Tag Archives: Hook & Hastings

St.  Henry Church of Bayonne to Observe the 100th Anniversary of its Pipe Organ

St. Henry Roman Catholic Church of Bayonne announced that it will be celebrating a special mass at 12:00 noon on February 25, 2024, to kick off a year-long celebration on the 100th anniversary of its Hook & Hastings pipe organ. Also included in the yearlong program is the recognition of the church’s patron, St. Henry, Duke of Bavaria and Holy Roman Emperor, and his wife, St. Cunigunde. The church is observing the 1,000th anniversary of St. Henry’s death in 1024. St. Henry’s homeland, Bavaria, is a state in southern Germany.

Hook & Hastings, a Boston-based firm, produced more than 2,000 organs from 1827 to 1935. Several of their organs remain in use.

          Constructing the church was the idea of Pastor Peter Reilly. He purchased the property on Avenue C from his brother in 1907. Father Reilly’s plan was to erect a church, school, rectory, convent, and a hospital on the property.  The groundbreaking for the church took place in June 1911. A year later, the cornerstone was laid. Four years later, on May 30, 1915, the dedication of the church took place. It included a choir loft but no organ. Other items, such as furnishings, took priority at that time. Unfortunately, in September 1919, Pastor Reilly died suddenly in the rectory.

A short while later, Father, later Monsignor, Michael Mulligan was assigned to be the new pastor.  He had a new, but incomplete, church and a large debt. It was not until he had a decrease in debt and an increase in parishioners that the idea of an organ came about. Pastor Mulligan organized a fundraising committee to raise the $15,000 for a down payment. The committee continued the fundraising until a total of $30,000 was completed. The new Hook and Hastings Company Opus 2500 pipe organ was installed in February 1924.

St. Henry Church invites the community to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the pipe organ.  The church is in Bayonne on Avenue C between 28th and 29th Streets. Parking is available next to the church and on the nearby school grounds.

Other special events for the centennial of the organ and the 1,000th anniversary of St. Henry’s passing will be announced