Sunday, December 5, 2010

Holy Family, Unionport

On August 1, 2015, a parish merger took place, with this parish, Holy Family, absorbing Blessed Sacrament parish and that of St. John Vianney.  Mass will not longer be offered at St. John Vianney, but Mass and sacraments will take place at both Holy Family and Blessed Sacrament.  The Holy Family website, which needs updating is linked here.

See page 220 for the parish of the Holy Family, Unionport, founded in 1896 for German Catholics. The present church on the southwest corner of Castle Hill Avenue and Watson Avenue was built in 1962.This intersection is a short block south of the Cross-Bronx Expressway (Interstate 95; the service road is also named East 177 Street). The rectory address is 2158 Watson Avenue, Bronx NY 10472, telephone 718-863-9156. The parish elementary school is at 2169 Blackrock Avenue, immediately south of the church.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

St. John Vianney, Castle Hill Avenue

Unfortunately, the 2010 Mass schedule shown below is invalid.  The Archbishop decided to close this church for all regular Masses and worship, effective August 1, 2015.  The parish has been merged with Holy Family at Castle Hill Avenue and Watson Avenue.  The rectory phone number is 718-869-9156.

See page 489 for the parish of St John Vianney, Cure of Ars, founded in 1949 at Castle Hill Avenue and Homer Avenue, and merged (closed) in 2015.

The above view looks west across Castle Hill Avenue. 

The parish elementary school was located at 2141 Seward Avenue, around the corner from the church.   Unfortunately, the archdiocese announced on January 11, 2011, that the school would close in June.  The press release is linked here.
Castle Hill Avenue boasts several Christian churches in its 2.5 miles.  At its northern starting point stands the Church of St. Raymond.  Midway is the parish of Holy Family, and in this populated peninsula is St. John Vianney.  More than 5,000 people live in the Castle Hill Houses, immediately south of the church.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Elementary CCD or Religious Education

The 2010 Official Catholic Directory reported that about 96,600 youngsters were enrolled in the CCD or Religious Education classes of the ten counties of the archdiocese of New York. These generally are the programs for students attending public schools, and the classes often meet an hour or two a week. Adding up the enrollment at about 61 Bronx parishes gives a total of about 11,800, quite a large group of youngsters learning their faith in classes led by mostly unpaid faithful, that is, faith-sharing Christians. By the way, CCD is a colloquialism or short-hand for a Catholic version of Sunday School, usually on a weekday. The term Confraternity of Christian Doctrine dates back to the 1500's, when such classes were organized in Milan.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

St. Theresa parish, Pelham Bay

Looking north on Pilgrim Avenue at St. Theresa Avenue, one can see St. Theresa School on the southwest corner and St. Theresa church on the northwest corner.
See pages 482 and 483 for the parish of St Theresa of the Infant Jesus, Pelham Bay, founded in 1927 as an Italian national parish. The present church dates from 1970. The rectory address is 2855 St. Theresa Ave., Bronx NY 10461, telephone 718-892-1900.
The parish school is located at 2872 St. Theresa Avenue, telephone 718-792-3688. The school website is here. Apparently, the school has about 350 students, two sections per grade.
An interesting history is linked here. It explains that an architect, Anthony DePace, was a parish trustee who designed both the school and the new church.

The above photo looks east on St. Theresa Avenue towards to #6 train over Westchester Avenue.

Clicking on any photo will enlarge it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Our Lady of the Assumption, Pelham Bay

Clicking on any photo will enlarge it.

See page 481 for the 1923 founding of Our Lady of the Assumption at Mahan and Roberts Avenue in the Pelham Bay neighborhood. The present church dates from 1961. The rectory address is 1634 Mahan Ave., Bronx NY 10461, telephone 718-824-5454. A parish bulletin is linked here.  Many thanks to the reader who supplied the URL for the parish website, which is very helpful and interesting.

The parish school is on the Parkview Avenue side of the block, as in the above photo. The school address is 1617 Parkview Avenue, Bronx NY 10461, telephone 718-829-1706. The school website is linked here.  Enrollment appears to be about 320. Plastic owls keep pigeons away from Maria Assunta.

The above view is from Middletown Road. Mahan Avenue is at the left, Parkview Avenue at the right.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

St. Frances de Chantal, Throgs Neck

See pages 482 and 483 for St. Frances de Chantal, established as a parish in 1926. The present church at the intersection of Harding Avenue and Hollywood Avenue in Throgs Neck dates from 1970. The rectory address is 190 Hollywood Avenue, Bronx NY 10465, and the phone number 718-792-5500. The parish website is here. According to the AIA Guide, the architect of the 1970 church was Paul W. Reilly, who also designed St. Vincent Ferrer church in Naugatuck, Connecticut.

The above photo looks west across Hollywood Avenue. Buses Bx40, Bx42, and BxM9 stop near the church.

The Chapel in the upper church lobby is open weekdays from 7:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. for private prayer.

A newer, larger wing of the school is to the left. The school address is 2962 Harding Avenue, Bronx NY 10465, telephone 718-892-5359. The school website is linked here. There appears to be one section of students per grade.


Adjacent southeast is the Jeanne Jugan Residence, a work of the Little Sisters of the Poor. The property was formerly the site of a monastery of Poor Clares.

Monday, September 6, 2010

St. Athanasius, Southern Blvd.

See pages 476 and 477 for the founding in 1907 of the parish of St. Athanasius on Tiffany Street a few steps west of Southern Boulevard. Page 580 has a 1982 photo of Cardinal Cooke visiting a first grade class, and page 585 has a photo of housing on Tiffany Street. See also page 586. The rectory address is 878 Tiffany St., Bronx NY 10459, the telephone number 718-328-2558.
The above photo looks east on Tiffany Street, with the rectory to the right of the church. Adjacent to the rectory and on the corner of Southern Boulevard is the Hunts Point branch of the New York Public Library. The blocked-off plaza is called Father Gigante Plaza, in honor of a former pastor.

The Ten Commandments are posted outside the church in English and in Spanish. The Mass schedule is not posted. The church doors were locked when I stopped by on a Saturday afternoon.

The school address is 830 Southern Boulevard. The school website is here. The enrollment appears to be about 355.

Monday, August 16, 2010

St. Roch, Wales Avenue, East Morrisania

The Archbishop has merged this parish with that of St. Anselm on Tinton Avenue, effective August 1, 2015. No Masses or sacraments will be regularly celebrated at St.  Roch's.  The telephone number of the combined parish is 718-292-3834.

On the afternoon of September 4, 2010, I entered St. Roch's church and chanced upon the celebration of a Mass on what appeared to be a Quinceanera. A mariachi group played and sang the liturgical music, such as the Sanctus and offertory and communion hymns. Clicking on any photo will enlarge it.

See page 231 for the foundation of St Roch parish in 1899 by Father John Milo. The church is on the west side of Wales Avenue north of East 147th Street.
You may wish to read this interesting post by Fr. Robert Imbelli, native of St. Roch's parish.

The above 2010 sign is invalid as of August 1, 2015.  Mass will not be celebrated here on a regular basis.

This view looks north on Wales Avenue towards busy East 149th Street and the Bx19 bus.

The church was dedicated in 1932. According to the A.I.A. Guide, it was designed by the firm DePace & Juster, Anthony DePace also designer of two churches at the parish of St. Theresa, Pelham Bay.


Monday, May 17, 2010

St. Brendan, East 207 St., Norwood

See pages 477 and 478 for the creation of the parish of St. Brendan, Norwood or Bedford Park, in 1908. The church is at East 207th Street and Perry Avenue, near the northern terminal of the D train. The present church, built in 1968 resembles the prow of an ocean-going ship, in reference to the title "Brendan the Navigator." The rectory address is 333 East 206th St., Bronx NY 10467, telephone 718-547-6655. The parish website is here.
The above view shows the rectory on East 206th Street, with Perry Avenue at the end of the street. The slope of Perry Avenue provides an entrance to the lower church and, a few steps further north at East 207th Street, the main entrance to the upper church. The architects were Belfatto and Pavarini, who designed Epiphany, Second Avenue, about the same time.

The address of the parish school, shown above, is 268 East 207 Street, Bronx, NY 10467, telephone 718-653-2292. For decades, the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill staffed the elementary school and the now-closed girls' high school. In this photo, the church is to the left of the school. Photos of the church and school are on this site.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Visitation, Van Cortlandt Park South

As of August 1, 2015, Visitation church was closed for regular worship.  The merged parish of St. John - Visitation worships at St. John church, Kingsbridge Avenue near West 230th Street. Visitation School closed in June, 2017. At the same time, the archbishop decreed that Visitation church, pictured below, has been canonically relegated to profane, not sordid, use. The decree may still be available HERE on the archdiocesan website. 

See pages 478 and 480 for Visitation parish, Kingsbridge, founded in 1928. The present church dates from 1953, because the previous church and school (a combined building, if memory is correct) was destroyed to construct Major Deegan Expressway. The rectory address is 160 Van Cortlandt Park South, Bronx NY 10463, telephone 718-548-1455.

The parish school is at 171 West 239th Street, Bronx NY 10463. The school website is here. The school has one section per grade. Lay teachers, Sisters of Charity, and Dominican Sisters staff the school.
This note is from a viewer:
Just some more info on the Visitation Parrish
My family the
Greco/Caputo's moved to 238th St. around 1935 from St Nicholas Ave.
I know that my Uncles owned the stores along Bailey Ave.
I think cousins still may own them
and each of the Uncles had a business - the others were rented.
One of the 10 or so stores was given to Father Stafford?? the founder of Visitation by my uncles to use for Mass.
until the first church was built on 238th st. next to 135 west 238 st.
my older cousins who are now in their 80's went to Visitation and graduated from the old school.
I was in the first first grade class  at the new school and graduated in 1961.
in those days our first grade class had 58 students. Sister Dorothy was our teacher.
Rosemary Dilgard

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cardinal O'Connor Residence,Riverdale

An article in The Riverdale Press of 2.4.2010 gives an interesting history of the priests' residence at 5655 Arlington Avenue, Riverdale, NY 10471. Built as a monastery for cloistered Sisters in 1902, it was later used as a pre-seminary residence. Now, some 28 retired priests of the Archdiocese of New York live there. Link to the article here.
It seems that the full name of the residence is John Cardinal O'Connor Clergy Residence. The Press's article is titled, "Living on God's Doorstep."
A blogger of extraordinary insight, sense, and writing ability resides there. His blog is Archangel.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

St. Margaret Mary, East Tremont and Morris Aves.

The above view looks south across busy Tremont Avenue. Morris Avenue is one-way northbound, at the right of the photo, and the rectory is a few steps down that block. To the left of the church is the parish school and the Grand Concourse.

This view is also taken from Tremont Avenue. The church is to the right. This appears to be a parking lot or playground for the school, whose northern entrance is seen here.

Above is the south entrance to St. Margaret Mary school, situated on East 177 St.

See page 408 for a 1950's photo of a First Communion procession in St. Margaret Mary church. Parents and Sisters of Mercy may be seen at the procession. See page 472 for establishment of the parish in 1923. Page 473 has an exterior photo of the church. See page 606 for a reference to parishioners from Ghana. The rectory address is 1914 Morris Ave., Bronx NY 10453, telephone 718-299-4233.
The parish school address is 121 East 177 Street, Bronx NY 10453, likewise between Morris Avenue and the Grand Concourse. The telephone number is 718-731-5905. With an enrollment somewhere over 300, it would seem that this school has one or two sections per grade.

Monday, January 11, 2010

St. Simon Stock, Valentine Ave. and East 182 St.

See pages 472 and 473 for the founding of the parish of St. Simon Stock in 1919 on the south side of East 182nd Street from Ryer Avenue to Valentine Avenue. The clergy are Carmelite Friars, known in some places as the Whitefriars, distinguishing them from the Blackfriars (Dominicans) and Greyfriars (Franciscans). The rectory address is 2191 Valentine Avenue, Bronx NY 10457, telephone 718-367-1251.

This is a view of the southeast corner of the intersection of Ryer Avenue and East 182 Street. The low building is the basement of the never-completed church, with a cornerstone (below) of 1921. As happened in several Catholic parishes in New York, the urgency of building a school meant that construction efforts turned to the school, which has a cornerstone of 1925. If my memory is correct, in 1950 St. Simon Stock High School had the least expensive monthly tuition in The Bronx, $8 for parishioners of other parishes.

The above photo of St. Simon Stock elementary school looks west. Valentine Avenue goes downhill (south) to the left. West on 182nd Street (at the right edge of the photo) is the lower church.

Any photo may be enlarged by clicking on it. The parish elementary school is located at 2195 Valentine Avenue. It has about 300 students, one section per grade. The school website is linked here. Please note that the home page has links both in the center and at the bottom. For me, the forty-two pages of the school handbook is an interesting and clear example of school management.

Above is the rectory at 2191 Valentine Avenue. The school is to the right.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Our Lady of Refuge, Briggs Ave. & East 196 St., Fordham

The above photo looks west across Briggs Avenue at East 196th Street. The parish center is on the southeast corner of the intersection, where all traffic meets stop signs. The parish school can be seen to the right. As an older, larger public school is on the north side of 196th Street, the neighborhood is filled with young students and their parents at arrival and dismissal. During school hours, traffic is prohibited on 196th Street from Briggs Avenue to Bainbridge Ave.

Clicking on any photo will enlarge it.

In the above photo, the combined parish school and church is to the left of the red houses.

See page 478 for the founding of the parish of Our Lady of Refuge on Briggs Avenue at East 196 St., Fordham, in 1923. The church is within a combined school-and-church building. The extensive parish website is linked here. Under "About us" is a posting board. The website also has an informative history, the pastor's blog, photos, and a guest book. The rectory address is 290 East 196 St., and the phone number is 718-367-4690.
The school address is 2708 Briggs Ave., telephone 718-367-3081. From the photos on the parish website, it appears that each grade numbers 25 to 29 students.