The heart of the Christian community is our Triune Lord: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Geography, history, and numbers are not the heart, but probably I will type mostly on these topics. As the internet already provides many encouraging spiritual guides and discouraging contentious forums, I intend to offer neither.
To find a parish, enter a keyword in the search box at the top left, or look through the labels and links down the right-hand column. The posts themselves follow the Blogger format of newest items on top.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

St. Bernard, Levittown

St. Bernard's church is located at 3100 Hempstead Turnpike, Levittown, New York 11756, telephone 516-731-4220.  The well-maintained parish website is linked here.  As of February, 2015, there is a current Facebook page here.
Lined with stores, Hempstead Turnpike (NY 24) is the principal east-west thoroughfare of Levittown.  St. Bernard's church is clearly marked with the above tower on the south side of the highway, on a service road.  A driveway at the stop sign leads to the the church entrance and the six buildings which surround a vast parking lot.  The tower and rectory have scant frontage on Hempstead Turnpike, but the property runs deep to the south.


The main entrance to the church, seen in this view north towards Hempstead Turnpike. The rectory is to the right of this driveway.

 The above view looks west.

The tower serves its purpose.  On busy and cluttered Hempstead Turnpike, the large cross marks the building as a Christian church.  From the inside, one would not guess that the tower is to the right of those windows ahead.  Like a campanile, the tower and its windows have no presence inside the church, but each (the tower and the church) serves its purpose well.
The parish was established in 1948, shortly after the first Levitt houses were constructed nearby.  An excellent history of the parish is provided here.  At the center of Levittown, St. Bernard's is the only Catholic parish with a Levittown address.  To the north, Holy Family parish, Hicksville, includes many families living in Levitt houses.  To the east is St. James parish in northern Seaford.  To the south is the parish of St. Frances de Chantal in northern Wantagh.  To the southwest is St. Raphael, East Meadow, and to the northwest is St. Brigid, Westbury.  I do not know how many of 53,000 inhabitants of Levittown live within the borders of St. Bernard's parish.

There seem to be six or seven buildings in the parish complex. Left to right: the parish center, with the Clairvaux house (an older building peeking over the center), the church, the rectory (a white frame house), a gymnasium, and a large school now shared by Faith Formation (youth and adults), a child-care program, and classes of the Nassau Board of Cooperative Educational Services.  A convent is to the left, but behind the camera.
The church is about a mile east of the Wantagh Parkway.  Four Long Island Bus routes ply Hempstead Turnpike in front of the church: N70, N71, N72, and N73.

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