NEW YORK — Last month, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York blessed All Saints Housing in Harlem. This housing, co-sponsored by the Province’s All Saints Church and St. Francis de Sales Church, now Lott Community Development Corp., provides 100 affordable housing units.
In the mid 1980s, Fr. Robert Lott, pastor of St. Francis de Sales Parish on East 96th Street, envisioned providing affordable and/or assisted-living residences on city plots on the east side of Harlem, according to Neil O’Connell, OFM. Fr. Lott opened the first residence in 1988, and today, the Lott corporation manages 13 residential complexes, including All Saints Housing.
In the mid 1990s, Fr. Lott invited All Saints Church to co-sponsor a new SFDS facility. At the time, All Saints was a partner parish with St. Stephen of Hungary Parish on East 82nd Street, where Neil was pastor.
When Neil became administrator of All Saints in 2002, he, along with Brenda Brown, chair of the parish pastoral council, revived the co-sponsorship. Today, Neil and Brown are members of the SFDS Corp. Board of Directors.
At the Sept. 14 blessing, attended by Steven Pavignano, OFM, pastor of All Saints, shown in photo, Neil reviewed all the agency and community boards that made the project possible. He also cited the significance of the All Saints name on the housing and the appropriateness of doing the blessing on the Feast of the Holy Cross.
Neil lives at the Church of St. Joseph of the Holy Family on West 125th Street.