Church of the Blessed Sacrament

Kudos to JoAnn (LaForte) Ambrosio who has sent in some photos from the 1960s to help get this page started. Thanks to Sal Cartagine who sent over a copy of the 1966 75th anniversary program which detailed the history of the church. Blessed Sacrament was founded in 1891. The structure that currently stands on Euclid Avenue was completed in 1926 on a lot adjacent to the original structure.



Click on thumbnails to enlarge

According to the 1966 anniversary program, most catholics in the Cypress Hills area had to travel to St. Malachys to attend mass prior to 1891. A decision was made to open a parish in the area and land was purchased on the corner of Fulton and Euclid Ave. (then Market Street). The first mass, however, was held at the Lafayette Hall, next to the Lafayette Hotel. Pictured on the left, it was located on the northeast corner of Fulton and Crescent.(This was cropped from a larger image on the Crescent Street page.) The mass was conducted by Rev. M.F. Murray on February 15, 1891. In April, Rev. Joseph E. McCoy took over and mass was held in a hall adjoining the Atlantic Hotel on Atlantic Avenue and Crescent Street. Thanks again to Sal Cartagine for sharing the program.
Church of the Blessed Sacrament, Euclid and Fulton
Dated:1914 Maker: Kraus Mfg. Status: Own(BG)

Church of the Blessed Sacrament, Fulton corner of Euclid Ave.
Maker: Stern Dated:Unk Status: Own(BG)
The new church was dedicated on November 22, 1891. Two postcard views of the original church, located on the northwest corner of Fulton and Euclid. The structure to the right is the rectory.
Church of the Blessed Sacrament
Maker: Unk Dated:1910 Status: Own(BG)
Two alternate angles. The image on the right came from the church's 1966 anniversary program and reveals that the rectory was the original Dykeman farmhouse on the property. It also served as a location for mass while the first church was under construction. The reverse of the postcard can be seen under the 'Stories' button where a quaint note reveals an early sense of the demand for the parish.
In 1898 the parish buys land on the opposite side of Euclid Avenue from the church, but it is not until 1911 that the building facing Pine Street is constructed. At this point the parish is under the guidance of the Rev. John M. Kiely. The first church services are held July 7, 1912. Construction for the school began May 31,1914. The school was opened September 13, 1915 with 240 students, from first to fourth grade. The 2006 shot on the right is of the school, taken from the Crescent St. station by Neil Sullivan. Tony Danza attended Blessed Sacrament but apparently he and his brother were asked to leave.
Roberta Beary's father Patrick was baptized at Blessed Sacrament in 1910, and we believe that photograph on the left was taken circa 1919 by the buildings between Euclid and Pine.
Blessed Sacrament, Euclid and Fulton
. In 1922 the church purchases the Kampfe property to the north of the old church grounds, and in April 1924 work begins on the current church. The building is dedicated on March 21, 1926. The new rectory is available in the fall of that year. In the aerial view from 2005 the grounds to left cover where the original church and rectory once stood. Sal Cartagine sent me a note that the bells, constructed by the Meneely/Troy foundry, were installed in 1936.
Architecture
I discovered the church on the left while walking in Manhattan. It is the St. Jean Baptiste Church, constructed ca. 1911 to serve "The Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament". Located on Lexington Avenue and 76th street, it is a New York City Landmark designed by Nicholas Sirracino. I do not know for a fact if this building influenced the structure on Euclid but it predates it and the similarities are there.
Monsignor Kiely, 1938,1940.
Peter Stango sent over these images, the first taken from a program commemorating the 45th anniversary of his ordination. Peter adds this story; "He used to like to be driven through Forest Park because it reminded him of Ireland. My Uncle Lou and Ray DeStefano used to pick him up and drive him on a regular basis according to my mom." On the right, a 1940 shot with the El on Fulton in the background. Crescent Place was renamed Kiely Place in 1937 in his honor.
That's Peter's Uncle Lou, mentioned in the story above, on the roof of 3296 Fulton Street in 1943 with the towers in the background. Peter also supplied a picture of his uncle Ray standing in front of the rectory with the rectory cook, Julia Kelly, in the 1940s.
Blessed Sacrament Wedding, April 28, 1946.
Fantastic interior shot sent in by Peter Stango of the wedding of his parents, Christina and Domenic on April 28, 1946.
Blessed Sacrament Graduation Class, 1948.
Thanks to Gerry Hodum for sending over his wife Florence's 1948 graduation class picture.
Blessed Sacrament Confirmation, 1950.
Eloise Wendell sends in a Communion Day shot in front of the rectory in 1950. On the right, Alice Hetherton Price sends in this shot of herself and her older sister Peggy Hetherton Kless making her first communion around 1950.
Blessed Sacrament Graduation, 1952.
Phil Santella sent over this shot- and identifies it as Doris McLoughlin's class.
Kindergarten Graduation, 1954.
From Peter Stango, the 1954 Kindergarden class of his sister Diane and her 'diploma'.
Kindergarten Graduation, June 1954.
Not to be outdone, Lynda Maggiore supplies her June 1954 kindergarten graduation photo and diploma!
Kindergarten Graduation, 1955.
Leonora Licata sent over a wealth of pictures, starting with these 1955 kindergarten graduation shots. The first is inside the auditorium, and the second is outside the auditorium with her cousin Pauline Palladino.
Leonora also sent this shot from the 1955 graduation, taken at what we believe is the side entrance by the school. On the right, the program cover.
Blessed Sacrament Graduation, 1954.
Thanks to Bob Leonardi for a 1954 class graduation picture. Bob identifies Pastor Smith in the picture.
Blessed Sacrament Graduation, 1957.
Eloise Wendell sends over a shot of the 1957 graduating class. Eloise identifies Pastor Smith in the center. She is getting together with fellow classmate Charlie Witte in an attempt to identify the others!
Blessed Sacrament Rectory, 1950s.
Joe Sadauskas sent in these shots which date to the 1950s. On the left that is his cousin Joanne Cecere and Lydia Boerste (the girl in the middle just walked into the pic!). On the right is Joe with his mother by the rectory on his confirmation day.
This view of Joe on his confirmation day shows the school in the background.
Blessed Sacrament
Charles Rabus sent in these shots - the June 1957 graduating class (we have the January class already on the site) and a really nice wedding shot from 1967 looking up the aisle at the altar.
First Communion, 1957.
From Linda Weiss Feiling: "4 Little girls in white dresses: Linda Feiling/Kathleen Drelick/Joanne Walukiewicz/Patricia Houlihan First Communion at Blessed Sacrament May 25, 1957" .
Leonora Licata explains she did not get "the calling" in 1958; "The nuns dressed me up as a nun for the play - the Life of St. Bernadette of Lourdes. The nun in the middle is Sister James Margaret; she was my teacher in 3rd and 4th grades. I don't remember who the other nun was. I was in 3rd grade at the time; so, I must have been 9 and this was 1958! This is the hallway of Blessed Sacrament School, the first floor, in front of the statue of Saint Joseph. They may have moved that statue long since..". On the right, from her sister Carmen's first communion 1960.
Graduating class and diploma, 1961
Thanks to Louis Sarcona for the 1961 class pic and a shot of his diploma.
Tracy (Gochal) Evans sent over this first communion picture from 1962.
From Rich Troiano, a 1962 class picture. On the right, Alice Hetherton Price supplies her class from 1962.
Blessed Sacrament Baseball Team, 1965.
Thanks to JoAnn (LaForte) Ambrosio for the following series. This shot was taken at Franklin K Lane field.
Blessed Sacrament, 1960s.
We finally got more details on this shot. Alice Poulsen tipped us off that Blessed Sacrament used to have bowling alleys in the basement of the school, since converted to other use in the 1960s. Eddie O'Toole confirmed that for us.
Blessed Sacrament, 1963.
Thanks to Linda Feiling Weiss who not only sends over her 1963 class picture but a photo of the class filing in as well. That's Peter Stango's brother Michael in that class photo as well.
Blessed Sacrament, 1963.
Linda also sent over the 1963 graduation program.
Blessed Sacrament, 1963.
Blessed Sacrament, 1963.
Leonora Licata sends in her class picture along with a photo from the graduation, June 23, 1963. Lee adds; "I am half-facing the camera coming out into the aisle. Behind me is Joan Paciello... our homeroom teacher (class 8-1) was Sister William Agnes (she taught 8th-grade English to the 3 classes and religion and science to us.) .. You have 8-2 on the website at this time; the homeroom teacher for 8-2 was Sister Martinella (she taught 8th-grade Social Studies to the 3 classes and religion and science to 8-2.) There was an 8-3 also; the homeroom teacher was Sister Claire Joseph (she taught 8th-grade Mathematics to the 3 classes and religion and science to 8-3.) "
Blessed Sacrament, 1964.
Thanks to Joe Morreale for this class shot. Joe explains there were 3 classes, A, B, and C and this is the 'C' class. I spotted a few familiar names as well.
Class pictures, 1965, 1966.
Peter Stango sent over these class pictures. The first is class 6-3 from 1965, with brother Steven in the top row on the right. The second is class 5-1 in 1966, with sister Barbara second from the right in the first row.
Class pictures, 1966, 1969.
Peter does own up with his class pictures. That's class 1-1 in 1966 with Sister Anna Waletta (sp?), and class 4-3 with Ms. Nolan in 1969. Peter is second row third from right in the first grade pic and second row fourth from the left in the other photo.
Class 5-2, 1967
Courtesy of Michael McGrath, he notes Ms. Schade was the teacher.
Class 2-2, 1966 and Class 5-2, 1969
These come from Frank Calderone. The second grade teacher was Miss Salerno, who got married that year (Frank doesn't recall her married name) and the fifth grade teacher was Sr. Alice.
Report Card Class 2-2, 1966
Frank boldly supplies his 2nd grade report card featuring a "U" in religion (haha).
Blessed Sacrament , 1960s.
In this photo JoAnn identifies the priest as long time Pastor Kreig. Tom Valenza sends over a May 1966 photo of Pastor Kreig as well.
Blessed Sacrament Graduation, June 8, 1967
Diane Moore, Joanne Penachio, JoAnn LaForte, Ellen Poulsen, on the front steps of the church
Blessed Sacrament Blue Knights
Mike McGrath sent these images of the Blue Knights, Blessed Sacrament's marching band. Pictured circa 1967 on Grant Avenue, facing north is (l to r), Kevin McGrath, Jerry Godsell, Michael McGrath, John Godsell and Robert Bonavida. On the right, a view of the band circa 1969 marching along Arlington Avenue toward Cleveland Street.
Thanks to Tracy (Gochal) Evans for her class of 1968 pic.
Frank Calderone provides a few shots in front of the church and to the side from his 1969 confirmation. He is with his mother and grandmother in the shot on the right; the rear of the houses lining Chestnut St. is visible in the distance.
Blessed Sacrament, Class 2-2, Class 6-2, 1969
Thanks to Tom Valenza, who is the the back row , 4th from the right, for sending this in. Ms. Steine was the teacher. On the right, Rose Ann Hogan sends in her class 6-2 picture. Rob McDonnell took a shot at identifying his classmates.
Blessed Sacrament wedding, 1971
From Lynda Maggiore, 2 shots from her January 1971 wedding.
Blessed Sacrament Rectory 1970
Tom Valenza sent over this 1970 family shot which gives a nice view of the rectory.
Tom also sent in this shot of Charlie Peters and his dad, Daminao Valenza. They were the caretakers of the property, Tom's dad being the head janitor as recently as 1988. This shot was taken in 1972 behind the school, on Pine St.
Lucy (D'Amato) Ragucci sends over a 1971 first communion photo with her mother Filomena.
Baseball, 1971
Frank Calderone provides a shot at the Franklin K Lane field, looking west to the handball courts in 1971. On the right, the sports awards dinner at Pellegrini's in 1971. That's Fr. Lewkiewitz in the picture.
Graduating Class, 1971
Lillian Morisi supplies all 3 classes, A,B and C!
Graduating Class, 1971
Lillian Morisi supplies all 3 classes, A,B and C!
Fiddler on the Roof, 1973.
I had asked Peter Stango about the Parish building facing Pine Street and he not only confirmed that it housed a gymnasium and auditorium but supplied pictures of a production of Fiddler on the Roof from 1973. Peter confessed that his him in the curls playing the Rabbi's son.
Fiddler on the Roof, 1973.
Peter Ids Paul Leto as the butcher on the left, with Frank Sergi and Billy Klawsnik in the front dancing. Apparently site fan Paula Curci is in the photo on the right.
Frank Calderone supplies his 1973 diploma along with a school shot and leaders.
Class of 1974.
Peter Stango sends over these shots from the 1974 yearbook.
Class of 1974.
The second set.
Class of 1974, teachers
Also from the 1974 yearbook. Big thanks to Peter Stango for sending these in along with the "Fiddler" shots..
1974 Bulletin
From Thom Henrickson, a 1974 bulletin.
Blessed Sacrament Wedding, 1975.
JoAnn sent over an update- this was a wedding photo of classmate Diane Moore and Lou Femenella shot on Sept. 18, 1975.
Blessed Sacrament Classroom, 1976.
Tom Valenza sends over this casual shot of his class in spring of 1976 right before a class trip. Tom identifies James Hoey as the boy in the front and Steven Denis with the baseball glove. Tom is to Steven's right.
Blessed Sacrament Graduation, 1976.
Sal Cartagine supplied some pictures from the 1976 graduation. Note they are wearing bicentennial medals to celebrate the nation's 200th year. On the left, Sal marches with Susan Meyers on his left and Renne Morandi in front, Joe Canttalino is behind him. On the right, Sal served served as an altar boy during the graduation mass. That's Bill Passalaqua next to him holding the candle.
Blessed Sacrament from Crescent Station, 1977.
Dan Prine took this shot after a blizzard in 1977.
Wedding, Jan. 21, 1978
From Leonora Licata ;"This was my wedding day, January 21, 1978. On January 19, 1978, we had 19 inches of snow in NYC. Here we are freezing on the steps of Blessed Sacrament Church, from left: Margaret R. Giugliano, my best female friend; Carmen Ann Licata, my sister; me; William J. Marano, my husband; Eugene Marano, his brother (an Idaho State Supreme Court Judge,) and Anthony L. Mosca."
Baptism, 1979
Also from Leonora, the baptism of her son Mario in May 1979. She is holding Mario in front of the rectory in the shot on the left. The stained glass windows visible in the interior shot are The Annuciation and The Visitation.
Wedding, 1981
Leonora sent these shots of her sister Carmen's wedding on July 18, 1981. Her father, Mario C. Licata, is pictured on the right that day with a nice view of the beautiful doors to the church.
90th Anniversary Sticker, 1981
Courtesy of Peter Stango.
Old Blessed Sacrament Library
Peter Stango sent in this 2006 shot a short while ago- it is a house on Chestnut Street that Peter recalls was used as a library by the school back in the early 1970s. A.J. Liccione confirms that he helped set up the library around 1971 when he was 10 or 11, and they also held Legion of Mary meetings there.
Blessed Sacrament Grotto
Tom Valenza sent in this shots of his parents and buddy Adnel Burgos' parents in front of the statue; Tim O'Reilly recalls they used to set up the nativity scene at Christmas time right at this spot. Alice Hetherton Price believes the statue came from the altar of the original church. I have never seen an interior shot so we have yet to verify that.
Tim helps out with 2 1975 pix of his sister Chris' first communion, taken in front of the grotto; that's his sister with his parents in the shot on the right.
Blessed Sacrament interior
I kept this group of shots from JoAnn of the beautiful interior. On the right, a 2005 shot of the rectory.