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University Church (1845)
University Church
University Church
Interior

University Church (1845)

The Fordham University Church, built in 1845 as a seminary chapel and parish church for surrounding farms, was declared an official New York City landmark in 1970. A plaque placed on the church exterior by the Alumni Sodality in 1939 gives a background: "The Rev. James Roosevelt Bayley, third president of the college, a nephew of the venerable Elizabeth Seton and cousin of two presidents of the United States [Theodore and Franklin Delano Roosevelt], afterward Bishop of Newark and Archbishop of Baltimore, erected this church in 1845 as a seminary chapel. The windows of the nave were presented by Louis Philippe, King of the French, in 1846. The bell in the tower, known since as Old Edgar Allan, is said to have inspired Poe, a friend and neighbor, to write his celebrated poem, 'The Bells.' " The plaque was unveiled by FDR's mother, Mrs. James Roosevelt.


The church continues to serve the spiritual life of Fordham. Many attend weekly liturgies which are also streamed live on the internet and broadcast on WFUV. The Sunday evening Mass is particularly popular with students, and the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass and Easter Vigil continue to draw large crowds. The church also hosts a series of concerts, from the Fordham University Concert Choir to visiting choirs and the Bronx Arts Ensemble. Graduates return often: Fifty to sixty weddings are performed here each year. On Nov. 30, 1995, more than 600 faculty, administrators, students, alumni and others filled the church for a Mass of Thanksgiving to commemorate its 150th year. John Cardinal O'Connor, Archbishop of New York, served as principal celebrant.

University Church Web Site

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