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.
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.
Thus the parish foundation was laid and the Holy Child Jesus era in
Richmond Hill began.
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.