Friday, February 13, 2015

Making All Things New

"Making All Things New" is the banner under which the Archbishop of New York is merging some parishes.  For the official document, dated 11.2.2014, please see this link, which itself contains two more links to lists of mergers.  If the link becomes out-of-date, please try
As of mid-February, 2015, the actual canonical degrees may be printed from this link.  On February 13, 2014, the New York Times ran a lengthy article on the delay in public access to the decrees.
List 2 tells that certain churches will be used only on special occasions.  The sacraments will not be offered there on a regular basis.  August, 2015, is the goal date.
Nativity of Our Blessed Lady, East 233rd Street and Dyre Avenue.  The parishioners are directed to Holy Rosary, two miles south. The school remains open.
Visitation, on Van Cortlandt Park South.  This parish is merged with St. John's, Kingsbridge. Both Visitation school and St. John's school remain open.
St. Ann, Bainbridge Avenue, near Montefiore Hospital.  This parish is merged with St. Brendan on East 206 Street. Both schools, St. Ann and St. Brendan, remain open.
St. Roch, on Wales Avenue, Morrisania.  This parish is merged with St. Anselm, Tinton Avenue. Both are architectural masterpieces.  The stained glass windows of St. Roch provide color and light; St. Anselm's structure is heavy, dark.
St. Pius V on East 145 Street, Mott Haven, is merged with St. Rita of Cascia to the west.
St. John Vianney, 0.6 mile from the foot of Castle Hill Avenue, is merged with Holy Family at Watson Avenue another 0.6 mile north on Castle Hill Avenue. The Bx22 bus on the avenue has five trips scheduled each hour on Sunday mornings. Some parishioners probably live a distance east or west of the bus stops. 
On December 14, 2014, The New York Times printed a list of further closings, a list that resembles this undated document on the archdiocesan website.
St. Joseph on Bathgate Avenue would be merged into St. Simon Stock, 0.7 mile to the north.  I note that the 2014 Official Catholic Directory states that St. Joseph parish had 22 students in religious education, while St. Joseph's elementary school across the street had 465 students, a remarkable number, probably as of 2013. The school remains open.
Our Lady of Grace on Bronxwood Avenue would be merged into the parish of Sts. Philip and James.  Our Lady of Grace elementary school remains open.
St. Francis of Assisi (Baychester Avenue) and St. Anthony (Wakefield) would be merged into St. Frances of Rome.  However, an almost similar arrangement has been the situation for a few years recently, with one pastor tending to three parishes. The school at St. Francis of Assisi would remain open.  The small church is attached to the school.
Those are the ten mergers in which one parish is effectively closed for regular worship.
List 1 explains four pairs of mergers in which both churches remain open.  The one with the asterisk is designated the parish church.  I am uncertain about sacramental records, but I suspect that by August, 2015, the priests and the records will be moved to the church with the asterisk.
*St. Margaret of Cortona and St. Gabriel, both on the highland called Riverdale.
*St. Jerome and St. Luke, both on East 138th Street, Mott Haven.
*Holy Family, Watson Avenue, and Blessed Sacrament, Beach Avenue.
*Our Lady of the Assumption, Pelham Bay, and St. Mary Star of the Sea, City Island.
The canonical decrees that were finally released in early February, 2015, have two pages of standard language (a common narrative of events, ignoring particular situations), plus a single page of what-will-happen and where-the-records-will-go.  Allow me to note a few surprises:
1) That St. Roch is a personal parish.  As a result St. Anselm does not pick up new territory.
2) Mergers announced in December are not included in February's list of decrees:
St. Joseph (Bathgate Ave.), St Francis of Assisi (Baychester Ave.), St. Anthony (Wakefield), Our Lady of Grace, Sts. Philip and James.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Facebook, parishes, and schools

Some parishes and Catholic organizations have active Facebook pages that can be viewed by people, as I, who have not joined Facebook.  In addition to the links on this blog, it might be good to search for the parish, school, or organization on Facebook. When I happen upon such active pages, I will link them to the parish listing on this blog. It appears that the Facebook corporation itself might establish a parish page without any local initiative. Those pages tend to be inactive, with merely a header.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

"New York Catholics," by Patrick McNamara

Last year saw the publication of a fascinating book by historian Patrick McNamara, "New York Catholics: Faith, attitude & the works!"  This 212-page paperback presents seventy-six Catholics who lived in the five boroughs, the capsule biographies being precise and focused on what made each person special.
This book is available from its publisher, Orbis Books (Maryknoll), and other booksellers.
The following people who lived in The Bronx or had some connection to Bronx Catholic history are included:
Archbishop John Hughes, who in the 1840's purchased the Rose Hill campus between the Harlem railroad and the Bronx River, named it St. John's College, and then sold it to the Jesuits.
Levi Silliman Ives, an ordained Episcopalian bishop, who became Roman Catholic in 1852.  He taught at the seminary at Rose Hill.  Before his death in 1867, he helped found the New York Catholic Protectory and purchased the 114 acres that hosted the Protectory on East Tremont Avenue. About 1938, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company bought the property and developed Parkchester.  The boys' department continues in northern Westchester as Lincoln Hall Boys' Haven.
Father Francis Duffy, pastor of Our Saviour parish on Washington Avenue in the 1910's, and chaplain to the Fighting 69th.
Cardinal Francis Spellman, who spent his undergraduate years 1907-1911 at Fordham University.
Cardinal Terence Cooke, whose family moved to St. Benedict's parish, Throgs Neck. During his years of high school study at Cathedral Prep in Manhattan, he worked at a furniture store on East 146th Street, The Bronx.
Helen Travis, one tough lady, who founded and ran the John Thomas Travis Center at Willis Avenue and East 142nd Street, a demanding shelter for alcoholic men.
Msgr. Gerald Ryan, priest and pastor of St. Luke's parish, East 138th Street, for forty-six years.
Peter Quinn, renowned writer, who grew up in St. Raymond's parish, attended Manhattan Prep, Manhattan College, and Fordham University.
Rudy Vargas IV, who has worked in the Hispanic Catholic apostolate with many programs and helped organize las Madrinas, to foster enrollment of young students in Catholic schools.
Brother Michael Francis Grogan (C.F.R.?), who works within Sacred Heart parish, Highbridge.
Sister Mary Lanning, who went from thirteen years in a Hunts Point cloister, to oraganizer of Yes! Solutions, an organization of volunteers.
Regis Philbin, entertainer, graduate of Our Lady of Solace elementary school (Presentation Sisters) and generous alumnus and fund-raiser of Cardinal Hayes High School.
Mary Higgins Clark, an Irish storyteller from The Bronx, graduate of Villa Maria Academy (Congregation of Notre Dame).
I highly recommend this book, as it gives even more life to our city.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Bronx Catholic High Schools

Catholic New York has published a helpful guide to the high schools of the Archdiocese of New York.  I have linked the guide HERE.

Registration for the Test for Admission to Catholic High Schools has begun. Please see information here.  There is much information on that website.  
The TACHS exams will be administered on Friday, November 7th, 2014, for admission into Catholic high schools in September of 2015.  There is a $52 fee for the test.
These are the 13 Catholic high schools in The Bronx:

Academy of Mount St. Ursula, enrollment about 380 girls.
All Hallows High School, enrollment about 650 boys.
Aquinas High School, enrollment about 500 girls.
Cardinal Hayes High School, enrollment about 950 boys.
Cardinal Spellman High School, enrollment about 1,400 students.
Fordham Prep, enrollment about 980 boys.
Msgr. Scanlan High School, enrollment about 400 students.
Mount St. Michael Academy, enrollment about 857 boys.
Preston High School, enrollment about 611 girls.
St. Barnabas High School, enrollment about 240 girls.
St. Catharine Academy, enrollment about 582 girls.
St. Raymond Academy for Girls, enrollment about 375 girls.
St. Raymond High School for Boys, enrollment about 750 boys.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Msgr. Scanlan High School

Monsignor Scanlan High School, a Catholic high school for girls and boys, enrolling about 400 students, is located at 415 Hutchinson River Parkway, Bronx NY 10465, telephone 718-430-0100. Its informative website is linked here. Each photo may be enlarged by clicking on it.

The school has far-reaching and frequent bus service, with stops of the Q-44 (from Jamaica and Flushing to the school, continuing to Parkchester and West Farms Square) and the Q-50 (from Flushing to the school, continuing to Pelham Bay and Co-Op City).

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Our Saviour, Washington Ave. at E. 183 St.

To enlarge any photo, please click on the photo.

See pages 472 and 474 for the parish of Our Savior, East 183 Street and Washington Avenue, in 1911. The present church dates from 1914. The rectory address is 2317 Washington Ave., Bronx NY 10458, telephone 718-295-9600. A website is under construction at this link, and it already shows strengths and information. At that website, the top left tab is particularly useful as it lists past and present bulletins, each available as a pdf file.  Look for the current year (as -14) at the end of the date, then select the month and available issues.  
The bulletin of January 19, 2014, is the four-page sheet distributed this past Sunday at Mass.  It highlights the Scripture of the Day (John's, "Behold the lamb of God .."), Mass and devotional schedules, one tweet from Pope Francis, several "tweets to God," and the parish itinerary of La Virgen de Altagracia, patroness of the Dominican Republic, and La Virgen de Suyapa, patroness of Honduras.
In some lists, the name "savior" is spelled "saviour." The 2008 Official Catholic Directory shows no school. The priests are Yarumal Missionaries, M.X.Y., a Society of Apostolic Life founded in Colombia in 1927.

Note that land in The Bronx was already so scarce that the church is within the school. When the above photo was taken in late 2009, the school floors, presumably above the church, were rented to a public school. Five stained glass windows of the church can be seen by enlarging the photo.
A grandfather of a friend of mine was a young man in this parish when its pastor, the famous Father Francis P. Duffy, became chaplain of "The Fighting 69th" and went off to the Mexican border during the fight with Pancho Villa (1916?). It is said that the young man was with this regiment there.
 A comment follows:
Blogger franchot Richard said...
I plan on coming to NYC in April or May of this year. The memories of Ol continue to flood my mind and I did have some very nice memories of that school. I especially remember Frank Augart, Raymond Maldonado Patricia MCclave, Tony Spano, Robert Ross, David Smiley, Sister Rose Anthony,Sister Norbert, Sister Jerome, Father Carway, Father Sullivan, Mrs Ritter. I look forward to hopefully seeing some of these people again. I still remember some of the words to the school song, wow!!
January 18, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Friday, November 15, 2013

Preston High School

Preston High School is a Catholic girls' high school on the picturesque shoreline between the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge and the Throg's Neck Bridge, at 2780 Schurz Avenue, Bronx NY 10468.  Its telephone number is 718-863-9134, and its website is linked here.  In the above photo, at left is the mansion once the residence of Collis Huntington.  

In New York City, several MTA bus routes have branches that serve high schools.  This is a branch of the crosstown Tremont Avenue bus.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Elementary school statistics

With the recent publication of the 2013 Official Catholic Directory, it is possible to look at some statistics of the Catholic elementary schools in The Bronx. Please realize that the data was probably collected more than a year ago, and some of the numbers may include pre-kindergarten enrollment.  Also, fourteen of the forty-three schools are listed with the same exact enrollment three years running, unlikely, and therefore suspect. The forty-three schools open in September, 2013, are listed in the directory as having 15,111 students.  The 2012 directory listed 17,380.
The following analysis ignores schools with suspect numbers.  The four elementary school with the highest enrollments are St. Raymond (given as 880), Immaculate Melrose (491), Sacred Heart (466), Holy Rosary (430) and St. Helena (415). At the median are St. Angela Merici (315), St. Benedict (301), and Sts. Peter and Paul (300). Lowest numbers were St. John Kingsbridge (226), St. Simon Stock (207), Visitation (196).

Friday, July 26, 2013

Partnership and three elementary schools

On July 24, 2013, the Superintendent of Schools issued this press release.  Please read the release, as my interpretation may not correctly describe what has been done.
Three Bronx parish elementary schools are involved.  Each displays a fresh website, which refers to new management by The Partnership for Inner-City Education.
Immaculate Conception School, 378 East 151 Street, Melrose.  The link states that enrollment from PreK4 to Grade 8 is 491.
Sacred Heart School, 1248 Nelson Avenue, Highbridge.  The link states that enrollment from PreK4 to Grade 8 is 465.
St. Athanasius School, 830 Southern Blvd. The link, obviously by the same designer as the above two, states the enrollment from PreK3 to Grade 8 is 275.
Three Manhattan schools are also included in the press release.  The non-profit organization, The Partnership for Inner-City Education, will assume financial responsibility for the schools and seems to have pledged $6 million dollars to the six schools.
I find no mention of grade-by-grade enrollment at these schools.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Academy of Mt. St. Ursula

The Academy of Mount St. Ursula is the newer building above.  To the left, and joined to it is the older building, the former convent, with several educational uses.

See page 357 for the arrival of the Ursulines in The Bronx in 1855. They established an academy on Westchester Avenue, east of Eagle Avenue, Morrisania. In 1892, they moved the academy and convent to Mount St. Ursula in Bedford Park, between Marion and Valentine Avenues, where the staff of the academy in 2013 continues to educate girls of high school age. The mailing address and school entrance is 330 Bedford Park Boulevard, NY 10458.
The website of the Academy of Mount St. Ursula is here. The international website of the Ursulines is here.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Elementary school tuition chart

Because some Catholic elementary schools are closing this June, and parents have to enroll their children in other schools, the Archdiocese has posted a series of detailed charts of the tuition in each remaining elementary school, plus what clubs, activities, and classes are available.  The charts are linked here, under the title of Placement Counselor Information.  Because these are 2012-2013 rates, I suspect that the link may be broken by September, so (I suggest) print now.  As far as The Bronx is concerned, there is quite a spread in rates.