Diocesan News

Bishop Brennan to Help Rededicate St. Mary’s of Winfield Chapel Flooded by Hurricane 

On Sept. 1, 2021, the floodwater came quickly at St. Mary’s Winfield Church in Woodside that nothing in the lower church could be saved. That included their brand-new Adoration chapel with a one-of-a kind Tabernacle monstrance and restored 150-year-old pews. (Photo: Currents News/NET-TV)

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.

Father Christopher O’Connor, pastor of St. Mary’s Winfield, showed the damage to the lower church following the flood on Sept. 1, 2021. (Photo: Paula Katinas)

“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.”


Hurricane Ida
Work was slow to begin for the renovation of the basement chapel at St. Mary’s of Winfield Church. Now, nearly a year after the Sept. 1 flood, the work is finished and the parish is ready to reopen the space. (Photo: The Tablet Archives)