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Mgr Mooney addressed those present, expressing his happiness, and people were jubilant. To pay the rent and other expenses, money was borrowed from individuals and council members, and Fr. In addition, he visited the sick, elderly, and lonely. Belavić took care of the pastoral needs of the parish and delivered the sacraments. Širca back from Rockland Lake to take charge of the parish, with Fr. Soon, Cardinal Terence Cooke granted the Croats permission to take the church over. Raphael's Church necessitated three years of renovations.
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A wave of European Catholics immigrated to the United States between 18, including Germans, Italians, Poles, Slovaks, and Croatians, and many Franciscan friars came from their home countries to minister to them in their own language.
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With donations of church necessities from other New York City churches, it took the Croatians of the community five weeks to renovate and refurbish the church, during which time St. A tremendous downpour didn't prevent a huge procession of people displaying tricolors, accompanied by music, from marching up 11th Avenue toward the new church. By then, the needs of the parish had outgrown its space.
The church was too small for the crowd; many had to stand outside during Mass. It was given the opportunity to buy an old hall belonging to and behind St. The rundown facility, which had been used as a gymnasium, was redecorated with motifs of the homeland, and opened on October 24, 1971, as the St. The same year, the archdiocese granted permission for Sunday Mass celebrations in Croatian in St. After these Masses, the nuns began religious classes for children in the new Center.
Five years later additional improvements were made, including installation of a new heating system.