A Brief History of St. Anastasia Parish 1915 – 2004

 

a_clark.jpg He was appointed pastor of St. Bartholomew’s in Elmhurst in March of 1916 and was succeeded by Father John Clark who led the congregation until 1922. Father Clark was successful in purchasing 20 lots along what was then called Harvard Avenue. This was the northern sector of the area that now accommodates the Church-School and Convent bounded by Northern Boulevard, 245th Street and Alameda Avenue.

a_originalsta.jpgThe first church building was a white wooden structure that could seat two hundred and it was built in 1918. The first Mass was celebrated in it on May 18, 1919. It cost $6,000. The first rectory was a house purchased by Father Clark. It had an interesting peregrine existence till its destruction in 1966. Originally located at 46-16 245th Street, in 1929 it was moved to the corner of 245th Street and Northern Boulevard, only to give room at a later date to the new convent. This caused the rectory to be moved to location further down Northern Boulevard (now the northwestern corner of the present school yard). In 1922, a_originalrectory.jpgFather Clark was made pastor of St. Michael’s Church in Flushing and was succeeded by Father John Bohag who led the parish until 1945. The appointment was one of the first made by the new Bishop of Brooklyn, Thomas E. Molloy. Father Bohag inherited a debt for the Church and rectory that amounted to $12,000, which, with the generous contributions of the parishioners of St. Anastasia’s, he paid off in three years. In 1927 he began plans for a school and gymnasium/auditorium. These were completed by 1929 and the first administration and teaching staff were the Sisters of Mercy from Dallas, Pennsylvania. They were the principals (Sisters Mary Gonzales 1929-1930, Ruth 1930-1931, Andrew Hennigan 1931-1936, Constance 1936-1937, Andrew Hennigan 1937-1944, Adrian 1944-1949, Mary Virginia Reynolds 1949-1953, Assumpta Blaterrspiel 1953-1954, Andrew Hennigan 1954-1961, mary Virginai Reynolds 1961-1964, Assumpta Blaterrspiel 1964 – 1965, mary Agusta Moran 1965-1967, Mary Florita Maloney 1967 – 1984, Ailen Pervey 1984 – 1987.) and majority of faculty from 1929 until the late ’70s and throughout the ’80s, when the numbers of laity began to predominate. After 1987 the faculty became and remains lay. The first lay principal to be appointed was Miss. Jo Ann DiGangi 1987 – 1992. a_bohag.jpgShe, in turn, was succeeded in the office of principal by Mrs. Christina Teisch 1992 – 1997, and, at this writing, 2004, by Mrs. Jo Ann Dolan 1997 – Date. The school population at its largest enrolled over one thousand students in 1952 and would climb higher to reach sixteen hundred by 1966. There were in excess of nine thousand parishioners at that time. Currently and for the past decade the student population has hovered around three hundred and the parishioner population has also declined to what is now estimated to be about six thousand souls. Yet the quality of education given at St. Anastasia has remained excellent as is indicated by student scores on State mandated examinations, scores that exceed those of the other schools in the neighborhood, and the success of our students in entrance into the high schools of their choice.