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Word Count: 669
St Monicas own parish cemetery can be found about a block south on 160th Street on the other side of Liberty Avenue Considering the condition of the church it is surprising to find it well kept It was on this site that the original St Monicas was built in 1840 to serve Jamaicas growing Irish population Before long the tiny wooden church could no longer handle the growing number of Catholics according to a church history published at the time of the churchs centennial in 1838 The crowds at Sunday mass were so great that there was only enough room in the church for the women and children In 1854 Bishop Loughlin of the newly created Brooklyn Diocese appointed Fr Anthony Farley as pastor of St Monicas Farley a noted church builder almost immediately started preparing for the construction of a new church According to all the early accounts a French Catholic woman living in Manhattan donated four plots of land on Washington Street the old name for 160th Street that were nearer to Jamaica Avenue than the old church An 1842 village map says that the land was owned by a J Dupres Father Farley purchased an adjacent fifth plot The pastor hired local master mason Anders Peterson to construct the church The style of the church Peterson built is according to the Landmarks Commission Report Early Romanesque Revival Its outstanding feature the central tower is according to the report a campanile reminiscent of the Romanesque architecture of Northern Italy A marble plaque above the towers second story window reads St Monica 1856 The brick walls of the church were made extra thick so its interior could be a great open hall without the need for supporting columns Old photos reveal that the churchs interior was as elegant as its exterior In the 1940s Mario Cuomo served as an altar boy at the church At the time the Diocese ordered the church closed in
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