ST. PATRICK'S CHURCH
BUFFALO, NEW YORK

In 1853 there were a number of Catholic families living in what was called the "Hydraulics"; and many of these people were engaged in the railroad business, and some of their homes were far out Elk and Seneca Streets, and the nearest English speaking church was the old St. Patrick's, at the corner of Ellicott and Broadway.  Old St. Patrick's was at this time overcrowded, and Bishop Timon decided to form a new congregation for the convenience of the Catholic families living in the eastern section of the city.  Property was bought at the corner of Emslie and Seymour Streets.  A little frame building was erected on the northeast corner of the lot, and here the new Church of St. Vincent de Paul was established.  Bishop Timon dearly loved St. Vincent de Paul, and he named the new church in honor of this saint.  It bore the name of St. Vincent until the old St. Patrick's had gone out of existence; Then, when the Franciscan Fathers came, the name of this church was changed to St. Patrick, in honor of the Patron Saint of Ireland.

Rev. Daniel Moore was assigned by Bishop Timon to this new congregation; and he labored here faithfully for three years, forming the people into an organized body and raising funds for the erection of a more permanent church building.  Father Moore was succeeded in 1855 by the Rev. J. F. Dean, who remained here until the end of 1857, when he was succeeded by the Rev. J. McLennon.  The Rev. J. M. Early and the Rev. A. McConnell were also here for a few months before the Franciscans came.  The Rev. Dr. Barker and the Rev. George McMahon also had temporary charge of St. Patrick's Church.

The Franciscan fathers came to St. Patrick's Church in 1858, and they built all the handsome property which now serves all the purposes of the prosperous parish of St. Patrick's.  Father Sisto was at the head of this first band of Franciscans who came to labor in the City of Buffalo.  There was a little brick building on the property, which was used for a church, when the Franciscans came; and they soon erected a building adjoining for a monastery, or dwelling for the community.  Father Sisto remained until 1861, when he was succeeded by Father James, and then came Father Bonaventure two years later.  Father Bonaventure was succeeded in 1865 by Father Joachim.  Father Bonaventure came again a short time later and remained until 1868, when he was succeeded by Father James, who remained until 1871.  Father James erected the first parochial school in the parish, and brought the Franciscan Sisters from  Allegany to teach the children of the parish.  He also erected a commodious convent building on the property for the use of the sisters.  Father James died in 1877, and several Franciscan Fathers were placed over the parish until the Rev. Angelus O'Connor came.  The pastors who had charge of the parish during this period were Father Anacletus, Father Edward and Father Tranquilino.

Father Angelus built the present fine parochial school house, and fitted it up with every modern improvement necessary for an efficient school.  In the upper story of the building is a large hall, which is used for entertainment and for meetings of the societies of the parish.  Father Angelus began also the very handsome stone structure in Emslie Street, which is one of the fine church buildings of the city.  This work was completed by his successor, the Rev. Dominic Scanlon.  Plans were laid also for a handsome chapel in the rear of the church building, which would serve for week-day services in the winter season, or for use on special occasions.  A very handsome and commodious monastery, or parochial house, was also erected adjoining the chapel.  These three buildings are of brown Medina sandstone, and they form a very handsome and valuable church property.  Father Scanlon was succeeded by the Rev. Caesar Keiran, who remained at the head of the parish until his death in 1901, when the Rev. Anselm Kennedy, was appointed superior of the community and rector of the prosperous parish of St. Patrick's.

The Rev. Andrew Slattery was in charge from July, 1916, to August, 1925, when Father James was appointed.  Father James continued the work until August 15, 1928, when the Rev. Angelo Trosth came as pastor.



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Holly Timm
Cheektowaga, New York
erie@nygenweb.com