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St Mary's Church


From the book: Historical Descriptive Review of Dunkirk NY Chautauqua County 1889

St Mary's Roman Catholic Church

The French Catholic missionaries in their labors with the Indians were probably the first white men who visited this section of the country. Revs. Fitzsimmons, Caragher, Lennon and Mallon each in turn did short service as priests in Dunkirk about the middle of this century, and in 1850 Father Lennon purchased the lot and buildings near the water works, which served as a church for some years. Under the direction of Bishop Timon, of Buffalo, Rev. Father Colgan, now of Corning NY; came to this charge April 23,1851, and in July, 1852 purchased the lot on which the present church edifice stands. A month later four acres for St Mary's cemetery was purchased from Dr.Ezra Williams for $800. For some years this burial place was neglected, but at present is well cared for and is being handsomely fitted up as a resting place for the dead. The corner stone for St Mary's Church was laid July 28,1853, and the church dedicated  November 12,1854. The members of the Passionist order took charge of this parish in 1860, and a year later incorporated the Dunkirk Literary, Scientific and Missionary Institute. This zealous order of priesthood was first planted in America, at Pittsburgh in 1852, and now has many indefatigable workers throughout the states from the Atlantic to the Pacific.  The present St Mary's Church is a superb edifice, with an interior of elegance and a seating capacity of over 800. It cost, including grounds, etc ; about $30,000, and the monastery attached, in which are now several students, cost nearly one-third as much more. In this a full theological course of training is given. Rev.Stephen M Kealy, C.P.; has charge of St Mary's congregation, comprising of about 400 families, and is assisted by Fathers John Baudinalli, Casimer Taylor and Boniface Sotter, all of the Passionist order. Columbus Hall, built by the society in 1868, costs about $20,000, and is the location for the parochial schools, under the superintendence of Father Kealy and the sisters of St Joseph, where about 230 pupils are enrolled. Through the untiring efforts of the teachers, industrious pupils secure every advantage and are early prepared to pass the regents examination for  advancement to the academic department of the City High School. Both Church and school are in a flourishing condition and give to Catholic families superior advantages for their religious and educational advancement.

St Mary's Monastery 1973

Located at 328  Washington Ave. in Dunkirk.

Both St Mary's Church and Sacred Heart Church had merged in 1975.

Later the name was changed to St Elizabeth Ann Seaton Church.

Basketball Champs Of St Mary's 1970-71

Photo's from Dunkirk Evening Observer, The top 2 photo's are from postcards.

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