|1300 Northern Blvd
Manhasset NY 11030
A Parish Born A
Parish Builds A
period of our church history spans the years from the
dedication of the first church building, shown left, to the
dedication of the present church building.
Despite its new, hand-me-down church building, St Mary's
remained a mission church of Flushing until May 1863 when
its first resident pastor, Father James A. Strain, arrived
from Ireland. He didn't last long, leaving Manhasset in
November 1864 to become pastor of Holy Cross parish in
Brooklyn. With his departure, St Mary's once again became a
mission church of Flushing under Father O'Beirne. In
November 1865, St. Mary's was incorporated as "St. Mary's
R.C. Church at Manhasset in Queens County," and it still
retains this old legal title.
In 1867 Reverend Francis Cannon, a Benedictine, became St.
Mary's second resident pastor. He lasted only a few years
before he was taken ill and returned to Ireland.
From its inception St. Mary's, Manhasset, was a mission
church of St. Michael's, Flushing. In June 1871, it became
the mission church of St. Mary's, Roslyn, and remained in
that status until 1901. Father William O'Donnell was
appointed pastor in 1871 and died in 1872. Father Patrick F.
Sheridan was then appointed pastor of St. Mary's, Roslyn,
and inherited St. Mary's Manhasset as well. He built a
mission church in Great Neck and moved there in 1876.
Father Mortimer C. Brennon of Ireland became the next pastor
in 1878 but his health failed and he left in 1886. Fr.
Brennon had eight altar boys, one of whom, William A.
Gardiner went on to St Mary's Seminary, Baltimore and became
the first ordained priest from Manhasset. The next pastor
was another Irish priest, Father Nicholas J. Doran, who
served from 1886 to 1898. The next Roslyn-Manhasset pastor
was an English-born priest, Father Martin J. Hogan, who
lasted but a year.
next pastor Father Louis N. Mantel served St. Mary's,
Roslyn, from 1900 till 1929 but he had servedfor only a few
months when the status of St. Mary's, Manhasset, again
changed and it became a mission church of St. Peter's of
Port Washington, a parish which had begun just a few years
earlier in 1897. Father Patrick J. Cherry was the
next pastor and lasted until 1909 ,when he was replaced by
Father Francis A. McCartney who served but a year. His
successor, Reverend Joseph Carroll, served St. Mary's,
Roslyn, from 1911 till 1922 but served St. Mary's Manhasset
only a few months for, in March 1912, St. Mary's, Manhasset,
ceased being a mission church and came into its own again.
It might be mentioned in passing that an old parish record
shows the total annual parish receipts from all sources in
1908 to be $1,424.56. The current weekly collection alone
amounts to more than fifteen times that amount.
March 1912 the Reverend William K. Dwyer, on the right,
became the pastor of the newly released church and the
growth and blossoming of St. Mary's Manhasset began. He
built the rectory and occupied it by 1916 (see above) after
which he started building the new church and is responsible
for its Spanish mission style architecture.
Thomas J Quinn, on the left, who succeeded Father Dwyer in
1916, completed the church construction and opened it for
service on October 17, 1917—sixty years after the dedication
of its predecessor. Above, on the right, shows the front of
the rectory and part of the church at that time. Father
Quinn finished the basement of the new building to serve for
meetings and socials. Eighty five years later the present
pastor, Monsignor John McCann, has overseen the renovation
of the same area for essentially the same purpose, defined
by the needs of our time. Father Quinn remained at St.
Mary's until 1924.