Saint Cecilia's is a Roman Catholic church located Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York. It is named for Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of music.
The former church was built in 1871
. Later the former structure was placed beside the new church and converted to a lyceum
. The current church was constructed in 1891 and was solemnly consecrated
1901. The outer stone used for the construction is limestone
, said to be originally utilized by St. Patricks Cathedral of Manhattan. It is most notable for its illuminated copper
bell tower which can be seen from the nearby Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.
The church seats over 800 people. A Catholic community for much of its 135 years, the Parish nonetheless experienced - like much of New York City - leaner times between the mid-to-late seventies and eighties before changing demographics brought many younger Latino families into the surrounding neighborhoods boosting Parish rolls and attendance.
The church property consists of a school, the church, a chapel, the rectory, a convent, a brothers' house, a gymnasium and priest housing. The school celebrated its centennial in 2006. Saint Cecilia's chapel was formerly a baptismal area, but due to the Vatican's reformed rules to bring baptisms closer to the church community, the baptismal font was moved to within the church.
Notable pastors were Monsignors
Peter McGoldrick, Regan, Parks, and O'Toole.
On June 26, 2007, the funeral services for deceased Firefighter Daniel Pujdak was conducted at the church. Thousands of people, mostly firemen, were drawn to the church. Notable people of attendance were New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scapetta, and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, among other dignitaries. The funeral service was covered extensively by the press.
Saint Cecilia's underwent a restoration project during the 1970s. The church was restored to its former paint scheme. The project was directed by Msgr. Joseph Parks. The artists who worked on the church came from Italy
. Saint Cecilia's has a painting of Saint Cecilia. Some of the paintings on the walls are "3 Dimensional" using slight crevices and "bumps" to mark out the painting of Saint Cecilia. All around the church is "3 Dimensional" Marble translations of the Crucifixion of Jesus. The stained-glass windows within the church have scenes of Saint Cecilia
playing the piano to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ
and many more religious scenes.
Saint Cecilia's School
Saint Cecilia's School opened in 1906 under the guidance of Monsignor McGolrick in the newly constructed School building. The School was a result of those in Greenpoint's working class community and to the crest of the growth of the Catholic Church was among the largest parochial schools in the United States during the 1930s and 1940's. Due to declining enrollment beginning in the 1970s, the parish school finally fell on hard times in the early 2000s. From the 1970s to 2006, Sister Miriam S.J. lead the school, and has left her mark as a legend. Upon the appointment of Rev. James Krische, the Parish School was closed after serving the Greenpoint community for 101 Years. The closing caused conflict and unrest in the community, for the rather surprising closing. The school which years before held thousands of children was forced to close it's doors when only 222 students registered for the 2008/2009 School Year. This has shown disappointment among the parish community, and a lack of leadership by Rev. James Krische.
The church today
- Current Pastor: Rev. James Krische
- In Residence: Rev. Matthew Ugwoji & Rev. Richard Long
- Parish Director of Religious Education: Mrs. Rita Drexler
- Permanent Deacon: Mr. Carlos Valderrama