Friday, November 13, 2009

Our Lady of Lourdes, Bushwick

Our Lady of Lourdes parish, located along Broadway between Bushwick and East New York, has been combined with the parish of St. Martin of Tours. The building on DeSales Place in the above photo seems to be the former rectory, whose office is now located at St. Martin of Tours, 1288 Hancock St, Brooklyn, NY 11221, telephone 718-443-8484. The photo is taken from the window of a westbound J train between the Broadway Junction and Chauncey Street stations. 
The bulletin of the combined parishes a few years ago said that Mass is offered Monday to Friday at the convent of the Missionaries of Charity, 34 Aberdeen Street, telephone 718-443-2868. (I cannot confirm this in 2017.)  Sunday at 11 a.m. a bi-lingual Mass is offered at 89 Furman Avenue.
For an excellent capsule history of the parish, please see McNamara's Blog, linked here. The parish of St. Francis de Sales was established in 1872 and renamed Our Lady of Lourdes in 1897. For many decades, it was staffed by the Fathers of Mercy, a missionary and preaching congregation. That may be one reason for the the large size of the rectory.
As of 1.5.2017, I'm uncertain about the accuracy of the above description of the property. Please note this Brownstoner article dated 1.4.2017 on the construction of 63 affordable apartments in the convent.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Blessed Sacrament, Euclid Avenue, Cypress Hills

As one rides the J train from Jamaica to the Williamsburg Bridge, so many steeples are seen that it is difficult to name them. The train crosses an invisible border from Queens to Brooklyn and stops at Crescent Street, Brooklyn, on an old section of the Fulton Street el. This photo of Blessed Sacrament parish is taken from the train platform.
The mailing address for Blessed Sacrament parish is 198 Euclid Ave., Brooklyn NY 11208, telephone 718-827-1200. The parish website is linked HERE.
The parish school is at 187 Euclid Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11208. The school telephone is 718-235-4863.  Its website is linked here.

The parish school is accredited by the Middle States Association (Middle States Commission on Elementary Schools).

I note the trilingual sign above: Latin, English, Spanish.

Clicking on any photo will enlarge it.

Is that St. Francis at the rectory door?

"Our church is open all day. Venid y adoremos." As I have observed at other unlocked churches in Brooklyn, worshipers visit the church often. I have seldom found an empty church.
The parish bulletin is one of the friendliest and most welcoming that I have seen.

This 1891 cornerstone may have been removed from the old church when the present church was dedicated in 1912.  Please see the helpful narrative of parish history linked here.  Also see the excellent account given here on McNamara's blog.
Please note that there is a link to Comments at the top of this post.  A new and much appreciated comment was received 2.13.2011.
Please note this admirable website, the East New York Project, with pages and pages of photos and commentary, found by using the zone tabs across the top.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

St. Martin of Tours, Bushwick

St. Martin of Tours church faces Weirfield Street and Irving Square. Knickerbocker Avenue with the parish school is at the right. Most hours, the church gates are padlocked. The inscription above the pillars reads, "Ecclesia Sancti Martini Turonensis." St. Martin lived from about 316 to 397. Martin was bishop of the diocese of Tours, France. He did not get along well with St. Brice, who succeeded him.

The rectory is at 1288 Hancock Street, Brooklyn, NY 11221, just south of Knickerbocker Avenue. The phone number is 718-443-8484. This parish includes the closed parish of Fourteen Holy Martyrs. The rectory also serves as rectory for the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes. 
The website of the combined parish is linked here, and it includes the Mass schedule at St. Martin of Tours church and Our Lady of Lourdes chapel.

Above is the former parish school at 751 Knickerbocker Avenue. Some years ago, the school was renamed St. Elizabeth Seton Parish School. In early 2009, Bishop DiMarzio threatened to close the school, but later allowed it to accept new students. The Brooklyn Tablet of 5.5.2010 announced that the school, with an enrollment of 180, would close in June, 2010.

For years, the Sisters of St. Joseph provided staff for this school.  The above photos are from 2009.

Fourteen Holy Martyrs, Closed

The parish of Fourteen Holy Martyrs was established on Central Avenue, Bushwick, in 1887. After its 1976 merger with the parish of St. Martin of Tours, the property was sold to Pilgrim Church, which continues to use the buildings.
Many thanks to a graduate of the class of 1962 for sending me a correction. He wrote that the building at the left above is a new parish hall, built in the 1960's to replace an older parish hall. He also explained that the church of Fourteen Holy Martyrs was located on the ground floor of the school, pictured below.
Many thanks also to a former student, who wrote, "I went to that school starting about 1948.  At that time the church was in the same building as the school.  As the parish got larger, they had to use the other building to hold the overflow.  Both buildings were used as a church.  I don't know when they started to use the second building as a church." 
The parish was named after a popular Bavarian devotion, that of the Vierzehn Nothelfer. For decades, the Dominican Sisters of Amityville staffed the parish school.

Both views look west on Central Avenue towards Covert Street and a public junior high school. For some years, until about 2002, the Pilgrim Christian Academy educated elementary school children in this building, the former church and parish school. Apparently, the academy has made another attempt to open. One address seems to be 628 Central Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11207.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Visitation, Red Hook

The address for Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish rectory, seen at the left of the above photo, is 98 Richards Street, Brooklyn NY 11231, telephone 718-624-1572. The church itself is on the southwest corner of Richards Street and Verona Street. The photo looks north, with Red Hook Park to the photographer's right.
A new website for the parish is linked HERE.

On the southwest corner of Richards Street and Visitation Place is the former convent, now with some other use. The former parish school, mid-block on the north side of Visitation Place, appears to be used used by a health agency.
A correspondent who has roots in this parish sent several notes of interest, which I will quote below.
"There is a website that tells of the history of the organ in the Church. The organ was unbelievable.
"As far as the falling enrollment, Visitation School did not have tuition until late 60's and I think it was $10.00. We were taught mainly by nuns. I don't know if the loss of the nuns in the parish and the loss of various closings of industries in the area (Todd Shipyards, Sucrest) which employed more than half of Red Hook had anything to do with it."

Sacred Hearts and St Stephen, Carroll Gardens

The above photo was taken from a Staten Island ferry in June, 2014, minus the scaffolding seen in the 2009 photos below.  Any photo may be enlarged by clicking on it.

The postal address for the parish of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and St. Stephen is 108 Carroll Street, Brooklyn NY 11231, telephone 718-596-7750. The parish website is linked here. The above view looks east across the canyon of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, Interstate 278.

The above view looks north on Hicks Street, with the church at the corner of Summit Street. The rectory is on Carroll Street, behind the church. Patrick Charles Keely designed St. Stephen's church. In 1941, the planned construction of the expressway caused the loss of the newer church of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, and that parish was merged with St. Stephen's. Please see the date December 7, 1941, in the parish history, linked here.

Summit Street bears an alternate name, Monsignor Del Vecchio Place. Francis Del Vecchio was pastor from about 1950 until 1986. See a biographical obituary here.
For decades, the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, founded by St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, staffed the parish school.

The parish has a Facebook page here.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

St. Charles Borromeo, Brooklyn Heights

Above is the church of St. Charles Borromeo at the corner of Sidney Place and Aiken Place in Brooklyn Heights. The parish address is 21 Sidney Place, Brooklyn NY 11201, telephone 718-625-1177. This location is two blocks west of Borough Hall and just south of Joralemon Street. The parish website is linked here. The parish Facebook page is linked HERE. A two-minute video discussion of the stained glass window is linked HERE.

Clicking on any photo will enlarge it. To the right of this sign is a cornerstone bearing the date 1896. I understand that this church was designed by Patrick Keely.

Above is the parish school, now closed. A sign in the window inquires whether neighbors would have a need for pre-school here. The cornerstone is dated 1916.

On Sidney Place, a convent is to the right of the school.

Our Lady of Lebanon, Brooklyn Heights

Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral is on the northeast corner of Henry Street and Remsen Street, only three blocks west of Brooklyn Borough Hall. The postal address of this parish is 113 Remsen St., Brooklyn NY 11201, telephone 718-624-7228. The cathedral's website is linked here. The website of the Eparchy (diocese) is here. Both websites are beautiful, even if a few months stale.

People have been singing the Lord's praises in this building since it was built under the direction of Richard Upjohn in 1846.

The Remsen Street entrance to the church has these doors from the passenger liner Normandie. Any photo may be enlarged by clicking on it.

The main door of the church has these panels from the passenger liner Normandie. Note the cedars of Lebanon above. I met two women from France also taking photographs of these doors. They said that one of the medallions shows the cathedral of Rouen. Again, clicking will enlarge the photo.
Linked here is a Time magazine article from July, 1945, about the purchase of these doors. It seems that the Church of the Pilgrims moved out in late 1944 and the Maronite Catholics from Lebanon moved in during 1945.

Chancery, Park Slope

In 2009, the diocese of Brooklyn moved its chancery to 310 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn NY 11215, telephone 718-399-5900. The diocesan website is linked here. The above photo shows the chancery's proximity to Bishop Ford Central Catholic High School, now closed.

The date 1968 at the door is about six years after Bishop Ford High School opened across the street. A helpful correspondent has explained:
"The building was built by the Nursing Sisters of the Sick Poor, who used this building as their mother house. This congregation used to go door to door. As the congregation dwindled, they decided to sell the building. The Brooklyn Diocese purchased it to house offices of the Bishop, Accounting, Stewardship, Parish Fiscal Management, Futures in Education (a foundation that provides scholarships for students to go to Catholic schools), Buildings and properties, Human Resources, Health Insurance, Pension, Car Insurance, Vicar Generals, IT Department, and The Tablet. Other offices at the Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston, Queens.
The former Chancery (at Greene and Clermont Avenues) is no longer in use because of better use of space in the Immaculate Conception Center."

The bus which begins here at the chancery passes St. James Cathedral about 30 minutes later.


Bishop Ford Central Catholic HS, Park Slope

Bishop Ford Central Catholic High School is located at 500 Nineteenth Street, Brooklyn NY 11215, telephone 718-360-2500. Its website is linked here.

The principal entrances of the school are along Nineteenth Street, indicated by the activities entrance on the right, and the academic entrance underneath the cross, as shown in the second photo.
A helpful correspondent has explained: "The Franciscan Brothers Residence was the top floor of Bishop Ford. They now occupy a smaller section with their own chapel on their floor. The other space is used for the school ."
The Prospect Expressway (NY 27) parallels Nineteenth Street. When the bishop of Brooklyn announced the construction of several diocesan high schools about 1960, suitable property was scarce. In this case, a streetcar barn took up the entire block now used by Bishop Ford High School. These streets border the school: on the northeast, Fifteenth Street, seen above; on the southeast Tenth Avenue, marked in the above photo by the tall transmitter of the diocesan television station; on the southwest Twentieth Street and Green-Wood Cemetery, and on the northwest Prospect Park West.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dominican Sisters of Amityville

The Dominican Sisters of Amityville have staffed many parish schools in Brooklyn for decades, some perhaps more than a century. A friend has given me this list of Amityville Dominican parish schools, which I separate by zip-code in order to keep neighborhoods somewhat together and to facilitate using this information when I walk around more neighborhoods to write this blog. In order of numerical zipcode:
11206 -- Sts. Joseph and Dominic Academy, at Most Holy Trinity parish, Williamsburg. From 1853 until the 21st century, the Dominican Sisters staffed the parish school here.
11209 -- St. Patrick, Fort Hamilton.
11211 -- St. Nicholas, Williamsburg.
11219 -- St. Frances de Chantal, 58th Street.
11221 -- St. Barbara, Bushwick.
11221 -- St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, Suydam St.
11221 -- Fourteen Holy Martyrs, Bushwick.
11223 -- Sts. Simon and Jude, Gravesend.
11224 -- Our Lady of Solace, Coney Island.
11228 -- Our Lady of Guadalupe, 73rd Street, Dyker Heights.
11228 -- St. Frances Cabrini, Bay 11th Street.
11229 -- Good Shepherd, Batchelder St.
11231 -- St. Mary Star of the Sea, Court St., Red Hook.
11236 -- St. Jude, Carnarsie.

The work of these religious Sisters has been most effective and generous.


Sisters of St Joseph, Brentwood

The Sisters of St. Joseph (sometimes called Brooklyn Josephites or Brentwood Josephites) have staffed many parish schools in Brooklyn for decades, some perhaps more than a century. An inquiry has resulted in this list of Josephite parish schools, which I separate by zip-code in order to keep neighborhoods somewhat together and to facilitate using this information when I walk around more neighborhoods to write this blog. In order of zipcode:
11201 - St James
11204 - Holy Spirit, St Athanasius
11205 - Queen of All Saints
11206 - Immaculate Conception
11207 - Our Lady of Lourdes, St Malachy, St Michael
11208 - Blessed Sacrament, St Gabriel
11211 - Epiphany, Our Lady of Mt Carmel, St Vincent de Paul, Transfiguration
11213 - St Matthew
11214 - Precious Blood
11214 - St Mary, Mother of Jesus
11215 - Holy Name
11215 - St Francis Xavier
11215 - St John the Evangelist
11215 - St Thomas Aquinas
11216 - Our Lady of Victory
11217 - St Augustine
11218 - Immaculate Heart
11220 - Our Lady of Perpetual Help
11221 - Our Lady of Good Counsel
11222 - St Anthony
11222 - St Cecilia
11225 - St Francis of Assisi
11226 - Holy Cross
11229 - St Brendan
11230 - St Rose of Lima
11231 - St Agnes
11231 - Visitation
11232 - St Michael
11234 - St Thomas Aquinas
11238 - St Joseph (Pacific St), St Teresa of Avila
Imagine the number of years given by these sisters to Christian education!


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

St. Columba, Marine Park

The mailing address of St. Columba's parish is 2245 Kimball Street, Brooklyn NY 11234, telephone 718-338-6265. The parish website is linked here.
Kimball Street is near the busy Kings Plaza shopping center at Flatbush Avenue and Avenue U. Because Kimball Street is one-way north, an easy approach is west from Flatbush Avenue on Avenue V three short blocks, then a right turn onto Kimball Street. The views above and below are from Kimball Street.

The parish does not have a school.

St. Columba (521-597) is presented to the right of the entrance.


Our Lady, Help of Christians, Midwood

The mailing address of the parish of Our Lady, Help of Christians, is 1315 East 28th Street, Brooklyn NY 11210, telephone 718-338-5242. The parish Facebook page is HERE. The above photo shows the church with Avenue M along the left and East 28th Street in front of the steps. Both streets and beautiful with trees. Avenue M is one-way westbound from Nostrand Avenue. East 28th Street is one-way southbound.

Click on any photo to enlarge it.

In the summer of 2009, Midwood Catholic Academy left this building, the former OLHC parish school, to find larger quarters at 1501 Hendrickson Street, Brooklyn NY 11234, the former St.Thomas Aquinas parish school.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

St Thomas Aquinas, Flatlands

The website of the parish of St. Thomas Aquinas in Flatlands is linked HERE. The above view looks north on residential Hendrickson Street. On the left is the rectory, the church, and a convent. Click on any photo to enlarge it.
The address of St. Thomas Aquinas parish is 1550 Hendrickson Street, Brooklyn NY 11234, telephone 718-253-4404. Some parish buildings stand on the southwest side of Flatbush Avenue and Flatlands Avenue, but the nearby rectory, church, and school line Hendrickson Street, on which traffic moves northbound from Avenue P to Flatlands Avenue. Hendrickson Street is parallel to Flatbush Avenue, a short block west of Flatbush Avenue. The parish website states that the parish offices will move out of the rectory to a building on Flatbush Avenue, but that the mailing address will remain.

A few years ago, Midwood Catholic Academy moved into the former St. Thomas Aquinas school at 1501 Hendrickson St., Brooklyn NY 11234.
There are two parishes in Brooklyn named St. Thomas Aquinas. This parish was established in 1885, before the City of Brooklyn included Flatlands.

Above is the old church on Flatbush Avenue.

To the right of the church is a convent for contemplative Sisters in the former convent of the Sisters of Mercy.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Francis Morrone, Architectural Guidebook

Since I have covered only about a fourth of the Brooklyn parishes so far, I must mention a guidebook that offers enthusiastic, informative understanding of some Brooklyn Catholic churches that I must still visit. The book is Francis Morrone's "An Architectural Guidebook to Brooklyn."
Here are the page numbers that describe Catholic parish churches:
Page 129: St. Charles Borromeo, 1868, Sidney Place, Brooklyn Heights, by Keely.
Page 136: Our Lady of Lebanon, 1846, Remsen and Henry Streets, purchased from other Christians about 1945.
Page 173: Queen of All Saints, 1915, Lafayette and Vanderbilt Aves.
Page 177: An article on Patrick Charles Keely.
Page 236: St.Anthony of Padua, 1874, Greenpoint, by Keely.
Page 241: St. Elias, 149 Kent St., apparently now sold.
Page 255: Our Lady of Victory, 1891-1895. "A strong Gothic church of Manhattan schist with highly contrasting limestone trim."
Page 297: St. Gregory the Great, 1917, St. John's Place and Brooklyn Ave., by Helmle and Corbett. Morrone writes, "It is one of the most beautiful churches in Brooklyn."
Page 302: St. Paul's, 1838, by Gamaliel King.
Page 345: St. Augustine, 1897, by Parfitt brothers. "Skillful use of color."
Page 350: St.Francis Xavier, 1904, by Thomas F. Houghton "who also did St. Agnes and Our Lady of Victory."
The book is very helpful for anyone interested in Brooklyn.


Monday, August 17, 2009

St. Rita, Shepherd Avenue, City Line

St. Rita's church, school, and rectory are located on Shepherd Avenue, just south of Atlantic Avenue, in City Line, Brooklyn. The parish address is 275 Shepherd Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11208, telephone 718-647-4910. The parish website is linked here, but it appears out-of-date. The term "City Line" derives from the border of the City of Brooklyn, prior to the creation of Greater New York in 1898.
You may click on any photo to enlarge it. To revert to the blog entry, return to the previous page.

St. Rita's church is beautiful with the light and colors of the stained glass windows. The Stations and some of the bas-reliefs appear to be ceramics.

Looking north on Shepherd Avenue, where traffic is one-way southbound.

Pedestrians are free to approach Shepherd Avenue from any direction, but automobiles must travel east on Atlantic Avenue and turn south onto Shepherd. The above photo shows the helpful and clear sign at the corner where one turns.

The above photo, snapped in front of the church, looks north on Shepherd Avenue. This building is the former parish school.  In 2011, this school was merged into the new Salve Regina Catholic Academy,  located at Jerome Street and Liberty Avenue.

The window over the choir loft shows St. Rita of Cascia, 1381-1457. She was canonized on May 24, 1900, together with John Baptist de la Salle, a two-fer ceremony. Soon afterwards, parishes under St. Rita's patronage for established in The Bronx and here in Brooklyn.
St. Rita's has a page on the East New York project linked here. The creator of that project deserves praise for his work putting together stories and photos of life in East New York and adjacent neighborhoods.