Our parish was founded in 1953 by Bishop Joseph A. Burke, and named in honor of his mother’s patron Saint, Amelia. The first mass was celebrated on September 13, 1953, in a field owned by the Brighton Fire Company on Jamaica Road, by the founding pastor, Msgr. John L. McHugh.
Two years later, in September of 1955, the school opened its doors for some 1,600 pupils, under the supervision of the Felician Sisters. The Sisters continued to operate the school until September of 1995, when the leadership was passed on to the school’s first lay principal, James Mule’.
A highlight in the school history was its designation in 1999 as a National School of Excellence by the United States Department of Education, at ceremonies in Washington D.C., where the pastor and principal received congratulations of President Bill Clinton and the Secretary of Education. The school was subsequently recognized as a NewYork State School of Excellence, and since 1993 has been Middle States Accredited. It is also a National School of Character, and has earned the “excellent” rating from the Council on Private Education.
Close to 4,000 pupils have graduated from the school since 1956. The school enjoys consistent support from its alumni, and from parents of the alumni.
Our patron, Amelia, was a religious sister in present-day Belgium in the eighth century. She founded a Church in the town of Temse, just south of Antwerp, around 760. Amelia is the patron of farmers and fishermen, and is often invoked by people with arm and shoulder ailments, and by young people striving to be faithful to their Christian ideals. Temse is today the home of what we believe is the world’s only other Saint Amelia School.
About St. Amelia
St. Amelia was born in 741, in the Ardennes region, bordering present-day Belgium and Luxembourg.
Raised in a deeply religious home, Amelia and her brother Roden were know for their sterling character and devotion to Christ.
Many miracles are attributed to her, before and after her death 772. She is often depicted holding the Bible or venerating the crucifix, sometimes with a fish at her feet, owing to the legend that she arrived in Temsche by crossing the Schelde on the back of a fish. She is officially a patron of farmers and fishermen and is often invoked by young people struggling to remain faithful to Jesus and for healing of injuries of the arms and shoulders.
Her feast day is July 10