ST. ANSELM, Melrose

by Kevin Walsh

As a kid, I was a parishioner at St. Anselm Church in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, named for an 11th-Century bishop originally from Burgundy in what is now Italy, but immigrated to England and became the Archbishop of Canterbury, and office that still exists but is now part of the Church of England. I never suspected there were other St. Anselm churches around, but I encountered the Bronx version while slouching around Melrose one day. It came as quite the surprise when I found it on Tinton Avenue north of East 152nd Street near the John Adams Houses. It’s a beautiful brick church with colorful terra cotta tile accents built in a Byzantine style in 1918, supposedly inspired by the the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey. The parish predates the Bay Ridge St. Anselm parish by about three decades, and is officially the Church of St. Anselm and St. Roch after two parishes merged.

Passersby may be perplexed by the letters UIOGD above the front entrance. As you might expect with a Catholic church, in which services were said in Latin until the mid-1960s, that the letters stand for something in that language: Ut In Omnibus Glorificetur Dei, which means “That In All Things May God be Glorified.” This is a church saying that goes back centuries and can be found somewhere on a good many Catholic church buildings if you look for it.

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chris January 20, 2023 - 4:22 pm

If you went to a Catholic high school you almost always had to take at least 1 year of Latin.
Fortunately,thats no longer the case.Everyone I knew who took it hated it.Maybe it came in
handy when reading a diploma or the “In Hoc Signo Vinces” on a pack of Pall Malls.

Ed Greenberg January 21, 2023 - 9:04 am

I lived near the town of San Anselmo, CA, in Marin County. Now I know what saint that was.

John Fembup February 4, 2023 - 9:21 pm

I took 2 years of Latin. The second year was nothing special but the first taught me the English parts of speech, how sentences are formed, and how to spell – especially words that end in -ent or -endence vs -ant and -ance.
Like dependent, yes. And independance, no.


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