Friday, February 25, 2011

Divine Mercy, Williamsburg (triple merger)

Effective January 31, 2011, three parishes in Greenpoint and Williamsburg were canonically suppressed to create a single parish (Divine Mercy parish) with three "worship sites" or churches.  The parishes merged are St. Cecilia , St. Nicholas, and St. Francis of Paola.  An administrator, a parochial vicar (or assistant), and two deacons have been appointed to Divine Mercy, located at 219 Conselyea Street, Brooklyn NY 11211, telephone 718-387-0256.  The territory, assets and obligations of the three parishes were transferred to the new Divine Mercy Parish.
Please see the parish website, linked HERE
The March 6, 2011 parish bulletin from St. Francis of Paola church carries this declaration: One parish created in the heart of Divine Mercy to serve God's people in the Churches of  Saint Cecilia - Saint Francis of Paola - Saint Nicholas as a sign of Jesus' merciful love.

The above photo shows the rectory (with a red awning) and church.  Most photos may be enlarged by clicking on them.

On the south side of Conselyea Street is a grotto.  In September, 2014, I received an e-mail with this wonderful explanation:

My name is Don Massetti, and my grandfather, Vito Abate, built the grotto at St. Francis of Paola over seventy-five years ago.  As a young boy, I lived on Engert Avenue between McGuinness Blvd. and Graham Avenue.  Recently, I was able to return to Brooklyn and revisit this very special place that I totally took for granted as a child.
THIS LINK connects to my blog, which tells the story of my grandfather, and how this most spectacular grotto came to be.  I promise you that you will find it to be a most interesting and very touching piece of St. Francis of Paola history.
It is my hope that one day, in lieu of a plaque meely stating his name, an inscription explaning that he single-handedly built this tribute to our Holy Queen, may take its place.  I don't now how to go about started on such a project, and was wondering if perhaps you can guide me to taking the proper channels.  
Thank you, and may God bless you.

West on Conselyea Street is the former parish school, now Francis of Paola Early Learning Center of the New York AHRC.  In the distance can be seen some of the many new apartment houses constructed in Williamsburg during the housing boom. 
St. Nicholas parish was established in 1865, St. Cecilia in 1872, and St. Francis of Paola in 1918.
Concerning the name Conselyea Street:  It seems that only two years before the English took New Amsterdam in 1664, Jan Conselje (Jean le Conseille) arrived and went to Bushwick.  Please see an explanation here.