The Rev. F.X. Scherer of Cheektowaga started a little mission for the Catholics at Genesee Street, near the City Line, in December, 1918. In 1919 property was bought and a little church was built, which was blessed by Bishop Turner, June 26, 1920. The Rev. Edward Ott was appointed first resident pastor, April 29, 1923. Father Ott bought more land and built the school and the convent. He also purchased a house for a rectory. He also built a wayside rustic shrine which attracts many visiters.


Joseph Batt, a pious Alsatian, left his native land, with his family in October, 1826, to seek a new home in America. A violent storm threatened the destruction of the little ship. Mr. Batt, on his knees, vowed he would erect a shrine in honor of the Blessed Virgin if he and his family would reach in safety their destination. After many vicissitudes they reached Buffalo in 1827. He donated a plot of land for the shrine. A little school was started in 1827. July 10, 1853, the corner-stone of the shrine was laid by Rev. Rudolph Follenius of Williamsville, and was dedicated October 2, 1853, under the title "Maria Hilf." This was a mission attended from Williamsville, until March 17, 1890, when the Rev. Joseph Fischer came as first resident pastor. Father Fischer taught the school for some time. In March, 1893, the Rev. Francis X. Sherer succeeded Father Fischer. Father Sherer immediately began the combination school and convent, which was completed in October, 1893. In 1923 Father Sherer bought more property, on which he hopes to erect a large church and a protected open air pavillion, for the shrine, to accomodate the large numbers of pious pilgrims who visit the shrine on the feast of the Blessed Virgin. The new shrine was dedicated Sunday, May 23, 1926, by Monsignor Nash.


So many Polish people had established homes near the City Line and Broadway, at the Forks, that Bishop Turner appointed the Rev. F.X. Guzy in 1922, to organize a parish for them. Father Guzy said the first Mass for them December 10, 1922, in the home of Ignatius Kravezyk.

In January, 1923, the parish bought property at the corner of Clinton Street and Broadway east. There were two buildings on this property. A large frame building was remodeled into a church with room for a school, and the brick building was used for the convent. The rectory was bought in January, 1923. The school was opened in September of the same year .

The corner-stone of the new church was laid May, 20, 1928, by Msgr. A. Pitass.


In 1907 Bishop Colton appointed the Rev. Andrew Gartska to organize a parish for the Polish people who had settled at Doyle. Father Gartska bought land for the church and remained about one year when the Rev. W.S. Hordych came, and he soon erected a fine church and school building. The corner-stone was laid by Bishop Colton, June 16, 1907. Father Hordych was in charge until March, 1914, when the Rev. Charles Mioduszewski came.

The Rev. S. Kroczak came in 1924, and the next year he built a convent and the rectory.


A new city sprang into existence in 1895, near Lancaster. The New York Central Railroad and the West Shore Railroad transferred their shops to a place which was named Depew, in honor of the president of the New York Central, in 1895; and these works brought a great number of men to the new town. Next year the Rev. J.J. Deally was sent to Depew to organize a congregation and build a church for the Catholics of that place. He erected a magnificient brick church building, and a handsome residence of the same material, adjoining the church. The town, however, did not grow as rapidly as first impressions promised, and the handsome church property was heavily burdened with debt. Father Deally remained here until the spring of 1902, when he was succeeded by Rev. C. Killeen. Father Killeen was an energetic worker and a good business manager.

The church was dedicated March 19, 1899. Father Killeen remained until September, 1913, when he was succeeded by the Rev. Charles E. Duffy, D.D. Dr. Duffy continued the successful work of his predecessor until June 1, 1919, when he was succeeded by the Rev. James Hogan. The Rev. John C. Dobbins came in 1927. The Rev. D.J. McCarthy was appointed pastor, Easter, 1928.


For the convenience and accommodation of the increasing Polish population of Depew another parish was organized June 6, 1909, under the direction of the Rev. A. Majewski. A combination building for church and school was immediately erected, and a rectory and a convent were added shortly after. The Rev. P.M. Tymek has been pastor for some years and has done efficient work.


When the New York Central and the West Shore Railroads transferred their shops to the East of Buffalo, near Lancaster, a new town sprang up, which was called Depew, in honor of the president of the New York Central. The shops furnished employment to many hundreds, and the Poles came in large numbers seeking homes in the new town. On the 15th of April, 1894, the Rev. Peter Basinski organized the parish of SS. Peter and Paul in Depew.

The Rev. Cajatan Labusinski was appointed pastor the next year, and he immediately started work on the new brick church, which was completed the same year.

Father Fimowicz came November 14, 1904, and built the rectory and the parochial school. Father Fimowicz remained until the spring of 1914, when the Rev. Michael Helminiak became pastor.

The Rev. Thomas Gwozdy is the present pastor.

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