The Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin of Mary or St. Mary’s Church, formerly located at the corner of Leonard and Maujer Streets (five blocks away from Most Holy Trinity Church), was a good neighbor to Most Holy Trinity for more than one hundred and fifty years.
Established in May 1853 to serve Irish Catholics in the East Williamsburg area of Brooklyn. The Rev. Peter McLoughlin served as the first pastor. In August that same year, the Very Rev. John Loughlin, who would be consecrated as the first bishop of Brooklyn in October 1853, laid the cornerstone of the building being constructed at the corner of Remsen (now Maujer) and Leonard Streets. This edifice was described by Henry Reed Stiles in his monumental tome, History of the City of Brooklyn:
“It is a substantial brick structure, on a solid stone foundation; it is sixty-one feet front by one hundred and two feet deep. The front is Elizabethan, and on each side of the entrance, there are three massive pillars. Over the entrance is inscribed, ‘St. Mary’s of the Immaculate Conception built A.D. 1854.’ On the right is a figure of Faith, and on the left one of the Blessed Virgin, with appropriate inscriptions. The interior is neatly and tastefully decorated, and the altar and organ are both fine. Including the lot, the church cost $30,000.”
A four-story school and adjoining convent were built along Leonard Street in 1890. Designed by Thomas F. Houghton, the buildings were constructed of pressed Philadelphia brick with brownstone trimmings.
The church was redecorated in 1895, at the direction of Rev. James F. Crowley, who had been appointed pastor earlier that year. Enhancements included the installation of twelve stained glass windows, stations of the cross in oil, electric lights and velvet carpets. The marble altar was repolished and the ceiling was frescoed at a cost of $5,000.
In 2007, St. Mary’s was merged into Most Holy Trinity Church, and the combined congregations were named “Most Holy Trinity-St. Mary”. The final Sunday Mass at St. Mary’s was celebrated on October 28, 2007. In September 2011, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio issued a decree declaring that the Immaculate Conception building has been relegated to profane use and was leased in 2012.