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Did you know the Redemptorist Fathers who built both the “new” church and the “new” rectory, moved into the then-new rectory on December 31, 1940? This is the brick building between the church and Stokes Hall.
The rectory has at least 2 Austrian connections: the Austrian born architect Frank Frimmer, and the stained-glass windows were made at the Tiroler Glasmalerei Und Mosaik Anstalt — Innsbruck, Austria.
For almost eighty years the present rectory has served our parish for offices, meeting rooms, and residences for the priests. According to records, the construction, along with the furnishing of the new building, was financed entirely by the Redemptorists. And in the almost fifty years that the Redemptorists were here, over 86 Redemptorists resided in the rectory. Then came the Dominicans, followed by some diocesan clergy and more recently, the Marists (Society of Mary) assumed the pastoral care of our parish in 1986.
By the 1950’s, there were 13 Redemptorist Fathers residing in the rectory at one time. Some served in our parish, while others ministered in neighboring parishes, for example: in Tampa, West Tampa, Sulphur Springs, and Seminole Heights. In 1971, some extensive remodeling of the first floor of the rectory took place. What was the garage was converted into a new, but temporary dining room. Currently it is used for religious education, parish council and finance council meetings. If you look at the exterior walls of the rectory (at the “East Elevation”), you can see that where the garage was located there are newer and different bricks, replacing what appeared to be three “carport” doors.
Some of the front rooms of the rectory were subdivided. Presently that area includes the Pastor’s office, and a meeting room (with piano) that serves for – until the recent Coronavirus – many purposes including choir rehearsals. There is a beautiful chapel on the second floor – we will write about that in the next Parish Council Corner article.
With special thanks to the Archivist of the Redemptorist Archives, Philadelphia, PA and Fr Paul Morrissey for the research!