Found in the Archives! Paying off the Parish Debt

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Cardinal Hayes received this telegram from Rev. John B. McGrath of St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Harlem just after Christmas in 1920.  Fr. McGrath had finally paid of St. Thomas’s parish debt of $186,500.00.  Catholic churches can only be consecrated once the debt has been paid off, and so St. Thomas’ consecration was held on April 17, 1921.

St. Thomas the Apostle was located at St. Nicholas Avenue and West 118th Street in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan.  The parish was founded in 1899, and the church was completed in 1907, and was known for its Gothic style.  The church was designed by Thomas H. Poole, and built by the firm of Wakeham & Miller from grey Tennessee marble.

The parish was closed in 2003.  The records from the parish were moved to nearby St. Joseph of the Holy Family.

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