Monday, June 29, 2009

Parish schools that have closed

In my visit to Sunset Park in 2009, I did not get to Seventh Avenue and the parish and school of St. Agatha. What surprised me at St. Rocco, St. Michael, and Our Lady of Czestochowa was that I found three adjacent parishes without schools. By checking the diocesan website, I count about forty open parish schools with Brooklyn zip codes. At a now-unavailable page of the diocesan website, I came across a list of about 63 parish schools in Brooklyn that have closed. To avoid double-counting, I have attempted to exclude from that number schools that still exist as merged and schools that were closed in sequence. ("Unavailable page" as of 2012.)
It would appear that the following ten zip codes lack a Catholic elementary school: 11201-Main (0 of 6 parishes); 11212-Brownsville (0 of 1 parish); 11216-Brevoort (0 of 1 parish); 11217-TimesPlaza (0 of 1 parish); 11219 (0 of 2 parishes); 11224-ConeyIsland (0 of 1 parish); 11230-Midwood (0 of 1 parish); 11231-RedHook (0 of 5 parishes); 11232-BushTerminal (0 of 3 parishes); 11238-Adelphi (0 of 3 parishes).  (This 2009 analysis deserves editing, as more schools have been closed and the switch to "Catholic academies" is only about half complete in October, 2012.)
This official website lists the open Catholic elementary schools and academies of Brooklyn.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Our Lady of Czestochowa, 24th St. near Fourth Avenue

Our Lady of Czestochowa church is located on the south side of 24th Street, Brooklyn, between Fourth and Third Avenues. The parish mailing address is 183 25th Street, Brooklyn NY 11232, telephone 718-768-5724. The website is at
Because of the tail or ogonek on the third letter, the city's name is sometimes spelled Czenstochowa, as over the doors of the rectory and former school, shown below. In 1980, the parish of St. Casimir in Williamsburg was merged with this parish. Hence, the full name of this parish is Our Lady of Czenstochowa - St. Casimir, both names indicating Polish heritage.

When I stopped by Our Lady of Czestochowa church on Tuesday, June 23, 2009, the 12:15 Mass included the 30th wedding anniversary celebration of a couple. Congratulations!

Note the reproduction of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa over the altar. Do the statues of Franciscan saints indicate that this was once a Franciscan parish?

Above is the rectory on 25th Street. Fourth Avenue is to the right.

Artillery guards the former parish school on 25th Street. The statue commemorates Gold Star Mothers, mothers of soldiers killed in action. The parish school closed in 1996.
Please click on the "Comments" note above in tan to read six heartfelt comments.  One person asks about retrieving a marriage record from about 1890.  Churches do keep marriage registers, and they do make copies or issue certificates.  Usually there is a fee, and there could be a problem searching the parish marriage register if you do not know the date of marriage.  I believe the registers are chronological, without an index of names. At the moment, April 2013, is offering a free look at their marriage index.


St. Michael, Fourth Avenue and 42 St., Sunset Park

The parish of St. Michael was established in 1870, and this imposing church was built in 1905, under the direction of architect Raymond J. Almirall. The view looks north, with the former high school and the church taking up the block from 43rd St. to 42nd Street on the west side of Fourth Avenue, Brooklyn.

The mailing address for St. Michael's parish is 352 42nd Street, Brooklyn NY 11232, telephone 718-768-6065.

St. Michael's parish elementary school closed in 2005.

As with all photos on this blog, a click will enlarge the photo and enable you to read inscriptions. 
This LINK will explain the housing of St. Michael's Diocesan HS (for boys) at the parish from 1926 to about 1960, when the teachers and boys moved to the new Xaverian High School.