Immaculate Conception Church in Bronx


 

We attended the Mother’s Day Celebration Mass @ Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. When we arrived in the church the Spanish Mass was not done yet, we waited for about 10 minutes. The Catholic Church sees the Mass or Eucharist as “the source and summit of the Christian life”, to which the other sacraments are oriented. The Catholic Church believes that the Mass is exactly the same sacrifice that Jesus Christ offered on the Cross at Calvary. As a devout catholic, I felt in my heart that it is my duty to at least attend the mass celebration once a week. It is the font of energy to live in freedom and to love as Christ loves, selflessly and purely.

History

The Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary was established in 1853 to serve German Catholics in the Melrose neighborhood of the South Bronx. The Rev. Caspar Metzler was appointed pastor, and under his leadership a two-story wooden church building was erected on what is now East 150th Street at Melrose Avenue. This church was dedicated on May 29, 1853. Sermons were offered in German and English.

In 1886, the parish was placed under the supervision of the Redemptorist Fathers, with Rev. James Keitz as pastor. Plans were soon made to erect a larger church directly behind the original building. Designed by Henry Bruns, the brick Romanesque Revival structure measured 170 feet long by 78 feet wide and could accomodate 1000 persons. The new church faced East 150th Street and had a façade with three entrances. Over the center door was a spire that rose 215 feet. Archbishop Corrigan laid the cornerstone on September 25, 1887, and the completed church was dedicated in December that same year.

Over the next two decades additional buildings were added. In 1894, a large rectory was built on the corner of East 150th Street and Melrose Avenue. Next to be built, in 1901, was the school hall, designed by Anthony F.A. Schmitt to provide classrooms for 800 students. A new convent adjoining the church and occupied by the Sisters of Charity was dedicated on April 1, 1907.

Over the years, the demographics of the Melrose neighborhood changed. The Germans moved out and were replaced by Spanish-speaking residents. Today, the parish is comprised of multiple ethnic groups.

Sadly, the tall steeple, an area landmark for over 100 years, was removed due to deterioration. Plans to replace it were never realized.

W.W. Kimball Company
Chicago, Ill. (1903); reb. by Kimball (1913)
Electro-pneumatic action

The W.W. Kimball organ was installed in 1903 as part of the parish’s Golden Jubilee celebration. Kimball returned in 1913 to rebuild the organ, quite possibly to replace an unreliable tubular-pneumatic action with electro-pneumatic action. Specifications of this organ have not yet been located.

The fate of this organ is unknown.

Baptism
Children 6 years and over will be admitted into the program. Following the 1st year of baptism class, children will have to complete additional 2 years of catechetical instructions in order to receive his/her 1st communion

1st Communion
Children 7 years and over who are baptized will be admitted into the 1st year of the communion program The child is to complete 2 years of catechetical instructions in order to receive his/her 1st communion

Confirmation
Children who are in the 8th grade may begin the preparation for Confirmation The child is to complete 2 years of catechetical instructions in order to receive his/her 1st communion
RCIA – Rite of Christian Initiation for teens
This program is intended for young people in 8th grade who need to prepare for the Sacrament of Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation (Sacraments of Initiation) This teenager is to complete 2 years of catechetical instructions in order to receive the Sacraments of Initiation.

 

Weekend Mass Times
Sunday
8:00 AM Spanish
9:30 AM English
11:00 AM Spanish
12:30 PM English

Saturday
7:00 PM Spanish

Daily Mass Times

Monday
12:10 PM Bilingual: English & Spanish

Tuesday
12:10 PM Bilingual: English & Spanish

Wednesday
12:10 PM Bilingual: English & Spanish

Thursday
12:10 PM Bilingual: English & Spanish

Friday
12:10 PM Bilingual: English & Spanish

Saturday
12:10 PM Bilingual: English & Spanish

In the early 1930s, Fr. Raymond Tonini dreamed of adding a school to Immaculate Conception parish. His successor, Fr. Leopold Adreani continued that dream by starting “The Penny Campaign”, asking parishioners to donate their pennies, nickels, and dimes to the school fund. Over the following years, the pastors and parishioners of Immaculate Conception kept the dream alive until finally, in 1950 the parish broke ground on a school building as part of its 20th anniversary celebration.

Today, Immaculate Conception School continues to be recognized for its outstanding academic achievements and its service to the community. As part of the Archdiocese of New York’s Northeast/East Bronx Region, Immaculate Conception School is blessed with excellent leadership and a vision for the future.


Leave a Reply