Brooklyn College Dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, 1915

Brooklyn College Dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, 1915 December 8, 2018

Right Rev. George W. Mundelein, “New Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception,” The Brooklyn Eagle, September 7, 1915, 9.

The Right Rev. Bishop McDonnell will bless the completed wing of the new Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception, being built at Atlantic and Washington Avenues, tomorrow afternoon at 3 o’clock. He will be assisted by the Right Rev. George W. Mundelein, Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn, and the professors of the new Brooklyn preparatory seminary, the Rev. Dr. Anthony Reichert, the Rev. Francis Woods, S.P.L., the Rev. Dr. Francis J. Healy, the Rev. Dr. Octavius Silvestri, and the Rev. Dr. Henry Kunig, and a number of prominent rectors of the diocese.

Next Monday the college will open with 100 students, many of whom have attended the temporary college  in the Cathedral Chapel of All Saints. The rector of the college is Bishop Mundelein. The building when completed will have a frontage of 191 feet 9 inches on Washington Avenue and 138 feet 2 inches on Atlantic Avenue. The portions of the edifice now completed has a frontage of 92 feet on Washington Avenue and a wing extends back at right angles 76 feet 2 inches. The building was designed by Gustave E. Steinback in Flemish Gothic style of architecture. The brick work, with its white joints laid in the cross bond and the limestone, blend harmoniously. The completed scheme will include a tower 180 feet high, another wing similar to the one already built and a chapel and a hall.

The Rev. John L. Belford, rector of the Church of the Nativity, in speaking of the purposes of the institution, recently said: “Some may not know that there is a preparatory seminary in our city. It is located at Washington Avenue, corner of Atlantic. The beautiful building will be ready for occupancy in December. There boys who aspire to the sacred priesthood will receive the high school and college training which will fit them for the study of philosophy and theology. In a word, it is a feeder for the general seminary. The feature of the training is that it aims especially to protect the students from the worldly spirit and to train them along the lines of the special work in which they hope to spend their lives.”

“We have found it necessary to open this school,” said Bishop Mundelein, “because we have not been receiving enough candidates for the sacred ministry. We commend the college to parents and to the charity of apostles to preach truth and minister at the altar for those who are to come after us. No greater work can be done by men.”

Note: Now known as Cathedral Preparatory School and Seminary, the school is now located in Elmhurst, Queens. When it began in Brooklyn, it was a six-year program, based on the European seminary model, consisting on four years of high school and two of college. (The last two years were finished at the major seminary.) In 1963, a Queens school was opened. The Brooklyn campus closed in 1985. Today Cathedral is the only preparatory seminary left in the United States for day students. Among its several thousand alumni are three Cardinals and numerous bishops, as well as countless priests and dedicated laymen. Our Lady under the title of the Immaculate Conception is the Patroness of the Diocese of Brooklyn. 

(*The above drawing of Bishop Charles E. McDonnell is by Pat McNamara.)

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