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.
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.
Church Web Site