Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bishop Loughlin Memorial HS, Fort Greene

Bishop John Loughlin hoped to build Brooklyn's cathedral on this block, bounded by Clermont Avenue (left), Green Avenue (right), Vanderbilt Avenue (parallel to Clermont), and Lafayette Avenue (where Queen of All Saints church and school are). Through a go-between, he purchased the block in the 1860's and he commissioned Patrick Charles Keely to build a very large cathedral facing Lafayette Avenue.  Other pressing needs of the people of the diocese of Brooklyn took precedence, and the cathedral construction went slowly  About 1887, he asked Keely to design this house as a bishop's residence. The foundations for the cathedral were built, a chapel of St. John was built, but the project was later abandoned and Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School was constructed in an L-shape around the house, now LaSalle Hall, a residence for students.

Above is the Clermont Avenue entrance to Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School. Queen of All Saints may be seen on the north side of Lafayette Avenue, with the 1906 Brooklyn Masonic Temple to its left.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Queen of All Saints, Fort Greene

The church and school of Queen of All Saints are on the north side of Layfayette Avenue at Vanderbilt Avenue, with the postal address 300 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11205. The rectory telephone is 718-638-7625. An informative and inspirational parish website is linked here.  The school telephone is 718-857-3114.   The church was built about 1913 as a chapel for the planned cathedral across the street. 

The parish school has been renamed Queen of All Saints Catholic Academy, but the website seems to be down (9.2.2016).

A friend tells me that the morning sun beautifully illuminates the windows.  An interior photo from 1913 is linked here.  The architect was Gustave Steinbeck, who also designed the impressive church of the Blessed Sacrament on West 71st Street, Manhattan.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Our Lady of Pompeii, Bushwick

Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii Church is located at 225 Seigel St., Brooklyn NY 11206, telephone 718-497-0614. For Mass schedules, see the link underlined in the previous sentence.  The Pallottine Order of Priests and Brothers, S.A.C., or Società dell'Apostolato Cattolico, staff this parish. On the more general website of the Pallottines is a page describing the parish.

A decorative plaza faces the church door. An office and instructional rooms are to the left, along Seigel Street. The cornerstone, visible above, is dated 1902. At that time, the parish was almost entirely Italian. The principal languages now seem to be English and Spanish.
In the distant past, the church was a rope factory, an elongated building needed for the shipping industry.

Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii began in the late 1800's, only a few years before this church was built.

For decades, the neighborhood has been more Latin American than Italian, so it is appropriate that Vincenzo Pallotti is honored with his baptismal name in Spanish. As he lived 1795-1850, he predates the devotion to Our Lady of Pompeii. A brief history of the work he founded is linked here. But who is Herr Seigel?


November, 2010, Announcements of Closings and Mergers

A Tablet article dated 11.17.2010 concerning the closing and merging of some Brooklyn parishes is linked here. The article includes several photos of interest: St. Edward, St. Patrick (Kent Ave., already including St. Lucy), Our Lady of Montserrat (already including St. Ambrose), and St. Ignatius. How long this article will remain available on the internet is unpredictable. That is one reason why I take my own photos. However, books will outlast blogs!

All Saints, Williamsburg

The above photo looks north to All Saints church, at the intersection of Flushing Avenue, Throop Avenue, and Thornton Street. The office address is 115 Throop Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11206, telephone 718-388-1951. The parish website is linked HERE
Any photo may be enlarged by clicking on it.

The events at Tepayac on December 12, 1531, are commemorated on the passageway linking church and rectory. When the diocese established All Saints parish in 1868, the congregation was mostly German. Mexicans and other Latin Americans predominate nowadays.

When I took these photos in November, 2010, there was no outdoor sign telling the name of the church, welcoming anyone, or announcing the Mass schedule, perhaps because the schedule for the Feast Day 12.12.2010 is quite different: Hymns at 10 a.m., Lauds at 10:30, Procession at 11, solemn Mass at noon, Tecuaniz Dance in the basement at 1 p.m., and Mass at 7 p.m. A guess: the closure of the chapel of Our Lady of Monserrat may lead to other changes and necessitate new signs.
In 2016, the parish website lists two Sunday Masses: English at 9 a.m., Spanish at 11:30.

The above photo looks southeast on Throop Avenue. Perhaps a former school building at the left is used for religious education and other meetings. On the roof is a dish aimed at the diocesan television antenna adjacent to Bishop Ford High School. In the distance is part of Woodhull Medical Center. Parish school numbers were so large in the past, that schools were built on Whipple St. (at left, above), Throop Avenue, and Thornton Street. One was a parish high school for girls. A school playground is now the location of a busy McDonald's on Broadway. Buildings on Whipple St. appear to have been renovated as apartments. The building on Thornton Street now houses Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow, founded by a Sister of Mercy. (Matthew Thornton signed the Declaration of Independence.)
On 7.31.2013, Kathy Dawe commented, "The building on the corner and the one next to it were both high school buildings for All Saints Commercial High School for Girls. The older building next to these was All Saints Elementary School. Good memories.  Too bad there were never any reunions."

If All Saints doesn't post a sign with its name, at least around the corner on Flushing Avenue, the Angels do.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

St. Lucy - St. Patrick, Kent Avenue

Please read this decree concerning the merger of this parish into that of Mary of Nazareth, 41 Adelphi Street, effective January 31, 2011. The name of the parish is Mary of Nazareth, but the name of the church at 41 Adelphi Street is Sacred Heart. It is about a mile west of St. Patrick's.

Note the 1843 date on the sign, ten years before the creation of the diocese of Brooklyn. According to John Sharp in "History of the Diocese of Brooklyn," vol. 1, p. 113, Catholics in this neighborhood "on the Newtown Road" (Flushing Avenue) purchased a Methodist church near what is now the intersection of Kent and Willoughby Avenues, and named their church St. Mary's. Bishop Hughes of New York sent them a pastor. About 1849, the parish was renamed St. Patrick's. The church shown below was dedicated by Bishop Loughlin of Brooklyn in 1856, three years after the diocese was created.

At the corner of Willoughby and Kent Avenue stands this church built in 1856 by the famous architect Patrick Charles Keely. My photos date from March, 2005. However, please also see this link.
In the block adjacent to the left side of the church (that is, going downtown on Willoughby Avenue) is the historic property of the convent and orphanage of the Sisters of Mercy. The place is far more than historic; it is was important to many families for more than a century. A New York Times article is linked here.


St. Gregory the Great, Crown Heights

In 2011, the parish of St. Gregory the Great was merged into St. Matthew's parish about a mile east, on Eastern Parkway near Utica Avenue. The decree states that the church of St. Gregory the Great will remain a worship site for St. Matthew's parish.
The cornerstone declares that this extraordinary church was built in 1915. This photo was taken on August 20, 2008. To the left is St. John's Place. At the right is Brooklyn Avenue, one-way southbound. Conveniently, the B45 bus on St. John's Place stops at this intersection, as does the southbound B43.
For the Mass schedule and contact information, please see the parish website, linked here.
A better photo and brief commentary may be found here on Andrew Cusack's blog.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Some design elements

Several questions have arisen about campaniles and other design elements. Because posts can be edited, I intend to use this post to collect lists of churches with similar items.
1) Which Brooklyn Catholic churches have campaniles? Clearly, St. Mark's (Sheepshead Bay) and St. Gregory the Great (Crown Heights). Others?
2) Which Brooklyn Catholic churches are within a school? Fourteen Holy Martyrs appears to have an adjacent church, but that is really a church hall; the sanctuary is inside the school. Decades ago, both were sold to other Christians. Queen of All Saints at Lafayette and Vanderbilt Avenues is a combined building. Others?
3) Before the invention of electronic public address systems, a pulpit might be halfway down the nave, so that all could hear to the Gospel and the preacher. I believe St. Barbara's still uses that pulpit in the nave. Others?

Friday, October 29, 2010

St. Boniface, Duffield Street, Downtown

The website for the Oratory Church of St. Boniface is linked here. The church is at 190 Duffield Street, but the mailing address is 109 Willoughby Street, Brooklyn NY 11201, telephone 718-875-2086. The above photo looks north from the intersection of Duffield and Willoughby Streets.  A complex of large buildings called MetroTech looms north and west of the church. The parish location is truly downtown Brooklyn, with Lawrence Street, Jay Street, and Boro Hall subway stations nearby.

Designed by the prolific architect, Patrick Charles Keely, the church was built in 1872. It is maintained splendidly by the parishioners and the Oratorians. "Sacred Havens of Brooklyn," written by Terri Cook, describes the architecture well.  She points to a German prayer in one of the stained-glass window, as this congregation was formed by German Catholics in the 1850's.s
On Easter, 2012, the New York Times featured St. Boniface parish in an article of some length, as linked here.
An acquaintance suggested that I look at the video series "City of Churches," produced by Nick Vagas.  I have linked here his outstanding eighteen-minute video of St. Boniface parish.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

A presentation about six parishes

At Douglaston on October 28, 2010, Joseph Coen, archivist for the diocese of Brooklyn, offered an excellent Powerpoint review of the history of six parishes: St. James Cathedral, St. Joseph (Pacific Street), St. Augustine (Park Slope), Most Holy Trinity (Williamsburg), Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Bay Ridge), and Regina Pacis (Bensonhurst). I must review my notes of this evening and make necessary corrections to this blog. Many thanks to Mr. Coen and to the members of the audience, who also made comments of interest.
The diocese is under the patronage of Mary with the title of the Immaculate Conception. The long-planned and never-constructed cathedral on Greene Avenue was to have that title. However, high school students in the 1950's were told that the diocesan patron was St. Joseph, and a holiday was given March 19th instead of March 17th because the archdiocese across the river had St. Patrick as patron. So, who is the patron: Joseph or Mary?
Some of the questions raised by the audience are answered well in the book, "Diocese of Immigrants," available from the archivist's office, 718-965-7300, ext. 1001.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

St. Frances Cabrini, Dyker Heights

The mailing address of St. Frances Cabrini parish is 1562 86th Street, Brooklyn NY 11228, telephone 718-236-9165. The parish website is linked HERE.
The above photo looks east on 86th Street towards the busy intersection of 16th Avenue and 86th Street. The church is on the southeast corner of 86th Street and Bay 11th Street in Dyker Heights. (The numbered "Bay" streets are parallel to and interspersed among the numbered avenues, leading to some confusion.)

About fifty students of the Catherine Laboure School use the former parish elementary school on Bay 11th Street, which merged with that of St. Mary Mother of Jesus on 23rd Avenue.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Dyker Heights

The church of Our Lady of Guadalupe faces 15th Avenue at the northeast corner of 73rd Street. The rectory address is 7201 15th Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11228, telephone 718-236-8300. The parish website is linked HERE. The 71st station of the D train is nearby.

In 1531, Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego at Tepeyac Hill, near what is now the Basilica of N. S. de Guadalupe in northern Mexico City, served by metro line 6, Basilica station.

The address of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Academy is 15-14 72nd Street, telephone 718-331-2070. Above is a view from 15th Avenue, but the school extends considerably along 73rd Street.  In the 2016 Official Catholic Directory, the enrollment is listed as 226.

I am uncertain how the school buildings, old and new, are utilized.  A Polish school, named after the famous author Henry Sienkiewicz, also uses the address at 15-14 72nd Street.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

St. Ephrem, Dyker Heights

The address of the parish of St. Ephrem is 929 Bay Ridge Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11228, telephone 718-833-1010, with a website linked here. In the above photo, the rectory is to the right, adjacent to the church, on Bay Ridge Parkway, otherwise known as 75th Street. The school is to the left, on Fort Hamilton Parkway.

The Fort Hamilton Parkway bus honors the Pontiff.

St. Ephrem's parish was founded in 1921. The previous October, Pope Benedict XV declared the Father of the Church, St. Ephrem the Syrian, a Doctor of the Universal Church. Living from about the year 303 to 373, St. Ephrem wrote many hymns, poems, and sermons in Syriac. (I wonder to what extent the script Ephrem used resembles that seen on medical offices along Bay Ridge Parkway.) The present church has a 1952 cornerstone. The church faces Interstate 287, the construction of which brought the demolition of hundreds of homes in St. Ephrem's parish in the early 1960's.

The school address is 7415 Ford Hamilton Parkway, Brooklyn NY 11228, telephone 718-833-1440. The school's website is linked here.

Both new and old school buildings may be in use by the approximately 268 students. The newer building is shown here on 74th Street, connected to the older building.

Clicking on any photo will enlarge it.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

St. Cecilia, Greenpoint, now Divine Mercy

St. Cecilia's parish, Greenpoint, has been merged into a new parish of Divine Mercy. The main office for Divine Mercy Parish is located at St. Francis of Paola, 219 Conselyea Street. The phone number is (718) 387-0256. Each church continues as a liturgical worship site.
St. Cecilia's buildings take up almost the entire rectangle of the block bounded by North Henry, Herbert, Monitor, and Richardson Streets, the exception being a few private houses to the right in this photo. The parish was established in 1871. One year, it seems, almost 1,700 students were educated in the parish school, which closed in June, 2008. For more photos of this parish, please look at my September, 2008, photos on Webshots here. When you get to that link, move to Previous or Next (near top right of photo) to explore more photos of the parish and Greenpoint.
The parish website is linked here.  Please see the comments linked above the photo.
For decades, the Sisters of St. Joseph and the De La Salle Christian Brothers staffed the parish school.  Sad to relate, Brother Andrew Gerard Duncanson, teacher at St. Cecilia's Boys' department 1962-1964 and principal there 1967-1969, passed away in Providence, Rhode Island, 8/28/2011, where he worked at La Salle Academy.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Kensington

The parish of Immaculate Heart of Mary is located at 2805 Fort Hamilton Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11218, telephone 718-871-1310. This is at the northern end of Fort Hamilton Parkway, between East 4th Street and East 5th Street, close to Prospect Park and the Prospect Expressway, but about 4 miles northeast of Fort Hamilton. The neighborhoods are Windsor Terrace to the north and Kensington to the south.  The parish website is linked HERE.  The parish Facebook page is linked HERE.
One might recall a tradition of crossing oneself or of men tipping their hats when passing a church. Despite the locked fence, a young lady stops here to pray before a statue, either Jesus as the Good Shepherd between the doors, or Mary above the doors.

The parish of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was established in 1898, and the cornerstone of this church is dated 1931. In 1933, the Independent Subway came to this neighborhood, with a station entrance one block east on Fort Hamilton Parkway (F and G trains).

At East 5th Street is this prayer for peace, in eight languages.

And the public school across Fort Hamilton Parkway echoes the prayer.
For many decades, the Brentwood Josephites and lay teachers staffed this school, but in 2012 the bishop merged it into the newly-named St.Joseph the Worker Catholic Academy at 241 Prospect Park West, the former Holy Name school.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

St. Frances de Chantal, Borough Park

The church of St. Frances de Chantal is at the southwest corner of 58th Street and 13th Avenue in the Blythebourne section of Borough Park. The mailing address is 1273 58th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11219, telephone 718-436-6407. Established in 1892, the parish was recently offered as a center for the apostolate of Polish immigrants, and all three priests on the staff are of Polish heritage. The pastor is a Polish Pallottine, but the parish does not appear on a list of parishes specifically entrusted to the Pallottine Fathers, S.A.C. For decades, the Fathers of Mercy (of French heritage) staffed the parish, and the Amityville Dominicans (of Bavarian heritage) staffed the school.

Pope John Paul II stands to the right of the entrance, with the flags the United States, Poland, and the Vatican behind him. His arm may point to the B16 bus one block away.

Facing the church is the former parish elementary school. In this part of Brooklyn, the streets tend to be residential, the avenues lined with stores, often with two floors of apartments above the stores.