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Rt. Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Waterson

Deceased: 1978-03-30

Diocese: NEW YORK

Seminary Graduation Year: 1927

Rt. Rev. Msgr. (Right Reverend Monsignor) Edward J. Waterson/Edward Waterson, P.A. (Pastoral Administrator), S.T.D. (Sacrae Theologiae Doctor ‘Doctor of Sacred Theology’) was born 1 August 1901 on the Upper West Side of New York City and attended grammar school in Blessed Sacrament parish (152 West 71st Street, New York, New York 10023).

Education followed at Cathedral College (56-25 92nd Street, Elmhurst, Queens, New York, 11373), the minor seminary of the Archdiocese, and St. Joseph’s Seminary (“Dunwoodie” 201 Seminary Avenue, Yonkers, New York 10704). After two years of philosophy in the Seminary he was sent to the Pontifical North American North College in Rome (Pontificium Collēgium Cīvitātum Foederātum Americae Septentriōnālis, Via del Gianicolo 14, 00165 Roma, Italia). He was ordained in Rome at the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran (Arcibasilica Papale di San Giovanni in Laterano, Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano, 4, Roma, Italia) 16 April 1927.

After receiving his doctorate, Msgr. Waterson served 1927-1928 at the Church of the Holy Rosary (428 East 119th Street, New York, New York 10035-3697) after a very brief tour at the Church of St. Teresa of the Infant Jesus, 1634 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island, New York 10314-3504. In 1928 Waterson was appointed to the faculty of Cathedral College, teaching Latin there for 16 years. On 16 February 1931, Waterson was one of the prelates in attendance at the ‘epochal” worldwide radio address by Pope Pius XI carried live by NBC Studios New York.

The discerning Waterson was one of the first to alert Catholics to the dangers of the Communist-inspired Catholic Workers Movement (founded 1933), specifically its venomous cofounder Dorothy Tobey aka Dorothy May Day aka Dorothy Day (1897-1980), a divorcée, socialist, fan of Angela Davis (1944-), Fidel Castro (1926-2016), Daniel Ellsberg (1931-), Jane Fonda (1937-), Edward Michael Harrington, Jr. (1928-1989), Hồ Chí Minh (1890-1969), Jim Jones (1931-1978) and the People’s Temple, Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin იოსებ სტალინი (1878-1953), etc. etc. who had a string of affairs and at least one abortion (urged by woman-beater Lionel Calhoun Moise (1888-1952).

According to the 1940 census, Waterson called Manhattan Assembly District 7 Enumeration District 31-600 home. That placed him in Blessed Sacrament parish where he was described as ‘curate”. Along with him were: Wayne Batley (Georgia 1918-?) servant; Cora Lee Baxter (North Carolina 1921-?) servant; Rev. Bernard F. Conroy (New York 1913-1967) curate; Emanuel Davis (British West Indies 1881-?) cook; Mamie Davis (Georgia 1887-?) his wife; Rt. Rev. Robert F. Keegan (New Hampshire 1888-?) pastor; Rev. James P. Kelly (New York 1901-?) curate; Rev. James T. Ryan (New York 1900-?) assistant pastor; Joella Thomas (Illinois 1914-?) servant; Rev. Christopher J. Weldon (New York 1906-?) curate.
Waterson was named head of the Cathedral College Latin department in 1941.

At Manhattan College, on 26 September 1942 Waterson read the results of a survey entitled ‘The Status of the Classics in the Association Colleges’ to the Catholic Classical Association of Greater New York. It was the first session of the 1942-1943 academic year. He was also unanimously elected to the Executive Council for the period 1942-1945. In 1944, Francis Joseph Cardinal Spellman (1889-1967) named him Archdiocesan Superintendent of Schools.  He became a papal chamberlain in 1945. In 1946 He was made principal of Cardinal Hayes High School (650 Grand Concourse, Bronx, New York 10451-5217), the largest high school in the New York Archdiocese with an enrollment of nearly 5,000 students. It was during his tenure at Hayes that His Eminence raised Waterson to the rank of domestic prelate.

The 14 February 1952 issue of ‘Jet’ published this quote by the Monsignor on page 20: “If a school does not make racial distinctions, neither will students.” In 1952 Cardinal Spellman called him back to the Curia of the Archdiocese to become the Cardinal’s Secretary for Education. Waterson offered the closing prayer in an Interfaith Ceremony on 22 October 1952 which was broadcast by WNYC-FM. On 19 February 1953 Waterson offered the invocation for the inauguration of Dr. Buell Gordon Gallagher (1904-1978) as president of City College. Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965) presided over the WNYC-FM broadcast. In 1953 he was appointed as the fourth pastor of Church of the Incarnation (1290 St. Nicholas Avenue, New York, New York 10033-7204), one of the most active parishes in the City. In May 1953 he sailed aboard the R.M.S. Caronia New York-to-Southampton-to-New York for Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation.
On 29 July 1955 his good friend Rt. Rev. Msgr. John J. McCahill of the Church of the Annunciation, 88 Convent Avenue, New York, New York 10027-7520 passed away in the Bronx.

In August 1957 Waterson presided over the Requiem Mass of Michael Farmer (1942-30 July 1957), of 575 West 175th Street, New York, New York 10033-8003, murdered by gang members in Highbridge Park. The event captured national attention. In the mid-1960s radical politics and Liberation Theology reached Incarnation: two parish priests came under scrutiny by the FBI. Waterson quietly showed those two the door. His last act at Incarnation was to order the removal of the beautiful marble and bronze communion rail in the upper church to conform with various Vatican 2 requirements. He retired from the pastorate in 1976 and resided at Cardinal Hayes High School until his death 2 April 1978.

Funeral Mass and burial took place Tuesday 4 April 1978 at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery, 10 West Stevens Avenue, Hawthorne, New York 10532.