The Pastors of Our Lady Help of Christians
1898 - 2015

1. Rev. James M. Byrnes (1892 - 1909 )
2. Rev. James E. Malloy (1909 - 1935 )
3. Rev. Francis F. Donnelly (1935 - 1944 )
4. Rev. James F. Malloy ( 1944 - 1954 )
5. Fr. John D. Verdon (1954 - 1963 )
6. Monsignor Jeremiah J. Brennan (1963 - 1985 )
7. Rev. Jeremiah P. O'Neill (1985 - 1997 )
8. Rev. Edmund P. Connors ( 1997 - 2003 )
9. Rev. Jarlath Quinn ( 2003 - 2011 )
10. Fr. D. Francis Dias ( 2011 - to date )

The History of Our Lady Help of Christians

1898 - 2015  

Catholics living in Tottenville attended Mass at the Church of St. Joseph in Rossville. When the Number of Catholic Families increased from 12 to 54, the Pastor of St. Joseph's, Rev. James C. Rigney, bought a corner property located at Yetman and Craig Avenues. Fr. Rigney said the first Mass on Sunday, May 4. To mark this historic event, Fr. Rigney's sister, Kate, donated a silver chalice.  

Rev. James M. Byrnes succeeded Fr. Rigney as Pastor of St. Joseph's. The house on Yetman Avenue was sold. Sunday Mass would now be held at the old Eureka firehouse on Butler Avenue and Arthur Kill Road.  

Feb. 18, the new Parish of OLHC was formally incorporated, with Fr. Byrnes appointed as the 1st Pastor. Feb. 28, the corner property of Amboy Road and Yetman Avenue was purchased and paid for by the new congregation. June 12, the corner stone laying for the new church took place. Oct 9, the formal dedication and blessing of the new church was officiated by Archbishop Michael A. Corrigan.  

Present rectory was purchased.  

Rev. James E. Malloy was appointed the 2nd pastor when Fr. Byrnes was transferred to Manhattan. He immediately began construction of the Parish School.  

Parish school was opened. The Marianite Sisters of the Holy Cross staffed the school.  

The Presentation Sisters now took responsibility for teaching in the Parish School.  They served our school until 1987.  

Fr. Malloy became ill and the Rev. Joseph V. Hyland became administrator of the Parish.  

Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, was received into the church by Fr. Hyland.  

Fr. Malloy died and the Rev. Francis F. Donnelly became the 3rd Pastor.  

Rev. Richard J. Piggott was sent here as administrator under Fr. Donnelly. Under his administration, the church was newly decorated, the sacristy newly furnished, the school was completely renovated, the playground was cemented, and the basement of  the church was dug out.  

In the spring, Fr. Donnelly died and the Rev. James F. Malloy was named the 4th Pastor. In the fall, the Rev. Frederick J. Miller was appointed Assistant Pastor.  

This marks The Golden Jubilee of the Parish.  

Fr. Malloy became ill and Fr. Miller became the administrator.  

Fr. Malloy died, and Fr. John D. Verdon was appointed our 5th Pastor.  

Monsignor Jeremiah J. Brennan became our 6th Pastor when Monsignor Verdon was reassigned.  

The Easter Food Blessing Tradition began. OLHC is one of the few Parishes on Staten Island to continue this tradition.  

A two room addition was built to the school. The Holy Name Society donated an electronic carillon (a musical instrument, consisting of at least 23 bronze cup shaped bells, typically housed in the bell tower of a Church). The Parish Scholarship Grant was originated.  

For the first time in Archdiocesan History, a class of 12 laymen, including Edward J. Wetherall , was ordained to the Permanent Deaconate at St. Patrick's Cathedral. He served at our Parish. Oct. 14, OLHC celebrated the 75th Anniversary of its foundation as a Parish. Terence Cardinal Cooke officiated the liturgical celebration, using the donated silver chalice from 1890.  

Monsignor Brennan reached mandatory retirement age. Rev. Jeremiah P. O'Neill became our 7th Pastor. Sept. 26, a devastating fire destroyed the original Parish Church. Daily and Sunday  Masses were held in the school auditorium.

John A. Singler was ordained to the Permanent Deaconate at St. Patrick's Cathedral. He serves at our Parish.  

Our current Church was built. Include date of ground breaking and dedication  

Fr. D. Francis Dias was assigned Parochial Vicar to replace Fr. Maurice Burke SMA Who retired in Ireland.  

Fr. Dominic Abraham replaced Fr. Dias who was reassigned to the Cathedral Prep High School Seminary in Rye, New York.  

Under Fr. O'Neill, OLHC became the 1st Parish in the New York Archdiocese with Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. A chapel was created in the lower Church.  

Fr. O'Neill was reassigned, and the Rev. Edmund P. Connors became the 8th Pastor.  

100th Anniversary of our Parish Nov. 21, John Cardinal O'Connor was the Principal Celebrant at the Centennial Mass, once again using the donated silver chalice from 1890.  

Rev. Jarlath Quinn became the 9th Pastor of our Church.  

Fr. Quinn was reassigned to St. John the Evangelist Church in Mahopac, NY. Fr. D. Francis Dias, pastor of St. Joan of Arc in Rockland County, became the 10th Pastor of Our Lady Help of Christians.  

October Hurricane Sandy devastated Staten Island. OLHC parishioners came together to help the fellow parishioners  

Our Lady Help of Christians School became a Regional School with Mr. Michael Saldarelli as Principal.  

Fr. Sylvester Ranasinghe succeeded Fr. Anthony Omenihu as Parochial Vicar

Parish Office

Directions to Our Parish

Religious Education Office

  •   7396 Amboy Road
    Staten Island, NY 10307
  •   347-838-6726
  •   Mrs. Joan M. Baggs