Until 1957, the Brooklyn diocese covered all of Long Island. For most of that time, the bulk of its parishes were concentrated in Brooklyn and Queens. Only after World War II did the number of Nassau and Suffolk parishes grow significantly. Before that, churches in that area were considered “country parishes.” This 1898 line drawing from the Brooklyn Eagle shows a group of priests working in Nassau and Suffolk. It wasn’t easy work; anti-Catholic sentiment was pretty strong in some places, and pastors often operated as circuit riders visiting small and scattered congregations. So the priests formed a support group among themselves, with the rather misleading title: “The Roman Catholic Clerical Country Club.”
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