...and to see how far the church has come... Clayton Patterson shared these photos from a neglected church circa December 2005...
The New York Times has a piece on St. Brigid's in today's paper. The article goes into detail on the church's "daunting structural problems" and the challenges of the restoration.
A quick excerpt:
The pews were replaced and the exterior restored to resemble the original brownstone. Stained glass windows were brought from St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Harlem, which closed in 2003.
[Architect Michael F.] Doyle also restored an elaborate inscription along the top of the east wall that had been painted over in the 1960s, although there was not enough money to put the original bell back in the tower.
The parish has been merged with St. Emeric’s nearby, and the parish and the church are now known as St. Brigid and St. Emeric.
Read the whole article here.
Does this church have any parishioners? And who are they if they do? Who is the priest who is leading this congregation? I am a Roman Catholic and I have lived in the EV for 30 years, I never heard of this place, other than passing it when walking by, like I pass many other shells of churches... I heard about it for the first time when it was going to be torn down... so now that some rich person has payed off the diocese to renovate it and keep it open, I want to know what Catholic community they will be serving in our area, and how large that congregation will be, and how the diocese is planning to address the demographics of the Catholics like me who live in the east village
Anonymous....maybe you should walk right into the Church itself and ask, don't just pass by but stop in and say hi, I am sure they will greet you with open arms and answer all questions.
This was/is a great church, the inspiration for the phrase in John Philips' song "California Dreamin'." I used to attend mass there weekly before it was condemned and then in the rectory for a year or so. They had a wonderful priest there Father Mike who was one of the coolest and best people in the neighborhood. He was a true priest. Anyone know of his whereabouts? Anyway St.Brigid's will hopefully make a great comeback!
Regarding the earlier are-there-any-parishioners comment, it is telling that it was written in English -- I live on the next block, this has been a Church that mostly serviced a local Spanish-speaking congregation. There were also Masses in English but less well attended. I'm not one to defend the Church, but I don't see what they have to do to "address the demographics of Catholics like [the earlier commenter]" -- the neighbourhood is overstocked with churches, there is plenty of availability. You may want to clarify your comment because right now it comes across as "where can I go to Mass and not be among brown people?" which hopefully was not the intent, because that would be vile.
Wow, it's almost enough to make me believe the universe was created in six days, 6,000 years ago.
One does not need to be Catholic to be served by this church. The church welcomes all.
Many will benefit from this church as a place to affirm their religious beliefs but all of us will benefit from the saving of a historically significant building. If the church would have been sold we might have in its place a glass and steel building in the scale of the Christodora nearby. Now especially as our neighborhood is under sieged by developers we have one historic building that will keep us connected and reminded of our neighborhoods past.
Unless this church has departed from Vatican policy, it is unlikely that it welcomes "all" (at least as they are).
The church turned out beautiful and such an incredible journey it went through. It's a nice break from all the recent 7-11 and snowfitti news.
I went to St Brigid's school & was an alter boy there back in the early 60's. When I ever get back to NYC I'll definitely have to stop in.
Thank you so much to the anonymous donor, for bringing back my church. You will forever be in my prayers.
I hope they put a pipe organ inside the newly restored church. There are a couple of nice ones from the Archdiocese of Boston in storage right now.
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