Speaker Quinn, Council Member Mendez, Borough President Stringer, Committee to Save Saint Brigid’s Church Rally in Support of Famine Church of the Lower East Side
New York, May 20th, 2008 – Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Council Member Rosie Mendez, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, and the Committee to Save Saint Brigid’s Church celebrated the news of a $20 million anonymous donation to restore and reopen Saint Brigid’s Church in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
Prior to the anonymous donation, the Archdiocese of New York slated the 158-year old church for demolition. The donor, who wished to remain anonymous, has pledged $10 million to restore the building, $8 million to support Saint Brigid’s school, and $2 million to establish an endowment for parish. Since 2006, elected officials, community advocates, and actor Matt Dillon have united to save Saint Brigid’s Church.
“For over 158 years, St. Brigid’s has been a religious sanctuary for New Yorkers on Manhattan’s Lower East Side,” said Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “Constructed by survivors of the Irish Potato Famine, St. Brigid’s embodies the American spirits of community, faith, and family. Thanks to this extraordinarily generous donation, this historic church will continue to be a cornerstone in the community for years and years to come.”
“The Lower East Side has a history of perseverance and faith – many generations of immigrants have proven that,” said Council Member Rosie Mendez. “It’s a Godsend that an anonymous donor, the Church and community have found a way to save this landmark building for generations to come.”
“Obviously this is great news for the church, its parishioners and our community,” said Assembly Member Kavanagh. “St. Brigids has been a cornerstone of this neighborhood for over 150 years. I’d like to thank the Archdiocese for listening to our community and the Committee to Save St.Brigids for their tireless work.”
“We rejoice today in the miracle that has saved our church. St. Brigid’s has long been a haven to those in need and it is altogether fitting that such a kind act of tremendous generosity would in turn safeguard her,” said Ed Torres, Chairman of the Committee to Save Saint Brigid’s. “This incredible gift not only enables us to preserve the traditions and spirit of St. Brigid’s founders, it also allows us to protect the traditions of religious freedom, family and community that are the very fabric of this neighborhood and others throughout the city. It has been a long and hard fight to save St. Brigid’s and we are truly overjoyed. A great debt of gratitude is owed to the donor whose exceeding generosity has made our dreams come true.”