The Bloomingdale Neighborhood History group has announced “Upper West Side Catholics: the History of Ascension Church on West 107th Street,” a presentation by Monsignor Thomas J. Shelley, has been set for Tuesday, February 25, at 6:30 pm.
Monsignor Shelley, author of the recently published book Upper West Side Catholics: Liberal Catholicism in a Conservative Archdiocese and professor emeritus of Fordham, is set to tell the story of this well-known Upper West Side church.
Shelley sees Ascension as a microcosm of the history of the Catholic Church in the city, a flourishing multi-ethnic bilingual parish and a vital part of the Bloomingdale neighborhood. The church, which began as a small German parish in 1858 and then developed into a large Irish parish, suffered a decline from the 1960s to the 1980s, but was rescued from near-extinction by an influx of Puerto Rican and Dominican Catholics.
Shelley’s recently published book Upper West Side Catholics: Liberal Catholicism in a Conservative Archdiocese includes more information on the Lion Brewery than any other book about the Upper West Side. The Brewery stood just a few blocks from the church from the mid 1800s to 1944, spanning a huge piece of land that stretched from West 107th to West 109th Streets, Columbus Avenue to Central Park West.
Monsignor Shelley has written several books including The Bicentennial History of the Archdiocese of New York and Fordham, A History of the Jesuit University of New York: 1841-2003.
This event will be held at Hostelling International-NY, located at 891 Amsterdam Avenue, New York City. More information is available online, or by calling (212) 666-9774.