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.


St. Rosalia - Regina Pacis, Bensonhurst

The mailing address for the parish of Saint Rosalia - Regina Pacis is 1230 65th Street, Brooklyn NY 11219, telephone 718-236-0909.
The people of the parish of St. Rosalia (founded in 1902 as an Italian national parish, not a territorial parish) made a vow in 1942 to build a votive shrine, the magnificent Regina Pacis church, if their servicemen came home safe from the war and peace was established. In broad summary, that seems to be why this parish has two names. The history of the votive shrine from 1942 onward is given on the parish website. I have been unable to learn the parish history for the first forty years, especially whether there was more than one building for Sunday worship. This is not a merged parish. It is a parish that took on a supplementary name.

Clicking on any photo will enlarge it.

Above is the church on 14th Avenue. In 2010, three weekend Masses were offered here: Saturday 5 p.m. in English, Saturday 7:30 p.m. in Chinese, Sunday 9 a.m. in Italian. In 2016, I can find little reference in the parish bulletin to services at Saint Rosalia.

Above is the Regina Pacis Votive Shrine on 65th Street near 12th Avenue, Bensonhurst.

The parish website once had descriptions and photos of the artwork surrounding the congregation, but I have been unable to find these helpful descriptions on the new website.

The above view looks west on 65th Street towards 12th Avenue.
Some Catholic parishes with beautiful churches do not host weddings of couples who are not active attendees of the parish itself. The Regina Pacis website implies a ready willingness to assist the celebration of Catholic marriage.

The above view looks along 65th Street towards 12th Avenue. This building is signed Regina Pacis Youth Center and Catholic Migration Office. However, it seems the upper floors may have had classrooms. To the right is the rectory and then the Regina Pacis Votive Shrine. A former parish school building extends the short block on 12th Avenue from 65th Street to 66th Street.
A helpful reader pointed out that the parish also included St. Theresa's Chapel on 12th Avenue at 66th Street.  A link to the news article with that information is HERE. Father Angelo Rafael Cioffi became pastor in 1923 and purchased the land for the school, chapel, and new rectory two blocks west of St. Rosalia's church.  In the mid-twentieth century, Sunday Mass attendance was much higher than today, and pastors often had to add more worship spaces, churches, and chapels.  I am guessing that in 1950, Mass was celebrated in three or four locations, the old church on 14th Avenue, the new shrine church upstairs, the same church downstairs, and maybe at St. Theresa's chapel. It would be interesting to see a Sunday bulletin or Mass schedule for that era. 
The same helpful reader showed me this link to a website about church organs.  The address given for St. Theresa's chapel appears to be in error.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Holy Spirit, Borough Park

Holy Spirit church faces 17th Avenue at 46th Street in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn. The mailing address is 1712 45th Street, Brooklyn NY 11204, telephone 718-436-5565. It would seem that three languages predominate: English, Korean, and Spanish. The church is two blocks west of the Culver Line station (F train) at 18th Avenue.

The above photo shows the well-maintained garden and grotto, as seen from 17th Avenue. The church to the right of the sign. In the background can be seen a rectory that includes a chapel for weekday 8:30 a.m. Mass. Walkers may reach the chapel through this garden or along the driveway from 46th Street.

The parish school closed in 2004. The building was offered for lease in November, 2009. The parish bulletin lists the phone numbers of nearby St. Agatha School (718-435-3137) and that of Our Lady of Perpetual Help (718-492-2209).


Thursday, June 3, 2010

St. Francis of Assisi

The church of St. Francis of Assisi (combined with the parish of St. Blaise) is located on the east side of Nostrand Avenue between Lincoln Road and Maple St. The mailing address is 319 Maple St., Brooklyn NY 11225, telephone 718-756-2015. Please see the informative parish website, linked HERE.
The school is at 400 Lincoln Road, Brooklyn NY 11225, telephone 718-778-3700. The excellent website for St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Academy is linked HERE.  

Any photo may be enlarged by clicking on it.

Above is the parish school on Lincoln Road. It is staffed by lay educators and Brentwood Josephites. 

Above is a representation of the shepherds' vision of Our Lady at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917.

Above is St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226), as in the account of his preaching to birds.
From the parish bulletin, it would seem that this parish is now entrusted to the Society of Mary, s.m., or Marist Society.


Holy Cross, Flatbush

Holy Cross parish is located at 2530 Church Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11226, telephone 718-469-5900. Its website is linked here. The diocese of New York established this parish in the Village of Flatbush in 1845, before the creation of the diocese of Brooklyn and before the city of Brooklyn absorbed Flatbush.

The parish has a religious education program, telephone 347-406-6333.  Also, St. Gregory the Great Catholic Academy (linked here) instructs about 232 elementary students at 2520 Church Avenue. The academy uses the building pictured above.

Several parish buildings front on important Church Avenue: the church, rectory, a school building, and this chapel and parish hall. The property extends from Veronica Place on the east to Woods Place on the west. Brooklyn has been called "The Borough of Churches," and this stretch of Church Avenue from Nostrand to Bedford Avenues bears witness.


Our Lady of Refuge, Foster Ave.

Our Lady of Refuge church stands at the southwest corner of Ocean Avenue and Foster Avenue. Its mailing address is 2020 Foster Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11210, telephone 718-434-2090. The website of Our Lady of Refuge parish gives more information about the church than can be seen from the street.

The cornerstone of the church is dated 1933. On a weekday afternoon, it was closed, possibly for repairs.

The Mass schedule may be found on the website.

The inscription reads in three vertical sections: Mater Dei (mother of God); refugium hominum (refuge of men); ora pro nobis (pray for us). More information about the church may be found here from the New York City Organ Project, which names the architect as Henry V. Murphy, who also designed St. Anselm's church, Bay Ridge.