Parish History

Below is a narrated video slideshow of the early years of OLA starting from 1923 when the parish was first founded.
(Click on the triangle to start the video. Click on the right corner to enlarge the video.)

OLA Early Years

June 1955 - October 1961  

June 17, 1955

Monsignor McCahill celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his ordination and thirty- two years as pastor of O.L.A.


July 29, 1955

Monsignor McCahill was called to his eternal reward. R.I.P. In his last will and testament, among his many benefactions to the parish, he requested that one bequest be used “for a window or windows in the new church”. This was not forgotten. The great window in the wall over the front portals of the church. It is called the “Royal Window”. The symbol of our Lady, the Queen of the World-Mary, the Queen of Heaven and Earth-is enshrined. It is a living tribute to Our Lady and is in memory of Monsignor McCahill.


September 29, 1955

Rt. Rev. Msgr. John L. Kenney came to the parish as its second pastor.


Fall 1955

Mr. Anthony J. Scovotti turned over a house at 1639 Edison Avenue for the Parish to use while repairs were made to the rectory. He assisted with essential adaptations to the house and presented the parish with no bill of any kind. This was a very great charity for which the entire parish is justly grateful.


September 1956

Father Patrick J. Clarke came to serve as an assistant while studying at Fordham.


July 7, 1957

Father Cornelius B. Costello dies suddenly after Mass. There is a window to his patron saint in the altar boys’ sacristy.


September 1957

Father William P. Tucker was assigned as an assistant when Father Patrick J. Clarke left for mission work in Japan.


May 14, 1958

Rt. Rev. Msgr. John L. Kenney asked the Cardinal about building a new parish church. Parish debt was $351,852.


June 27, 1958

Permission was granted to consult with an architect, Neil J. Convery, F.A.I.A.,  Newark, NJ.


May 25, 1959

Father William P. Tucker dies. The window in the altar boys’ sacristy honors Father Tucker’s patron saint.


October 1959

Father George W. Moore gets assigned to O.L.A.


December  1959

Bids were opened and the contract went to the lowest bidder- Skinner & Cook, Inc.


January 10, 1960

The Feast of the Holy Family- two couples commemorated their Golden Jubilee; fourteen couples their Silver Anniversary. The first Cana Conference. The couples renewed their nuptial vows publicly. No one who was present will ever forget this inspiring occasion!


January 17, 1960

Ground breaking ceremonies took place. Parish debt was $296, 287.


May 1, 1960

The parish conducted a Church Building Fund Campaign to insure its completion. The solicitations for contributions ended June 14th. The response of the people made it very evident that everyone had their hearts set on a new church.

August 15, 1960

Cornerstone for the new church was laid by the pastor on the Feast Day of the parish. During demolition, the box that had been place in the cornerstone of the original church from May 25th 1924, was opened. Time and moisture had injured some of the contents but those found in good condition were carefully wrapped and placed in the new cornerstone with items from 1960.

September 1960

Father John J. Healy, Dean of Studies at Cardinal Hayes High School comes for Sunday and Holy Day Masses.

October 1960

Monsignor Flattery was transferred to another parish.  Father Raimundo De Oliveira, a  priest from Brazil studying at Fordham offers his service.

September 1961

Father William B. O’Brien was assigned to succeed Father Melican.

October 11, 1961

The altars of the new church were consecrated by his Excellency, the Most Rev. Edward V. Dargin , D.D., J.C.D., V.G. This was the Feast of the Divine Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Monsignor Kenney celebrated Mass attended by all the children of the parish with about 500 adults in the overflow crowd.

October 15, 1961

The new church opened for the use of the people. On that same day the Parish Mission under the direction of the Fathers of the New York Apostolate, the Archdiocesan Mission band began. The First Solemn Mass on that opening Sunday was celebrated by the pastor, Monsignor Kenney, Father O’Brien was the Deacon and Father Moore the Subdeacon.

October 1961

Father Francis D. Power serves as an Assistant to the parish.