Friday, February 20, 2009
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Sunset Park
The basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help faces Fifth Avenue at the corner of 60th Street, Brooklyn. The mailing address for the rectory is 526 59th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11220. The website is HERE, with presentations in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Chinese, as Sunset Park has once again become a community of immigrants. The street on the sunny side of the church is 60th Street. When the parish was established in 1893, this was the border (or City Line) of the City of Brooklyn. On July 1, 1894, Brooklyn annexed the Town of New Utrecht, that is, Bay Ridge, and several other neighborhoods to the south and east.
Both in the 1960's when I visited this church and again in February, 2009, the upstairs church was locked. My earlier visit found in the downstairs church a novena service with a relic. This year, Father John O'Connor was being waked.
The New York Public Library digital collection provides the results of aerial photography of the entire city in 1924. This link shows the site of the Basilica at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 60th Street, just north of the tracks of the New York Connecting Railroad. However, I am puzzled whether the Basilica was complete then, as the photo does not seem to show the 2009 outline of the building.
The parish elementary school, now called Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Academy of Brooklyn, is at 5902 Sixth Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11220, telephone 718-439-8067. Its website is linked HERE. I found the website informative and up-to-date (8.30.2016).