The Church was specially chosen as it has a strong link with the quarantine facility having lost a number of priests the infectious diseases which plagued the area at the time.
Rogers told IrishCentral, “About 15 years ago they were re-decorating the Church and they found that a priest is buried under that altar with a plaque explaining that he had died administering to the Irish during the years of the Great Hunger at the quarantine.”
The caskets are now being kept at a receiving tomb in Moravian Cemetery, in New Dorp, and soon, once construction is completed on the Supreme Court building, they will be re-interred in a Memorial Green, in a quiet corner of the property, a place of quiet reflection, where the thousands buried from that period can be remembered.
The Friends of Abandoned Cemeteries of Staten Island (FACSI) plan to release a DVD telling the story of the area and these immigrants remains, by fall 2013. For more information on their group visit their Facebook page, call 917-545-3309 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published in 2013.