St. Mary's Church Picture    Early 1900's                                             St. Mary's Church Picture Early 1900's
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 St. Mary's Church of Newburgh Website


"History of Orange County, New York with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Many of its Pioneers and Prominent Men"
Compiled by: E.M. Ruttenber and L.H. Clark
Original Document 1881
Reprint: Heart of the Lakes Publishing  Interlaken, NY 14847
Reprint: 1986

    E.M.Ruttenber   pg. 321
" St. Mary's Church was organized in March 1875, on the application of a number of members of St. Patrick's to Archbishop McCloskey, who granted an order dividing the original parish and constituting from the northern part of its territory St. Mary's parish.  Rev. M. J. Phelan, formerly of Port Ewen, was appointed pastor, and said his first mass in the parish on Easter Sunday, 1875, in the opera-house. Property was soon after purchased on Gidney Avenue and South Street for $20,000, and mass celebrated in the mansion on the premises. In May following a temporary frame building for church purposes was erected, costing $3500. In 1880 the building now occupied by the church was erected at a cost of $25,000, including cost of organ.  It was dedicated by Archbishop McCloskey on Sunday, October 3d.  Embraced in St. Mary's parish is the Academy of Our Lady of Mercy (a branch convent of the Sisters of Mercy of New York), which was opened at Balmville in the summer of 1875."

"NEWBURGH  Her Institutions, Industries and Leading Citizens "
Historical, Description and Biographical
Compiled by John J Nutt
Newburgh NY
Published by Ritchie and Hull, Proprietors Newburgh Journal 1891
Patricia A Favata  Newburgh New York  1992

pg. 146 Picture of Church

"ST. MARY'S ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH -  The Parish of St. Mary's was founded on March 19 1875, and Cardinal McCloskey appointed at its first rector the Rev. Michael J. Phelan. This energetic priest immediately located the boundaries of his district in the city, which comprised all north of Third Street as far as Balmville. The Wilson property, on South Street, was purchased for $20,000 and a temporary frame structure erected for divine service. This building served its purpose until the increasing population necessitated a larger edifice.
    In October, 1879, Bishop Lynch, of Charleston S.C. laid the corner stone of the present church, which was completed the following year, when Cardinal McCloskey performed the dedication ceremony and Bishop O'Farrell of Trenton, N.J. preached the dedicatory sermon. In 1883 Father Phelan invited the Sisters of Dominic to open an academy for young ladies to study the higher branches of refined education, and the present Mt. St. Mary's Academy was founded.
    In 1884 the Rev. Michael J Phelan was transferred to New York City, and the Rev. John C Henry appointed rector. Father Henry immediately founded various societies in connection with the church, among them the Holy Name Society, Rosary Society, Children of Mary Society, St. Aloysius Boys' society, and Angeles's Society. On September 1 1886, the rector opened St. Mary's Parochial School, under the direction of four Sister of St. Dominic. The large number of 250 pupils was registered the first day. All the branches of a first-class common- school education are taught, and all school supplies are given free to the pupils.
    The following are the names of the priests who have acted as assistant rectors of St. Mary's Church down to the present time:
Rev. James Westerman    1876
Rev. William Ward          1877
Rev. Patrick Connick       1878
Rev. Felix Dixon              1878-79
Rev. Michael Lane           1879-83
Rev. Henry Xavier           1883-84
Rev. Patrick Fitzsimmons 1885
Rev. John J McGrath       1884-1889
Rev. John J Carr              1886-87
Rev. Dennis Coyle           1887-89
Rev. John T. Power         1889-90
Rev. William Butler          1889-90
Rev. John F Quinn and Rev. Augustine Pellieux are the present assistants to the rector, the Rev. John C Henry.
    The present Board of Trustees consists of Archbishop Corrigan, Vicar-General Preston, the Rev. John C Henry, John Adams and Arthur A McLean. Some important improvements have taken place in the church lately, among which may be mentioned steam-heat and chapel for week-day services. The parochial school is also comfortably heated by steam."

 Pg 147   has Picture of Rev. John C. Henry
"REV. J. C. HENRY - rector of St. Mary's Church, was born in New Orleans, La in 1840. His father, John Henry, was from County Londonderry, and his mother, Sarah Dorrian,  was a native of County Down Ireland. During the yellow fever plague of 1853 the family came to New York.
    In 1860 he entered Niagara University at Niagara Falls, and having graduated with high honors in 1866, began the study of theology at St. Joseph's Provincial Seminary, Troy, N.Y.  On May 22 1869, he was ordained priest by the late Cardinal McCloskey, and his first appointment was as assistant to the Rev. Dr. McGlynn at St. Stephen's Church, New York, where he remained two years. He was then transferred to St. Andrew's Church, Duane Street, where he labored three years. In 1876 he was appointed to the rectorship of St. Francis Church, Mt. Kisco, Westchester County, where he remained a year, during which he built a church at Pleasantville. In 1877 he became pastor of St. Joachim's Church at Matteawan, Dutchess County, where he introduced the Sisters of Charity, founded a parochial school, enlarged the church and rectory, and paid off considerable debt.
    In 1884 Cardinal McCloskey asked him to take charge of a city parish, but his health at the time was shaken by repeated attacks of chills and fever that he begged to be excused from the responsibility. He was accordingly assigned to the city of Newburgh, where he has enjoyed vigorous health, and labored ever since. He has founded a parochial school, improved the church property, reduced the church debt, and in many ways proved his executive ability. He has the confidence and respect of this people and is greatly beloved by the children of his parish."


An Artists Rendition of Newburgh in the early years with St. Mary's Church (about 1905)


Mr Jeff Flemmings for his Donation

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