I'm not quite settled into my new digs, but I'm close enough that we can haul this thing out of spacedock. What do you say we get back to business?
Sorry, couldn't help myself. I just don't have enough opportunities to use that picture, you know?
Now that JC's on board, let's ease back into some things with a mailbag special, courtesy an anonymous fan.
I enjoyed your website today- very glad to see the work you have done and are doing.
I used to live across the street from St Rita's, or at least part of it, that housed the homeless and had Bingo several nights a week back in the late 1970's-early '80's. I read your section about St Rita's with special interest. You posed the question "Who is Lucas E Burke?"
I did some research- he was an attorney (Esq) and was noted for his financial work in particular. He's the guy who made St Rita's possible. Attached please find 2 vintage articles about St Rita's mentioning him. He died in 1886 leaving his siter to handle his estate and she died around 1900, so how all this got hashed out I don't know but it finally led to St Rita's getting the money after both were well-gone.
You can view the articles below (click to enlarge):
It's a funny thing, really. Mr. Burke died some 20 years before the completion of the church, but his will still provided for the purchase of the land and the construction. In a time when so many parishes struggle financially, it's bittersweet to remember a time when people were far more generous--even from beyond the grave.