Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Buffalo, New York: Early History (1888-1966)
In 1875, two years after the organization of St. Stanislaus B.M. Parish in Buffalo, there was a very small Polish colony in northern Buffalo commonly known as Black Rock. At first, these settlers affiliated themselves with St. Louis, St. Michael and St. Francis Xavier churches which were organized by French and German settlers. When in the 1880's the number of Polish settlers in the Black Rock area increased, the members of the settlement began to feel the need of their own parish. Permission for a new parish was readily granted and Bishop Stephen Ryan appointed Father Theophil Kozlowski as the first pastor. Land was purchased in 1888 on the south side of Amherst Street between Germain and Peter Streets. Here on September 8, 1888, the ceremony of the laying of the cornerstone took place. November 21 of the same year the church
was incorporated and on January 6, 1889, Bishop Ryan dedicated the red-brick two-story structure. The church was found on the upper floor and the school rooms on the ground floor. Four classrooms were organized; with the teaching of children entrusted to lay teachers.
On October on 1901, Father Louis Chodacki assumed the position of pastor and for thirteen years, with untiring zeal, unselfish interest, ardent piety and love for his flock, drew parishioners to God and their church. During the second year of his administration, Father Chodacki appealed to Mother Mary Brunon, the Provincial Superior of the Felician Sisters in Buffalo, for sisters to replace the lay teachers in his school. His request was granted and in September of 1903, two sisters began teaching in Assumption School where registration totaled 147 pupils. At first, they commuted daily from St. Stanislaus Parish but on January 10, 1904, a third sister was added to the staff and they occupied a newly constructed convent on the parish grounds. Registration in the meantime increased so rapidly that the entire church-school combination building was converted into a school. A new large magnificent, elaborate and massive church was built later by the Rev. Ladislaus Hordych and dedicated on August 16, 1914. When in 1923, school registration totaled 912 pupils and about 250 more were not admitted because of lack of accommodation, Father Hordych decided to undertake the construction of a new school. The sister's convent was moved from Peter to Germain Street and on its site, the laying of the foundations for a new building began in January of 1924. By September of 1925, the new, modern, fire-proof school was completed. Registration soared to 1200 and temporarily a class had to be held in the old building. Father Ladislaus Brejski, a zealous and enthusiastic priest, upon assuming position as the pastor in 1925 undertook the management of the parish at a time when building projects plunged it heavily into debt. However, it was a time of prosperity and with the cooperation of his parishioners, the financial burdens werer eventually leveled. School registration kept rising, and by 1927, the school reached its peak of enrollment with 1455 pupils. For thirty years Father Brejski labored in the vineyard of Our Lord. The spiritual harvest during his pastorship was indeed great as is evidenced by more than 18 vocations to the priesthood and many more vocations to the convent. Under the present zealous and capable pastor, Monsignor Bogacki, who assumed his duties at Assumption Parish after the death of Father Brejski in 1961, the parish continues to grow spiritually and materially. Monsignor Bogacki, well know for his musical ability and as an expert in Liturgy, has put his talents to full use for the benefit of members of his flock. The ravage of time has necessitated the remodeling and renovation of the church and parochial property. Monsignor Bogacki has courageously tackled this huge task and has achieved remarkable success.
- Source: "Millennium of Christianity of the Polish People, 966-1966, Buffalo Diocesan Observance"
Editor: Rev. Milton J. Kobiski; Associate Editor: Rev. Stanley J. Ogorzaly
St. Hyacinth's Cemetery, Dunkirk, New York
(Lake Erie can be seen on the horizon.)
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
435 Amherst Street
Buffalo, New York