Our Parish is comprised of the Church of Our Lady of Victory and the Church of St. Andrew. Our Parish is multicultural and diverse, serving the growing community of lower Manhattan in New York City. We were established on August 1, 2015, as part of the Archdiocese of New York's Making All Things New pastoral planning initiative.
Francis Cardinal Spellman founded the Church of Our Lady of Victory at Pine and William Streets in the Financial District of Manhattan in 1944. It is known as the War Memorial Church, and at the front door is a quotation from Cardinal Spellman:
"This Holy Shine is dedicated to Our Lady of Victory in Thanksgiving for Victory won by our Valiant dead, our soldier’s blood, our Country’s tears, shed to defend men’s rights and win back men’s hearts to God"
The Church occupied temporary quarters at 23 William Street, until the present Church was constructed -- on property that was donated by Major Edward Bowes -- and dedicated on June 23, 1947. In August 1997, the Church celebrated 50 years of service and commitment to the passionate words of St. Paul, “to nurture a strong, steadfast, and generous faith in the men and women who worship here, a faith which is unafraid to reach out to those in need, limitless in compassion, hardy in service and full of joy."
Our Lady of Victory has a special devotion to our Blessed Mother, with public recitation of the rosary held twice daily. Every hour, on the hour, Church bells ring throughout the heart of the Financial District, a reminder of God's love and call to grace. In addition, a special shrine is dedicated to saints of New York for everyone to come and ask for their prayers and intercessions. Our Lady of Victory is committed to making a difference and to helping us all become missionaries in our daily lives -- missionaries in the office and at home in this bruised but beautiful city, this city that is so full of potential.
The Roman Catholic Church of St. Andrew was established in 1843 when Father Andrew Byrne transformed Carroll Hall into St. Andrew's Church. Built in 1818 for the Congregational Society of United Christian Friends, Carroll Hall was, in 1841, the site where Catholics rallied to fight denial of public funding for parochial schools. Father Byrne was the pastor until 1844, when he was named the first bishop of the new Diocese of Little Rock, comprised of the entire State of Arkansas and all of the Indian Territory, and was consecrated that year in St. Patrick's Cathedral. Cardinal Patrick J. Hayes, for whom the Church's street was renamed, was born in a house next door to St. Andrew's Church, and was baptized here in 1867.
Tragedy struck the Church in 1875 when, during a severe storm, the building next door collapsed, causing the ceiling of the Church to drop onto 1,200 who were attending an evening Mass during Lent. Many were killed or wounded, and a panic ensued because the main entrance of the Church was locked.
In 1900, Father Luke J. Evers began a 2:30 AM Mass for night workers who were employed in the nearby Printing House Square, where the Sun, Telegraph, Times, and World newspapers were then published. This tradition continued for more than 50 years, and the Church became known as "The Printers' Church."
By the 1930s, the old 1818 Church had become antiquated and somewhat dangerous, and plans were made for a new Church on the same site. Maginnis & Walsh and Robert J. Reiley designed the present Neo-Georgian style Church to harmonize with neighboring civic buildings. St. Andrew is the only New York City church to be designed by Maginnis & Walsh. Archbishop Francis J. Spellman dedicated the new church on November 30, 1939.
The Church is located near City Hall and the headquarters of the NYPD, along with several other courthouses. Above the entrance to the Church, an inscription in Latin reads "Beati qvi ambvlant in lege Domini," which means "Blessed are they who walk in the law of the Lord."