CORPUS CHRISTI CHURCH (POLISH)
BUFFALO, NEW YORK

The entire Polish population of East Buffalo has concentrated in one district of the city. The great majority of these people know only their own language; and, consequently, when they settle in the city and wish to establish homes they look for land near their fellow countrymen, where they can have congenial surroundings and can enjoy the customs they brought with them from their old homes and converse in their native tongues. Bishop Ryan secured a community of Franciscan Fathers, of a Polish province, shortly before his death; and they came to Buffalo early in 1896, to establish a new parish to accommodate the vast growing Polish population of East Buffalo. The Very Rev. Hyacinth Fudzinski was at the head of this community, and he immediately bought a large tract of land on Clark and Kent Streets for the new congregation. There were some cottages on this property, and in one of these he established his little monastery. He had a larger frame building in which he held services for the people. In a very short time he erected a fine three-story brick school building, and the first floor of this building was fitted up for church purposes. He soon after established a school on the upper stories of this building, and now he has about eight hundred pupils in attendance at the school, and the first floor of the building is crowded on Sundays with an ever growing congregation, which promises at no distant date to grow into one of the largest parishes in the city. Father Fudzinski was energetic and zealous, and he hoped to erect a magnificent building for his people. He was one of the councilors of the diocese, and was loved by his people and respected by the Bishop and priests of the diocese.

The Polish population of Buffalo increased very rapidly after 1890. Most of the newcomers selected homes in the district occupied by their fellow countrymen, identity of language the customs making the section most attractive.

The increasing number of parishioners inspired Father Fudzinski to plan the present brown stone church. The corner-stone was laid September 4, 1909, and the church was dedicated April 18, 1910. Father Fudzinski had been ailing for years. He went to Europe in 1925 for a rest. He died there and his body was brought to Buffalo for burial. Father Figas shortly after became pastor of Corpus Christi. Father Figas installed a great organ in the church in 1928.



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Holly Timm
Cheektowaga, New York
erie@nygenweb.com