The first Catholic settlers came to Angola about the year 1850. In those early days Mass was said occasionally in the home of one of the Catholic families of the town, whenever a priest from Dunkirk or Buffalo came that way. There was a little cluster of Catholics also at North Evans, and the same priest who came to Angola also said Mass in Mr. Kennedy's cottage at North Evans, near the present freight house of the Lake Shore Railroad. The first priest who is remembered to have visited this place was the Rev. William McGurgan, who came a few times in the early sixties. The Rev. E. Sotis came a few times up to 1870. Father Eusebius advised Bishop Ryan to send a resident pastor to Angola, because he believed that at this time there were a sufficient number of Catholics in that vicinity to require the attention of a resident pastor. Bishop Ryan appointed the Rev. Thomas Ledwith as the first resident pastor of Angola. Father Ledwith came in 1871, and he immediately purchased an old school building and fitted it up for church purposes. Father Ledwith was succeeded in 1874 by the Rev. Thomas Carraher. The following pastors directed the affairs of the parish after Father Carraher up to the time of the appointment of the Rev. J. McCarthy: The Rev. A. Barlow, April 1878; Rev. J. O'Loughlin, November, 1879; Rev. C. O'Byrne, March, 1881; Rev. J. Laffan, July, 1881; Rev. G. Burns, June, 1882; Rev. J.P. Grant, February, 1884. Father McCarthy was appointed in 1886; and he used the old church building until it became too disreputable for a Catholic church, and he decided to erect a fire brick structure, which would be an ornament to the town and a credit to the Catholics. The church was completed and dedicated in 1894. Father McCarthy remained here until September, 1892, when he was succeeded by the Rev. Father Burke.

The Rev. John P. Keavin came in 1902.

The church was dedicated by Bishop Colton in 1904.

Father Keavin holds services in summer for the large colony at the shore resort, on the lake at Angola Beach.


The Rev. N. Mertz came a few times from his home at White's Corners, or Hamburg, in the early forties, and said Mass a few times in the homes of Joseph Guiney, Andrew Schappacher, John Kinney, or James Ryan.

It is said that the little church here was built in 1851. Mr. H. Byron donated a lot, and the Catholics of the town formed a kind of bee in the winter season; and they proceeded to Hemlock Grove, owned by Mr. Guiney, where they hewed enough of timber for the building, which was erected by Joseph Setter. Many Catholics were employed at this time on the construction of the Buffalo & State Line R.R., and these assisted with their contributions in paying the necessary expenses connected with the building of the little church.

The Rev. Peter Colgan visited North Evans occasionally from Dunkirk until 1856. From 1856 to 1862 North Evans was visited occasionally by priests from the cathedral at Buffalo. In 1862 the little congregation was united with the Passionist parish at Dunkirk, and was visited a few times by the Rev. A. McGuigan, the Rev. W. Geagan, Father O. Bach, Father Basil, Father O'Donnell, Father Lang, Father Vitalino and Father Sotis, until 1871, when it formed a part of the parish of Angola.

Dee Pavey