The Chapel

The 60th. anniversary celebration of our parish would not be complete without mentioning the extraordinary enthusiasm of the 415 families from St. Luke’s who were to establish a brand new parish.

The outlying, tranquil site in Ardsley chosen, where a few short years ago cornfields colored the landscape, did not have much to offer other than an ample farmhouse, a feeble old barn or two, remnants of limekilns and an open draining ditch, the length of the property where later the school would be built on the other side of the street.

All that did not dampen nor diminish the excitement of the families within the new boundaries who literally would build a new parish life from scratch, much like creating a gourmet meal with only what you got on hand in the cupboard.

Out came a group of men, skilled in their trades to volunteer evening and weekend hours to rehab the old farmhouse into a suitable rectory for the new pastor and his staff.

That was the first step and a…… beginning!

Soon our pastor Father Joseph Lynaugh announced the plan to build a temporary chapel, using the old carriage house on the property for the sanctuary, extend it broadside 55 feet to form the main body.

A bid from a local firm was accepted with the agreement to deduct all labor and materials the parish volunteers would provide.

Meanwhile the ladies of the parish flocked together arranging fund raisers and ideas for beautifying the new country chapel for THE QUEEN OF PEACE as the new parish was to be called. A labor of love, and once finished, a worthy place of worship with walls painted blue, the traditional color for the Blessed Mother.

The pews were milled locally and assembled in various parish garages. The children helped with flowerbeds, while a parking spot was created for 100 cars.

Stained glass windows, an organ, wrought iron candelabra, all donated by parishioners. An attractive altar rail and new vestments completed the start-up inventory.

A blessing and placement of the corner stone took place on May 9, 1954, three months after construction began. The most Reverend Joseph McShea D.D. officiated.


Queen of Peace Timeline

1954 Altar Society (started by Betty Templeton)

1954 – Rosary Society (started by Betty Templeton)

1954 – The Peons – a group of volunteers who rehabbed the old farmhouse and also helped with the chapel and converting the old barn as a garage for the bus

5/9/1954 – Chapel (temporary QoP Church) dedicated. There were seats for 350 and it was completed for a cost of $12,000.

6/1954 – Father Reilly was appointed Assistant Pastor and started the choir, Sodality, CYO and altar boys

1/1955 – Construction of school begins with the “Buy a Brick” campaign. Men of the parish, usually 2 or 3 of every street, went out every Monday evening door-to-door of Catholic families to sell a brick. The school opened with 285 pupils in 1st through 8th grades.

1956 – Holy Name Society was formed with Bob Hopkins as its first President.

1/1957 – Mother’s Club was started with Mary Farrell as its first President. Popular funddraisers were the Penny Party, Bingo and the June Fair

1958 – First Spaghetti Dinner was held

1958 – The Queen’s Shop opened staffed by members of Sodality

The farm site with smoke rising from the limekilns.

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The old carriage house that became the chapel.
The chapel under construction.
The new chapel, 1954.
The chapel interior.