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).


Our Lady of Angels, Bay Ridge

Our Lady of Angels parish is located at 7320 Fourth Ave., Brooklyn NY 11209, telephone 718-836-7200. The parish website is linked here.
The above photo shows the church on Fourth Avenue, between 73rd and 74th Streets. The parish was established in 1891, and its buildings occupy the west side of Fourth Avenue  between 73rd and 74th Streets, reaching along 74th Street almost to Third Avenue.
In April, 1916, subway service under the west two lanes of this street began, making OLA another one of those New York churches that has the pleasant rumble of "toy trains in the basement."

This view on 74th Street looks towards Fourth Avenue. The parish school was reorganized in 2009 as Holy Angels Catholic Academy. Its address is 337 74th Street, Brooklyn NY 11209, telephone 718-238-5045.

This plaque is on the older building (below) now in partial service by a day-care center and a health clinic. Note the ornamentations along the top floor.

Above the main door of the church, the Latin inscription reads "Dedicated to Mary of the Angels." Click the photo for details. Thankfully, this church is not locked, and numerous worshipers visit.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

St. Patrick, Bay Ridge

The rectory address is 9511 Fourth Ave., Brooklyn NY 11209, phone 718-238-2600. The parish website is linked here.
St. Patrick's parish at 95th Street and 4th Avenue in Bay Ridge was probably the eighth Catholic parish founded in what is now the borough of Brooklyn. It may be the first Brooklyn parish named for Patrick, because the 1848 founding of St. Patrick's, Kent Avenue, was apparently under the title of St. Mary, changed later to St. Patrick. 

The cornerstone of the church carries the date 1925, the same year that the BMT subway reached 95th Street and probably led to a large increase in parish population. In the early 1960's, however, Robert Moses and his ramps for the Verrazano Bridge probably destroyed much housing within the parish boundaries, though my recollection is that the people of St. Ephrem parish suffered more.

The address of St. Patrick Catholic Academy at the right is 401 97th Street. The school website is HERE.
In 1945 the school had 1,140 students. In the 2016 Official Catholic Directory, the enrollment is 262. For decades, the Dominican Sisters of Amityville staffed the school.
The Brooklyn Public Library posted a 1908 photo of the previous church (pre-1925) here.