Mass Schedules
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Holy Mass

Saturday: 5:00 PM

Sunday: 7:30 AM; 9:00 AM (Italian);
10:30 AM; 11:45 AM; 1:00 PM; 5:00 PM

Daily Mass

Mon-Wed-Fri: 7:00 AM & 12 Noon
Tues-Thurs: 8:30 AM & 12 Noon
First Friday: 7:00 AM; 8:30 AM & 12 Noon
Sat: 8:30 AM (no Noon Mass)

Confessions

Saturday: 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM and by appointment or when requested

Devotions

First Friday: Continuous Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament 9:00 AM-9:30 PM (except July & August)

The Holy Rosary follows the 7:00 AM and precedes the 8:30 AM and the Noon Mass each day.
The Miraculous Medal Novena follows Noon Mass every Monday.

History of St. Luke Church

This Section Taken from the Journal for the Laying of the Cornerstone, 1898

The Occasion of today's celebration, the laying of the cornerstone of the new church of St. Luke, adds another bright page to the history of progress of Catholicity in the Diocese of Brooklyn. This is, indeed, a gala day for the Christian of this garden spot of Greater New York, for it signifies the erection of another temple to the honor and glory of God. But it is, in a special way, a day of unalloyed joy to the priest and people of St. Luke's congregation.

The history of this parish, while neither romantic nor startling is, nevertheless, interesting and may possibly prove instructive.

It had its beginning in the early 1830s when one Samuel Leggett, a well-know philanthropist and financier and a member of the Society of Friends, constructed on the site of the present edifice a church for the use of all denominations. It was known as the Quaker Church, and for a time commanded the esteem and admiration of the few inhabitants of the sparsely settled district.

With the death of its founder, however, it was used jointly by the Methodists and Episcopalians. To Mr. Thomas Gilroy, editor and publisher of the Whitestone Herald, we are indebted for the following extract: "Up to the year 1855, students from Dr. Muhlenberg's College, at College Point, conducted the Episcopal service, but in that year the church was leased from Mr. Leggett's executors by St. George's parish and the Rev. William Short installed as vicar. The old minute book of the Washington Temperance Society, now in the possession of Libertus Fowler, shows that the society met in the basement of the church as early as 1841. 

On October 11, 1866, the executors of the Leggett estate sold it to Bishop Loughlin, of sacred memory, as trustee for the Roman Catholic Church, and it has been dedicated to the service of that church ever since".

The voice of God has been whispering into the pious hearts of the few devout Catholics of this village who, in sunshine and shadow wended their way to St. Michael's, Flushing, to enjoy the benefits of their holy religion: and so, when the message reached them that they were to enjoy the consolations of religion at home, to worship in their own their own hallowed retreat, their joy knew no bounds. Grateful tears gushed from their eyes as they witnessed the never-to-be-forgotten scene of a Catholic missionary - the dispenser of sacred things, the bearer of all blessings, the giver of good tidings in the Gospel, the agent of the Almighty - preceding them in their pious pilgrimage to this historic spot, to perpetuate the story of Bethlehem and to bring the seal, the law and the power of God upon them.

Pioneer Priests

It is not the intention of the writer here to indulge in aimless praise and so it will not be amiss to mention the name of Rev. James O'Beirne, the pioneer priest of Flushing, whose memory is held in benediction along the North Shore today. Fired with the fervor of faith, illumined with a light of holy love and inspired with an humble, self-forgetful, unremitting service he planted in our nursery the twins flowers of faith and charity and watered them with the sweat of his brow.

Besides this true representative of the Church, St. Luke had for its pastors, the late Father William McCloskey, Father Blake, Father Connolly and Father Peter Kearney, the present Rector of St. Raphael's Church, Blissville, L.I. During Father Kearney's regime many improvements were made on the church and rectory, and to his active, earnest and zealous work the present pastor, Rev. John F. O'Hara, has been able to accomplish good results.

Father O'Hara was born in Brooklyn, April 18, 1861, and commenced and completed his studies in the Niagara University that historic institution through which so many of our diocesan clergy have passed. Father O'Hara was for eleven years an assistant to Rt. Rev. Msgr. P.J. McNamara of Our Lady of Mercy Church, Brooklyn. After his installation as rector of St. Luke's, the obvious necessity of a new church soon became apparent and that task is now underway.

Architecture of the Church

The church will be, when completed, one of the most beautiful churches, both in appearance and architecture along the banks of Long Island. It is but fitting here to mention the name of the architect, Thomas H. Poole, for to his original ideas the entire credit is due.

The edifice is being built in the English gothic style of red washed brick with limestone trimmings. The buildings is fifty feet wide, including towers, by one hundred and twenty-three feet long. The front elevation consists of three entrance doors, capped by a large window and filled with very elaborate tracery. On either side octagonal flanking towers will project over the walls and will be used for a baptistry on one side and on the other for a stairway leading to the choir gallery. At the present time the front gable and towers will be finished in a simple manner with sheet metal work, but in the future it is intended to ornament them by balustrading, battlements, etc., etc. The height of the building will be 50 feet from water-table to apex of roof. The basement rises well above the ground, making a good light story twelve feet in the clear; the dimensions are the same as the church. Its entrance will consist of stone steps placed immediately behind the towers. Owing to a want of funds and to a debt of $15,000 the interior of the basement will be completed only. When the church, however, is finished, it will have five bays in nave, each with an arched tracery window on each side and dormers in roof. The sanctuary will be apsidal in form with a vaulted and groined ceiling behind sanctuary arch. The roof of nave will be open-timbered with wood trusses filled with ornamental tracery. The sacristies will be located behind the sanctuary beneath which the boiler for heating will be placed.

Early Ecumenism at St. Luke's

In this brief outline of the history of the old and the description of the new church the writer wishes not a message word of congratulation but the reader's kindly aid. May this prayer be heard. May the faithful members of St. Luke's parish as well as our Catholic and non-Catholic friends continue their labor of love and charity in helping our good work, and may the harmonious and fraternal relations we bear one another continue to become more firmly established. May prosperity smile upon all our undertakings and success sweeten all our labors till life's trials are ended and we greet each other in the sunrise of that eternal morn before the Whitestone of Paradise.

End of Cornerstone Journal

In May, 1904, Father O'Hara was appointed rector of St. Matthew's parish, Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn. Stewardship of St. Luke's was then entrusted to Rev. Thomas J. O'Brien, formerly Superintendent of the parish schools of the Diocese. On his tenth anniversary as pastor, (1914) the people of St. Luke's cleared the debt on the church property by means of a campaign subscription of $3,645. During that decade of years, improvements to the extent of $29,000 had been made: a chapel and rectory were built, the church was redecorated, the towers were elevated, and the addition of an organ and bell completed the renovations.

We Build a School

Property was purchased to build a school which had been in conducted in the church basement for six years. Two Dominican Sisters and a lay teacher took charge of the school on September 10, 1910, opening with grades 1-6 with a registration of 120 children. On Sunday, October 29, 1916, Bishop Charles E. McDonnell of Brooklyn solemnly blessed and dedicated the new school building.

Father Dillon Becomes Pastor

In 1919, when Father O'Brien was elevated to the rank of Monsignor and assigned to Our Lady of Victory parish, Brooklyn, Father Francis J. Dillon came to St. Luke's as pastor. He was to serve the parish for 46 years, until his death in 1965.

During this time, the heating system of the school and church were updated, and the convent was enlarged to accommodate more Sisters. Father Dillon purchased property facing the school and additional land adjoining the convent to be used as playgrounds for the children.

In 1941-42, the church was enlarged to its present size. On Easter Sunday, 1942, the first Mass was celebrated in the renovated building, which featured the transept (wide section forward of the side entrances) and new sanctuary and priests' and altar boys' sacristies.

Father Dillon was created a Monsignor by Pope Pius XII in 1944. Four years later, an additional wing was added to the school to provide more classroom space. In the 1950s, following the "baby boom" attendant upon the end of World War II, St. Luke's School was one of the three largest elementary schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn.

At the time of Msgr. Dillon's death in 1965, St. Luke's Church building was 67 years old, and the school year shy of 50. A considerable share of the pastor's stewardship had been spent enlarging and updating the building and adding to the property holdings.

World's Fair to Whitestone

For five months following the death of Msgr. Dillon, the parish was administered by Father William Matters. In February 1966, Father Matters went to Ascension in Elmhurst as pastor, and Msgr. John Gorman arrived at St. Luke's to take over the job of governing the parish.

The new pastor was just back from Rome, having returned Michelangelo's Pieta to its place in St. Peter's Basilica, and rendered an account of the operation of the Vatican Pavilion to the Holy Father, Pope Paul VI. What plans did the World's Fair (GM nudged MG out of the number one spot) have for St. Luke's parish?

The times were different; local church needs went far beyond painting, plastering and updating. Vatican II prescribed renewal and its documents outlined the subject. But how to go about it was another question.

It was the age of Sputnik and space shots, and education was being revoutionized. Besides needing new windows and flooring. St. Luke's school under the leadership of its educators and priests was being challenged to maintain a level of educational excellence to prepare children for a rapidly changing world outlined in Alvin Toffler's Future Schock. To prepare them to be the lay leaders in a Church which belonged, they were told, to "The People of God" - to THEM.

Demographically, the parish was changing. An influx of Italian-speaking parishioners with a rich religious and cultural heritage swelled the church membership, but with the old Latin Mass no longer the vehicle of worship, they needed to hear God's Word articulated in the familiar cadences of their native Italian.

Monsignor had his work cut out for him-but it was cut out like a jigsaw puzzle. He and his advisers in this gigantic task had to put the pieces together.

Chris Kiernan, Administrator

One of the first things Msgr. Gorman did in St. Luke's was to hire Mr. Christopher Kiernan as Parish Administrator, putting him in charge of the business end of the parish financial books, money, maintenance, employees and plant supervision. This freed Monsignor to engage his time in the pastoral aspects of his job.

During the years he was with us, until his death in 1978, Chris Kiernan adhered to his standard of saving the parish the cost of his salary and, when the books were totaled, a great deal more. His death was a great loss, but he established fiscal procedures and precedents that continue to this day.

Early Parish Council

Under the guidance of the new pastor, St. Luke's Parish organized a group of advisers that became one of the first Parish Councils in the Diocese of Brooklyn. The School Advisory Council was another landmark. Again in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, the Liturgy Committee taps its study and prayerful reflection and dialogue they have introduced vital liturgical experiences to St. Luke's, and have helped educate the parish in matters of worship.

Liturgy Committee

Among their projects they count parish renewal days, opportunities for communal reception of Reconciliation, communal Anointing of the Sick, preparation of special Liturgies and Days of Prayer in honor of the Blessed Sacrament.

Mindful that the Church of Vatican II is the Church of the laity, St. Luke's has consistently endeavored to involve its men an women in active roles of service. Lectors and Leaders of Song plus a young Folk Group and an Adult Choir enhance the Liturgy both on a weekly basis and at time of special celebration.

Eucharistic Ministers

Eucharistic Ministers assist the celebrant of the Mass daily, and extend their service to the sick, elderly and homebound Catholics of the parish.

Dominican Sisters

Dominican Sisters have co-labored with the pastor an priests and laity of the parish, bringing their time an talents generously to bear in the liturgy, school, and social services of the community.

Sisters are active in many parish groups from Choir to Parish Council, either in leadership or participatory roles.

Dominican women who have served as principals of St. Luke School during Monsignor Gorman's term as pastor are Sisters Mary Stephen Monahan, Loretta Marie Devoy, Catherine Reilly, and the present school leader, Margaret Krajci. Under their professional guidance and with the cooperation of a dedicated religious and lay faculty, the children of the parish are afforded an excellent education that emphasizes parental involvement, particularly in the Sacramental program.

Recognizing the ability of women religious to touch others through their ministry, Msgr. Gorman has not hesitated to call on Sisters to reach out to his people in roles that take them out of the classroom. He contracted with the Dominican Mother house for three Sisters to take the census and so some parish visiting. After the census of 1975-1976 was completed, the work of visitation was taken over by other parish agencies notably Sister Helen Muhlbauer and the men and women of the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

Sister Helen's presence among us is a testimonial to a pastor's vision. Her ministry to the elderly has added a dimension to parish that speaks of God's loving care for His people throughout their lives. And in turn, their continued presence and visibility in the parish family is an added gift to the congregation.

St. Luke's is constantly being gifted by its laity, Sisters and priests. When the Permanent Diaconate was approved for single and married men, not as a step toward priesthood but as an ongoing service to Church, Harry Svebel offered himself as a candidate for St. Luke's. Since his ordination, Mr. Svebel has added his gifts to the liturgical and ministerial work of the parish.

An Italian Dimension

With the increase of Italian-speaking parishioners, it became obvious that St. Luke's needed to provide liturgical experiences for this segment of worshippers. Monsignor asked the Scalabrini Fathers to conduct a mission in Italian. The number of people that showed up convinced him that an Italian Mass was warranted every Sunday. Father Joseph Cogo, C.S. celebrates Mass in Italian weekly and hears confessions after the Liturgy.

In the realm of physical improvements to the parish, the list could go on and on. In the past 15 years the rectory and convent have been remodeled and expanded. The DePamphilis house next to the Rectory was purchased and later refurbished and rented to Sisters who live and worship in the parish, but work in ministry to the Dominican Order of the the Diocese.

The Chapel Renovation, 1970

At a time when liturgical norms dictated closer participation of laity and greater interaction between celebrants and worshippers, neither the upper church nor the chapel allowed for these norms to be followed with much success. In 1970, the Chapel was redesigned when repair of the church furnace unearthed plumbing, electrical and brickwork difficulties. Prudence dictated "might as well tear everything out." A new heating plant was installed, electrical work was brought up to specifications, and the Chapel was planned so that the celebrant was among his people.

Reconciliation Rooms

When guidelines from Rome instructed us that the Sacrament of Reconciliation must present the penitent with the option of going to confession either unseen by the priest or face-to-face, St. Luke's was one of the first to build reconciliation rooms designed to allow for the options. To make the face-to-face reception an attractive alternative, two rooms were built in the chapel an one in the upper church utilizing part of the space provided for the altar boys' sacaristy.

So early did the parish comply that the diocesan weekly,The Tablet, used a local story of a Communal Penance celebration at St. Luke's and at another time illustrated face-to-face confession with photos taken in our church.

A Proud School

During his tenure, Msgr. Gorman has seen to it that the school is a place where education can progress comfortably, safely, and in accordance with modern educational procedures. The library, science lab and AV room are a credit to any institute of learning. Carpeting, once looked on as a luxury, has paid for itself in maintenance costs. In addition it is an excellent insulator against both cold and distracting noise.

Work to be Done

From major projects like re-piping the school boiler and replacement of all windows in the building to relatively minor ones like painting walls of installing new lighting fixtures, the school is constantly undergoing change. But the good use of the building puts ongoing expenditures in a positive light. It is used by the school population, the School of Religion, Golden Age Club, Rosary and Holy Name Societies, Bazaar personnel, celebrating groups to mention but a few.

With interior and external improvements on parish buildings taken care of, you would think an administrator could sit back on his laurels. But to the credit of the parish, Msgr. Gorman has had the foresight to have the grounds of the parish plant kept in excellent condition, reflecting his concern for the entire picture.

Responsible stewardship, careful improvements and creative updating not only demand an administrator who is on top of things, but attest to a generous congregation also. St. Luke's people have always given their share in the collections and in the envelopes, but further have been unstinting with their time.

Parish Bazaar

An annual project which has continued to "bring out the troops" is the Parish Bazaar. Memorial Day is not only a national and state holiday, it is a local landmark. Work begins well in advance of the spring date with a nucleus of dedicated committee members. When the actual Bazaar rolls around, it's a week sandwiched between two weekends of volunteer work for parishioners of all ages.

They work the booths and the tables, they cook pizzas and hot dogs. They make change, police the lot, sell tickets and make announcements. And far from the madding crowd is the crew that counts the receipts and posts the totals. And oh yes, cane in hand, watching all the proceedings and cheering the troops on is Msgr. Gorman. Anxiously he watches the graphs and compares the results with those of last year. For the Bazaar is a source of funds that underwrite the extras. Those improvements that are so necessary, but are out of reach of a budget that depends on contributions alone.

Early Renovation Plans

During his time of stewardship, every building and piece of property had been upgraded. All except one the upper church. In 1968 he explored the possibility of renovating the church and hired an architect to draw up plans. They were presented to an open meeting of the Parish Council, but were later turned down by the parish as being a questionable investment at the time. Three years ago, however, the project was deemed one whose time had come. The appurtenances of the church were shabby at best. Floor, pews, sanctuary carpeting, paint everything was crying out for help. It was like "The Wonderful One-Hoss Shay," which served its owners for a hundred years and a day, and then totally fell apart nail by nail and splinter by splinter.

And to add insult to injury the building, which so well served the needs of a church of another age, just did not contribute to today's worship. It was an anachronism.

A committee was convened to discuss, advise and plan. Again architectural plans were drawn up this time by parishioner John Castro of Edward Durrell Stone. Volunteers canvassed the parish seeking pledges, letters went out, and the parish in conjunction with raising money for the Bishop's Second Annual Appeal started a campaign for their church.

Church for Today and Tomorrow

Actual work targeted to begin in 1980 was delayed until the day after Easter, 1981.

And now it is reality. A church designed today for worshippers of today and tomorrow. Walk through it and understand what thought and vision and love went into every corner of it. St. Luke's Church of the past was so well conceived that it served its parishioners for many many years. Served them until a Council told us to open the windows and let the life giving air in, told us to participate in worship, not merely be spectators.

Walk around and behold a church that says, "You are the People of God, The Church is YOU. This church is for you and for those who will come after you."

Parish Registration

Are you new to the parish? We invite all parishoners to welcome and include any neighbors and their families to become a part of Saint Luke's Parish family. Click below to download our parish registration form.

Parish Registration Form.

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