Church of the   Assumption

HISTORY

Church Interior 1915

Church Exterior 1915

 

The history of Assumption Parish in Buffalo must inevitably be connected with the history of Polish immigration. By 1882, a small Polish colony was formed in the Black Rock area of Buffalo. The cornerstone of the first church was laid on September 8, 1888 with Bishop Stephen Ryan presiding. In January 1889, construction of a simple edifice was complete. Father Theophil Kozlowski was appointed Pastor and served until 1891. From 1888 to 1891, 800 baptisms and 136 weddings were performed.

The basement of a new moderate-sized church was constructed in 1903, with the old church converted into a school. The parishioners envisioned a massive, ornate church. Father Louis Chodacki resigned as Pastor and was replaced by Father Ladislaus Hordych, who began work on a new church immediately. Eager parishioners helped by carrying broken stones and debris, while working between 4:00 A.M. and 7:00 A.M. and after their working hours at night. On August 16, 1914, Bishop Charles Colton laid the cornerstone for the existing church. Brick and stone construction reflected the "Old World" architectural twin towers, topped with seven-foot crosses. Romanesque in spirit and of cathedral proportions, this church is indeed a masterpiece worthy of admiration and praise.

The majestic, solid, fireproof church originally seated sixteen hundred people. The interior of the church is a specimen of timely ecclesiastical architecture. Three colorful rose windows admit the rays of the sun through two rows of fifty highly decorated stained glass windows. The lower large stained glass windows, which were imported from Europe, depict incidents in the life of Christ and the Saints.

On the 50th anniversary in 1938, 1,890 families were registered with 872 children in the school, staffed by 15 Felician Sisters. After 36 years as Pastor, Father Ladislaus Brejski was succeeded by Monsignor Maximillian T. Bogacki in 1961, who began renovation of the facilities. A modern air-conditioned hall was constructed beneath the Church and the sanctuary was redecorated by artists Michael Baranowski and Joseph Slawinski from Poland. A variety of liturgical symbols highlighting five scenes from the life of Blessed Virgin Mary were created in "scraffito". Monsignor Henry S. Kawalec was appointed pastor in 1974 and developed the liturgical, spiritual and economic future of the parish. In 1987, the interior of the church was painted, a new lighting system was installed and the pews were upholstered.

Monsignor Daniel J. Myszka took over the pastorate in 1991, upon the death of Monsignor Kawalec. A committee was formed to renovate the sanctuary and replace the deteriorating main altar. Additional lighting was also installed to enhance the magnificent scraffito, changing the total appearance of the sanctuary. Bishop Edward D. Head consecrated the new altar in 1995.

                                           ASSUMPTION TODAY
The present pastor, Reverend Richard Jedrzejewski was appointed in August of 1997 upon the retirement of Monsignor Myszka. Father Richard was ordained at Assumption Church in October of 1974. The front steps were restored in 1998. Current plans are to repair the deteriorating brickwork and main roofs of the 84-year-old structure. There are 758 families registered at Assumption Parish.

 

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