a resource of information on the origin & future of Richmond Hill, NY USA



About the Holy Child Jesus Parish

The following information is from 'A Beacon of Light', a published book celebrating the 75 year history of the Holy Child Jesus Parish in 1980.

Holy Child Jesus Church and School are still located at:
111-02 86th Avenue
Richmond Hill, NY 11418

Official Website: http://www.holychildjesuschurch.org

Photo of HCJ Church TowerThe Roman Catholic Parish of the Holy Child Jesus, Richmond Hill, L. I., was formed when the increasing number of Catholic families, necessitated a division of St. Benedict Joseph's parish, Morris Park, L. I. In November, 1910, two plots of ground, together with a house for a rectory, were purchased on the corner of Brandon avenue and Chestnut street. Title to the property was taken in December, and on Christmas day the new parish was formally established by the Rev. Thomas A. Nummey, formerly in charge of the Blessed Sacrament parish, East New York. Mass was celebrated Sundays in Arcanum Hall, corner of Jamaica and Jefferson Avenues. Mass, week days, and other devotions being said in the parlors of the rectory. Later, a church basement was built and dedicated for divine service, December 3, 1911.

The Holy Child Jesus parish has had a rapid growth since its foundation, from one hundred families, in 1910, to over five hundred in 1916. The increasing number of children rendered a parochial school necessary, and on May 7, 1916, ground was a broken for the construction of Holy Child Jesus Parochial School.

IN THE BEGINNING

Arcanum Hall- "Arcanum" means secret and Arcanum Hall was a meeting place for Masonic organizations, and also used for community dances on Wednesday & Saturday nights. This building was located on Jamaica Ave. and Johnson Ave. (118 St.). At this time, 1910, this building was the only one large enough to fit the future parishoners of Holy Child Jesus until their church was built. St. Benedict Joseph Labre which was located in Morris Park later to become part of Richmond Hill, was running out of space and the growing numbers of Catholics needed another church for Richmond Hill residents. It is not hard to imagine the mixed feelings of Fr. Nummey as he climbed the wooden stairs to examine the hall knowing the background of the hall. But nevertheless, the hard decision had to be made and, with the installation of the proper fittings and an altar on wheels, the hall could be converted into a "pretty chapel" on Sunday mornings.

Areial photo of Holy Child Jesus Church and SchoolThus the parish foundation was laid and the Holy Child Jesus era in Richmond Hill began.


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