WHERE WE WERE --
The New Permanent Church
With the growth of the parish the lovely little chapel church became too small and Sunday Masses were said in the school hall while plans were being made to build a permanent church.
The Right Reverend John.J. Noone, Chancellor of our Archdiocese broke ground on March 25, 1962 as once again volunteers visited parish families each week for contributions to the Church Building Fund.
The school children, eager to be part of the project, added a little extra each week to their Sunday envelopes toward a special goal; the carillon bells for the new church. A big chart in the school lobby recorded their progress.
Finally, on April 20, 1963 The new QUEEN OF PEACE was solemnly dedicated by His Eminence John Cardinal Krol. The parish, now grown to over 800 families embraced their new cross shaped edifice with pride.
The variegated marble in the backdrop of the three altars, dominated by the magnificently carved wooden Crucifix, became the central focus for worship.
The new steeple with a large crown of the QUEEN OF PEACE at it’s base, rising over the village of Ardsley seemed to be saying “We have arrived.”
Father Lynaugh became Monsignor in January of 1966 when Pope Paul VI conferred Papal honors on him. The parish celebrated with a High Mass and reception in the school auditorium. Exactly a year later he made the announcement that the entire church debt was paid off. He gave most of the credit to the people of his parish.
Much attention and tribute must also be given to the rectory house keeper Annie Campbell. Equally frugal in her old fashioned ways she took good care of the many young assistant priests who remember her and her cute Irish brogue with affection.
The household chores did not keep her from answering the telephone with requests for Masses to be said or a date for a wedding or Baptism. She was always courteous, a great lady and a steady attendant at the 6.30 Mass. Her beloved cat was sometimes seen visiting the church as was Barney, Monsignor’s dog.
Changes came to the Catholic church as Vatican II ruled for altars to be free standing and the celebrant to face the people. Mass to be said in the language of each country, with the laity to participate more fully in the liturgy. Many older parishioners were not happy with the changes at first but as time passed they adapted.
That was not the only change effecting the world around us. Because of the space race there became an increased interest in science and technology with the United States now facing the challenge of keeping up or surpassing the Soviet Union. Queen of Peace School was also trying to keep pace with change and ground was broken on May 15, 1970 for a new library and learning center and completed that October. In a few years time it was well equipped with several thousand volumes, helped along by a Federal allotment of $1.50 per student, a book fair and saving Colgate labels.