Monsignor Joseph A. McCaffrey (1890—1970), also known as “the Bishop of Times Square,” was the pastor of nearby Church of the Holy Cross for 36 years, and chaplain of the New York Police Department for 30 years. A well-known crusader against crime and pornography in the Times Square area, McCaffrey helped convince Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia (1882—1947) to close down neighborhood burlesque houses.
Joseph McCaffrey attended Fordham University in the Bronx and St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers. He was ordained to the Catholic priesthood in 1916, and achieved the rank of Monsignor in 1941. As a chaplain in the United States Army during World War I, McCaffrey was present during battles at Soissons, Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel, Champagne, and the Argonne in France. The army awarded McCaffrey the Silver Star and the Croix de Guerre for his bravery and service.