News Flash Home
The original item was published from 4/11/2022 3:51:26 PM to 4/23/2022 12:00:01 AM.

News Flash

News & Town Board Reports (gblist)

Posted on: April 16, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Greenburgh Slice of History

Many faiths, 1 people: The Power of Religious Institutions In Greenburgh- Mount Carmel Church & Greenburgh Hebrew Center



Icon</p><p>Description automatically generated


Many faiths, 1 people: The Power of Religious Institutions In Greenburgh- Mount Carmel Church & Greenburgh Hebrew Center 

By Riley Wentzler & Felicia Barber 




The title of the history of the Parkway Homes/ Parkway Gardens Community which we wrote was, Formed By Adversity, Held Together by Faith. We titled it that because as we said at that time, “The church has always been the central focus of the African-American community. Historically when African-Americans have moved into or built a significant number of homes in a given area, they have built a church simultaneously…….. the church became the foundation on which the African-American communities were established. The influence of the church was felt: socially, ethically, and, at times, politically.” This statement speaks to the power of religious institutions to shape communities and bind them together. There are many people of faith in Greenburgh. Whether Catholics, Baptists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Methodists, or Jewish people, all have houses of worship which they treasure. These religious institutions have helped make and keep Greenburgh a strong and thriving community. So, it is to them we, the Assistant Town Historians, now turn our attention.


A group of people in a church</p><p>Description automatically generated


Mount Carmel Church In Elmsford:


At 59 E Main St, Elmsford, NY 10523 stands a very old catholic church. This is Mount Carmel Church, founded in 1904, six years before Elmsford was incorporated as part of the Town of Greenburgh ( It got its name because Mount Carmel is the place described in the Old Testament, in the First Book of Kings, where Elijah went to battle the pagan prophets of Baal and Astarte. The name therefore represents the triumph of Christianity over paganism ( In 1913, Cardinal Farley appointed the church’s first pastor, Father Arthur Kenny (


However, it was under the leadership of the church’s second pastor, Father James Hackett, who took over after Father Kenny left in 1923, that the church’s role as a community hub began. After World War I, during the “Roaring Twenties,” many people moved to Elmsford, and most of those who were Catholic chose Mount Carmel as their place of worship. Many brought their young children with them, so Hackett decided to found a parochial school, Mt Carmel School of Religion ( The school was staffed by The Sisters of the Divine Compassion. At first, people got to and from the church and the school using trolleys, but they were removed and replaced with buses in 1928. Also, initially the school only educated children from first-fourth grade(, but today it has expanded its mission and now provides education up to eighth grade (


It was also under Father Hackett’s leadership that the church became a meeting place for: the Cub Scouts, Brownies, Boy Scouts of America, and Girl Scouts of America.  Beginning in December of 1941, and continuing for the duration of WWII, he conducted special services for our men and women in uniform ( He led the church until 1947 (,when he was transferred to a church located in the Bronx called, Saint Francis of Rome Church. He passed away less than a year later. Many pastors have come and gone since Father Hackett, but he is the one who is rightly credited with transforming this small church into a bustling and thriving community hub. 


This is only a brief overview of the church, if you want to know more about the church’s history click here: While the Catholic Community has done a lot for the Town of Greenburgh, the Jewish Community has done just as much, and therefore, we now turn our attention to Greenburgh Hebrew Center.