1950 - ENDING AND BEGINNING
In May 1950 Bishop Molloy wrote this message.
On June 13, 1952, at the old Garden City Hotel, more than eight hundred parishioners and friends attended the Fiftieth Anniversary celebration of Holy Name of Mary Parish.
Monsignor McGovern, Fathers Schoenenberger and Kelly joined in the celebration.
Reverend James M. Cavanagh
On September 18, 1952, only a few months after the Fiftieth Anniversary celebration, Monsignor Peter P. McGovern was called to his eternal reward. It was within a week of his eighty-third birthday and fifty years and four months after
his first Mass at Holy Name of Mary Parish. Parishioners and friends viewed the earthly remains of our beloved Pastor in the old rectory, prior to their transferal to the church on Sunday evening, September 20.
On the following morning, Bishop Thomas E. Molloy officiated at a Solemn Mass of Requiem.
Burial took place in Mount St. Mary's Cemetery in Flushing on September 22, 1952. After more than fifty years of leadership and guidance, a great leader and holy priest had passed from the scene.
Artist Paul Wood was commissioned to paint a portrait of Monsignor McGovern. The painting today hangs in the school foyer.
Bishop Thomas Molloy announced a replacement for Monsignor McGovern. The appointment was to become effective on November 12, 1952.
Reverend Joseph P. Butler
Reverend Joseph P. Butler was assigned to become the second Pastor of Holy Name of Mary Parish. He had founded Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Parish in Point Lookout on July 25, 1937.
Father Butler had served there as Pastor for more than fifteen years.
He was born August 26, 1895. He was ordained May 21, 1921. Father Butler was a dynamic and dedicated priest, who was to undertake a major rebuilding program for the parish.
Reverend Edward J. Byrne
accompanied Father Butler as an assistant.
Reverend Edward J. Byrne
Father Schoenenberger relinquished the duties of Administrator to Father Butler, and was reassigned.
On July 27, 1953, the Korean War ended. There were approximately thirty-three thousand American battle casualties. Among those who made the supreme sacrifice for their country from our parish was:
On September 30, 1953, Reverend Thomas F. B. Carroll was assigned as an assistant. He had been an exceptional basketball player during his seminary days
and was popular with the young people.
Reverend Thomas F. Carroll
Fathers Kelly and Cavanagh were reassigned on September 25, 1954.
The dances became an annual affair,
first being held in the school auditorium, and then at Carl Hoppl's Valley Stream Park Inn. The Valley Stream Park Inn was located on the south side of Merrick Road, a few blocks east of Central Avenue
between Payan Avenue and Hicks Street. Later the dances were moved to the Plattdeutsche Park Restaurant in Franklin Square.
Architect's Drawing, 1954
The plans for the new church were ready in August 1954. The architects, Beatty and Berlenbach, were particularly interested in the building since Mr. Berlenbach's father had been the architect of our first church and Mr. Beatty's father, the builder.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the new church was held on Easter
Sunday afternoon, April 1, 1956. The cornerstone was laid the following
Easter Sunday, April 21, 1957.
Beautiful woodcarvings were created, highlighted by the life sized Crucifixion scene located on the wall behind the main altar.
The Crucifixion scene contained carved wooden statues of Our Lady, the Crucified Jesus and Saint John. Each figure was six and a half feet tall and carved from white oak. The cross was fourteen feet long and constructed of walnut. The words of Our Lord, first to His Mother, “BEHOLD THY SON,” then to Saint John, “BEHOLD THY MOTHER” were engraved on the marble wall on either side of the base of the scene. The following quotation by Father Butler, in the March 1956 Parishioner, summarized the feelings of most people who viewed this scene. “I am quite convinced that no well disposed person could kneel before it without thinking and praying - that it will inspire countless prayers of contrition and love - that it will draw people close to the crucified Christ and the Mass.”
The main altar and wall behind it were constructed of marble. The sanctuary floor was Vert-Antonio marble.
The 12 shields (emblems) of the Apostles, also known as the Cross of the Apostles, were located in vertical columns of six on each side of the Crucifixion scene,
on the wall behind the altar.
The Stations of the Cross, also carved from white oak, were located on the side walls of the new church wing.
Wide stained glass windows were designed to provide great amounts of daylight.
The sixteenth stained glass window, in honor of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, framed a marble altar of Our Lady. Father Butler had founded Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Parish
in Point Lookout, prior to being transferred to Holy Name of Mary. In addition to this Miraculous Medal altar, marble side altars for Our Lady,
Saint Joseph, and the Sacred Heart graced the church interior. There were also plans to build a Saint Anthony altar that was never started.
Five stained glass windows represented the church hierarchy during the 1950s. Coats of Arms were provided for the Pope and Bishop of Brooklyn:
The church had 11 entrance/exit doors. Integral to each door was a small stained glass window, featuring the Marian symbol, for Maria Regina.
A sealed copper box containing among other things, bound copies
of the monthly publication Parishioner, from February 1953 through January 1957, was
inserted in the cornerstone. Father Butler said in May of 1957, “All of us will be in eternity when the cornerstone is opened. But when that future generation finally opens
the cornerstone, they will find ample evidence of how much so many of you
did to make possible the church that rested on that cornerstone.”
Because of the rapid growth in Long Island at this time, there was a temporary shortage of priests and Father Butler searched
outside the diocese for assistants. Reverend Colum Swan came from Ireland in September 1955, and served
in the parish until December 1957. Reverend Roger Guerault served from December 21, 1957, until June 21, 1958.
Reverend Gerard Gfroerer was assigned to Holy Name of Mary on August 17, 1957.
Reverend Patrick McHugh, from Ireland, arrived as an assistant on
June 21, 1958.
Father Butler enthusiastically encouraged the new council serving as the first Chaplain,
and supplied the use of the Church Hall for its first meetings.
On May 2, 1959, Bishop Walter P. Kellenberg was the main celebrant at the funeral Mass for Father Butler. Interment in Holy Rood Cemetery followed the Mass.
Father Butler will always be remembered as the builder of our church. Due to his innovative funding program,
it was fully paid for by the parishioners in less than five years. Westminster chimes and carillon were donated by the parishioners in his memory.
Reverend John F. McGowan
Born in Brooklyn on September 28, 1901, Father McGowan studied at Visitation school, Cathedral Prep and Cathedral College, Brooklyn. He studied theology at the North American College in Rome for four years. He was ordained on April 3, 1926. Father McGowan served as Pastor of Our Lady of Peace Church, Lynbrook, from 1953 until 1959.
From 1946 to 1953, he served at Presentation Church, in Brooklyn and was Administrator and then Pastor. He was also a curate at St.
Dominic's, Oyster Bay; Our Lady of Victory, Brooklyn; St. Brigid's, Ridgewood;
Our Lady of Good Counsel, Inwood; and Our Lady of Grace, Brooklyn.
Reverend Robert T. Mulligan
Father Mulligan was later to become the Principal of St. John the Baptist High School, and was a resident priest of our parish during that tenure. He was well known and popular among parishioners. He will always be remembered for his carefully prepared and interesting homilies based on stories with historical content.
1960 - MONSIGNOR McGOWAN
The highlights of Monsignor McGowan's years as Pastor are as follows:
The dedication and generosity of the people encouraged Monsignor McGowan to continue the Holy Name of Mary building program. With the completion of the new church, attention was turned to the problem of the overcrowded school. Two years after his arrival, an addition to the school was begun. A cornerstone was laid in 1962. Bishop Walter P. Kellenberg dedicated the school addition on May 25, 1963. The number of classrooms was increased from 12 to 24.
Addition to School
The seating capacity of the school was increased to approximately twelve hundred. As a part of the addition, a modern cafeteria was added.
In 1965 as a result of the need for facilities for sports and recreation,
the school auditorium was converted to provide a supervised recreational center for both
day and evening use, for the CYO and for the girls and boys of the school.
Additional fenced-in playground and parking facilities were made available in 1966 after the removal of the original convent, and of the Church Hall beside it.
They had been located on the southwest corner of South Grove Street and East Jamaica Avenue.
Shortly after the arrival of Monsignor McGowan, there was an article in the monthly Parishioner titled “The Parish Family.” It gave new emphasis to parish group activities for the youth and the adults. An announcement was made that the following groups were being initiated:
In the following years some of the groups flourished, and other new ones arrived:
In 1967 there were approximately ten thousand six hundred parishioners. The school enrollment was close to eleven hundred students, who were taught by 15 sisters and 11 lay-teachers. By 1972 the school enrollment had declined to 696 students.
In 1967 the sixty-fifth anniversary of the parish was celebrated with a dinner dance at the Malibu Restaurant in Lido Beach.
Changes were incorporated in our parish.
In 1968 in response to the Vatican Council's Decree on Religious Life, the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood held the first session of a general chapter. One of the aims as stated in its General Decrees, was “to adjust the community to meeting the changing conditions and needs of the time.” Two changes were an almost immediate result. The Sisters were allowed to return to the use of their baptismal names, and the Congregation voted that those who so desired could change to a more modern style of dress.
By the fall of 1969, the ten o'clock Mass every
Sunday was a Folk Mass. Father Robert Lane started a Folk Group. The schedule was
expanded during the following year to make the nine o'clock Mass a “Guitar” Mass.
There was considerable controversy in the parish at this time regarding the plan to install
air-conditioning in the church. The matter was finally settled by a vote among the parishioners
with approximately one thousand in favor of the project and three hundred against, and the Council approved it. The Council's other task for the year consisted of an effort to formulate a
In the 1960s there were several changes in the rectory staff.