Sunday, March 15, 2009

St Francis Xavier, Van Nest Ave., Morris Park

See 484 and 486 for St Francis Xavier, founded in Morris Park in 1928. The parish patron, Francis Xavier, was born in Spain in 1506. He became one of the first Jesuits and a missionary to India and Japan, dying on route to China in 1552. Brief biographies of St. Francis Xavier are linked here and here.
The present church at Lurting and Van Nest Avenues dates from 1951. The parish has several substantial buildings, including what appear to be two schools. A convent was refurbished for the Franciscan sisters sponsored by Fr. Benedict Groeschel. The rectory address is 1703 Lurting Ave., Bronx NY 10461, telephone 718-892-3330. The parish website is linked here. Thanks to Tom, who provided the link.
The parish school is at 1711 Haight Avenue, telephone 718-863-0531. With about 370 students, it appears that some grades have two sections, other grades one.
Lurting Avenue and some parallel avenues to the west carry the names of former mayors of New York City. According to "History in Asphalt" by John McNamara, Robert Lurting was mayor from 1726 to 1735. Stephan Haight was a local landowner.

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