St. Jean Baptiste Mission Chapel opens on February 22, 1882 at 202 East 77th Street. It was a rented hall above a stable.” From the un-liturgical hoof beating of the animals below punctuating the silence of the Mass, the rattling chains almost drowning out the tinkling of the Mass bell, and the fragrance of the incense not quite subduing the stable odors that filtered up through the thin floor, this place of worship was picturesquely called the “Crib of Bethlehem.” (From a history of the Church of St. Jean Baptiste by Rev. Joseph Lamontagne, SSS) Site purchased to build a church on the north side of East 76th Street between Lexington and Third Avenues presently 155 East 76th Street. (Now referred to as “Old St. Jean’s.”)
A major relic of Saint Anne is presented to the faithful for veneration at St. Jean’s for three days before it is transported to the newly constructed Basilica of Saint Anne in Quebec. The first Novena to Saint Anne is celebrated on July 19, 1882.
The first Mass is celebrated in the newly constructed “old St Jean’s.”
The Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament comes to St. Jean’s.
Construction begins on the Italian Renaissance Revival style church known as “the New St. Jean’s. The design was created by Italian architect Nicholas Serracino. His design had won first prize at the International Exhibit at Turin, Italy in 1911. The funding for the project was provided by Thomas Fortune Ryan.
The laying and the blessing of the cornerstone on April 28, 1912.
Opening of the Lower Church on January 6, 1913.
Dedication of the Upper Church
Building of St. Jean Baptiste Grade School and High School at 173 East 75th Street
Beginning of the first major Restoration of the church’s exterior by West New York Restoration.
Closing of the Grade School at St. Jean’s and the expansion of the girl’s High School.
Transformation of the Lower Church into the Community Center and the Theatre
Exterior lighting of the church
Completion of the church exterior
Completion of the church’s interior restoration by Felix Chavez, Inc. and the consecration of the Church by Edward Cardinal Egan.
Completion of the organ restoration
Beginning of the restoration of the church’s two towers.
Completion of the towers restoration.
Completion of the four story addition to St. Jean Baptiste High School. Complete funding for the expansion provided by the Congregation of Notre Dame de Montréal.