The Polish population of Buffalo increased very rapidly after St. Stanislaus Church was built, and even this large building was scarcely sufficient to accommodate the numbers coming there on Sundays to attend the services. There was also an unruly element amongst the Poles at that time, fostered particularly by rivals who were anxious to obtain a leadership amongst the Poles or be recognized by them as their most prominent men. About 1886 Bishop Ryan decided to establish another parish for the growing numbers of Poles. Two years previous the unruly element in St. Stanislaus Church attempted to establish an independent parish. They secured property, and began the construction of a large frame building; but the natural elements conspired against the unnatural element of rebellion amongst the Poles, and their incompleted frame structure was destroyed by a great wind storm. The partially finished building was blown into the street, and this put an end for a time to the aspirations of the independent Poles.
Bishop Ryan hoped that the establishment of a new Polish parish would reconcile these warring elements, and would furnish further accommodations for the Polish Catholics of East Buffalo. A large tract of land, bounded by Rother Avenue, Kosciuszko Street and Stanislaus Street was purchased on the 3rd of September, 1886, and the new parish was dedicated to St. Adelbert, one of the patron saints of Poland. A large frame building was erected on this property, and the parish was soon making rapid progress on its career of prosperity when the building was destroyed by fire. There was not very heavy insurance on the building, but the people were generous, and steps were soon taken to erect a more substantial building on the church property. Father Klawiter was at the head of the parish at this time, and, on account of the financial burden, Bishop Ryan decided to place another priest at the head of the parish. The unruly element which had been quiet since the natural elements destroyed their attempted church building, again manifested its existence by open rebellion to the Bishop's orders. For some months there was open rupture between the Church authorities and the unruly element was encouraged by the same few designing men who had caused the trouble some years before in St. Stanislaus' parish. They finally broke out in open rebellion against the authority of the Bishop, and established what is known as the Independent Polish Church.
The rebellion of this large number of Polish people from Church authority was the great sorrow of Bishop Ryan's life. He did everything possible to conciliate them; but they were also under the impression, as they are to this day, that they were faithful Catholics in communion with the Catholic Church and the Pope of Rome, but not under the immediate jurisdiction of an Irish Bishop, who, they believed, did not understand their customs and was not in sympathy with their aspirations. Father Lex, a very good and learned man, guided the affairs of the parish for some time during this troublesome period, when he was succeeded by the Rev. Thomas Flaczek. Father Flaczek directed the affairs of the parish for some years, and peace finally settled over this once turbulent congregation.
The school and convent were built in 1905 at a cost of $90,000.
The church was dedicated by Bishop Ryan, July, 1891, and the cemetery was blessed the previous October by Father Majewski. The Rev. Thomas Flaczek directed the affairs of the parish for thirty years.
Father Flaczek died August 23, 1926, and the Rev. Dr. Francis J. Kaluzny was appointed pastor of St. Adelbert's, September 14, 1926.
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Cheektowaga, New York