baptized there. My brother and I received our Communion and Confirmation at St. Joe's. I attended school there from 1957 to Nov. '62, my brother from '59 to Nov. '62. My parents bought a house in L.I. in '62 and we moved from Evergreen Ave., Brooklyn. My sister was 4 at the time.
One of the nuns would put on an annual show for the Bishop when he visited. One year I was a clown in the chorus (4th grade) and the following year I was a ballerina (5th grade). If I remember correctly the nun's name was Sr. Maria Concetta. My brother & I were cadets and participated in the annual marching competition. There is really only one student I remember. Her name is Edith Ciro. I've tried to locate her on Facebook, but to no avail.
I became a special education teacher 11 years ago.
I am sure the school and parish has been through some changes since the 50s. If there is any information you could share about the school or the nuns, I would love to hear it. Some where in my files I still hold dear my St. Joseph Patron School report cards.
Thank you in advance,
Anna M. (Lardizzone) Kearney

St. Barbara, Bushwick

The mailing address of the parish of St. Barbara is 138 Bleeker St., Brooklyn NY 11221, telephone 718-452-3660.  .
Leonard Eppig, a brewer, it is said, had a daughter Barbara and son Leonard. About 1905-1910, he gave generously to the construction of St. Barbara's parish and nearby St. Leonard's. Far more important to me, however, is that my mother-in-law was baptized in this parish, her wedding to Bob was here in 1930, and my wife and her aunts also received Baptism here. I think Eppig and his generation called this neighborhood Bushwick, but many call it Ridgewood.

The school, long staffed by the Dominican Sisters of Amityville, closed in 1973, during an era when the people of Bushwick suffered from fires deliberately set in residences. Much has been rebuilt since, and the parish remains an active help in the community.

Patrick Charles Keely

According to the AIA Guide to New York City, Patrick Charles Keely designed several Brooklyn Catholic churches:
St. Anthony of Padua, 1875, on Manhattan Avenue at Milton Street, Greenpoint. St. Charles Borromeo, 1869, at Sidney Place and Aitkin Place, Brooklyn Heights. St. John, 1870, on Lewis Avenue. St. Mary's Star of Sea, 1870, at 471 Court St., Cobble Hill. St. Patrick, 1856, at Kent Avenue and Willoughby Avenue. St. Peter, 1860, at the corner of Hicks St. and Warren St., Brooklyn Heights.
From McNamara's Blog, an excellent summary of Patrick Charles Keely's work is linked here.

Most Holy Trinity, Williamsburg

The website of Most Holy Trinity parish seems down, but the Facebook page is HERE. The parish address is 138 Montrose Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11206, telephone 718-384-0215.
The AIA Guide suggests that Most Holy Trinity church may have been inspired by the Abbaye aux Hommes in Caen, Normandy. The street view looks east on Montrose Avenue. The second view looks east from Lorimer Street, across the two ballfields of Frances Hamburger Sternberg Park to the church. A link to the Abbaye aux Hommes here.
The parish website gave a history of the parish school, which closed in 2013.
Also please see this article on McNamara's Blog.
And this article from the New York Daily News of 12.7.2011. It includes an excellent interior photo and a capsule history.

Assumption parish, Brooklyn Heights

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary church is at 55 Cranberry Street, just west of Cadman Plaza and the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge. The mailing address is 64 Middagh Street, Brooklyn NY 11201, phone 718-625-1161. The parish website is linked here.
The parish school closed in 1962. Please see the parish website for an excellent history of the parish. When the parish was first established in 1842, the church was built at the corner of York and Jay Streets. Decades later, that site was seized by eminent domain for the construction of Manhattan Bridge.
Please click on the word "Comment" above to read an inquiry about the building.