1925 - New Demographics and a new Vision
The 1920's saw a great growth in population in the area that would become St. Teresa Parish. In 1925 the Diocese of Brooklyn bought land and soon began construction of a school and rectory. The school opened in 1927 with some 200 students in five grades. On Easter Sunday 1927, Reverend John Patterson, pastor of St. Raphael Church, celebrated the first Mass in the school basement, which served as the new church. A rectory followed and in 1931 a convent was built for the Sparkill Dominicans who staffed the school.
With the arrival of the first pastor, Fr. Patrick J. Manton, the parish began a period of growth. He was soon joined by Fr. Edwin O’ Sullivan and Fr. Gerald King. Spiritual and social activities abounded. A mission chapel was opened in 1931 across Queens Blvd., in what would become Queen of Angels Parish. There were feast days, novenas, musicals, excursions and dinner dances
A predominantly Irish and Irish-American working class neighborhood thrived in these years. The Great Depression and World War II delayed the building of a church, but saw a growing church community caring for one another. The story is told of Fr. Manton walking the neighborhood with a red wagon bringing groceries to needy families.
How Firm a Foundation
With the decades of hardship and uncertainty behind us and the country beginning a time of hope and prosperity, Fr. George Morrow succeeded Fr. Manton in 1948. By May 30, 1950 the parish was ready to break ground for a church building. On May 31, 1951 the cornerstone was laid and on October 26, 1952, Bishop Thomas Molloy dedicated the new St. Teresa Church.
The Hand of God
This brief sketch of 'our story' could leave the impression that it is simply human. Yet, faith challenges us to look for the hand of God.
We are the work of God's hands. The twists and turns of our journey are all part of our pilgrimage following The Way. We are encouraged by what God has done these many years with ordinary people. And we are challenged to face the future with faith and hope and most of all love.
We invite you to join us on The Way and become part of our story.