St. Peter's Church (Staten Island, New York)

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The Church of St. Peter
St Peters RC Ch SI jeh.JPG
General information
Architectural styleRomanesque Revival
Town or cityNew Brighton, Staten Island, New York City, New York
CountryUnited States
Construction started1900
ClientRoman Catholic Archdiocese of New York
Design and construction
ArchitectHarding and Gooch (for church)
George H. Streeton (for rectory)

The Church of St. Peter is a parish church under the authority of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, located in Staten Island, New York City in the neighborhood of New Brighton. St. Peter's is the oldest of the 36 Roman Catholic parishes on Staten Island, having been established in 1839, before the second-oldest St. Mary's (1852) and the third-oldest St. Joseph's (1855).[1]


St. Peter's, New Brighton is the mother church of Staten Island. It was established by Bishop John Dubois in March 1839.[2]

The first pastor was Father Madrano, who arrived in March 1839.[2] Land was leased on Carroll Place for church which was dedicated by Bishop John Hughes in September 1844. Medrano covered much of his territory on horseback. Worn out by work, he eventually returned to Spain.[3]

The second pastor was the Rev. John Shanahan (1845).[4] In 1846 Rev. James Roosevelt Bayley, nephew of Elizabeth Ann Seton and future Archbishop of Baltimore, was appointed pastor of St. Peter's, Staten Island.[3]

During the tenure of Rev. Timothy J. Earley seven acres of land was added to St. Peter's Cemetery. In the late 1890s, the original church burned down. The cornerstone of a new church was laid in August 1900 by John Cardinal Farley.[5] The new one was completed by Thanksgiving Day of 1903.

St. Peter's celebrated its 175th anniversary in 2014.[6] In 2015 the Church of the Assumption and St. Paul's Church merged with St. Peter's.[7]


The current church building was designed by the firm of Harding and Gooch in neo-Romanesque style with Gothic accents. It was constructed from 1900 to 1903. The church stands on a hill, and is used as a landmark by seamen.[2]

Parish schools[edit]

St. Peter's High School

Three parochial schools existed in the parish: St. Peter's Elementary School, St. Peter's Boys High School, and St. Peter's High School for Girls. In August 1853, the Sisters of Charity established a parish school in the church basement.[4]

In the late 1950s, two De LaSalle Christian Brothers offered Seventh and Eighth Grade classes for boys in the Richmond Terrace building. Both the elementary and the girls' high school were closed in June 2011. The elementary school was moved to join St. Paul's School, now known as St. Peter – St. Paul. After extensive renovation, the Girls High School building reopened in September 2013 as a new public elementary school, leased by the NYC Department of Education.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°38′50″N 74°5′5″W / 40.64722°N 74.08472°W / 40.64722; -74.08472