Bushwick got its name from the Dutch, but like most New York neighborhoods, it’s had quite a few makeovers since then. Long a center of Hispanic life, in recent years it’s become home to a growing Hipster population fleeing Manhattan rent. Before either of them, Bushwick was a center of German-American life in New York City. Beginning in the late 1800’s, immigrants from Germany and Austria, Catholic and Protestant, came to the area in large numbers. For immigrants fleeing an… Read more

Deacon Greg Kandra, in his marvellous blog The Deacon’s Bench, notes that the Sisters of Mercy in Brooklyn are closing their motherhouse in Brooklyn after 146 years. This doesn’t mean the end of the Sisters’ ministry in Brooklyn, but it is a sad day in the history of their Brooklyn sojourn. That history began in 1855 when Irish-born Mother Mary Vincent Haire (left), the first Sister of Mercy professed in New York, and five other members of the congregation, opened… Read more

The year 2008 marks a number of anniversaries for the Catholic Church in the U.S. The Paulist Fathers, the first religious community of priests founded in America, celebrated their 15oth. Four archdioceses also celebrated their bicentennials: New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Louisville. The Museum of the City of New York has a great exhibit commemorating the Archdiocesan Bicentennial. New York is the only American city encompass two dioceses (Brooklyn and Queens being their own diocese), the exhibit covers all five… Read more

New blogs, like new books, must justify their existence. I see this one as a way to share my interest in all aspects of the history of the Catholic Church: local, national, and international. For me, this has both a personal and a professional aspect. Professionally speaking, I received my Ph.D. in Church History from The Catholic University of America in 2003, and from time to time I teach courses on the subject at the local seminaries. My writing has… Read more

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