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. 
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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." 
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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.
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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.
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A correspondent who has roots in this parish sent several notes of interest, which I will quote below.
"There is a website http://www.nycago.org/Organs/Bkln/html/VisitationRC.html 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."
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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.