description of the dedication ceremony was found in the Brooklyn Times.
"The ceremony began at 10 o'clock and was witnessed by several hundred
people from Brooklyn in addition to the parishioners. At the rectory
the bishop and attending clergy, vested and formed in procession followed
in the wake of the cross-bearer and acolytes to the grand central portal
of the church, outside the building. Standing the Bishop repeated in
Latin this prayer "Assist we beseech thee O Lord, our actions by the
holy inspiration" etc. Then the Bishop began at the antiphon. This was
as followed by the chorus chanting the "Miserere." In the meantime,
toward the right, the procession of clergymen proceeded around the exterior
of the church, the Bishop sprinkling the walls above and below with
Returning to the place where the procession started the antiphon, "Asperges,"
was repeated by the clergy and the Bishop offered prayer. The clergy
entered the church, and chanting the Litany of the Saints proceeded
to the high altar, where the Bishop blessed the church and altar.
During the solemn high mass which followed the Bishop, in cope and miter,
occupied a throne on the gospel side of the altar. The Rev. M. J. Moran,
pastor of the Church of the Nativity, this city, was celebrant of the
mass. The Rev. Henry Gallagher, of St. Michael's Church, was deacon,
and the Rev. Father Durick, of St. Ann's was sub-deacon. The Very Rev.
J/. P. McNamara, V. G., and the Rev. John I. Barrett were the deacons
of honor, and the Rev. Walter Powers, of the Transfiguration Church
were master of ceremonies. The Rev. Father Doyle, C. S. P., delivered
an eloquent sermon. He preached on "The Unity, Sanctity and Indefectibility
of the Church." The Rev. William Maguire, pastor of St. Benedict Joseph
Labre Church, told how pleased he was at the efforts put forth by the
members of the congregation in aiding him to erect the new church, and
to the clergy and visiting friends he expressed his thanks for their
attendance. The Bishop spoke briefly. The church could seat only 450
and was filled to capacity.
The following year 1894 saw major changes that affected the hamlets
of Clarenceville, Richmond Hill and Morris Park. On September 27, 1894
the New Village was incorporated. According to locals newspapers the
movement to incorporate Richmond Hill and certain surrounding territory
proved successful, the project having been carried by vote at a special
election. The election was conducted by Supervisor Everitt and Town
Clerk McCook. The total number of votes cast was 242. Of this 144 were
in favor of incorporation and 98 against. The incorporated district
included Richmond Hill, Morris Park and Clarenceville. On November 15,
1894 elections were held for officers for the new village of Richmond
Hill. A president, treasurer, and three trustees were to be decided.
There were 213 votes polled. Alrick Hubbell
Man, son of Albon Platt Man, founder of Richmond Hill was elected
the first President of Richmond Hill. The newly elected officers were
sworn in the next day. Thus the hamlets of Clarenceville, Richmond Hill
and Morris Park were incorporated into the Village of Richmond Hill
and Saint Benedict Joseph Parish was now a part of the Village of Richmond
Earlier in that same year on June 10, 1894 the first canonical visitation
and administration of the Sacrament of Confirmation was held. Forty-six
were confirmed, of whom forty were children and six adults.
The next structure to be built in the parish of Saint Benedict Joseph
was the rectory in 1895. The wooden edifice would rival any of the mansions
erected throughout Richmond Hill. Its massive front porch with elegant
double columns added a feeling of strength and stability. The parish
was noted for its magnificent and spacious green lawns where numerous
social affairs were held.
Social life was as important to the congregation as their spiritual
life. During the early years many societies sprang to life, including
a Dramatic Society which put on plays and musical presentations.
Village life came to an abrupt end when in January 1898 Richmond Hill
was swept into the whirlpool of Greater New York City. Now Richmond
Hill was a part of the borough of Queens and part of the greatest city
in the United States.
Sometime before 1901 a wooden Parish Hall was erected behind the church
and was used for a number of years for many parish events and socials.
It also served as the Sunday school building.
The new century marked a change in leadership. In 1900 Father Maguire
was transferred to Transfiguration Parish. A sad farewell was given
when a number of parishioners gathered at the rectory and presented
their former pastor with a gold chalice in token of their love and esteem.
Timothy Deehan, chairman of the presentation committee, uncovered the
chalice, which was of an exquisite design and workmanship, richly set
with sapphires, rubies, emeralds, amethysts and diamonds.
Richmond Hill - The
Richmond Hill Historical Society with authors Carl
Ballenas and Nancy Cataldi have written
this comprehensive book on the history of Richmond Hill. Read
more about this book and how to purchase it for your collection.
Children's Tale and Coloring Book -
Carl Ballenas created a coloring book
on the history of Richmond Hill including rare photos, text and stories.
What better way to enjoy while learning and appreciating our community.
Read more about this book and
how to purchase it for your collection.
Slideshow of Victorian Richmond Hill - Thanks
to Joseph DeMay, Jr. for his enormous contribution in creating
this fascinating slideshow of
images that show many locations of early Richmond Hill from the turn
of the 19th century along side its corresponding present day image from
2003. View and enjoy the slideshow here.
the Living Spirit" - Thanks
to Joseph DeMay, Jr. for creating this slideshow
of the Walking Tour at Maple Grove Cemetery, where students portrayed
the notable people who have been laid to rest at this historic cemetery.
and enjoy the slideshow here.