A

Short History

of

Incarnation Parish

Queens Village, New York

 

 

 

 

Founded

In the Year of Our Lord

Nineteen Hundred and twenty-Seven


As the Catholic population grew in southeast Queens in the early Twentieth century after the First World War, Bishop Thomas Molloy founded Incarnation Parish to better serve the people of Bellaire.

In April 1927 the parish was established with Rev. John Dockery as its first pastor.  Father Dockery celebrates the first parish Mass at the nearby Bellaire Theatre.  The community will worship there until Midnight Mass, 1928 when the new building welcomes its parishioners for Christmas.  The Church is later formally dedicated on December 22, 1929 by Bishop Molloy.

After the purchase of an adjoining house to serve as the rectory, the Great Depression and later World War II put on hold the dreams of building a parish school.

Those dreams became a reality when in June 1950 ground is broken for the school building and on June 22, 1952 Bishop Molloy returns to dedicate the long awaited school which is staffed by the Sisters of St. Dominic.  Sister Mary Winifred, the first Principal is accompanied by eight Sisters who take residence in classrooms on the third floor.

The school receives its first pupils in September 1952 with grades 1-5.  The following year grades 6-8 complete a full school enrollment.  In September 1954 construction of the convent begins.  It is completed the following year.  Today the Sisters of St. Dominic are assisted by dedicated lay women and men in the education of our young people.

In June 1976, the rectory is transferred to the south side of the school building.  The former rectory would later be renamed St. Joseph’s House and now has meeting rooms on the first floor.

1997 saw church renovations and the addition of much needed space to serve as an enlarged sacristy.  The enhancements not only allowed for better worship in accordance with the Liturgical Reforms of the Council but also addressed needs to the church infrastructure.   The church was also made accessible for the disabled.  More refurbishments would be added over ten years later as the church building began its seventh decade.

Besides institutional changes, there was also a cultural and ethnic transition that the parish underwent in the 1970’s when many of the original settlers of the area left and new settlers particularly from Central America and the Caribbean arrived.  Mass is first celebrated in Spanish at the parish in 1977.  This transition brought some great tensions with it and the parish staff was quick to preach and facilitate harmony.  Presently Mass is celebrated in Tagalog, Creole and Spanish, in addition to English each month.  The people of Incarnation Parish today also number from the Philippines, Central Asia and West Africa.  Incarnation has blossomed into a community of many cultural heritages from many nations baptized and living one common Faith in Christ Jesus.

The present challenges faced by the parish community are those of evangelization, as the words of the Gospel are needed to lead and to guide more than ever as Christ’s People at Incarnation “seek to make the Lord's presence and love known through service and education, through evangelization and through continual conversion and renewal in Him.” This outreach helps sustain our natural families as well as our common Family of Faith.

At the dawn of the Twenty-first Century, Incarnation continues to meet the spiritual needs of the people of Queens Village.  Much has changed in our community and in the world during the last century but the message of Christ and His Gospel is always the same.

PASTORS OF INCARNATION

REV. JOHN B. DOCKERY
1927-1931

REV. JOSEPH I. O’BRIEN
1932-1946

REV. MSGR. JAMES GRIFFIN
1946-1971

REV. WILLIAM EDGAR
1971-1975

REV. MSGR. EDWARD J. NOLAN
1975-1995

REV. MSGR. JOHN F. CASEY
1995-2003

REV. JOSEPH A. CERIELLO
2003-2009

REV. JOHN J. O’CONNOR
OUR PRESENT PASTOR