Quinn went on to describe his own personal links to the church:
"The Quinns have been parishioners of St. Brigid's for over half a century. My grandfather was married at St. Brigid's in 1897. He liked it so much that when his first wife died he returned in 1898 to do it again. My grandmother put to rest any inkling he might have to return to St. Brigid's to make matrimony a third time by outliving him, as Irish women usually do, by thirteen years. My father was baptized in St. Brigid's in 1904. He received his first communion, first confession, and confirmation there. And so did his brother and sister, my aunt and uncle. I, on the other hand, had the good taste to receive all those sacraments in the Bronx. And since it doesn't look like I'm going to be ordained, the only other religious rite of passage that I can now look forward to having at St. Brigid's is my funeral!"
- Peter Quinn is the author of many books including Looking for Jimmy, Hour of the Cat and Banished Children of Eve, which has just been republished in paperback by The Overlook Press.
A Look Into the Life of an Irish-American Immigrant Family
A small coffin in a cramped room re-creates a sad day in the life of the Moore family, Irish immigrants who lived at 97 Orchard St. in 1869. The re-creation of the Moores' apartment, , which opened on June 17, is New York's Tenement Museum's first new exhibition in six years. During the hour-long tour you can catch a glimpse of the struggles faced by Irish immigrants in the late 19th century, with emphasis on the lack of knowledge about disease at the time. Though actual details of the child's death are unknown, through educated guesses and speculation, the curators of the Tenement Museum have pieced together a likely scenario of the day that Agnes Moore, the infant daughter of Irish immigrants Joseph and Bridget, died of malnutrition. With the mortality rate for the children of Irish immigrants at a staggering 25%, only four of the Moores' eight children made it to adulthood. Despite the hardships faced by the family, the apartment is infused with cheerful decorations: a mantle covered by a bright green runner, topped with ornaments, a man's top hat placed carefully alongside a cross. Steve Long, the museum's Vice President of Collections and Education, said in a recent article, "We wanted to emphasize the human urge to decorate."
The museum is at 108 Orchard Street on the Lower East Side. Tours of the apartment are available Tuesday through Friday at 12, 1:30, 3, and 4:30 and on Saturdays and Sundays at 11, 12:30, 2, 3:30 with the last tour starting at 5. All tours are guided and tickets can be pre-ordered on the museum's website at www.tenement.org - Elizabeth Reilly