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St. Joseph Church in Babylon Celebrates Centennial

 

Senator Owen H. Johnson joined Assemblyman Phil Boyle in presenting a Legislative Resolution to Monsignor Christopher Heller on June 3, 2012 celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the construction of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church at 39 North Carll Avenue in Babylon Village.

The groundbreaking for St. Joseph Church was on June 25, 1911. The Romanesque design is based on the Church of San Stefano in Bologna, Italy.  At the time, St. Joseph Church was the only church of its kind in the United Stated because of its unique all-brick structure.  The architects were Reiley and Steinback of New York, and the builder was John Cockerill of North Babylon who also built the Museum of Natural History in Manhattan.

Over a million and a half Kittanning bricks were brought from Pennsylvania to complete the construction.  The Church has a total length of 125 feet and is 60 feet across.

First services in the Church were held July 28, 1912 and the Church was formally dedicated on June 15, 1913.  The altar was completed of Carrara marble in Italy and installed for Christmas Mass in 1913.

The 80 foot high dome contains a Cyclus of 12 paintings in the Fresco Buono style (same as the Sistine Chapel) done by Maxwell Franz Friederang.  It is one of the finest examples of this style in the United States.


Photograph, from left to right:  Thomas Donnelly, Babylon Town Councilman; Richard Schaffer, Supervisor, Town of Babylon; Owen H. Johnson, NY State Senator, 4th Senate District; Monsignor Christopher Heller, Head Pastor of the St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, Babylon Village; and Phil Boyle, NY State Assemblyman, 8th Assembly District.