ST. TERESA'S CHURCH
In 1897 there was a large settlement in South Buffalo, south of Buffalo
Creek. The Catholics among the population of this district had long
distances to travel to church. The churches that were nearest to
them were St. Stephen's on Elk Street, and the church at West Seneca; and
either one of these was too far for many of the people in disagreeable
weather. The bishop decided to establish a new parish for the people
of this district. In April, 1897, the Rev. M. J. Kean was appointed
pastor of the new parish. He immediately assembled his people, and
held the first service in an old abandoned public school on Cazenovia Street.
This was a little brick building, and it served the purpose of the congregation
for over two years, until their handsome new church was ready for dedication.
In April, 1898, the congregation oas organized as an incorporated body,
and the following trustees composed the first official representatives
of St. Teresa's parish: Rt. Rev. J. Quigley, President; Very Rev. M. P.
Connery, Vicar General; Rev. M. J. Kean, Treasurer; Mr. F. E. Finsterbach,
Secretary, and Mr. William H. Fitzpatrick. The parish was incorporated
under the title of St. Teresa's Roman Catholic Church Society of Buffalo,
N.Y. The handsome property of Mr. William H. Fitzpatrick, at 1974
Seneca Street, was purchased and also a lot on the corner of Seneca and
Hayden Streets was bought from Nelson Holland. Plans were prepared
by Architect Post, for a brown stone church building, which would be sufficiently
large to accommodate 600 persons. Mr. J. J. McDonough received the
contract for the mason work, and Mr. Anthony Klaus received the contract
for the carpenter work. Ground was broken in June, 1898, and the
cornerstone was laid on the 24th of the month following by Bishop Quigley.
Work was hurried on the new building, because the congregation was threatened
with eviction from the little brick school building, as this was required
as an annex to the overcrowded No. 27 public school. The first services
were held in the new church on the 21st of May, 1899. The handsome
residence, which Mr. Fitzpatrick had built for his own use, was purchased
along with the property and is the parochial residence of the pastor.
BUFFALO, NEW YORK
Father Kean died February 20, 1916, and the Rev. Edmund Gibbons was
appointed pastor of St. Teresa's. Father Gibbons made plans to accommodate
the increasing numbers in his school and church, but before he could fully
carry them out he was appointed Bishop of Albany.
The Rev. John F. Ryan came to St. Teresa's as pastor shortly after the
departure of his episcopal predecessor in the spring of 1919, and he immediately
set to work to provide accommodations for a much larger parish.
The parish had been growing rapidly in numbers, and Father Ryan found
that both church and school were inadequate to accommodate the ever increasing
congregation. He nearly doubled the seating capacity of the church
in 1925. He built a large addition to the school, which will give
him twelve more class rooms, for the very large number of children in the
parish. This work was finished and ready for the opening of the school
in September, 1926. St. Teresa's is a very handsome brown stone structure,
and is a credit to the pastor and his congregation, and an ornament to
Rev. Thomas Donohue, D.D., History of the Diocese of Buffalo
(Buffalo, New York: The Buffalo Catholic Publication Co., Inc., 1929),
Back to Buffalo Parishes.
Cheektowaga, New York