By Tim Harfmann
Since 1893, Moshy Brothers Incorporated has been based in New York City, selling religious items. But co-owners Fred and Paul Moshy said it’s the end of an era. “It’s heavy. It’s been a wonderful ride. I’ve been here for 42 years myself. It’s a connection to the family that we’ve had all these years, and it’s not easy to let it go,” said Fred. “I feel bad that it’s coming to an end because I like the idea of spreading the word of the Catholic religion,” said Paul.
Their grandfather migrated to the United States from Lebanon and opened shop in Lower Manhattan in 1893 and later passed it onto his son. “My father came into the business during the depression. He went off to World War II and came back and continued the business. And he survived it all,” said Fred. For the past two decades, the wholesale business has operated in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. “A lot of people knew us. They would come back and say, ‘oh, I knew your father or your grandparents.’ And it made things a lot easier for us to work with them,” said Paul.
Most customers are Catholic shrines, retreat houses and universities throughout the U.S. Thousands of items are crafted overseas and shipped out from Brooklyn. The most popular one is the statue of Our Lady of Grace, but rosaries, crucifixes and gifts for baptism are also popular. Besides selling the sacred items, the Moshys are outspoken about their faith. “It’s so important today, especially with the church being under attack the way that it is, for me this has exposed me to some of the deepest elements of our faith. and I really think if people were more aware of what’s out there for them to go visit, it would be a huge aid in their faith as well,” said Fred.
Fred and Paul are looking to sell their business to an out-of-state buyer by the end of the year — otherwise it will be shutdown.