About the Community
St. Peter's is one of 165 parishes and missions, which make up the Diocese of Long Island. Its congregation is drawn mainly from the surrounding communities of Bay Shore, North Bay Shore, Brightwaters, and West Islip.
The church is located in a residential area on Montauk Highway. There is public transportation by bus, with stops within a block of the church. The Long Island Railroad maintains stations at Bay Shore and Babylon, and travel time to New York City is about one hour.
The area surrounding the church is mainly private homes. The Bay Shore School District serves the community. Numerous public and private colleges and universities are within commuting distance. The Bay Shore/ Brightwaters Public Library is an excellent community resource within walking distance of St. Peter's Church. It offers varied programs and trips for the entire family. An established and prestigious YMCA is located on Main Street. There is a very well-equipped volunteer department and two hospitals are located within 3 miles of the church in each direction. Between these hospitals is a six-mile medical corridor, which serves the surrounding communities. Bay Shore has large shopping centers, and outlet stores have centers in several locations on Long Island. Many great restaurants featuring the bounty of the waters surrounding us are located in and around the Bay Shore area.
A minute away is the Great South Bay, separated from the Atlantic Ocean by the barrier beach of Fire Island. This access to the ocean provides fine beaches, both public and private, and opportunities for fishing, sailing and boating. The area has ample private and public golf courses and tennis courts. The wetlands and beach dunes are protected and provide parks and nature preserves with hiking trails.
There are diverse religious affiliations within our parish boundaries. These include 20 churches, a Jewish Center (conservative) and a Reform Temple. The 20 churches are two Roman Catholic, one Ukrainian Catholic, Congregational, Episcopal, Lutheran, United Methodist, United Presbyterian, four Baptist (3 + 1 Spanish), Fundamentalist (7), Christian Science, Unitarian, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The nearby Episcopal parishes are St. Mark's, in Islip, to our east, and Christ Church, in Babylon, to our west.
Our proximity to New York City provides access to all of the cultural events it offers, such as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Broadway theaters, museums and much more. In our own area we enjoy the Babylon Chorale, Broadhollow Theater (featuring local talent), the Vanderbilt Planetarium, and Nassau Coliseum, which offers the circus, ice-skating reviews, sports and many other events. New York City holds franchises for baseball, football and hockey teams. The U.S. Open Tennis Tournament is held in Flushing Meadow Park.
Now it is growing again, at a pace that through most of the mid-1990s has been among the fastest in the region. The unemployment rate in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, which hit its worst, 8.5% in July, 1992, has been among the best in the state over the last year: 3.5% in May, according to the State Labor Department.
As military contracting has all but disappeared, Long Island has engineered a revival heavily reliant on smaller companies, computer technology, retailing and business services like law and accounting.
Newsday, June 12,1997. Scoring high marks in health, education, and the arts, Long Island (Nassau-Suffolk) place 20th out of 300 areas in MONEY magazine's 11th annual survey of America's best places to live. Nassau and Suffolk's ranking made a dramatic leap from last year's position at No. 90, and remains the highest ranked area of the eight other New York State regions included in the list.
Revitalization: After many years of deteriorating conditions in the downtown area of Bay shore, local forces have rallied and are well into its renovation for a brighter future. Southside Hospital has a redevelopment plan in progress. It is part of a medical corridor, which runs west from Southside Hospital six miles along Montauk Highway to Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip. The Regent Theater will become a cultural center. Touro College of Allied Health Services joins us in 1998. The whole downtown area is undergoing a substantial face-lifting as well as beautification and landscaping. Future plans include the L.I. Aquarium, and a park complex including a band shell.