|On September 27,
1928, Cardinal Hayes, then the Archbishop of
New York, appointed Father Joseph V.
Stanford the pastor
a new parish, to be called the
Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
A temporary chapel was set up in two
converted stores on Bailey Avenue, south of
West 238 Street. Groundbreaking for
Visitation's first church and school was
begun on December 8, 1929 at Putnam Avenue
a few feet north of West 238 Street.
The new building was open on August 15, 1930.
Cardinal Hayes formally dedicated the church
on December 8, 1930.
In May of 1931, a Sunday School for Children
in Public School was begun, staffed with two
Sisters of Charity from the College
Mount Saint Vincent and three teachers
from P.S. 7.
Visitation School formally opened on September
of 1932, with an enrollment of 17 pupils in
classes 1A and 1B. The school was
operated by the Sisters of Charity of Mount
Saint Vincent. Sister Mary Angelita, SC,
was appointed the first principal in 1933.
The school building was completed by 1935
with 104 children registered. By September
1939, enrollment grew to 300 students.
Thirteen graduates made up the first
graduating class in January 1940.
Sister Mary Angelita died on February 1,
1949 after 16 years as principal of
Visitation School. Sixty years later
stands as a living memorial to the
dedication, sacrifice and endurance that
Sister Mary Angelita and others like her gave
Visitation Church and School stood in the
direct path of the planned Major Deegan
Expressway. After six years, in 1950, the
decision was made to demolish the existing
church and school to make way for the
highway. In the same year the property on
the present church, rectory, and
school are situated was purchased and ground
was broken on February 17, 1952.
In the parish's Silver Jubilee Year of 1953,
Francis Cardinal Spellman dedicated the new
Visitation School on the site where
stands today. The date was April 27,
1953. The Sisters of Charity continued to
serve as administrators and teachers in the
In the fall of 1980, Sister Rosemarie
Connell, SC, re-established the presence
of the Sisters of Charity as new principal
of Visitation School, a post which she still
holds today. She has brought with her a
dedicated and professional teaching staff
prerequisite for academic excellence and
strong religious values that have come to be
associated with Visitation School.
Visitation graduates gain acceptance into
Catholic high schools, many with full and
partial scholarships. Students have been
into Bronx High School of Science and
have won honors placements and second year
Spanish and Math placement in
Beyond this, every Visitation
graduate takes with him or her the
experience of learning in a caring,
environment. They become part of
Visitation's history in the same way that
they carry the memories of Visitation
through the rest of