Steadman Square

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

This square honors Monsignor Joseph F. Steadman (1896-1946). In the course of his life, Monsignor Steadman served as a chaplain, directed three churches in Queens and Brooklyn and wrote several religious missals (books containing the readings and prayers for each Roman Catholic Mass or prayer service) still in use throughout the world.

Joseph Steadman, one of five children, was born to Joseph and Ellen Steadman in Brooklyn, New York. In his youth, he attended St. Joseph’s Parochial School and then went on to high school at the St. Francis Preparatory School. Receiving his diploma, Steadman entered St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights, but left after his junior year to enter the St. John’s Seminary in Brooklyn. Graduating an ordained Roman Catholic priest in 1921, Father Steadman was assigned to Holy Child Jesus Parish in Richmond Hill, Queens, where he served from 1921-1925. Father Steadman then became the Chaplain of the Precious Blood Monastery where he held a series of spiritual discussions. He also founded and directed the Confraternity of the Precious Blood.

Father Steadman was elevated to Monsignor in 1944. Involved in military religious affairs, Msgr. Steadman gave rosaries to active members of the military during World War II and played an active role in veteran’s affairs. After the end of World War II (1939-1945) a Catholic Veterans Post was founded in his honor. In addition, Msgr. Steadman wrote three missals: My Sunday Missal, My Lenten Missal, and My Military Missal. My Sunday Missal, the most famous of the three, is used throughout the United States, Canada, Ireland, England, Australia, and South Africa. It has been translated into French, Polish, Chinese, Dutch, Italian, and some Native American languages. Msgr. Steadman also wrote the Jesus, Mary, Joseph Novena Manual. Msgr. Steadman remained the Chaplain of Precious Blood until his death of a brain tumor in 1946. He was 50 years of age.

Steadman Square, located at the intersection of Third Avenue and Senator Street in Brooklyn, was the terminus for the Third Avenue Trolley line until the late 1950s, when busses replaced the City’s trolley service. Thereafter, the site was transformed into the triangle’s present form. The sitting area is enclosed by wrought iron fencing and paved with both red cement blocks and hex block paving stones. Fifteen World’s Fair benches surround a woodchip-filled area planted with various shrubs. The area is lit by two lamp and surrounded by red maple (Acer rubrum), honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos), and London planetrees (Platanus x acerifolia).

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