Cultural Heritage Tours

A project of the ETHNIC HERITAGE CENTER

Wooster Square Tour

Postcard of St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church, SIRS (Southern Italian Religious Societies) and Grammar School

29 Wooster Place & 234 Greene Street

(current and former)

St. Michael’s Church, c. 1910. Courtesy Joe Taylor.

St. Michael’s, the first Italian church in Connecticut, was established in 1889 to serve a burgeoning community of Italian immigrants, largely through the philanthropy of Paul Russo. Fr. Vincenzo Astorri, C.S., a Scalabrinian father, served as the first resident pastor. Much of the church’s beautiful artwork was brought from Italy more than 100 years ago by its first parishioners. It is today a strong community of over 500 families and hosts the societies that make up the Southern Italian Religious Societies (S.I.R.S): St. Ann, St. Andrew the Apostle (both ladies and men), Santa Maria Maddalena, St. Trofimena, Santa Maria Della Vergine and St. Catello. In 1936, Fr. Leonardo Quaglia opened a parish school at 125 Greene Street, staffed by the Apostles of the Sacred Heart, replaced in 1940 by St. Michael’s Grammar School at 234 Greene Street. St. Michael’s formed minds and hearts and forged lifelong friendships for many people. St. Michael’s was and still is an important part of the Italian American community in the Wooster Square area.


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