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Parish Newsletter Spring 2006
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1300 Northern Blvd
Manhasset NY 11030
Phone: 516-627-0385 
Fax: 516-627-6070
A Parish Born               A Parish Builds                A Parish Grows
Church AgoThis 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.

The 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.

Rev. William DwyerIn 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.

Father Thomas QuinnFather 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.