Church History


An historical landmark: Saint Gregory the Great Roman Catholic Church building

Bishop Charles McDonnell established Saint Gregory the in Great November 1905 upon a petition requested by the people living in and around Crown Heights, Brooklyn. By Sunday, May 20, 1906, a temporary Church, known as “Tin Roof Church” was dedicated. Its founding pastor, Maurice Fitzgerald, called a meeting the following Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. to which 50 men attended. The mustard seed was planted, plans were laid, and the parish life of Saint Gregory the Great began.

The cornerstone for the present Church was laid on September 19, 1915, and the building was dedicated by Bishop Charles McDonnell on November 26, 1916. This edifice, inspired by the churches of St. Paul and St. Laurence in Rome, is 1900 ft. by 70 ft. of white pressed brick with terra cotta trim.


St. Gregory the Great Church bell tower

The seven story bell tower, which still rings, can be seen from many distant points in the general area. And after much restoration, stands today as an impressive Catholic Christian sign in its ever-changing multicultural neighborhood.