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.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

St. Anne, Garden City

The church of St. Anne is located at New Hyde Park Road and Dartmouth Street in western Garden City, almost into Stewart Manor.  Established in 1929, the parish address is 35 Dartmouth Street, Garden City, NY 11530, telephone 516-352-5904.  The parish website is linked here.

In 1950 the parish built St. Anne's School at 25 Dartmouth Street, Garden City NY 11530, telephone 516-352-1205.  The school website is linked here. According to the Official Catholic Directory of 2011, the school has a healthy enrollment of more than five hundred students.
Each photo may be enlarged by clicking on it.  Beneath the pedestal of the statue, one can see the words "Good St. Anne," maybe inspired by the habitual French expression, La bonne Ste.-Anne.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

St. Raphael, East Meadow

The new church of St. Raphael, East Meadow, has risen on a field behind other parish buildings.  The parish address is 600 Newbridge Road, East Meadow NY 11554, telephone 516-785-0236.  The parish website is linked here.

The lobby has a shrine of Archangel Raphael.  To read the text, please click on the photo.

More than twenty-five inspiring stained-glass windows surround the pews. Unlike the famous windows of Sainte-Chapelle in Paris and those at St. William the Abbot parish, these windows still illuminate the church brightly.

I find it difficult to categorize the shape of the church.  Not Gothic?  Romanesque arches?  Byzantine?  Colonial?  Six pillars appear to support arches.  The dome is square, the nave and transepts T-shaped.  the pews in five directions face the altar.

Weekday Masses are at 7:30 and 9 a.m.

The parish reports 5,700 registered families.  Its geographic boundaries are, I believe, extensive, with St. Bernard to the east, St. Brigid to the north, and Sacred Heart to the south. Maybe the west boundary is the Meadowbrook Parkway, with St. Martha beyond.  The parish website is linked here.  A bulletin gave the Mass Attendance for Sunday, December 23, 2012, as 2,909.  
It seems that one of the many ethnic groups in the parish is Filipino.  Ten years ago, a Filipino resident of Queens pointed out to me that, unlike some other groups that settled where their landsmen were (giving New York Irish, Italian, German enclaves, for example), Filipinos were spread throughout the parishes of our metropolis.
About 1992, St. Raphael's elementary school was absorbed into St. Elizabeth Ann Seton regional school, supported by four parishes, and principally located at St. Barnabas, Bellmore.

Above are the buildings that face Newbridge Road.  To the right is the old church.  The rectory is in the center.  The school is to the left, the upper floor used by Nassau County's Academy for Emergency Medical Service personnel.  Further to the left is the entrance for the Religious Education program, apparently using the first floor; then the convent; then some rooms for the Pius XII Council of the Knights of Columbus.
To reach the new church, one passes around the left end of the school, or one uses Pendroy Street, on the north side of the old church.  This location is about one mile north of Exit 25 of the Southern State Parkway.  Newbridge Road is also NY 106.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

St. Martha, Uniondale

St. Martha's church is located at 546 Greengrove Avenue, Uniondale NY 11553, telephone 516-481-2550.  This is a half-block north of busy east-west Jerusalem Avenue, and there is a traffic signal at the intersection.  The parish website appears to have been hacked, as reported by a reader 10.5.2014.

Fifty years ago, when a religious congregation staffed a parish school, the pastor signed a contract with the congregation, which then appointed a principal and assigned the staff there as a "mission."  The pastor remained in control of the school, and he was responsible for its finances.
Referring to the above two photos, what was St. Martha's parish school is now used in part for the parish's religious education program (left or south end in the photo) and in part for St. Martin de Porres Marianist School.  The religious congregation founded in 1817 by Blessed William Joseph Chaminade runs the school, hires the teachers, and sets tuition and rules.  The school's address is 530 Hempstead Boulevard, Uniondale, NY 11553, telephone 516-481-3303.  Its website is linked here.
St. Martha's church is to the left of the photographer of the above two pictures, which look west. Hempstead Boulevard is a residential street to the right.  Busy Jerusalem Avenue is to the left.  On the west side of the school is Bedford Avenue.
From the website, it appears that four Marianists administer the school and that none are full-time classroom teachers.