History of the Cathedral Club
The Cathedral Club was organized and held its first meeting in the Sunday School room attached to the Chapel of St. John the Disciple, at Clermont and Green Avenues, Brooklyn on March 1, 1900. Membership was open to any Catholic gentleman. There were 85 charter members.
The original Spiritual Director and guiding light at that time was Father George Mundelein, who was later to become George Cardinal Mundelein of the Diocese of Chicago. Since that time it has been customary for the Bishop of Brooklyn to serve as the Spiritual Director of the Club.
The Club was incorporated under the Laws of the State of New York, September 24, 1907, as The Cathedral Club of Brooklyn.
On June 1, 1900, the Club moved into its first permanent quarters at the southeast corner of Jefferson and Franklin Avenues. In October, 1901, it removed to No. 94 Green Avenue, the southeast corner of Vanderbilt, which building it occupied until May, 1907.
On that date, the Club took possession of its last permanent clubhouse on Col. J. Gardiner Conroy Square (Sixth Avenue at Flatbush Avenue) which was the Club’s home until 1974. At that time, the members decided that the Club should not maintain a permanent clubhouse. Instead, it should utilize existing facilities with the Borough of Brooklyn for meetings and other functions.
In 1983 the Club modified its by-laws to welcome women as members of the Club. As stated in its original Certificate of Incorporation, the object of the founders was to make the Club the principal Catholic Club in the Diocese of Brooklyn “to advance Catholic interests, to promote the moral improvement of its members, to foster among them a true Catholic spirit, and by frequent social intercourse to united them more closely in the pursuance of these ends.” Over the years the Club developed an extensive series of events and activities to fulfill this objective.
Among these events, the Club sponsors a forum each Spring on a public issue of interest to the community of Brooklyn known as its Speaker’s Night. In the Fall it holds its annual Memorial Mass in memory of deceased members, which is celebrated by the Bishop of Brooklyn. A communion breakfast follows.
The Club established a scholarship program for worthy high school students in the Diocese. The scholarships are awarded on the basis of need and scholastic ability.
The Club’s annual Dinner is the highlight of its social calendar. From the proceeds a donation is made to the Bishop of Brooklyn for his favorite charity. Other events include a golf outing, roast of its past president, and various other social and fundraising events.
On October 21, 2000, the Club erected a monument to remember all the unborn children who were the victims of abortion. The monument is in front of the Chapel of Visitation Academy, Ridge Boulevard and 91st Street in Brooklyn.
Now in its second century, the Club looks forward to its future, keeping in mind the original intent and objectives of its founders.