Holy Cross Catholic Church of Ovid
Village of Ovid, Seneca County, NY
Source: "Manual of the Churches of Seneca County with sketches of their pastors, 1895-96", compiled and published by the Courier Printing Co., Seneca Falls, NY 1896.
In the year 1849, Rev. Father Gilbride organized a congregation and paid regular visits, saying mass in the house of James Murphy (Denton's Corners.) After a short time Mr. Murphy was ordered not to allow the priest there any more, or, if he did, he could not any longer rent the house, and would not get any work from Mr. Denton, or others in the neighbor-hood. Then Father Gilbride said mass at John Anderson's house on Seneca street. Mass also was said in other private houses, in a cooper shop and in the court house. In 1850, Father Gilbride began to build a church 40 x 50 and in May, 1857, the church was dedicated by the late Bishop John Timon, and mass celebrated in it with great joy and consolation to both pastor and people. The congregation, although poor at that time, were active, energetic and plucky. In 1852, Rev. Father Kinney attended for a short time. He left the diocese and went to Canada. Rev. Father Gilbride returned to his charge in 1853, but his health failed, and in a short time he died at Waterloo, N. Y. On August 24th, 1854 Rev. Father Gleason, late pastor at St. Bridget's Buffalo, and vicar general of the diocese, assumed charge, living in Ovid for two years. Then he transferred his residence to Waterloo, still retaining this parish, and performed the duties incumbent until 1859. In 1859, Father McGuire took charge of the parish about six months. In 1860, Father Cavanagh attended for nearly a year, when the bishop took him back to Buffalo and made him chancellor of the diocese. December 9, 1860, F. W. Stephens succeeded Father Cavanagh and remained four months, then Father Carmon (at present of Lockport, N. Y.) for a few months and then again Father Stephens until June 4, 1861. On October 6, 186I, Father Dennis English, now pastor of St. Mary's, Canandaigua, administered to the wants of the people for two years, and in 1862 and a part of 1863, Rev. James T. McManus. member of Holy Cross parish from Geneva, N. Y. for six months. In April, 1863, Father Keenan was placed in charge and during his pastorate the church was enlarged to double the size; it had been painted and beautifully frescoed. He also purchased a cemetery and had it laid out into lots.
In 1869, Rev. James O'Connor the present pastor of St. Patrick's church, Seneca Falls, was transferred to Ovid by Rt. Rev. Bishop McQuaid. He purchased a house and land property, connected therewith, at a cost of six thousand dollars. The land was graded and then trees set out, and the place much improved. Father O'Connor purchased the organ and formed the choir by the aid of Miss Ryan of Geneva. On April 20th, 1876, Rt. Rev. Bishop McQuaid transferred Father O'Connor to Rochester, and placed the parish under the spiritual care of Rev. Thomas J. O'Connell, who continued the improvement of both church and house. He graded the church lawn, had a stone pavement laid to the road, and around the north side of the church, built a large and commodious vestibule, an improvement very much needed. The pews were painted, grained and numbered. He obtained a magnificent baptismal font and secured three acres as an addition to the cemetery lot.
The Church of the Sacred Heart, Romulus, N. Y., was commenced by Rev. James O'Connor, and finished by Father O'Connell in 1876, and dedi-cated in the fall of 1887 by Rt. Rev. B. J. McQuaid, Bishop of Rochester diocese, who gave confirmation at Holy Cross church, Ovid. N. Y., to one hundred and twenty-six children and on the same occasion confirmed fifty children of the Sacred Heart church, Romulus, N. Y.
The Rt. Rev. B.J. McQuaid made his visitation to Holy Cross church in the month of October, 1879, and found everything in good order. On October 21st, 1882, the Bishop also gave confirmation to one hundred and forty-eight persons. There was a mission given at this church by the Passionist Fathers George Harrigan of Louisville Kentucky, and Stephens of Dunkirk, N. Y. At that time nine hundred approached Holy Communion. Rt. Rev. B. J. McQuaid made his regular visitation on September 2oth, 1884, and found the church and everything in good condition and gave confirmation on the same occasion to grown people, and nineteen were confirmed.
The Rev. Felix O'Hanlon was ordained in Rochester, N. Y. on the 30th of November, 1885, and said his first mass at Holy Cross Church on Decem-ber 1, 1885. He was the first who was ordained from this parish. Rev. Patrick H. O'Connell came to this country in 1879, on a vacation to see his brother, Father O'Connell, pastor of Ovid, N.Y. He returned in the Fall and pursued his studies again in St. Jonathan's College, Tuam, county Galway, Ireland. After a year there his mother or friends could not induce him to stay in his native country and he came again to this place and entered St. Joseph's Seminary at Troy. He was ordained in Rochester, and placed in the diocese of Peoria, Ill. He said his first mass in Auburn and then at Ovid. He remained at Ovid helping his brother until he was called to Peoria, and was immediately appointed secretary at St. Mary's Cathedral, and after-wards assistant at St. Patrick's, Peoria, Ill.
The corner stone of the new church was laid at three o'clock P. M., Oc-tober 28, 1895, by Rt. Rev. B. J. McQuaid, D. D., bishop of Rochester, N. Y., There were present about twenty priests. Those attending the bishop were Rev. Thomas A. Hendricks of St. Bridget's church, Rochester, N. Y., and Rev. Dennis English, subdeacon, of Canandaigua. Others present were the Reverend Fathers Kiernan, St. Patrick's cathedral; Hickey and Oberholzer, Redeemer church, Rochester; Donnelly, Victor; Lugiro. Penn Yan; O'Hanlon, Clifton Springs; McDonald, Geneva; Ganey; O'Neill, Phelps; Harrington, Waterloo; Codyre, Fairport; O'Connor, Seneca Falls; Madden, Trumansburg; Rafferty, Scipio; McMahon, Groton; Netzel, Auburn; Murphy, Holy Apostle, Rochester. The pastor, Rev. Thomas O'Connell, entertained the Bishop and priests until five o'clock, at which time the Bishop left for Rochester. Rev. Dennis English, Canandaigua, and Reverend Fathers Codyre, Fairport, and Murphy, Rochester, also Rafferty and Angelo, stayed until the following day.
PARTIAL LIST OF MEMBERS. [Click here for an alphabetical list of members created by Joe White.]
This transcription provided courtesy of Curtis Camp.
Click here for a biographical sketch of Thomas J. O'Connell, pastor of Holy Cross Church.
© 1999-2015 Diane Lerch Kurtz / Curtis Camp