“Francie thought it was the most beautiful church in Brooklyn. It was made of old gray stone and had twin spires that rose cleanly into the sky, high above the tallest tenements. Inside, the high vaulted ceilings, narrow deep-set stained-glass windows and elaborately carved altars made it a miniature cathedral.” - Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, published in 1943
Discover the beautiful church and parish grounds of Most Holy Trinity – St. Mary, built in 1885 as “The German Cathedral” and described in author Betty Smith’s famous novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Led by Father Timothy Dore and Turnstile’s founder Cindy VandenBosch, this tour will venture up into the bell tower, down into the crypt, and even take you into the rathskeller rectory. Attendees will learn about the German and Irish heritage of the congregation, highlighting its early beginnings in the mid-1800s with stories of the origins of Santa Claus and Christmas trees, and learn about more recent immigrants from Latin America, the Carribean, and Poland who have brought new traditions to the church, from Noche Buena to the Three Kings Day Parade.
Proceeds support a good cause: In the spirit of the season, this special tour will support the Trinity Human Service Center, which serves people in need in North Brooklyn with food, clothing, and social services. The Trinity Human Service Center is a non-sectarian non-profit organization which has a pantry and provides case assistance, classes, and material support to people in the area.
A special thanks to our tour partners: Turnstile Tours is pleased to offer this tour in partnership with the Parish of Most Holy Trinity – St. Mary. We are especially grateful to the parishioners for welcoming the public and sharing their story on this tour. Special thanks as well to our friends at the Brooklyn Historical Society and Neighbors Allied for Good Growth for helping make this tour possible!