From Nick Sisto:
On Saturday September 14th just prior to the 5:30PM Mass, Fr. Jim Cunningham and Deacon Carlos Velásquez conducted a beautiful ceremony marking the official start of the “The Restoration of Holy Name of Jesus Church, 135 Years – Fulfilling Our Vision” project by closing the upper Church space at Holy Name.
Those in attendance processed out of the upper Church down to Shepherd’s Hall where our first Mass started until the project concludes.
While September 14th closed the upper Church, construction has been going full force all summer with steel bracing and support work in preparation for our new “30 ton” marble altar and strengthening our 135 year old structure for the future.
After just two days of work in the upper Church, the Sanctuary looks very different:
To stay up to date on the latest project developments, check back in with “Container Dairies”, visit us on Facebook at (https://www.facebook.com/HNJ.Restoration) or the Holy Name website – http://www.holynamebrooklyn.com/.
A small hint about what is coming to Holy Name.
This weekend Holy Name of Jesus Parish begins a new chapter in our history as we begin a Capital Campaign to Restore Holy Name of Jesus Church.
Our goal is to raise $1.5 million and already, in just one week, we have pledges of over $600,000!
For more information on how you can help us reach our goal please visit on Facebook our page – Holy Name Restoration or contact Father Jim Cunningham at FRJIMHOLYNAME@aol.com – 718-768-3071.
A message from Nick Sisto.
Do you remember being at the required 9 o’clock required mass on Sunday morning?
Several things stand out…
Amongst them, Msgr. Downing would give his homily before mass started. After Communion he would walk to the pulpit and everyone would kneel in unison and recite; “Look down upon me, good and gentle Jesus…”
Most of the time the mass would end with everyone joining the organ while it played, “Oh My God.” It was a very short hymn with only four lines.
Oh my God, I believe in you,
Oh my God I adore you,
Oh my God I hope in you,
Oh my God I love you…
We would sing these phrases over and over; and the organ notes would get slightly higher each time. Somehow, everyone seemed to know when the song was over.
It was often said that Msgr. Downing wrote this piece himself. Wouldn’t it be fitting to reintroduce this piece of music as we work to restore Holy Name to its former glory?
Is there anyone who would have a copy of the music or is talented enough to try and recreate the music from memory?
To get involved and for more information, please like us on Facebook (Holy Name of Jesus Brooklyn Church Restoration Project), contact the Buildings Committee at HNJBuildings@aol.com or call the Holy Name Rectory at 718-768-3071.
17th street, 9th avenue, Bengie Powers, Bob Rice, Brooklyn Gang, Bruce Davidson, Container Diaries, Football Weddings, Holy Name Church, Irish Bar, Junior Rice, Lefty Jensen, McFadden Brothers, P.A.L., Pat Fenton, Prospect Park, Sanders theater, Sorrentos, Violence, Windsor Terrace, zoo
Our own Pat Fenton with an amazing recollection of the neighborhood and the teens who lived here.
In their heart of hearts, most of the guys and the girls who appear in the Windsor Terrace “Brooklyn Gang” pictures, were really good people. Even the photographer, Bruce Davidson has said that the book is not really about a gang, it’s more about a bunch of young people and their lives together. They certainly were not the toughest guys in our neighborhood.
(Courtesy of Bruce Davidson, ‘Brooklyn Gang’)
I was very close to Junior Rice, and Bengie, and Lefty Jensen who appear in much of the pictures, and on the cover of Bruce Davidson’s book. When I was young, I stayed over at Junior’s house on 20th Street almost as much as my own. His older brother Bob Rice and I are still as close as brothers. Unfortunately for them, they got lost somewhere between the violent culture that existed in the 50′s in parts of our Windsor Terrace neighborhood, and the sweet innocence which I think really represented it. Junior passed away recently, and so did Lefty Jensen; Bengie has managed to turn his life around.
This I remember about Lefty Jensen, who I once went out to a shoe store in Bay Ridge with in the 50′s, a place that sold second-hand motorcycle boots, he had this sort of James Dean sensitivity to him. Sadly, it probably helped to destroy him. He died way too young. The only good thing I walk away with is, the three of them, Junior, Lefty, and Bengie will live on, forever young together, on the cover of Bruce’s book, “Brooklyn Gang.”
Truth is, we were all lucky to grow up in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, a neighborhood that to me was like a working-class opera taking place every day of our lives. Yeah, it had its share of violence and drugs, but I think overall it had a certain pride, patriotism, and a strong belief in doing the right thing in life. The choice was ours. And most of us learned well from those lessons we were taught here.
It had the original McFadden Brothers American Legion Post on 9th Avenue when it was located near 17th Street in the vast former, wedding hall of Sorrentos Italian Restaurant. And all through the 50’s and into the 60’s, when neighborhood soldiers came home from the wars, they would be welcomed here.
Simple “football weddings” were made up of cold cut sandwiches wrapped in wax paper and passed across the table like footballs, barrels and barrels of tap beer and plates of cheese and crackers, some set ups of Seagram Seven and ginger ale, and a live three-piece band playing, and people dancing. And they were the best weddings ever.
On nights when Holy Name Church would have a Novena the church would get so packed with kids and adults that they had to open up the gates to the altar to let people sit there. And we all had Holy Name School yard where other lessons of life were being taught to us, lessons we would take with us forever.
Every Irish bar in the neighborhood had a baseball team, and 17th Street on a Saturday afternoon had stick ball tournaments that went on all day. Come the summer and 17th Street would be closed down from 9th to 8th Avenue for a P.A.L. play street. We had the Sanders Theatre and Prospect Park to fish in, and a wonderful zoo that we could walk to. And in the cold winter when the streets were empty and covered with new snow it was still safe enough to go down your block alone and trade comic books at friends’ houses. It was good to be young then.
If you do not know by now, my brother Joe Herr has been in the ICU at Methodist Hospital since 2/21/12.
He has been fighting a battle to heal from a very serious issue that cause his stomach to be STRANGLED.
The medical bills are starting to come in and his wife Carol and his daughters Eileen and Katie are planning a GOLF OUTING to help pay the bills.
The outing will be 7/30/12 at the MARINE PARK GOLF COURSE were Joe works.
This is a day before his birthday, if any one is interested in going please contact me and I will give all the details.
Please let me and keep Joe in your prayers.
PLEASE CONTACT GERARD HERR FOR MORE INFO.
The one unbreakable staple of our neighborhood was the outstanding people; always there for each other.
As kids, we didn’t realize how much help was available to us (at least I didn’t know).
Whether it was a coach at Holy Name, a teacher, a friend, a store owner up on the Avenue or even a neighbor; if you looked hard enough, there was help. Speaking of help, did they have ‘Self-Help’ books back in the day?
Matter of fact, sometimes I don’t think we fully realize how much we can help others. If only I knew back then, what I know now. Mamma mia!
I recently came across something on Facebook that inspired me to step up to the plate.
Often times you hear about a local fundraiser or someone putting on an event for some sort of inspiring situation.
With the many readers of the blog, I felt like I could raise awareness on an all-important cause and let people know about a special,upcoming event.
6th Annual Fundraiser
Valentine’s Day Dinner/Dance
For Briann’s Angels
All proceeds to: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)
Please join Karen Burke-Abruzzese and Friends for a night of dinner, drinks and dancing. Listen to the sounds of DJ Joey Pira.
Saturday, February 11,2012
Sheperd’s Hall at Holy Name Church
245 Prospect Park West
7:00 PM to Midnight.
$60.00 donation for admission per person.
Contact Karen at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also stop in Farrell’s to see Hooley or Rhythm and Booze on 10th avenue and Prospect avenue to see Jamie.
RSVP by January 30.
In speaking with Karen, she told me that the night always turns into a neighborhood reunion.
So come on out and have a good time with friends from the neighborhood but most important, you’re helping a great cause.
If you can’t make it out to the event, help us spread the word…because if you’re from the neighborhood, it’s what we do!
I recieved an e-mail this morning informing me that Patricia Corrar has passed away. She was the sister of the late Joey, John and Jimmy.
The wake will be at Smith’s on Thursday from 2-5 PM and 7-9 PM
The mass will be held Friday morning at 9:15 AM in Holy Name Church.
Please let others who grew up in the neighborhood know about Patricia’s passing.
Thoughts and prayers go out to the Corrar family.
As most of you know, my mother Carol Corbett passed away on October 2. Yesterday we had a beautiful memorial mass at Holy Name Church in her honor.
I wanted to thank everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to attend the mass and say good-bye to Carol one last time. It was nice seeing all the faces.
I would love to thank everyone personally who attended, please email me so I can express my appreciation towards you. If I tried to list everyone on this blog entry, I’m sure I would miss one or two people. And I would hate to do that.
To conclude, I wanted to thank everyone who has posted comments on Container Diaries. You guys and gals are special and I really appreciate all your love and support. And of course to the countless friends who have e-mailed and sent their condolences.
I look forward to hearing from you all in the near future.