St. Mary's Catholic Church
Waterloo, 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.
"THE history of St. Mary's Church dates back to the year 1846, when this parish was first established. Two Lots of land were purchase on the west side of Center street at the auction sale of Grosvenor, and the foundation of a church laid on May 1, 1846. The following named board of trustees acted under the supervision of Rev. Father O'Flaherty, in the erection of this first building; Patrick Boyle, Patrick Mc Cullough, John Morrin, Timothy Desmond, and James Punkett. The church, thirty feet by forty feet, was finished and opened for divine service on October 17, 1846. The first mass was celebrated therein by the Rev. William Carroll on November 3rd of the same year. Rev. Father Carroll visited this church from Seneca Falls, besides attending at Clyde and Springport, and was the first resident pastor in Waterloo. Prior to his time, mass was celebrated at irregular intervals by missionary priests from the neighboring cities. His successor was Father Gilbride, who after an administration of six months died in August 1854. He was succeeded by the Rev. William Gleason. He built an addition to the church of twenty-five feet and erected a brick school house, which has been taken down to make way for the erection of the new church. Father Gleason was removed to Buffalo in 1859. He was succeeded by Rev. Martin Kavanaugh, who ministered to the spiritual needs of the people for one year. In 1861 Father Stephen's was appointed pastor, and was succeeded by Rev. Dennis English, who remained until 1863, when he was removed to Geneva, and is at present pastor at Canandaigua. During the year 1864, the parish was attended by Rev. Edward McGowan of Seneca Falls. Rev. Terrance Keenan was then appointed pastor of Waterloo and remained until 1869. By him a new rectory was built on the lot south of the church.
Rev. Louis A. Lambert followed Father Keenan and remained until 1888. During his pastorate he constructed the beautiful stone church, which is considered one of the finest church edifices in the Rochester diocese. The church is built of blue stone. It is of Gothic architecture. Its dimensions are, length, 128 feet, transept, 70 feet, main building, 40 feet. The structure is a cross formation. There is also a chapel attached, 40x20 feet. The spire will reach the height of 130 feet from the base. The windows, which are unique in design and artistic in finish, are of stained glass, and are all memorial windows. A new cemetery was also purchased by Father Lambert. Rev. John J. Hickey succeeded Father Lambert and, during his pastorate, the interior of the church, which is perfect in all its appointments, was completed. It was dedicated by Right Rev. Bishop McQuaid in December, 1889. Father Hickey remained until March, 1895, and was succeeded by the present pastor, Rev. William H. Harrington, who, during his short pastorate, has made many improvements. The debt on the church has been greatly reduced. The sum of $4,500 was realized at the fair recently held, which was due to the efficient management of the worthy pastor.
There are several active societies in connection with St. Mary's church, the Rosary and Scapular, the oldest established society, the Sodality, and also the Ladies' Aid, a new society formed by our zealous pastor, which responds nobly to all appeals for help. He has also organized a Catholic club for the young men of the parish, who have rooms elegantly fitted up and also a well-selected library, where they spend their evenings in study and recreation. The Temperance Cadets is a society formed for the junior members of the congregation. Father Harrington's ambition is to pay off the debt of the church, erect the tower and have a chime of bells, calling the faithful to prayer; and it will soon be realized, judging by his zeal and energy, and the pleasant relations existing between pastor and people. The church, when completed, will be one of the handsomest in the State. The congregation numbers 1,200, whose trustees are: Right Rev. Bishop McQuaid, Rev. Father O'Hare, Rev. William H. Harrington, Paul G. Walsh and J.B. Maloney.
List of Pew Renting Members [in 1896]
This transcription provided courtesy of Dianne Thomas.
© 1999-2015 Diane Lerch Kurtz / Dianne Thomas