History

FORMER PASTORS

 Rev. Peter McLoughlin: (First Pastor) 1849-1854

Rev. Michael Maginn: 1854-1855

Rev. Edward Briody: 1855

Rev. Cornelius McCarney: 1855-1861

Rev. John Tanzer: 1861-1891

Rev. Martin J. Loftus: 1891

Rev. James J. McCusker: 1892

Rev. Michael F. Nevin: 1892

Rev. John G. Fitzgerald: 1893-1904

Rev. Joseph McGinley: 1904-1914

Rev. Michael P. Heffernan: 1914-1920

Rev. Jeremiah J. Kent: 1920-1935

Msgr. Joseph Kelly: 1936-1962

Msgr. Joseph P. Weist: 1962-1971

Rev. Francis P. O'Loughlen: 1971-1977

Msgr. Joseph K. Parks, K.H.S.: 1977-1988

Msgr. Patrick Fursey O'Toole, K.H.S.: 1988-2004

Msgr. Joseph P. Nagle: 2004-2013

Msgr. Michael J. Hardiman: 2014-present

 

 Rev. Peter McLoughlin:     (First Pastor) 1849-1854

    In 1849, Father Peter McLoughlin was appointed by Archbishop Hughes as the first pastor of the St. Patrick Mission. He lived in the FortHamilton area and at the same time offered Mass in Gowanus, and started the parish of St. John the Evangelist at 21st Street near Fifth Avenue.

   A Catholic chaplain was not always assigned to FortHamilton, so St. Patrick was the Parish of the Catholic soldiers assigned to the fort. The Catholics in the area were mostly poor, but they contributed toward the building of a church. Early records show that the men of the Fort - especially the Irish among them - voluntarily contributed one dollar a week toward their new church. That was a huge sum in those days. This money was set aside and helped in the construction of a church building. The dedication of the first St. Patrick Church took place on December 12th, 1852. Archbishop Hughes was rowed across the Narrows from Staten Island to preside at the ceremonies.

     1853 was another eventful year. The boundaries of Bay Ridge were settled at a meeting of residents. The formal boundaries of Bay Ridge are 60th Street on the north (the old Brooklyn city line), the Bay on the west, 86th Street and the shore was called the Village of Fort Hamilton. In this same year the Diocese of Brooklyn was established and Bishop John Loughlin was named the first bishop.

 

 

Rev. Michael Maginn: 1854-1855         Rev. Edward Briody: 1855

 

     Father McLoughlin was transferred to St. John the Evangelist in 1854. His successors, Father Michael Maginn (McGinn) and Father Edward Briody continued his work for more than a year in the then small and isolated community of farmers and fishermen of FortHamilton. The parishioners May have been of humble means but they did not stint in supporting their church. 

      Stage lines to Bay Ridge were replaced by horse cars in 1854, but they didn't go south of 60th Street. In the 1870's steam locomotives were used to supplement the horse cars, and eventually replaced them. It would be many years before the service would be extended to the Village of Fort Hamilton.

 

Rev. Cornelius McCarney: 1855-1861

      Father Cornelius John McCarney arrived in St. Patrick's just before Christmas in 1855. In those days the parish included the territory now known as BathBeach and Bay Ridge. People came from miles around to attend Mass at St. Patrick's. At the time of Father McCarney's death in the fall of 1861, there was a congregation nearly twice the size of the one when he arrived.

     There was a stop on the Underground Railway in the neighborhood. Escaped slaves usually arrived at the home of David Bennett at night, and within a few days he would take them in a covered market wagon to Manhattan by ferry where they would make connections to continue their trip to Canada.

 

Rev. John Tanzer: 1861-1891

        Father John Tanzer was appointed pastor in December, 1861. The Civil War had its effect on the parish. Men from the area were conscripted and served in the 77th regiment. For Hamilton was a busy place. A plague at this time caused much suffering. FortLafayette, which had been built at the water's edge prior to the construction of FortHamilton, stood near the present day location of the Brooklyn tower of the VerrazanoBridge. It was used as a military prison. Conditions in the prison were very poor and local families helped by bringing food and visiting the prisoners. Some prisoners would sneak out at night to steal food from the nearby farms.

        Schools in the area developed early. Father Tanzer wanted to start a school, and despite the confusion caused by the war, he opened a small two story building on 95th street in 1863. There were three classrooms, and a fourth room for the sexton. Some volunteers helped Father Tanzer teach the children. AdelphiAcademy was also founde d in 1863. Originally located in downtown Brooklyn, it is located at 86th Street and Ridge Blvd., on property once occupied by the Kallman Scandinavian Orphanage. In the late 1860's the first public school, known as District School No. 4, was established in a white shingled bungalow at 417 97th Street.

       The Sisters of St. Dominic took over the management of the school in 1877. In the following year they moved into a convent built on on land at 418 95th street. The building still stands but it was moved to Fort Hamilton Parkway and 95th Street. At the same time, the first rectory was built, as well as a school building on 95th Street.

      As Coney Island was a long trip away, the Village of Fort Hamilton was the chief amusement place of South Brooklyn. Amusement houses, freak shows, "wheels of fortune" and merry-go-rounds sprang up on the shore. There were a number of small hotels and boarding houses on the shore. Hamilton House was located outside the Fort , and a large one called Grand View Hotel was located at the foot of Fourth Avenue. The beach ran up beyond where Shore Road is today.

       The BrooklynBridge was opened in 1883. The press and public hailed it as the eighth wonder of the world. Travel between Brooklyn and Manhattan changed life in the area. In 1885, the Brooklyn Elevated Railroad began to operate, which further increased the mobility of the population. The following year the Statue of Liberty was installed in the Harbor. In 1889, the Crescent Club moved to land bounded by Shore Road, Colonial Road, 83rd and 85th streets, which they purchased from the van Brunt and Bergen estates. In 1891, trolley lines took over the local transportation. At last there was public transportation to FortHamilton along 3rd Avenue.

      By 1895, Brooklyn's population was 807,000. FortHamilton was still a small village, but it, too, faced great growth. According to The Brooklyn Eagle in 1871: "There is no city in the United States except New York in which Catholic progress has been so decided and rapid as in Brooklyn." The large number of Catholics made it necessary to add another parish. In 1891, territory for Our Lady of Angels was taken from that of St. Patrick's. Father Tazner died in 1891 after thirty years in St. Patrick Parish.

 

Rev. Martin J. Loftus: 1891  Rev. James J. McCusker: 1892  Rev. Michael F. Nevin: 1892

      After Father Tazner's death, Fathers Loftus, McCusker and Nevin followed in quick succession as pastors.

 

Rev. John G. Fitzgerald: 1893-1904

      Father John G. Fitzgerald took over as pastor in 1893. By that time the church was in need of repair. The exterior of the building, after 40 years of use, needed a great deal of attention. Old and decayed boards were replaced, and a complete coat of paint was applied. Repairs and redecoration of the interior included two side altars, new pews, and new windows. The old rectory had been destroyed by fire and a new building was erected at a cost of $12,000!

      The Village of Fort Hamilton contained many large parcels of real estate. The Bennett homestead was located on a farm which extended from 6th Avenue to the shore, near 79th Street. International yacht races had their start there, which provided a great view for the spectators. Most of the large landholdings extended from the shore to Third Avenue. Many farmers rented land from the owners of the mansions.

      The Gelston home was at the corner of Third Avenue and Shore Road. Henry George and his family moved to a large house on Shore Road at 99th Street in 1895. Henry George and his family moved to a large house on Shore Road at 99th Street in 1895. He ran for mayor two years later, but died on the eve of election day. Tom Johnson, the Mayor of Cleveland, bought George estate as a summer home. This property is now the site of FontbonneHallAcademy.

      Winter recreation activities were many and invigorating. Sledding was great down the hills on 75th and 86th Streets to the shore. Another highly recommended site was a hill once located on Fifth Avenue and 94th Street, where Staples is today. There was ice skating on the many ponds in the area, particularly one down by the shore. Summer activities abounded too. The Crescent Club erected a boathouse prior to 1900. The Club itself was an imposing building on spacious grounds used for baseball, soccer, lacrosse, tennis, lawn bowling and various kinds of races.

      In 1894, New Utrecht became part of the City of Brooklyn. By this time, there was a fight to bring the great City of Brooklyn into a city of Greater New York. Manhattan was for it, Brooklyn was against it. Brooklyn newspapers ran such editorial slogans as: "Brooklyn is a city of homes and churches. New York is a city of Tammany Hall and crime government." Consolidation won in the end, however, and on January 1, 1898, the present five-borough City of New York became a reality. On that date, the fire station was on Fifth Avenue near 94th Street since February 1, 1896 became Engine Company 242 of the New York City Fire Department.

      St. Patrick parish also was growing and there was a need for additional priests to assist the pastor. The first assistant was Father Patrick Tuigg.

      In the early 1900's FortHamilton functioned as a regular U.S. Army Post. In addition, sham battles, dress parades, band concerts and sporting events took place on the grounds of the Fort. In 1902, the Crescent Club hosted the first Davis Cup tennis match. The donor of the Cup was a member of the Club.

      St.PatrickSchool was growing, too. When it became crowded, Father Fitzgerald asked parishioners to raise funds for a new building. A school was completed at a cost of $30,000, and was occupied in 1902.

      In 1903, a group of Sisters of the Visitation moved into some buildings located on property known as "Beautiful View." This property was located in the area bounded by Ridge Blvd., Colonial Road, 89th and 91st Streets. In the nineteenth century it had been used as a home for inebriates that was run by the city. After the home had been moved, the parish held several picnics on property. The Sisters of the Visitation transformed the buildings to reopen an academy which had been established elsewhere in Brooklyn in 1855. This was the academy's third location. The current monastery building had been built by the city in the 1870's, and the academy building in 1888. Construction of the present Chapel was begun in 1911, and was dedicated by Bishop McDonnell in 1913.

      The priests of St. Patrick's have always serviced the Chapel. At present, our priests celebrate Mass every day from Monday to Saturday. They also service the academy by celebrating Masses for special occasions as well as para-liturgical ceremonies. For many years, the altar boys of St. Patrick's, including many who became priests, serviced on the altar during Mass. After Vatican II, the doors of the Chapel were opened more freely for Mass to the local community. It has been a great help to the residents of Shore Hill, a senior citizens residence on Shore Road.

 

Rev. Joseph McGinley: 1904-1914

      In June, 1904, Father Fitzgerald was named pastor of St. Stephen parish, in the downtown area. He left not only new and renovated buildings, but several parish societies. It was during his time that the Holy Name Society, the Blessed Virgin Sodality and Angels' Sodality were established.

      Father Joseph McGinley succeeded Father Fitzgerald. During his pastorate, many renovations were made in the church. New Stations of the Cross were erected, new statues were placed in the church, and the supply of vestments was replenished. The parish societies continued to thrive. The Holy Name Society had 200 active members, with 80 boys in the Junior Holy Name Society. There were 1,800 enrolled in the League of the Sacred Heart, 100 in the Blessed Virgin Sodality , and 200 young girls in the Angels' Sodality. There were 100 men and women in the Altar Society.

      The FortHamilton area continued to experience significant growth. Ferry service from 69th Street in Bay Ridge to Staten Island started in 1912. P.S. 104, dating back to at least 1894, occupied two frame buildings at 92nd Street and 5th Avenue. In 1907, a larger building was erected at Gelston Avenue and 92nd Street. Twenty years later an extension was built on the corner of 5th Avenue.

 

Rev. Michael P. Heffernan: 1914-1920

      Father McGinley was transferred to St. Patrick parish in Long IslandCity in May, 1914, and was replaced by Father Michael P. Heffernan. When Father Heffernan arrived at St. Patrick's, the parish was in debt, and the Diocese didn't want him to incur new ones. However, the parish plant, particularly the church, was in need of repair. He consulted with his new parishioners, and within a week of his arrival the people took up a collection and had the exterior of the church painted. One parishioner had the pews varnished and the floor painted at his own expense. Later repairs were made in the convent, and additional work was done in the church.

      During his years in the FortHamilton community, a complete gymnasium was set up in the basement of the school. It was during this period that the sports program of the parish grew. There were a professional boxing and gymnastic instructor, and excellent baseball teams. Dramatics also were important in the parish. A fife and drum corps, cadet corps, and a brass band were organized and soon were sought for parades and rallies all over Brooklyn. In 1917, a new convent was built to house the Dominican Sisters who taught in the school. It was located behind the church at 418 95th Street, on the same site as the first convent.

      In this same time period, the Fourth Avenue Subway Line opened to 86th Street in 1916. Local real estate agents met the subway, and took prospective customers to see available homes.  PolytechnicPrepatoryCountryDay School acquired property bounded by Battery Avenue, 92nd Street, 7th Avenue and Poly Place in 1917. The school has been operating on the site ever since.

 

Rev. Jeremiah J. Kent: 1920-1935

      Father Jeremiah J. Kent, who had served in St. Patrick parish from 1901 to 1912, returned as pastor in 1920. In December, 1923, ground was broken for the extension of the Fourth Avenue Subway Line to 95th Street. This event had a profound effect on the growth of the FortHamilton neighborhood. It initiated a building boom which brought many new families into the parish. Many of the stores, with apartments above, were built along the avenues. Mansions were torn down to make way for streets, apartment houses, and rows of brick homes. One, the Kenny mansion, on Shore Road between 89th and 91st Streets, was saved, and became ShoreRoadHospital.

      A landfill operation, begun in 1924, converted some of the water along the shore to land, where today there are ball fields, tennis courts, playgrounds, bicycle and walking paths, lawns and benches. This project was completed with the construction of the sea wall in 1926. In 1940, the Belt Parkway was completed. A former resident of the FortHamilton neighborhood wrote that the "old natural beauty of the Shore Road is gone due to Bob Moses' streamlining effort. How I long to look back at the old lanes that led through the trees from the hill down to the water edge."

      On September 18, 1920, Father Kent gave benediction following the ceremony of the unveiling of the monument in honor of the FortHamilton heroes who answered their country's call in World War I and those who eventually made the supreme sacrifice of their lives. The monument stands in the small park located at 94th Street and Fourth Avenue. It underwent extensive renovations in 1999.

      The rapid increase in population had other effects on St. Patrick parish. Other parishes were established to serve the ever growing number of Catholics in the community. In 1921, St. Ephrem parish was established. In the following year, the northern boundary of St. Patrick parish was fixed when St. Anselm parish was founded. 

      Under Father Kent's guidance, a drive was begun for the erection of a new church. The original church was demolished in April, 1925, and the cornerstone for the current structure laid October 11. The first Mass was celebrated in the basement of the new church at midnight on Christmas. The church was dedicated by Bishop Molloy on December 12, 1926. It was situated on the site of the church which had been blessed by Archbishop Hughes exactly 74 years prior. The entire cost of the building was estimated at $250,000.

      On October 31, 1925, the 95th Street station of the Fourth Avenue Subway Line opened. Now, finally, public transportation was in place to connect the FortHamilton community to the rest of Brooklyn and to Manhattan.

      BayRidgeHospital had been incorporated in 1900, and was built on 60th Street. In 1920, the founders decided to expand. They purchased spacious property at 92nd Street and 7th Avenue and changed the name to "VictoryMemorialHospital" as a living memorial dedicated to the memory of the local servicemen who heroically served their country and gave their lives during World War I. The building was opened in 1927. The priests of St. Patrick parish visit the hospital daily, bringing the sacraments and comfort to the patients. They also are on call 24 hours a day for emergencies.

      It was inevitable that the increase in population would have an impact on the parish school, requiring it to be enlarged. Since the parish plant had become surrounded by apartment houses and other buildings, it was impossible to acquire new land adjacent to the school. It became necessary, therefore, to build on the same plot. Consequently, a new wing of eight classrooms was built on the lot behind the existing school. This was opened in February, 1932. Two years later, Father Kent laid the cornerstone for the front section of the school. The financial depression, which had brought the building boom at an end in 1929, had delayed the completion of the project until 1935, when the entire building was completed.

      In 1931, the Crescent Club moved to the site o an old ice house on 87th Street, The City purchased the Shore Road property, and in 1941 FortHamiltonHigh School was established. 

      1935 also marked the establishment of St. Bernadette parish. This was the last time any territory was taken from St. Patrick's. The official boundaries of St. Patrick parish are now:

South side of 87th Street from the Shore to 5th Avenue.

North on the east side of 5th Avenue to 86th Street.

South side of 86th Street to 14th Avenue.

Southwest on the west side of 14th Avenue via Shore Road to GravesendBay.

West and North along the shore to 87th Street.

      The parish includes the Fort Hamilton Army base, DykerBeachPark and Golf Course. Today, parish boundaries do not have the same importance as they once did. At one time Catholics identified their neighborhood by the name of the parish in which they lived. Today, Catholics choose their parish by what pleases them - where they feel most comfortable: the Liturgy, the music, their friends, the activities. They register where they feel they belong.

 

Msgr. Joseph Kelly: 1936-1962

      Father Kent died December 21, 1935. By then, St. Patrick's was no longer a small, rural church, but was a flourishing urban parish. Father Joseph Kelly became pastor on January 11, 1936. One of his first projects was the conversion of the church basement into a suitable place for the offering of Mass. Since the parish had continued to grow, attendance at Sunday Masses more than taxed the church proper. Pews were set up in what was to be the lower church in April, 1936. and a year later the entire project was completed, the ceiling decorated, sanctuary, altar, and windows installed. For more than 50 years, Mass was celebrated in the lower church on Sundays, and the Repository was located there on each Holy Thursday. In addition, a central heating plant was installed to supply all the parish buildings. The church bell was installed and blessed at a ceremony on December 12, 1938.

      While not officially a part of St. Patrick parish, a girls' high school was opened by the Sisters of St. Joseph on Shore Road at 99th Street in 1937. The original school buildings were purchased from Edward's School for Boys. Before the property was Edward's School, it had been purchased by Diamond Jim Brady from Lillian Russell. The new school was named Fontbonne Hall in honor of the founder of the Order of St. Joseph.

      In order to meet the ever expanding needs of the parish, St. Patrick's took title to a large tract of land along 97th Street on June 1, 1938, which was used as a playground for many years. At that time, the small building that had housed District School No. 4 was moved to a location behind the rectory , and is currently is in the parish garden. It is a beautiful spot, unseen by passersby but greatly admired by the parishioners.

      In 1939, extensive repairs were made to the exterior of the church; and in 1940, additional pews, more effective lighting, and an improved baptistery were installed. On November 10, 1940, Bishop Molloy presided at a ceremony raising Father Kelly to the dignity of Domestic Prelate in the newly renovated church.

      In the same year, a new chapel was opened for the Sisters in their convent, which had previously been improved by the addition of six new rooms, an infirmary, and a common room. These renovations were necessary due to the increase in the number of Sisters serving the enlarged parish school.

      For many years FortHamilton was an important part of the local community. Polo matches had been held on Sunday afternoons before and after World War I. Fort Hamilton was the staging area of the Port of New York Embarkation during World War II. It handled the processing of about 3,000,000 soldiers who sailed from the Port. After VJ Day, the polo matches resumed. For many years the 26th U.S. Army Band marched and played in local parades until it was deactivated September 15, 1994. Hundreds of neighborhood families attended the annual Forth of July open air concerts given by the band on the Parade Grounds. Currently, the priests of St. Patrick's celebrate Mass in the Fort chapel every Sunday, are available for Baptism and Weddings, and attend Parish Council meetings to oversee the Religious Education programs.

      The Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel was opened in 1950. The Veterans' AdministrationHospital was built the same year just east of the Fort Hamilton Base. As it is located within the geographic confines of the parish, the priests of St. Patrick's are on call at all times for emergencies in the hospital.

      By the late 1950's, it was necessary once again to enlarge the parish school. A new school building with a large auditorium on the first floor and a gymnasium on the lower level, was built on Fourth Avenue and 97th Street in 1958. The school population was quite large, and the 95th School, as well as the new school were completely occupied when it opened.

 

Msgr. Joseph P. Weist: 1962-1971

      After Msgr. Kelly died on June 19, 1962, Msgr. Joseph P. Wiest was appointed pastor. He was born in Greenville, New Jersey on September 15, 1895. He studied at St. John's Seminary in Brooklyn, and was ordained to the priesthood on May 26, 1923. He was a professor for thirteen years at St. Joseph's College in downtown Brooklyn. In 1943, he was named Administrator of St. Ambrose parish in Brooklyn, where he remained until 1951 when he was named the pastor of St. Augustine parish. Monsignor left St. Augustine in 1962 when he came to St. Patrick parish.

      The Verrazano-NarrowsBridge was opened to traffic in 1964. To accommodate the approach to the bridge, it was necessary to demolish many homes, and a number of parishioners were affected by this move. The bridge is a beautiful structure; at night its lights can be seen for miles, and the view from the span is spectacular. A bit of history disappeared during the construction when the Brooklyn tower of the bridge was build on Fort Lafayette, the offshore island that had been used as a military prison during the Civil War and an ammunition depot during both World Wars. Since pre-Revolutionary times, the only commercial link between Brooklyn and Staten Island was ferry. The original Denyse's Ferry at 100th Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway was started in the 1600's. For many years only oars, sculls or sails propelled the ferries the mile and a half across the Narrows. An improvement was the side-wheeler powered by horses walking a treadmill aboard. Later, coal-burning steam-powered side-wheelers came into use. Shortly after the bridge opened, the ferry service from 69th Street to Staten Island ceased.

      After the expansion of the school in 1958, the convent wasn't large enough for all the Sisters assigned to the parish, so a new building was erected across the street from the church on 95th Street and Fourth Avenue in 1966. A new rectory was sorely needed and the current one was built on the site of the original rectory.

      The old convent then became a center for Girl Scout meetings, and a music studio, but it was not kept in good repair.

      Msgr. Wiest was not only the pastor of the parish. He involved himself in other activities within the Diocese. Among his other responsibilities was that of Chairman of the Board of "the Tablet," the diocesan newspaper, and also Dean of the Kings County West Deanery. He loved to sing, and during his years at St. Patrick's he made a record album of his old songs, raising $45,000 for the Society of the Propagation of the Faith.

      Msgr. Wiest's example of involvement led to the development or expansion of many activities within the parish. St. Patrick's Twirlers started in 1966 under direction of Sister Claire Schuster, O.P., the guidance counselor in the parish school and continued until 1989 under other directors. More than 70 girls between the ages of 5 and 17 participated in twirling activities each year. The girl participated in many local and state-wide competitions, and won many titles. They performed in New Jersey and Connecticut, and marched in the Brooklyn St. Patrick's Day Parade and other local parades.

      In 1960, a large group of parishioners became involved, under Aldo Bruschi, musical director and Jack Mawdsley, stage director, in the production of musicals. They put on such Broadway hits as "The Red Mill," "Fiddler on the Roof," and "Guys and Dolls." There were Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, including "H.M.S. Pinafore" and "The Mikado," and other shows with such intriguing titles as "Paint Your Boat," "Mardi Gras" and "Stop the Trolley, I Want to Get Off." The last of these shows was presented in 1973. In the next few years, the Choral Society in conjunction with the Kings Forum for the Performing Arts also presented several operas, including "Ahmal and the Night Visitors" and "Tosca."

      In May, 1955, "The Church Bulletin" was first distributed to the parishioners. For 15 years, the publication was purchased by the parish from the printer which supplied articles dealing with the Church in general, and some local items and information were supplied by the parish. The local advertisers defrayed the cost of the booklet. In May, 1970, the format changed. From then until the present it has only contained news about St. Patrick parish. It is written and edited by parishioners. In June, 1971 after a contest to decide on a new name for the publication, "The Church Bulletin" was renamed "Focus."

      Since the 1930's, many children of St. Patrick parish, as well as the other parishes in Brooklyn and Queens were educated in High School operated by the diocese. As the cost of education increased and the number of Religious men and women who taught in the schools decreased, these diocesan high school closed or were turned over to the local communities. One of them was St. Michael's High School for boys, located on 42nd Street. In 1960, a new school was built on Shore Road at 71st Street. The last class of St. Michael's graduated there in 1960, and the school opened in 1961 at XaverianHigh School, still under the supervision of the Xaverian Brothers.

 

Rev. Francis P. O'Loughlen: 1971-1977

      Msgr. Wiest retired in 1971, and remained at St. Patrick's as Pastor Emeritus. He was replaced by Father Francis P. O'Loughlen who was born in Jamaica, Queens, of Irish immigrant parents, the youngest of six children. Following his ordination on June 6, 1936, he was assigned to St. Bernadette parish on 13th Avenue. He joined the Army as Captain, and  served from 1945 to 1949 in the European and Asian theaters. After working in St. Francis of Assisi parish, Astoria, and St. Thomas Aquinas, Flatlands, he returned to the military, and served as Chaplain in the Korean conflict. In 1955, he returned to the Diocese and served in several parishes in Queens and Brooklyn until his assignment to the FortHamilton community. Father O'Loughlen was an avid reader, and was deeply committed to education. He was always interested in learning and keeping up to date on the teachings of the Church.

      Under his leadership, many parish activities were revitalized or introduced. He expanded the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (C.C.D.) and introduced Adult Education classes. He led the parish to a greater appreciation for the changes of Vatican II, and was responsible for the formation of Eucharistic Ministers in the parish. A group of fifty men, women and teenagers joined together in 1972 to form Friendly Visitors. They visited shut-ins, made telephone calls, sent out a newsletter to the home-bound, and helped with transportation.

      In 1973, Father James Tahaney started the Pop John XXIII Adult Study Group, and for many years presented a series of lectures on Sunday Evenings - as well as various series during the week at midday. Two years later, upon his arrival at St. Patrick's, Father Robert Griffin also started midday lecture series.

      1974 was a significant year in the parish history. A Home Mission program was conducted that year. More than forty parishioners opened their homes, and during the nine-week program, each one of these homes was visited by one or more priests and as many as 15 parishioners. Each session lasted about three hours. They included the Eucharistic celebration, a discussion of almost any topic pertinent to Christian living, and concluded with coffee and cake. A maching band was also formed in 1974, the sane year that BRAVO Volunteer Ambulance Service started operations in the community.

      In June, 1976, Father Joseph Roff, a renowned musician, took up residence in the rectory. The following year he wrote an anthem entitled "Walk Humbly With Thy God," which set to music a quote from the prophet Micah. The quotation had been included in his Inaugural Address. The choir recorded it, and Father Roff sent it to the new president. Father Roff and the members of the choir received letters of appreciation from the White House. During his stay in St. Patrick's, Father Roff wrote many anthems, hymns and cantatas which were sung by the choir during liturgies and concerts.

      On September 15, 1976, the Charismatic Prayer Group started. It was at this time, also, that the first group of men and women were trained to become Eucharistic Ministers in the parish. Father O'Loughlen retired in 1977. He continued to reside in the parish, and taught Scripture classes as well as R.C.I.A. He died on May 17, 1991, at age 84.

 

Msgr. Joseph K. Parks, K.H.S.: 1977-1988

       Father Joseph K. Parks followed Father O'Loughlen as Pastor. He was born and raised in Brooklyn, and graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas Grammar School and Brooklyn Prep. He attended Mt. St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg, MD, and Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, NY. He was ordained June 3, 1939. Following ordination, he was assigned to Resurrection-Ascension Parish in RegoPark, and in 1966 was transferred to St. Anastasia in Douglaston. He was pastor of St. Cecelia in Greenpoint from 1969 to 1977, when he came to St. Patrick as pastor.

       Father Parks' first year as pastor was a memorable one. On March 24, 1977, the first group of Eucharistic Ministers, who had been prepared for their responsibilities for several months were installed. Later that year, permission was granted by the Holy See for Catholics in the United States to receive Communion in the hand. (The distribution of Communion under both species was begun in St. Patrick in 1980). On September 24, Msgr. Wiest died in the rectory. The love and respect felt for him was demonstrated by the gathering of over a thousand mourners at his funeral, including 150 priests and four bishops. His example as a priest inspired many boys to follow in his footsteps, one of whom was Francis Mugavero, Bishop of Brooklyn.

      Shore Hill Apartments for Senior Citizens was opened in 1979 on the site of ShoreRoadHospital. Many parishioners of St. Patrick were among the first to move into the complex. Priests from St. Patrick offer Mass several times a year around feast days and holidays.

      In 1981, Father Parks was elevated to the rank of Monsignor in recognition of his service to the diocese. In addition to his pastoral duties at St. Patrick, Msgr. Parks also directed the Bishop's Diocesan Support Appeal from 1977 to 1991, and was consultant for the Diocesan Office of Development from 1988 to 1998. In addition, he had been a member of the Board of Diocesan Pension Office, the Priests' Presbyterial Council, the College of Consulters, the Diocesan Priests' Senate, and the Queens County Director of Diocesan Convert Apostolate.

      During his pastorate in St. Patrick, a new roof was put on the church, and walls were repainted; one of the boilers was replaced; the air-conditioned lower church, which was used for some Sunday Masses during the summer, was painted and decorated. In 1982, the organ was overhauled and improved. New mixtures and the great and swell sections and new trumpets were installed. The full sound of the organ is remarkable.

      In 1987, St.PatrickSchool was faced with an operating deficit of $92,000. The entire parish responded to Msgr. Parks' appeal for assistance and raised $150,000.

 

Msgr. Patrick Fursey O'Toole, K.H.S.: 1988-2004

      Msgr. Parks retired in 1988, and continued to reside in the parish. In 1993, he was installed in the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher. Msgr. Parks was Director of the Confraternity of the Precious Blood until 1999. Msgr. Patrick Fursey O'Toole replaced Msgr. Parks as Pastor. He was ordained for the Brooklyn Diocese June 19, 1960 at All Hallows Seminary, Dublin, Ireland. He arrived in New York on October 12, 1960, and was assigned to St. Savior parish, Park Slope. In 1975, he was transferred to St. Kevin, Flushing, until he became Pastor of St. Ann in 1978. During those years, he was chaplain in the prison ministry for seven years, was a member of Diocesan Charismatic Pastoral Team, and was liaison to the Bishop for Charismatic Renewal, and Vice President of the Ecumenical Commission in FortGreen. In 1997, he was installed in the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher.

       Shortly after his arrival in St. Patrick, he started the R.C.I.A. Program and the Scripture/Faith Sharing Groups in his desire to build a strong Faith Community. He revamped the Sacramental programs. He interviewed all new parishioners, and the parents of all the children in the school and C.C.D. Program.

      In 1988, new vestments were purchased, gifts of parishioners. Scripture/Faith Sharing groups started the same year. In 1989, he introduced the program of tithing, in which members give one-tenth of their income to the Church, half of that to the parish. That year was the 140th Anniversary of the founding of St. Patrick Parish. Monsignor O'Toole started a tradition of holding the Founders' Ball in November each year. At that gala, members of the parish are honored for outstanding dedication and service.

       In 1993, the church buildings were in need of renovation once again. With the support of the entire parish, a drive was started for the restoration of the Church and $1,300,000 was pledged, all of which was spent updating and beautifying the 68 year old building. The Church building and the upper church were completely renovated. A beautiful Baptismal font is now located in the center of the church, a gold tabernacle, in the shape of the church was prominently located in a niche to the left of the altar, air conditioning, and a new sound system were installed, and a ramp making the building wheelchair accessible was built outside the church. The beautiful stained glass windows were cleaned and repaired. There are 16 windows on the main floor depicting the life of Jesus from the Annunciation to the Ascension. The Crucifixion is represented by the mosaic in the Sactuary behind the altar. Two windows are in the choir loft; one is the Angel window and the other, the magnificent rose window.

       Everyone was lavish with praise when the project was completed. The church was filled to overflowing when Bishop Dominic Coscia, O.F.M. of Jatai, Brazil, who grew up in the parish, came to rededicate the church in November 1993.

       When the diocesan-wide campaign, "Alive in Hope", was announced in 1995, St. Patrick's goal was set at $614,000. Once again the parishioners showed their generosity - their pledges amounted to $1,277,000. As a result, the diocese returned more than $600,000 to the parish. This money was used to renovate the two school buildings and the convent at 418 95th Street, and to pay the parish debt to the diocese. 

      The chapel in the old convent was renovated, and made into an Adoration Chapel, with ramp approach, where the Blessed Sacrament is enthroned during the week. The basement of the building was transformed with meeting rooms and kitchen facilities. Space on the first floor was set aside for the Religious Education Office, Human Services Office, Music Studio, and a room for classes and meetings. The two upper building floors are living quarters for Religious women from several Congregations. When the work was completed, the building was named the Msgr. Parks Center.

       The convent, which was built in 1966, was rented to VictoryMemorialHospital for office space, and the 95th Street school is operated by the O'Connor School.

      Additional work on the physical plant continued in 1998 and 1999. The exterior of the school was cleaned, and new windows were installed in all the buildings.

       In honor of the 150th anniversary, the City was named the east side of Fourth Avenue between 95th and 97th Streets, St.PatrickPlaza.

 

Msgr. Joseph P. Nagle: 2004-2013

       Msgr. O'Toole transferred to St. Cecilia's early in 2004. Thereafter, Msgr. Joseph P. Nagle, was assigned to St. Patrick's.

       Msgr. Nagle was ordained to the priesthood by the late bishop Francis Mugavero on May 29, 1971 at St. James Pro-Cathedral, Brooklyn, NY. As a priest Msgr. Nagle has served as an associate pastor at St. Luke's Church, Whitestone (1971-75), chaplain at BishopKearneyHigh School (1974-80), associate at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, Forest Hills (1980-86), and Catholic Chaplain at QueensCollege, Flushing (1986-89). In 1988 he was appointed the founding director of the Immaculate Conception Pastoral Center, Douglaston. He directed the transformation of the former CathedralCollege into a multi-retreat house and conference facilities for parish and diocesan groups. In 1995 he was appointed Executive Director of Institutional Services, Inc. The purchasing agency of the Diocese of Brooklyn.

     In 1996, Bishop Daily appointed him Pastor of St. Savior's Church, Park Slope and in 2004, Bishop DiMarzio appointed him Pastor of St. Patrick's Church, Bay Ridge.

     Upon his arrival, Msgr. Nagle re-introduced the Family Mass at 9:30am  on Sundays, and oversaw the development and growth of the Children's Ministry serving at the Mass, as well as the implementation of Liturgy of the Word for Children. In the years that followed, a number of new apostolates were formed or revived at the parish, including the Legion of Mary , the Divine Mercy Cenacles, the Fatima Apostolate and a Young Adults Ministry. A Chapter of Communion and Liberation is also meeting regularly at St. Patrick's.

     One of the major challenges facing Msgr. Nagle was the continued health and growth of our parish school. Together with the school principal, Mrs. Andrea D'Emic, he  worked with diocesan leaders through the "Preserving the Vision" initiative and St. Patrick's School is stable and strong. An advisory board hds been formed with the neighboring parish of St. Anselm's, helping to ensure the continuation of Catholic education in our parish for years to come. 

    Work on the parish plant is an ever present reality for the pastor. The most notable effort to date has been the re-design of the sanctuary and the installation of a beautiful new tabernacle, now placed directly behind the altar in the center of the sanctuary. These alterations grew out of the work of the newly formed Pastoral Planning Council, which conducted a year- long parish wide process of discerning the mission, vision and goals of our parish community. The work of pastoral planning is ongoing, as we seek to enhance our life of worship, community and service to others.

 

Msgr. Michael J. Hardiman, 2014-present

             Michael J. Hardiman, son of the late Michael (Gort City, County Galway) and Margaret, nee O’Malley (Miltown Malbay, County Clare), was raised in the parish of Saint Teresa in Woodside, New York and attended the parish elementary school.  His parents both came to the United States in 1929 but did not meet until after World War II.  He attended Cathedral Preparatory Seminary in Elmhurst and was graduated from CathedralCollege of the Immaculate Conception in Douglaston in 1973, with the degree of  Bachelor of Arts in English.  He was awarded the degree of Master of Divinity by the Immaculate Conception Seminary in 1977, a Master of Arts in English in 1980 by FordhamUniversity and a Master of Public Administration degree by New YorkUniversity in 1983.  He began doctoral studies in History and Education at Teachers College Columbia 1983.

           He completed studies in Spanish at the Intercultural Institute of the Catholic University of Puerto Rico in 1974.  He attended United StatesNavalChaplainSchool in 1975 and served as a reserve chaplain until 1981 when he was selected for advancement to the rank of Lieutenant Commander and thereafter resigned his commission at the request of the Bishop of Brooklyn to accept an appointment in Diocesan Administration.

             He was a full time deacon and later Parochial Vicar at the Church of Saint Pius V, in South Jamaica, New York from 1977 to 1981, the temporary administrator of Holy Cross in Maspeth for six months in 1994.  He is fluent in Spanish.  During the period June 1981 to October 1993 he was assigned to the Education Office, eventually becoming the Deputy Superintendent of Education for the Diocese of Brooklyn.

             In October 1993, he was appointed to direct the Seventh Diocesan Synod which was held in the winter of 1996.  He was Director of the Immaculate Conception Center from 1997 to 2003.  He served as President of the diocesan Pastoral Institute from August 1999 to 2003.  He served as the Vicar for Education from 2003 to 2007 and in 2008 was named Executive Director of the Futures in Education Endowment Fund for Brooklyn and Queens in which capacity he served until July 2009.  In May 2002 he was appointed Pastor of St. Sebastian Church, in Woodside, New York.  He is a Knight Commander in the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.  He was appointed pastor of St. Patrick in 2014. 

            Michael J. Hardiman, son of the late Michael (Gort City, County Galway) and Margaret, nee O’Malley (Miltown Malbay, County Clare), was raised in the parish of Saint Teresa in Woodside, New York and attended the parish elementary school.  His parents both came to the United States in 1929 but did not meet until after World War II.  He attended Cathedral Preparatory Seminary in Elmhurst and was graduated from CathedralCollege of the Immaculate Conception in Douglaston in 1973, with the degree of  Bachelor of Arts in English.  He was awarded the degree of Master of Divinity by the Immaculate Conception Seminary in 1977, a Master of Arts in English in 1980 by FordhamUniversity and a Master of Public Administration degree by New YorkUniversity in 1983.  He began doctoral studies in History and Education at Teachers College Columbia 1983.

           He completed studies in Spanish at the Intercultural Institute of the Catholic University of Puerto Rico in 1974.  He attended United StatesNavalChaplainSchool in 1975 and served as a reserve chaplain until 1981 when he was selected for advancement to the rank of Lieutenant Commander and thereafter resigned his commission at the request of the Bishop of Brooklyn to accept an appointment in Diocesan Administration.

          He was a full time deacon and later Parochial Vicar at the Church of Saint Pius V, in South Jamaica, New York from 1977 to 1981, the temporary administrator of Holy Cross in Maspeth for six months in 1994.  He is fluent in Spanish.  During the period June 1981 to October 1993 he was assigned to the Education Office, eventually becoming the Deputy Superintendent of Education for the Diocese of Brooklyn.

             In October 1993, he was appointed to direct the Seventh Diocesan Synod which was held in the winter of 1996.  He was Director of the Immaculate Conception Center from 1997 to 2003.  He served as President of the diocesan Pastoral Institute from August 1999 to 2003.  He served as the Vicar for Education from 2003 to 2007 and in 2008 was named Executive Director of the Futures in Education Endowment Fund for Brooklyn and Queens in which capacity he served until July 2009.  In May 2002 he was appointed Pastor of St. Sebastian Church, in Woodside, New York.  He is a Knight Commander in the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.  He was appointed pastor of St. Patrick in 2014.