ST. BONIFACE CHURCH
BUFFALO, NEW YORK

In the spring of 1849 several Catholic families, living eastward from St. Louis' Church, decided to form a new congregation and to build a church for themselves.  They bought two lost on Mulberry Street, and Mr. A. D. Patchen donated four more; and on this plot they started a frame building, 25 feet by 60 feet.  It was completed by May 15, 1849, and the Rev. Zacharias Kunze held services in the building as the first pastor of St. John's Church.  A pastoral residence was also built this year, and they began the school building, which was ready for use the following spring.

The church building was too small to accommodate the people in 1856, so an addition of forty feet was built, and a small tower was added for a bell. FAther Kunze was succeeded in 1854 by the Rev. Rudolph Follenius.  The new pastor soon discovered that the little frame church was not large enough for his growing fold; and, after consultation with his people, he decided to erect a fine brick church.  The corner--stone was laid in November, 1856, and so rapidly was the work pushed that the church was dedicated by Bishop Timon June 15th, of the following year.  St. Boniface, the Apostle of Germany, was selected as the patron of the new church, and the parish ceased to be known as St. John's.

Father Follenius died May 27, 1859, and the Rev. H. Feldman became pastor.  He ornamented the interior of the church and purchased more land for additional buildings.  In 1861, a new two-story school house was erected.  The Rev. John Janistowski followed Father Feldman in January, 1864, and remained until March, 1866, when the Rev. John Soemer came and bought more land.

The Rev. Nicholas Sorg succeeded Father Soemer in September, 1865, and remained pastor until 1873.  Father Sorg built a large addition to the church, and surmounted the building with a fine steeple.  He also secured property for the residence of the teachers.

The Rev. Henry Feldman succeeded Father Sorg in 1873, and soon after erected a pastoral residence.  He also enlarged the school building and added to the beauty and attractiveness of the church.  The Rev. C. Wagner came in the fall of 1880, after Father Feldman's death, and labored faithfully for four years, when he was taken away by Bishop Ryan on account of some trouble with the trustees.  The Bishop left the parish without a priest from January to June 5th, when the present pastor, the Rev. Ferdinand Kolb, was appointed.  For nearly fifty years Father Kolb has labored with fidelity.  He added to the attractiveness of the church; he built a fine school for the children, and a commodious hall for the societies of the parish.  In his quiet way he has effected much good.

In 1916 Father Kolb gave a new dress to the old brick church building and made it look like grey stone with a coating of cement in the form of blocks of stone.

Two of the assistants at St. Boniface have done good work in the General Hospital, and by the zeal have brought hundreds into the Church.

Father Kolb was made a Monsignor by Rome in 1922.



Back to Buffalo Parishes.

Holly Timm
Cheektowaga, New York
erie@nygenweb.com