WOODSIDE — Nearly a year ago, on Sept. 1, Hurricane Ida unexpectedly deluged much of New York City, including Woodside, Queens, where 10 feet of water covered parts of St. Mary’s of Winfield Church.
The flooding destroyed the lower church, the adoration chapel, and a classroom that had been used for faith formation classes. But despite a few additional setbacks, the damage was repaired.
Bishop Robert Brennan was set to visit St. Mary’s of Winfield, 70-31 48th Ave., Monday evening, Aug. 22, to bless the chapel and the rest of the lower church, which now includes a conference center. The event was scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.
“Then we will go upstairs for the Mass,” said the pastor, Father Chris O’Connor. “After the Mass, we will bring the Blessed Sacrament to the chapel downstairs. Everything will be livestreamed.”
Hurricane Ida unleashed seven inches of rain on some parts of New York City. Much of the subway system flooded, as did many basement apartments. Eighteen people drowned in the city, including three in Woodside.
Cleanup efforts dragged on for a month at St. Mary’s of Winfield Church. Two months later, water still had to be drained from electrical conduits. But, by year’s end, the renovation was gathering momentum. The rest of the project was not without some more setbacks, but now the parish is ready to showcase the final results.
Noting that Aug. 22 is the memorial of the Queenship of Mary, Father O’Connor said he “wanted the blessing to take place on a Marian feast day.”