Early History of Corpus Christi Parish, Buffalo, New York: (1898-1966)
In the last decade of the nineteenth century, St. Stanislaus B. M. became one of the largest parishes in Buffalo. The vicinity around the church was densely populated and the two-level church could hardly accommodate the worshippers. Three additional parishes organized in the fast expanding neighborhood were not adequate to satisfy the spiritual needs of the people.
Although the school building was not completed, classes began on September 3 of that year with a registration of 400 pupils. For the next two years the sisters resided in the third floor of the school building and in 1907 moved to a newly built convent. In 1928 the Motherhouse of the Sisters was transferred to Hamburg, New York.
The rectory was erected in 1900. In the years 1905, through the efforts of Father Fudzinski, this structure became the headquarters for a new Polish Province of the Franciscan Fathers Conventual and remained as such until1939.
By 1928, the parish membership totaled 2000 families. That year, further expansion was curtailed by the construction of the New York Central Terminal near the parish. When the company purchased and demolished about three hundred homes to complete its project, parish membership dwindled to about 1750 families.
From 1923 to 1939, the Polish Province of the Franciscan Fathers Minor Conventual, located at the parish rectory, was administered by Father Justin Figas, who is especially remembered for the weekly Radio Rosary Hour which he inaugurated in 1926. The Rosary Hour is still being aired over the radio today under the direction of Father Cornelius Dende.
Father Bartoszewicz, who was the pastor of Corpus Christi from 1945 to 1960, observed the golden jubilee of the founding of the parish with various activities in May of 1948.
The present pastor is Father Norbert Zonca, O.F.M., Conv., who was installed on September 1, 1960. Father Zonca is a very energetic and active priest. Once can find him usually working very busily on many community projects, in addition to administering to the spiritual needs of his flock. Father Zonca initiated and spearheaded the Millennium’s Outdoor Religious Manifestation at Villa Maria held in August of 1965. He headed the Stamp Committee which was successful in obtaining a Special Commemorative stamp which was printed by the U.S. Post Office Department. In his parish, Father Zonca constantly promotes a family atmosphere and his parishioners look up to him as their “Father”. He is also a respected authority and consultor in his own religious community.
- Source: "Millennium of Christianity of the Polish People, 966-1966, Buffalo Diocesan Observance"
Editor: Rev. Milton J. Kobielski; Associate Editor: Rev. Stanley J. Ogorzaly
BUFFALO NY BOZEGO CIALA CORPUS CHRISTI POLISH CHURCH SCHOOL CONVENT 1917 PC
Aware of the situation, Bishop James Quigley appealed for help to the Franciscan Fathers Minor Conventual in Syracuse, New York, where Very Rev. Hyacinth Fudzinski was provincial superior. The Bishop designated the locality south of Broadway between Curtiss and Fillmore Avenue as a new site for the parish.
On April 22, 1898, Corpus Christi Parish
Already in 1898, through the efforts of Father Fudzinski, the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph came to the parish. They occupied at first two frame housed on Kent Street.
Polonia Music Corpus Christi Video Gallery
Corpus Christi's North Tower Cupola being placed back on the church on November 8, 2014 shot from a drone by Glenn McLaughlin.
DISPUTA: The images in the above video are of the artwork above the main altar at Corpus Christi Church in Buffalo, New York.