St. Frances of Rome Catholic Church - Bronx, N.Y.
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Church of St. Frances of Rome
(Roman Catholic)

4307 Barnes Avenue at East 236th Street
Bronx, N.Y. 10466
http://sfrbx.org/church.htm


Organ Specifications:
4307 Barnes Avenue (since 1926):
III/47 Delaware Organ Company (1966) – Upper Church
• unknown (c.1926) – Lower Church
Richardson Avenue (1901-1926):
• unknown


Saint Frances of Rome parish has a history spanning more than a century since even before its legal incorporation in 1898 (when the area became part of New York City rather than Westchester County). From its humble beginnings in a tent, it has grown to include two churches, a rectory, two schools, and two convents.

St. Frances of Rome Catholic Church (1901-1926) - Bronx, N.Y.  
Church on Richardson Avenue  
The first pastor, Fr. Francis P. Moore, served the parish from 1897 to 1928. Irish-born and a well-educated man with many talents, he celebrated the first Mass in the new parish on Sunday, June 13, 1897, in a tent in what may have been an apple orchard. According to newspaper reports, 300 people attended, kneeling on the grass. After a storm blew the tent down, Mass was celebrated in a home in the neighborhood and then in a temporary wooden church until Fr. Moore bought land on Richardson Avenue for $12,265, and built a rectory and a more permanent wooden church there. This church was dedicated by Archbishop Corrigan on June 23, 1901.

The parish originally stretched from Van Cortlandt Park and Woodlawn Cemetery to the Mount Vernon border and from East 229 Street to McLean Avenue. As the population of the Bronx grew, especially after the construction of the elevated train on White Plains Road between 1907 and 1920, several other parishes were carved out of that territory, including Saint Barnabas, Saint Anthony, Saint Francis of Assisi, and Nativity.

Lower Church (1926) - St. Frances of Rome Catholic Church - Bronx, N.Y.  
Lower Church
 
Still, the number of parishioners increased, and with it, the need for a new church and the desire for a parish school. Fr. Moore, therefore, bought eight lots at East 236 Street and Barnes Avenue, on a piece of high ground in an area where there were still open fields for blocks around. The plan was to build a two-level church, a rectory, a school, and a convent. The current rectory and what is now the lower church were built first. On Easter Sunday, 1926, Fr. Moore celebrated the first Mass in the new church; he himself had painted many of the murals in the sanctuary and the sacristy. After the construction of the new church and rectory, the buildings on Richardson Avenue became the parish’s first school and convent. On May 23, 1965, ground was broken for what is now the upper church; on February 13, 1966, its cornerstone was laid; and on March 12, 1967, it was consecrated by Cardinal Spellman. During the construction of the upper church, the lower church was renovated.
           

  Delaware Organ (1966) at St. Frances of Rome Catholic Church - Bronx, N.Y.
Delaware Organ Company, Inc.
Tonawanda, N.Y. (1966)
Electro-pneumatic stop action
3 manuals, 39 stops, 47 ranks
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes
16
  Pommer
61
4
  Pommer [ext.]
24
8
  Principal
61
2
  Doublette
61
8
  Bourdon
61
  Fourniture IV ranks
244
4
  Octave
61
8
  Trompette en chamade
61

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Rohrflöte
61
  Cymbal IV ranks
244
8
  Viola
61
16
  Dulzian
61
8
  Viola Celeste [TC]
49
8
  Fagott
61
4
  Nachthorn
61
4
  Clarion
61
2
  Spitz Principal
61
  Tremulant
1 1/3
  Quintflöte
61
   
               
Positive Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes
8
  Gedeckt
61
  Sesquialtera II ranks
122
4
  Prestant
61
  Scharf IV ranks
244
4
  Spillflöte
61
8
  Krummhorn
61
2
  Principal
61
   
               
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
16
  Principal
32
4
  Choral Bass
32
16
  Subbass
32
4
  Blockflöte
32
16
  Pommer
GT
2
  Blockflöte [ext.]
12
8
  Principal
32
  Mixture V ranks
60
8
  Bourdon [ext.]
12
16
  Posaune
32
8
  Pommer
GT
8
  Trumpet
32
5 1/3
  Quint [from Pommer]
4
  Chalmeau
32
               
Delaware Organ Console (1966) at St. Frances of Rome Catholic Church - Bronx, N.Y.
Delaware Organ (1966) at St. Frances of Rome Catholic Church - Bronx, N.Y.

           
Sources:
     Fiero, Thomas M. Specifications for the Delaware organ (1966).
     St. Frances of Rome web site: http://sfrbx.org/church.htm

Photos:
     Fiero, Thomas M. Church exterior and interior of Upper Church; Delaware organ.
     St. Frances of Rome web site: photos of 1901 church; 1926 Lower Church.
 

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