Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, East 187 Street

The above photo shows the church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on the northwest corner of East 187 Street and Belmont Avenue, three blocks south of Fordham University. See pages 231, 472, and 474 of Msgr. Shelley's book for the creation of the parish in 1906. The upstairs church was dedicated in 1917. The website of this parish includes a history page. The rectory address is 627 East 187 St., Bronx NY 10458, telephone 718-295-3770.
The school is at 2465 Bathgate Avenue, the corner of East 189th Street and Bathgate Avenue. From , it would seem that Our Lady of Mount Carmel School has about 25 to 30 students per grade.
Clicking on a photo will enlarge it. Someone is carrying lunch in this noontime photo.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

St Augustine, Franklin Avenue and East 167 St.

Please see this news story from the Commercial Observer, 8.18.2015.  An all-affordable apartment house will be built on this site, which the church still owns.  An affiliate of Catholic Charities will develop the site, together with state and city agencies.

See pages 175 and 176 for the founding of The Bronx's third parish, St Augustine, on East 170th Street in 1855. The imposing church on East 167 St. between Fulton Avenue and Franklin Avenue was erected in 1895. Unfortunately, on January 29, 2012, some of the church buildings were closed and merged with that of Our Lady of Victory on Webster Avenue.  Among several news stories, please see this article from the New York Daily News.  Also, check out for a video clip.
(Insertion: The Catholic New York of 1.14.2014 states that the church in the above photo was torn down in the fall of 2013.)
From the news stories, it is obvious that a parish is the faithful, the community, not necessarily the buildings.
Parishioners will worship with the faithful of Our Lady of Victory, linked here.
Please note this comment from Bill:
 I would like to correct the statement that St. Augustine Parish closed. The church buildings were unfit and not safe for use and needed millions to restore. The buildings were closed, not the parish. 
Since both the St. Augustine and Our Lady of Victory communities were struggling financially, many meetings were held in both communities under the leadership of our pastor,it was decided,that St. Augustine and Our Lady of Victory would join together to form a NEW parish. Thus on January 29,2012 St. Augustine Our Lady of Victory parish was born.
The A.I.A. Guide credits Louis C. Giele, a prolific church architect.

A former Mass schedule.

The former school is now used by a charter school.  Any photo may be enlarged by clicking on it.
For about seventy years the boys' department was staffed by the De La Salle Christian Brothers. The Sisters of Charity taught younger boys and all the girls.

Above is the Lwanga+DePorres Spiritual Life Center, 1168 Franklin Avenue, adjacent to the school.

Immaculate Conception, Melrose

The above view looks west at the intersection of Melrose Avenue and East 150th Street in The Bronx. The large building at the corner is the parish rectory, 389 East 150th St., Bronx NY 10455, telephone 718-292-6970. Adjacent is the church of the Immaculate Conception, with a cornerstone dated 1889. The A.I.A. Guide says that the architect was Henry Bruns.
See page 175 for the foundation of Immaculate Conception parish in 1853, by Father Joseph Stumpe. See page 392, for the visitation by coadjutor archbishop Corrigan in August, 1883. In 1886, the parish was given to the care of Redemptorists. See page 606 for the parish becoming a Hispanic parish. (Please do not confuse this parish with another parish named Immaculate Conception on East Gun Hill Road.) I note that Henry Bruns is also credited with designing a rectory for the Redemptorists at 323 East 61 Street, Manhattan, in 1887-8, according to this link.

Clicking on any photo will enlarge it.

The above view looks east on 150th Street. The cornerstone of the church bears the date September 25, 1887.

The above view looks east on 151 Street towards Melrose Avenue. Immaculate Conception school is in the foreground, with a parish hall at the corner of Melrose Avenue. The school website, extensive, current, and informative, is here. The school address is 378 East 151 St., Bronx NY 10455, telephone 718-585-4843.
For many years, the Sisters of Christian Charity have lived and worked for the parish. They continue to provide teachers in the school.
Grace Outreach, a non-profit organization, is located on the fifth floor of the school building.
At the far end of the block is a school hall said to be designed by Anthony F. A. Schmitt, who designed the nearby church of St. Pius V.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

St. Michael the Archangel, Co-op City

Clicking on any photo will enlarge it.

See page 489 for the 1969 establishment of the parish of St Michael, Co-op City. The rectory address is 765 Co-op City Blvd., Bronx NY 10475, telephone 718-671-8057. The church is at the intersection of Co-op City Blvd. and Rombouts Avenue, but, as shown above, the Rombouts Avenue sign is missing from the intersection. Blue street signs are memorials.
Co-op City is a development of cooperative apartments in the northeast Bronx near Baychester and Pelham Bay. When this large project was planned and built, no government agency was willing to extend rail service to this community of 55,000. Hence, people rely on walking, cars, and buses. Five bus routes have a stop near the church.
In driving to St. Michael's church, it is helpful to note that the church is quite close to the Connor St. Exit of Interstate 95. By using Connor Street eastward to reach the maze of apartment houses and curving streets, one soon meets Co-op City Boulevard, a principal winding road. Turn right on Co-op City Boulevard and within a quarter-mile one will see the church. If you become lost, take note of the address: 765 Co-op City Blvd.
The parish has no school. I have been told that some students attend Our Lady Star of the Sea on nearby City Island. Holy Rosary parish school and Cardinal Spellman High School are both near sections of Co-op City.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

St. Luke, 138th St., Mott Haven

The address of St. Luke's parish address is 623 East 138th St., Bronx NY 10454, telephone number 718-665-6677. The school address is 608 East 139th Street, telephone 718-585-0380. An informative website is here. There would appear to be one or two sections per grade level.  In February, 2015, the school's Facebook page was informative and current.
On August 5, 2015, Catholic New York reported that Fr. Steven Markantonis was appointed pastor of St. Luke's.  That apparently negates the proposed merger with the parish of St. Jerome.  Please see this article about the parish being a home for Christians from Ghana.

The church of St. Luke, completed in 1919, stands on the north side of East 138th Street just west of Cypress Avenue. Because the building east of the church has been demolished, one can see the side of the church and the school behind it. Clicking on any photo will enlarge it.
Father Gerald Ryan served this parish from 1966 until his death 4.11.2013.  An inspirational account of his life appeared as a news item the next day in the New York Times.

The school on East 139th Street is now entered through a passageway from the busier East 138th Street. Please click on this photo to read the signs.
See page 293, for the establishment of St Luke parish on East 137 Street, Mott Haven, in 1897, where a Sadlier family stable was converted into the first church. The present church on the north side of East 138 Street was completed in 1919. See also page 587 for a view of the survival of the people of St Luke's parish.
Since 1910, the Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt have staffed this school. For some years, the Brothers of the Sacred Heart taught older boys.

St. Jerome, Alexander Avenue, Mott Haven

The above view shows St. Jerome's church at Alexander Avenue and busy East 138th Street in Mott Haven, The Bronx. Not everyone arrives by town car. Stairs from the Third Avenue station of the #6 subway train are to the right of the photographer.

The above view looks north on Alexander Avenue from East 137th Street. At the next corner is St. Jerome's church. In the foreground is Saint Jerome's elementary school, which the archdiocese closed in 2013. The rectory is between them at 230 Alexander Avenue, Bronx NY 10454, telephone 718-665-5533. It appears that neighboring St. Luke's parish will be staffed from St. Jerome's by August, 2016.  On 4.1.2015, Archbishop Dolan appointed Fr. Javier Correa-Llano, I.V.E, pastor of St. Jerome's.  A native or Argentina, he was ordained in 2001.

On the 138th Street side of the church is this shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of Mexico. On a weekday afternoon, I found the church locked.

In Msgr. Shelley's book, please see page 230 for a reference to Italians at St Jerome parish in 1893. On pages 292 and 293, there is a more lengthy description of the establishment of St Jerome parish in 1869 under Father John J. Hughes. By 1871, he constructed a school on Alexander Avenue at East 137 Street. The present church on the southeast corner of Alexander Avenue and East 138 Street dates from 1900. For many years, Ursuline Sisters staffed the school. For decades after 1928, the Brothers of the Christian Schools taught the older boys. Page 558 contrasts Mass attendance in 1950 (6,100) and 1975 (795). Page 586 describes the parish in difficult times. See also page 606 for recent restoration of the church.
About 2007, Archbishop Egan entrusted this parish to the care of the Institute of the Incarnate Word, a congregation founded in Argentina about twenty-five years ago. They, "the IVE fathers," also staff St. Thomas Aquinas parish, Crotona Parkway, and St. Michael parish in East New York, Brooklyn.
An excellent professional photographer has posted about 200 of her photos of St. Jerome's on Flickr, as linked here. Her photo of the Eye is here. Another photographer offers an interior shot from the altar steps to the main doors, linked here.
The AIA Guide and other places give the church architect as the firm Delhi & Howard, but the spelling is wrong. Please see this brief biography of Arne Dehli. Dehli, from Norway, designed quite a few impressive buildings in metropolitan New York.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

St Mary Protectress, Washington Ave., Tremont

St. Mary Protectress church stands on the west side of Washington Avenue about two blocks south of the Cross-Bronx Expressway.

See page 254 for the 1943 creation of the Ukrainian parish of St Mary Protectress, 1745 Washington Avenue, Bronx NY 10457, telephone 718-731-9392. This is an Eastern Rite parish in the jurisdiction of the Eparchy of Stamford, Connecticut. Whether the Sunday Divine Liturgy is celebrated in modern Ukrainian or Old Slavonic, I don't know. It appears that the pastor is a Basilian monk. Yes, this is a Catholic parish.
Note that the English name of the parish is a bit different from the Ukrainian name, which I take to be Holy Protectress. This link gives some of the history of the title Protectress.

St. Joseph, Bathgate Ave., Tremont

St. Joseph's school remains open, but as of August 1, 2015, St. Joseph's church on Bathgate Avenue is closed, and the parish is merged with that of St. Simon Stock.  The photos below were taken in 2009.  For a photo of the church interior and some other parish photos, please click on this link.  Then scroll down that page.

Above is a view south on Bathgate Avenue. Clicking on any photo will enlarge it.

The school is on the east side of Bathgate Avenue. The cornerstone is dated 1922. The church cornerstone is dated 1899.

See page 216 for the influx of Germans into Melrose, Morrisania, and Tremont, and the creation of the parish of St Joseph in Tremont in 1873. See page 218 for prints and photos. See page 292 for its quickly becoming a territorial parish. Page 392 shows St Joseph's parish on the list of coadjutor archbishop Corrigan's visitations in August, 1883. Page 222 refers to an Irish-American pastor at St. Joseph's in 1895. See page 412 for a photo of a Holy Name Communion Breakfast in 1938. The present church was built in 1902 on Bathgate Avenue, just north of East Tremont Avenue and a block west of Third Avenue.
The address of the parish school is 1946 Bathgate Ave., across from the church. With about 500 students, it seems to have one or two classes per grade. The school's excellent website is linked here. For years, the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill staffed the school.
The neighborhood bustles with residents, shoppers, and workers in many small enterprises. Quite a few smaller churches line the streets.
In this 1969 photo of the Third Avenue El, one can see both the church and the school. The school has a white-painted wall facing east and a satellite dish for the archdiocesan television network. The church stone is afflicted with the grime from many Bronx furnaces. In fact, one cloud of soot can be seen in the distance.

St. Gabriel, Arlington Ave. and West 235 St., Riverdale

Above is the view from Arlington Avenue. The church entrance is seen ahead. Access to this door is from three directions: a short driveway from West 235 Street, a often-closed gate on Nethlerland Avenue, and the stairway from Arlington Avenue. The stairway is to the right of the photographer's position.

Above is a sign at the southwest corner of Netherland Avenue and West 235th Street.

The above view looks north. Inside this center door is a foyer, a few steps down, and then the east-west main section of the church. The altar is in the corner where the two wings meet. It appears that folding doors allow an expansion of church seating in the north-south wing (at the right side of this photo). The school is located upstairs.
See pages 487 and 513 for St. Gabriel parish at Arlington Avenue and West 235 Street, Riverdale. The parish was created in 1939, and the combined church and school were completed in 1941. The address is 3250 Arlington Ave., Bronx NY 10463, telephone 718-548-4470. The parish website here includes both church and school. School enrollment seems to be about 200.
An excellent bird's-eye view of the school appears on Flickr here.


Friday, August 14, 2009

Aquinas High School, East 182 St.

Aquinas High School, a leading Catholic high School for girls, is located at 685 East 182nd Street, Bronx NY 10457, where both Belmont Avenue and Grote Street meet 182nd Street. The telephone is718-367-2113. The school website is linked here.

Aquinas High School is not a parish or archdiocesan high school. Rather, as with numerous Catholic high schools and academies, it was established by a congregation of teaching Sisters, the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill. They and lay teachers have staffed the school for many decades.

The above photos are taken from the east side of the intersection, where the parish church of St. Martin of Tours is located.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority inherited many of its bus routes from previous owners who had arranged with some high schools to provide direct bus service at the student fare, rather than have students change from bus-to-bus. Perhaps because of the different requirements for school buses, in recent years these routes have become marked as public routes. They have never used yellow buses. This bus stop sign shows that at dismissal students may board a Bx12 bus which travels Fordham Road to Sedgwick Avenue.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Nativity of Our Blessed Lady, East 233 St., Eastchester

The photographs below are from 2009.  On August 8, 2015, I passed this church and did not notice any sign that it was closed, even though the Archbishop merged this parish with Holy Rosary parish. Regular Mass and sacraments will not be available here, but rather at Holy Rosary - Nativity, on Eastchester Road near Gun Hill Road, where Father Dennis Williams is pastor of the combined parish.  However, some Mount Vernon Catholic churches may also be handy for displaced parisioners.  Historically this borderland of The Bronx has had strong ties to Mount Vernon.  Maybe most of the houses within Nativity parish (under the old parish-boundaries protocol) are, in fact, in Mount Vernon.  The Bronx side of the border, with Nativity church and school and the Dyre Avenue subway station is more commercial and industrial.

Nativity of Our Blessed Lady church stands at the southwest corner of East 233rd Street and Secor Avenue. The far side of the church, that is, facing Secor Avenue, has some windows. As of 8.1.2015, the church is closed for regular worship, but the school is open.

The address of the parish school is 3893 Dyre Avenue, Bronx NY 10466, telephone 718-324-2188.

See pages 484 and 485 for the foundation of the parish of the Nativity of Our Blessed Lady near Dyre Avenue and East 233 Street in the Eastchester neighborhood of The Bronx. 
Though the parish dates from 1924, a first church was completed in 1933, according to a parish history at this link. The church burned in 1958, and in 1969 the new church was inaugurated at the corner of Secor Avenue and East 233rd Street. For many years since the parish school's opening in 1953, the Dominican Sisters of Newburgh educated youngsters of Nativity. The school is at 3893 Dyre Avenue, telephone 718-324-2188. It appears that the school has one section per grade, as it graduated about thirty students in June, 2009.
The name Eastchester dates back to the late 1600's, it seems, but the Town of Eastchester shrunk as cities and villages were carved from it. This northern neighborhood of The Bronx is correctly called Eastchester, but the remaining Town of Eastchester lies about six miles north. Church and school are near the Dyre Avenue terminus of the 5 Train of the New York City subway.

A comment follows:
Blogger michael said...
"I grew up in the north Bronx. entered Nativity school the 1st year it opened. In fact, I have the program when Cardinal Spellman dedicated the school. I also was an altar boy when the church was on Secor Avenue. In fact, I served the last mass there on the day it burnt down. I also have a photo of my baptism that shows the lawn where the playground now is or was."
January 19, 2009 12:22 AM

St. Margaret of Cortona, Riverdale

The church of St. Margaret of Cortona is on the east side of Riverdale Avenue north of West 260th Street. See page 298 for the 1889 establishment of the parish of St Margaret of Cortona at Riverdale Avenue and West 260 Street. The present church dates from 1965. The rectory address is 6000 Riverdale Ave., Bronx NY 10471, telephone 718-549-8053. Effective August 1, 2015, this parish is the primary parish in a merger with St. Gabriel's, two miles south. Both churches and schools remain open.  The 2015 Official Catholic Directory lists these enrollment figures; 313 at St. Margaret School, 238 at St. Gabriel.

The congregation leaves church after the 5:15 Mass on a July Saturday. The parish has extensive frontage on the west side of Riverdale Avenue. To the right of the church in this photo (that is, south) is the rectory, then West 260th Street, then a paved lot for the school, then a newer school building and more space. To the left (that is, north) is a parking lot with trees.

Above is the parish school at 452 West 260th Street, Bronx NY 10471, telephone 718-549-8580. To the rear right is a newer extension of perhaps eight more classrooms. The website for the parish school is here.  In addition, there are frequent posts on the school Twitter page, with links to Facebook.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Blessed Sacrament, Beach Ave., Soundview

See pages 484 and 486 for the 1927 creation of Blessed Sacrament parish, Beach and Gleason Avenues, a block south of Westchester Avenue. The church and school date from 1929. The rectory address is 1170 Beach Avenue, Bronx NY 10472, telephone 718-892-3214.  Facebook has pages of alumni and parishioners of Blessed Sacrament.
In May, 2009, President Obama nominated a graduate of Blessed Sacrament school to the United States Supreme Court. This article by Michael Daly of the New York Daily News describes the school in 2009.  Unfortunately, the archdiocese decided to close the school in 2013.
In the above photo, note the stained glass windows indicating the location of the church, with classrooms above it. Quite a few Bronx parishes were built with such combined use.

Above is the cornerstone at the north end of the combined school and church.

A second school building, with a 1955 cornerstone, is on the west side of Taylor Avenue, behind the 1929 building. According to the same New York Times article referred to above, the younger students used this building. Also on Taylor Avenue is the Seton House, a former convent with a 1950 cornerstone. For many decades, the Sisters of Charity taught in Blessed Sacrament School.

A playground and ballfield occupy the north side of Watson Avenue between Beach Avenue (to the left) and Taylor Avenue to the right.

One may find in the neighborhood quite a few signs like the above.

Holy Cross, Soundview Avenue

See pages 484 and 485 for the 1921 foundation of Holy Cross parish on Soundview Avenue, Clason Point. The parish website is linked here. The rectory address is 600 Soundview Ave., Bronx NY 10473, telephone 718-893-5550.
Above is the church, on the east side of Soundview Avenue. The intersection is Taylor Avenue is to the left. The church was designed by Brother Cajetan Baumann, O.F.M.
A year or so ago, archdiocesan clergy replaced the Franciscan Friars, who for more than eighty years staffed this parish. An interesting set of historical photos is linked here. I note that for a while this parish had a combined church-and-school structure that several Bronx parishes built in the 1920's.

Above is one of the parish school buildings, located on the east side side of Thieriot Avenue just north of Randall Avenue. Another building which appears to be a school with a playground is one the west side of Thieriot Avenue, that is, somewhat behind the church.
The address of Holy Cross school is 1846 Randall Ave., Bronx NY 10473. The school website is linked here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

St Francis of Assisi, Baychester Ave., Wakefield

Each photo may be enlarged by clicking on it.

See pages 488 and 489 for the creation in 1949 and merger in 2007 of the parish of St Francis of Assisi, at Baychester Avenue and Pitman Avenue, seven blocks inside the city line. The rectory phone number is 718-324-5340. With St. Anthony (Richardson Ave.) and St. Frances of Rome (Barnes Ave.), St Francis of Assisi is one of three Wakefield parishes with the same pastor and associates. There is another parish named St. Francis of Assisi in High Bridge, but that has been merged with the larger parish of the Sacred Heart.
This parish offers an elementary school at 4300 Baychester Avenue, Bronx NY 10466, telephone 718-994-4650. With about 300 students, it appears that there is one section per grade. Adjacent to the church is an early learning center, the sign for which appears above.