by Sister Eileen McGuire, C.S.J.

On December 30, 1849, the Church of St. Charles Borromeo, Brooklyn Heights, was dedicated. That church building had been a Protestant Episcopal Church and stood on the site of the present school building. Almost immediately the founding pastor, Dr. Charles Constantine Pise, D.D., began developing his parish and established a school in the basement of the church. Through the years, a new church was built at the corner of Aitken and Sidney Place, and a fine school building was erected on the original church property at 23 Sidney Place in 1916.

During the years since 1850, when a school first opened, many teachers have educated the students. The first teachers in the church basement school were a Mrs. O’Connor and her son, Eugene. As years passed, the Sisters of Charity administered the school. The first two Sisters of Charity worked with two lay teachers. One, a Miss McCabe, remained with the parish until 1921. A plaque in her memory is still on the wall of the school auditorium. For some time, the Franciscan Brothers took charge of the Boys’ Department. In 1964, the Sisters of Saint Joseph began their administration of the school until 2002. Finally, two lay administrators served the school until an untimely fire precipitated the closure of this great school in 2006.

Yes, it was a great school attested to by the outstanding students who attended it and received a superior, values-centered, academic education for 156 years. Long live the memory of St. Charles Borromeo School!