Brief History of
The Parish of the Blessed Sacrament was founded in 1887. Our first pastor, Father Matthew A. Taylor, celebrated the first Mass on Easter Sunday, April 10 of that year, at a makeshift altar set up in the Havemeyer's stable formerly located on the north side of West 72nd Street. Father Taylor’s devotion to the Blessed Sacrament is the source for our parish’s very name. When Archbishop Corrigan appointed the thirty-four-year-old priest to found the new parish, the Archbishop suggested that the parish might be dedicated to St. Matthew. Instead, Father Taylor suggested that it be called Blessed Sacrament.
The first Church of the Blessed Sacrament was a red brick Italianate building erected on 71st Street, just west of the current church. Ground was broken for that first church building in July 1887 and the following Christmas it was opened for services. Archbishop Corrigan dedicated the church the following month. In 1903, Blessed Sacrament’s parochial school was opened under the charge of the Sisters of Charity of Mount St. Vincent.
As the upper west side grew as a residential district, the old
Blessed Sacrament church, which held 800 people, proved inadequate
for Father Taylor’s growing congregation. The task of building a
new and larger church, however, would fall to Father Taylor’s
successor. Father Taylor, who was named a monsignor in February
1914, died in August 1914 at age 61 after serving as Blessed
Sacrament’s pastor for 27 years. At the time of his death, the
Catholic News described Blessed Sacrament as “the model parish of
the archdiocese” and Monsignor Taylor as one of New York’s “best
known and most-beloved priests.”
Excerpted from Golden Jubilee, Church of the Blessed Sacrament, published in 1937.
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152 West 71st
Street between Broadway and Columbus Ave., New York City
Copyright 2006, Church of the Blessed Sacrament. All rights reserved.