Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary - St. Stephen Roman Catholic Church - Brooklyn, NY
Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary – St. Stephen
(Roman Catholic)

Summit Street at Hicks Street
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11231
http://www.delvecchiorc.com


Organ Specifications:
Summit Street at Hicks Street (since 1875)
III/31 Geo. Kilgen & Son, Op. 7560 (1952); alt.
• Geo. Kilgen & Son, Op. 4793 (1931) – burned with church (1951)
III/37 Hilborne L. Roosevelt, Op. 17 (1875)
Corner of Carroll and Hicks Streets (1866-1875)
• II/ Ferris & Stuart (1861)



The Roman Catholic Church of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary – St. Stephen was formed in 1941 when two parishes were consolidated. The combined parishes occupy the building occupied since 1875 by St. Stephen's Church.

St. Stephen's Parish was established in 1866 to serve the area bounded by Degraw Street, Henry Street, Cole Street and Hamilton Avenue to the ferry. The first church, the former St. Paul Episcopal Church on the corner of Carroll and Hicks Street, was purchased by Rev. Father Dorris, the first pastor, for $15,000. Built in the Cottage Gothic style, the church measured 95 feet long by 65 feet wide and could accomodate about 600 persons. Inside, the church was handsomely furnished with cushioned pews and carpeted aisles, and the painted drab color walls were blocked out to imitate stone. On Sunday, July 15, 1866, the church was dedicated by Bishop Loughlin, assisted by Rev. Father Dorris.

As the parish membership increased, plans were made by Father O'Reilly, the pastor, to build a larger church. The cornerstone for the present building was laid by Bishop Loughlin in July 1873, and the new church was opened with "dignity and ceremonial pomp" on October 31, 1875. Patrick C. Keely, the Brooklyn architect who was noted for his many churches, designed the neo-Gothic church. The old church was converted into a school and placed under the care of the Sisters of Charity.

The Church of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary was established by Fr. Joseph Fransioli in 1882 as the Catholic Mission of the Italian Colony of the City of Brooklyn. This mission was the first Roman Catholic parish community established specifically for Italian immigrants in the Diocese of Brooklyn, which comprised the whole of Long Island, including the counties of Kings, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk. Sacred Hearts was established as a national parish that served neighborhood parishioners but also welcomed all Italians. Initially, the new Italian parish occupied space belonging to St. Peter’s church, at the corner of Warren and Hicks Streets. The first permanent church was opened in May 1885 on President Street off of Van Brunt Street. By 1900 the number of Italian immigrants living in the vicinity of the President Street church was the largest single concentration of Italians in the country. Convinced of the need for a larger church, Father Vogel found property on Degraw and Hicks Streets to build a new larger church. Upon completion of the new church in 1906, Father Vogel felt it necessary to keep the prior church building at President Street open to serve the community as a chapel for the parish under the title of Saint Charles Chapel. To make room for what would become known as the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE), the Church of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary was condemned by Robert Moses. On the morning of December 7, 1941, a final Mass was celebrated, followed by a grand procession of the parish’s Italian Societies, the statues of their patron saints held aloft, on their shoulders, to their new home at St. Stephen’s Church. Ironically, the same expressway runs in a trench alongside the present church.

On January 10, 1951, a five-alarm fire almost completely destroyed the church building. Fundraising drives were immediately initiated to rebuild the 75-year-old structure, and the reconstructed church reopened in early 1952.
               
Geo. Kilgen & Son
St. Louis, Mo. – Opus 7560 (1952)
Electro-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 34 stops, 31 ranks


A new organ was installed in 1952, as described in the September 1951 issue of The Diapason:
     "The Church ... has placed an order for a three-manual organ with the Kilgen Organ Company, St. Louis, through its pastor, the Rev. Francis del Vecchio. The organ will be placed in the choir gallery at the rear of the new church, with the swell in one chamber, the great and the major part of the pedal in another chamber, and the choir section in an expression box, thus placing the entire instrument under separate expression control. An attractive screen enclosed in display pipes, panel work and grille, will be built by the Kilgen Company to screen the organ. The specifications were drawn up by Benoit Mauro in collaboration with the Kilgen factory branch in New York.
     "The new church, on Hicks Street in Brooklyn, will replace an edifice built seventy-five [in 1875] years ago, which was destroyed by fire in January, and it will be one of the imposing church buildings of Brooklyn when completed early in 1952."
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Violone
61
4
  Flute d'Amour
61
8
  Open Diapason
61
2
  Waldflöte
61
8
  Doppelflöte
61
    Grave Mixture II ranks
122
8
  Gamba
61
8
  Tuba Harmonic
61
4
  Octave
61
   
Chimes
25 tubes
               
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
73
4
  Flute Harmonique
73
8
  Open Diapason
73
2
  Harmonic Piccolo
61
8
  Stopped Diapason
73
    Mixture III ranks
183
8
  Viole d'Orchestre
73
8
  Oboe
73
8
  Salicional
73
8
  Vox Humana
61
8
  Voix Celeste
73
    Tremolo  
               
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Geigen Diapason
73
8
  Clarinet
73
8
  Dulciana
73
8
  Orchestral Oboe
73
8
  Unda Maris [TC]
61
    Tremolo  
4
  Flauto Traverso
73
    Chimes
GT
               
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
32
  Resultant
16
  Lieblich Gedeckt
SW
16
  Double Open Diapason
32
8
  Flauto Major [ext.]
12
16
  Bourdon
32
8
  Violoncello
GT
16
  Violone
GT
16
  Trombone [ext. GT]
12
               
Geo. Kilgen & Son
St. Louis, Mo. – Opus 4793 (1931)
Electro-pneumatic action


This organ burned with the church in January 1951. Specifications of this organ have not yet been located.
               
Hilborne L. Roosevelt
New York City – Opus 17 (1875); rev.
Tubular-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 33 stops, 37 ranks


The original organ in the present church was built in 1875 by Hilborne L. Roosevelt of New York City. In September 1921, the following specifications were recorded by Louis F. Mohr, an organ service person in the area. Mohr noted the feeders were worked by a 1½ H.P. electric motor that was installed in 1913 by Nilsson Mfg. Co., of Brooklyn. Larry Trupiano, organbuilder from Brooklyn, recalls that an uncle was a member of St. Stephen's and learned to play the organ on the Roosevelt. The uncle mentioned that several stops had been relocated by the organist of the church: the Choir Twelfth was from the Great, the Gt. Quintadena was from the Choir, and the Swell Quint was the original Celeste rank moved to 2-2/3' pitch. The uncle also said the organ had tubular action with a detached console, but this was not confirmed.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 58 notes
16
  Open Diapason
58
4
  Principal
58
8
  Open Diapason
58
4
  Flute Harmonique
58
8
  Viola di Gamba
58
2
  Fifteenth
58
8
  Doppel Flöte
58
    Mixture, 3 ranks
174
8
  Quintadena [orig. in CH]
58
8
  Trumpet
58
               
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 58 notes, enclosed
8
  Open Diapason
58
2
  Flageolet
58
8
  Salicional
58
    Cornet, 3 ranks
174
8
  Stopped Diapason
58
8
  Cornopean
58
4
  Octave
58
8
  Oboe
58
4
  ____ [Hohl Flöte?]
58
8
  Vox Humana
58
2 2/3
  Quint [Celeste moved up]
58
       
               
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 58 notes
8
  Violin Diapason
58
4
  Rohr Flute
58
8
  Melodia
58
2 2/3
  Twelfth [orig. in GT]
58
8
  Dolce
58
2
  Piccolo Harmonique
58
4
  Gemshorn
58
8
  Clarabella [orig. Clarinet?]
58
               
Pedal Organ – 27 notes
16
  Double Open Diapason
27
10 2/3
  Quint
27
16
  Bourdon
27
8
  Violoncello
27
               
Couplers
    Great to Pedal   Swell to Great Octaves
    Swell to Pedal   Choir to Great
    Choir to Pedal   Choir to Great Suboctave
    Swell to Great   Swell to Choir
               
Mechanical Accessories
    Swell Tremulant   Bells
               
Pedal Movements
    Great Organ Forte ["3 Comb Ped Gt"]   Swell Organ Forte ["2 Comb Ped Sw"]
    Great Organ Mezzo   Swell Organ Piano
    Great Organ Piano   Balanced Swell Pedal
    Great to Pedal Reversible   [Balanced Choir Pedal?]
               
Sources:
     "Another New Church. Dedication of St. Stephen's R. Catholic Church," Brooklyn Eagle (July 16, 1866).
     The Catholic Church in the United States of America: Undertaken to Celebrate the Golden Jubilee of His Holiness, Pope Pius X, Vol. III. New York: The Catholic Editing Company, 1914.
     The Diapason (Sept. 1951). Stoplist of Geo. Kilgen & Son organ, Op. 7560 (1952). Courtesy Jeff Scofield.
     Mohr, Louis F. & Co. Specifications (Sept. 1921) of Hilborne L. Roosevelt Organ, Op. 17 (1875). Courtesy Larry Trupiano.
     Morone, Francis. "A Gothic Beauty," The New York Sun (Sept. 13, 2007).
     Nelson, George. Organs in the United States and Canada Database. Seattle, Wash.
     Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn web site: http://www.dioceseofbrooklyn.org
     Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary –St. Stephen web site: http://www.delvecchiorc.com
     "St. Stephen's. Dedication of Father O'Reilly's New Church," The Brooklyn Eagle (Nov. 1, 1875).

Illustration:
     Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn web site. Exterior