Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary:

Diocese Celebrates ‘Our Icon of Racial Justice’ St. Peter Claver

PROSPECT HEIGHTS — Meredith Chandler’s roots at St. Peter Claver Church run deep. Not only was she baptized there, but her grandmother, Mary Chandler, was an original parishioner when the church was founded in 1921.

So Meredith wasn’t going to miss a minute of the celebration of the church’s 100th anniversary.

[Related: St. Peter Claver Church’s Centennial Celebration Marks 100 Years of Black Catholic Ministry in the Diocese]

“I live right across the street from the church. My family has been there since the beginning. All of us were baptized there. We had our sacraments there and went to school there. So we feel a close connection to the church,” she said.

The Diocese of Brooklyn marked the 100th anniversary of the founding of St. Peter Claver Church on Sept. 9 — the saint’s feast day — with a special Mass celebrated by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio.

Because it was a diocesan-wide celebration, the Mass, commemorating both the feast day and the anniversary, took place at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Prospect Heights.

Located in Bedford-Stuyvesant, St. Peter Claver Church was the first Catholic church in Brooklyn to be established for the African-American community. It was founded by Msgr. Bernard Quinn, a man many black Catholics consider an icon for his efforts fighting racism in the 1920s. The Diocese of Brooklyn is advocating for the Catholic Church to declare him a saint.

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