Monday, March 31, 2008

Santa Maria, St. Raymond Ave., Westchester Square

Above, Santa Maria church on St. Raymond Avenue.  Parker Street is at the right side of the building. Zerega Avenue and the school is to the left.  For the Mass schedule, please see the parish website.

See pages 484 and 485 for the 1926 foundation of the parish of Santa Maria at St. Raymond Avenue and Parker Street, east of Castle Hill Avenue and Parkchester. The present church was remodeled in 1936. The rectory address is 2352 St. Raymond Ave., Bronx NY 10462, telephone 718-828-2380.

Three blocks from the church is the Santa Maria parish school, located at 1510 Zerega Avenue, Bronx NY 10462, filling the block from Glebe Avenue to Frisby Ave. The school was created in 1951, and is staffed, in part, by religious sisters, the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The website for Santa Maria parish school is here.  The school also has a Facebook page.
From the website of the Misioneros Idente, it would seem that three parishes near to each other (Santa Maria, Our Lady of Solace, St. Dominic) are staffed by this congregation, founded by Dr. Fernando Rielo. The Catholic Directory would seem to indicate that they live at Santa Maria rectory.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

St Benedict, Otis Avenue, Throgs Neck

The church steps face Otis Avenue. Just one block west is busy East Tremont Avenue.

At the rear of the church (the north side, that is) a trench carries the traffic of Interstate 95, here called the Bruckner Expressway. Terence Cardinal Cooke (1921-1983) hailed from this parish twenty or more years before the highways arrived.

See page 482 for St Benedict's parish in Throgs Neck, established in 1923 by Benedictines from Collegeville, Minnesota. The present church dates from about 1960. In 1976 (thanks to a reader who commented), the parish was transferred from the care of the Benedictines to archdiocesan priests. I have been unable to determine whether the boundaries of the Village of Unionport included territory later within this parish, as the bicentennial history implies. The rectory address is 2969 Otis Avenue, Bronx NY 10465, telephone 718-828-3403.  The church website is linked here.
Shown below is the parish school at 1016 Edison Avenue, a half-block south of the church. Both are in a quiet neighborhood of private homes two blocks from the busy intersection of I-95 (Bruckner Blvd) and East Tremont Avenue. The school would appear to have one or two sections per grade, total enrollment about 340.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

St Ann, Bainbridge Avenue, Gun Hill

Both the school and church in this post are now closed (2017).
See pages 478 and 478 for the 1927 creation of the parish of St. Ann on Bainbridge Avenue, just north of Gun Hill Road. Inside the door, another set of stairs leads up to the church. Higher up is the school. Several Bronx parishes have a similar construction of school-above-church. Because of the steps, a ramp has been installed to a new church door along the left side of the building. 

For years, the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill staffed this school.
The New York Times of March 31, 1928, announced the filing of plans for the school and convent. The pastor was Rev. Martin Cavanagh.  The architects were Viemuster and Brady.

Our Lady of Pity, East 151 St., Melrose

See pages 476 and 467 for the Italian parish of Our Lady of Pity (Madonna del Suffragio) on East 151 Street near Morris Ave., Melrose. Founded in 1908, "the parish is now (2007) closed."

Friday, March 28, 2008

Our Lady of Victory, Webster Avenue, Tremont

On January 29, 2012, the parishioners of Our Lady of Victory welcomed the faithful in procession from St. Augustine's parish, closed that day and merged with Our Lady of Victory. 
Webster Avenue proceeds north at the left of this 2008 photo. The rectory is the shorter building at the left. Maybe classrooms are above the church, but the parish has no elementary school. Instead, a vigorous CCD program is offered.
See page 472 for the establishment of the parish of Our Lady of Victory, 1512 Webster Avenue, at East 171 St, a block south of Claremont Parkway, in 1909. See page 474 for a photo of the church, which dates from 1911. For an explanation of Mary's title, "Our Lady of Victory," you may check out this link from the University of Dayton. I have long been puzzled by the question, "Which victory?" The primary victory seems to be Lepanto in 1571, but as the French often use the plural, there is a hint of more than that single battle.
The rectory address is 1512 Webster Ave., Bronx NY 10457, telephone 718-583-4044.
To read the comments, please click on "Comments" below.  A 2012 post is linked here.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hugh J. Grant

See page 385 for a reference to Hugh J. Grant, a New York mayor (1889-1892), the second Catholic mayor of New York. In 1911, a year after he died, the circle at East 177 Street and Westchester Avenue was named after him.

St Joseph's Hospital, Mott Haven

See page 382 for a photo of St Joseph's Hospital for Tuberculosis Patients (or Consumptives) founded by the Sisters of the Poor of St. Francis in 1882. The location seems to have been on Brook Avenue between East 143 St and East 144 St. In the 1960's, my grandmother was a patient at St. Francis Hospital, perhaps on Brook Avenue between East 142 St and 143 St.

Catholic Protectory

See pages 362 for references to the Catholic Protectory on the 114-acre site of what is now Parkchester. That property was purchased in 1865 and sold to Metropolitan Life about 1938. For seventy or seventy-five years, the Sisters of Charity (Mother Seton's congregation) staffed the girls' division and the Brothers of the Christian Schools (De La Salle Brothers) the boys' division.

St John's College and Fordham University

See pages 359, 360 and 386 for the foundation of St John's College in 1841 and the transfer of its administration to Jesuits in 1846. Somewhere I have read that the name "Fordham" referred rather to an estate along the Harlem River and that Rose Hill, the 106-acre purchase made by Bishop Hughes in 1839, was at the east end of the estate. See pages 111 and 132 for references to the first diocesan synod, held at St John's College, Fordham, in 1842. In 1905, the Jesuits renamed the college Fordham. Thomas Shelley's book, the Bronx references of which I am here indexing, is rich with footnotes. See footnote #14 on page 360 for a helpful history of Fordham University. Page 421 has a photo of Keating Hall. Page 522 refers to the San Juan Fiesta at Rose Hill in 1956. Page 598 reminds the reader that The Bronx was honored with its own cardinal in 2001, Cardinal Avery Dulles, .S.J., residing at Fordham University.

St. John, Kingsbridge

As of August 1, 2015, Visitation parish was merged St. John's, both churches being in Kingsbridge, The Bronx.  Masses, other worship, and sacraments will be celebrated at St. John's, not at Visitation.  The 2015 Official Catholic Directory gave the enrollment at St. John's School as 224, Visitation 216, but Visitation School closed in 2017.
The church of St. John-Visitation presents a new website, linked HERE, which has the Mass schedule.  The mailing address remains 3021 Kingsbridge Avenue, Bronx, NY 10463, telephone 718-548-1221.  The parish pastoral center is around the corner at 275 West 230th Street, and its seven-day office hours are listed on the website and in the parish bulletin.  I presume that the above phone number reaches both the priests' rectory and the office, depending on hours. The office used to be in the rectory.  Some parish events are held in the Godwin Terrace School, while St. John's School is at 3143 Kingbridge Avenue, a newer building.
See pages 268 and 298 of the Bicentennial History for the creation of St. John parish on Kingsbridge Avenue, north of West 230 Street, in 1886. Previously, it had been a mission of St. Mary's, Yonkers, and after 1869 a mission of St. Elizabeth parish, Washington Heights, whose pastor, Father Henry Brann, built a chapel in Kingsbridge. This church's patron is John the Apostle and Evangelist. The parish is often called St. John's, Kingsbridge, to distinguish it from other parishes named St John. The present church dates from 1910, but was rededicated in 1966. For more than a century, the Religious of Jesus and Mary have staffed the school. For about twenty years (1950-1970?) the De La Salle Christian Brothers staffed the boys' department.

The rectory address is 3021 Kingsbridge Ave., Bronx NY 10463, telephone 718-548-1221.  In the above photo, the rectory is at the left, the church is at the right.  The pastor of the combined parish (St. John - Visitation) in 2015 is Father Michael Kerrigan, an archdiocesan priest.
The New York Times of March 15, 1966, ran an article under the headline, "Bronx Church is Crowned with a Spire in 3 Hours," narrating how the spire arrived from Greensburgh, Pennsylvania, by truck, in several pieces.  It was assembled on the rectory lawn.  Hoisting it into place took less than from noon until 3 p.m. on March 14.  It is made of steel and aluminum with baked enamel finish. The height of the spire is 52 feet.

Over many decades, the lower church has seen much use.  In the 1940's, pews ran all the way to the back. Because of shortage of classroom space before the Godwin Terrace building was expanded, a 7th grade class was held in the rear.  In March, 2014, when these two photos were taken, parishioners were gathering for the 12:15 daily Mass.  Maybe the upper church is used on Sundays; the bulletin does not explain.

The following helpful site gives some history: link here.
The school is located two blocks north of the church, at 3143 Kingsbridge Avenue. It appears to have about 230 students, with one section per grade. The parish's older and larger school building is now leased to the New York City Board of Education. 

The original convent of the Religious of Jesus and Mary stands on Godwin Terrace.  The building above on West 230th Street was built for the Sisters in 1950, but the parish reclaimed it about fifty years later, moving the Sisters to the Godwin Terrace building. 

Above is a banner over the church's main door in April, 2011.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sts. Peter and Paul, Brook Avenue, Melrose

The church is on Brook Avenue. East 159 Street is to the right. The school is to the left.

The above photo of the parish school was taken in October, 2006. Clicking on a photo enlarges it. In this case, you can then read the signs.
See pages 295 and 296 for the establishment of the parish of Saints Peter and Paul on Brook Avenue, Melrose, in 1898. The present church was completed in 1932. Page 587 has a photo of a student with a Sister of Charity in 1989. For years, the Sisters of Charity and lay teachers have staffed the parish school
The rectory address is 833 St. Ann's Avenue, Bronx NY 10456. telephone 718-665-3924. The parish property includes the north side of East 159th St. from St. Ann's Avenue on the east to Brook Avenue on the west. The church and school face Brook Avenue.
The school address is 838 Brook Ave., Bronx NY 10456, telephone 718-665-2056. . It seems to have more than 300 students and one or two sections per grade. The school website is here.
Alumni of the parish have created an interesting website with photos, linked here. In the views looking north on Brook Avenue, one can see the el between the school and the court house. There are photos of teachers, families, and students.

Bronx annexation

See page 292 for an excellent summary of the stages of annexation of The Bronx (1874, 1895), the formation of Greater New York (1898), and the establishment of Bronx County (1914).

Map of Bronx parishes in 1875

See page 291 for a map of parishes in The Bronx in 1875. These are St Raymond, St Jerome, Immaculate Conception (Melrose), Our Lady of Mercy, Sacred Heart, St Augustine, and St. Joseph.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

St Adalbert, East 156 Street, Melrose

See page 240 for the founding of St Adalbert parish, East 155 Street, Melrose. in 1898. In 2008, this parish does not appear on the list of archdiocesan parishes, but the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal may be using some of the buildings.  Please view the comments below by clicking on the word "Comments."
To answer the question of the 3rd comment below:  A 1995 Catholic Telephone Guide (an official organ) said even then that all records were at the parish of Sts. Peter and Paul.  You may contact that parish at 718-665-3924. The office address is 833 St. Ann's Avenue, Bronx NY 10456.
Please note that the archdiocese does not maintain a centralized record bureau of baptism, marriage, and other sacraments.  When a parish is closed or merged, the records are transferred to a nearby parish, and that transferal shows up in the Official Catholic Directory and other listings of parishes.  I have the impression that mere membership in a parish is not considered a sacramental record.

Immaculate Conception, Gun Hill Road, Williamsbridge

See page 231 for the 1902 beginning of Immaculate Conception church, on Gun Hill Road, just east of White Plains Road, in Williamsbridge. The present large church dates from 1925. Do not confuse this parish with the Immaculate Conception parish on East 150th Street. The informative website for church and school is here.
The rectory address is 754 East Gun Hill Road, Bronx NY 10467, telephone 718-653-2200.