Author: Daniel Gorman Jr.
Note: This essay is intended to complement Victoria Schmitt and Sr. Anna Louise Staub’s 1998 history of St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church, which appeared in two parts in the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County, N.Y.’s Rochester History journal.
This map shows the site of St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church from 1929 to 2006. As of spring 2020, the site is the location of the New Progressive Cathedral (COGIC).
As Robert McNamara explains in his history of the Rochester diocese, Bishop McQuaid created St. Augustine as part of a larger expansion of Rochester Catholic churches. St. Augustine opened first as a wood-framed mission of St. Patrick’s Cathedral at Chili Avenue and Hobart Street in 1898, and became a full-fledged parish in 1906.[i] The new parish reduced the distance that Irish, English, and German Catholics in southwest Rochester would have to travel to attend Mass or Catholic school.[ii] The Sisters of St. Joseph staffed St. Augustine’s school, although the first principal, Sr. M. Regina Flaherty, was soon reassigned to open St. Monica’s Catholic school.[iii]
SA Chili Ave Photographs from 1907. Scanned at 600 DPI.SA-Parish-Map-No-Date-Cropped
St. Augustine Parish Map (No Date)
After a fire damaged the original wood-framed mission church building in the fall of 1906, Fr. John H. O’Brien, the first full-time pastor, opted to build a new facility. Architect Joseph Oberlies designed a single building consisting of both the church and its school.[iv] According to church historians Victoria Schmitt and Sr. Anna Louise Staub, SSJ, this “duplex structure” enabled St. Augustine “to grow, and then build a separate church. After that, the whole duplex building could be used as a school.”[v]
To mark the opening of the new church-school building, parishioners hosted a public fair. Photographs show that the church basement was filled with local vendors and American flags. The flags reflect Catholics’ (especially immigrant Catholics’) attempts to overcome Progressive-Era anti-Catholicism and show that Catholics were sufficiently patriotic, despite their veneration of the Roman pope.[vi] Although tensions existed in this period between Catholics of different national origins, the institution of the Catholic parish, Schmitt and Staub note, “provided a fortress to offset the cultural influence of the dominant Protestant community. It provided spiritual life and familiar rituals, education, an active social life, and welfare.” With that said, I disagree with Schmitt and Staub’s claim that Catholics “sought to impress outsiders, but not necessarily … attract or transform them.”[vii] Rather, by fusing Roman Catholic ritual with signs of democracy, American Catholics tried to claim their place in the republic and change the minds of Protestants who viewed them with suspicion.SA-Fair-Article-Circa-1907-Courier-Journal
“St. Augustine’s Fair,” The Courier Journal, May 3, 1906
Building on the idea of Catholic churches as advocates of local welfare, a 1995 oral history interview with Mary Kavanagh McMahon recounts how the parishioners of St. Augustine might help neighboring parishes during crises:
1920: When fire destroyed the west wing of St. Patrick’s Girls Orphan Asylum (6/2/20), the families of St. Augustine’s opened hearts and homes to the older orphaned girls, whose dormitory had been utterly destroyed. Even after repairs had been completed on the building, some of the parents [at St. Augustine] asked for the girls to remain with them during the summer vacation, and in a few instances paid the tuition for them to attend Nazareth Academy.[viii]
St. Augustine’s hybrid church-school building remained in use until the mid-1920s. Since the parish population continued to grow, especially once Portuguese families moved into the area, Fr. O’Brien collaborated with architect James Arnold on a new church, which was located on Chili Avenue between Hobart and Lozier Streets. This third St. Augustine opened in 1929.[ix] Church bells were not installed until 1938, when O’Brien, returning from vacation, discovered that associate pastor Edward Waters and parishioners had put them in place during his absence.[x] In 1929–30, Bishop J.F. O’Hern ordered the creation of a mission church, St. Helen’s Chapel, on Renouf Drive in the nearby suburb of Gates. This mission church operated under the oversight of St. Augustine until 1940, at which time St. Helen’s became an independent parish.[xi]
Schmitt and Staub have found many anecdotes noting O’Brien’s compassion for his parishioners.[xii] Holly Peer’s 1974 oral history interview with Louise M. Leschander, who had attended St. Augustine since its opening, gave another interpretation of O’Brien’s pastorate, noting changes in Catholic culture between the World Wars:
“[O’Brien] believed in telling people what was right[,] and it was right … in those days.” He insisted that his parishioners name their children after Saints, and he lost a few parishioners for criticizing their choice of names. When hemlines were shortened, Father O’Brien commented one day at Mass that he was tired of seeing “shanks” and that it was good to see people with “their limbs covered.” Miss Leschander declares that he was a “wonderful man, but to tell the truth, if you lead a good life, that’s all…. There’s only one God for everyone. Some people take things so seriously, they’ll wind up on South Avenue [a reference to a local psychiatric center].”[xiii]
The 1995 Rochester Museum and Science Center oral history with Sr. Anna Louise Staub contains a similar description of O’Brien and his conception of gender: “Father O’Brien, the first pastor, was Irish. A crackerjack. He’d get up on Sunday and scold the women with their pimply arms showing.”[xiv]
O’Brien remained the pastor until his death in January 1945, nearly forty years after he began his tenure. Fr. John Duffy replaced O’Brien.[xv] Duffy continued to modify the St. Augustine physical plant. Notably, in 1948–50, Duffy fundraised and oversaw the construction of a new convent for the parish’s Sisters of St. Joseph.[xvi] The new St. Augustine convent later housed nuns from Our Lady of Good Counsel.[xvii] Fr. Duffy remained at St. Augustine until his mandatory retirement at age 75 in 1968, at which time Fr. Edward Tolster succeeded him.[xviii] Tolster was popular with parishioners, but he died suddenly in 1972.[xix]SA-Miss-Gunter-9-48-Negative-of-Church-Front_compressed
“Miss Gunter,” Negative of St. Augustine Church Front (Sept. 1948)
During the 1960s, the Vatican II ecumenical council inspired substantial changes in Catholic worship around the world. Masses were now conducted in the vernacular, instead of the mandatory Latin; communion rails were generally removed; and priests faced the congregation for the entirety of the service. American churches experimented with new practices such as Masses scored with folk music and new committees providing lay Catholics a greater role in church governance. St. Augustine was no exception to either trend. A school board was formed in 1967, and a parish council was formed in 1972.[xx] Fr. Tolster approved the formation of the Sun Folk Group, led by Dennis Caiazza and Mike Ciminelli, in 1971. In 1996, David Caiazza recalled, “Sun’s unique approach to its musical style was to find spiritual meaning in the popular songs of the day as well as traditional melodies and apply them to worship…. This inspiring presentation of meaningful music, enthusiastic young people, and dedication helped make the weekly 9:30 a.m. Sunday mass by far the best attended service of the week at St. Augustine’s.” Sun Folk Group recorded its first album, Sun, to benefit the church in 1973.[xxi] Although the original group broke up in 1979, a second album, Reprise, was produced in 1998 to mark St. Augustine’s centennial.[xxii]SA-Sun-Folk-Group-History-by-David-Caiazza-1996
Sun Folk Group History by David Caiazza (1996)
In many regards, St. Augustine did well in this period. Parish mothers raised funds for a new, state-of-the-art library with multimedia holdings and a full-time librarian.[xxiii] Sisters of St. Joseph ran the school and the music ministry.[xxiv] Youths from St. Augustine performed in the original musicals that Anthony Falzano and Sr. Sheila Walsh, SSJ, produced at St. Monica under the auspices of the Upstairs Youth Agency.[xxv] Several 19th Ward churches, including St. Augustine, combined to form SWEM, the Southwest Ecumenical Ministry, which continues to provide social services in the 19th Ward.[xxvi] Yet the community was in turmoil. Schmitt and Staub detail how African Americans moving into the neighborhood encountered open hostility from white residents. White realtors engaged in block busting, by which they provoked white residents into moving away and then flipped the houses to African American customers, typically at a mark-up.[xxvii] The 19th Ward Community Association, founded in 1967 with assistance from local churches, promoted a message of multiculturalism and home ownership to counteract block busting.[xxviii]
The regional magazine Upstate New York ran a racially alarmist article in November 1973 about white flight in the 19th Ward, “Parishes in Trouble: Diminishing White Catholic Congregations in Changing Neighborhoods.” The article claims that St. Monica “disintegrate[ed] as blacks migrated into the neighborhood,” notes that a parishioner angry at local black youths broke into St. Monica and threatened Rev. Zimmer (a supporter of integration), and suggests that the 19th Ward’s changing racial demographics would bring financial disarray to St. Augustine. Despite its problematic racial elements, the article is useful for detailing the dispute over who would succeed Fr. Tolster as St. Augustine’s pastor. Parishioners wanted Fr. Robert Bradler, but instead got Frs. Paul McCabe and Neil Miller. Parishioners also lobbied against the appointment of Sister Marietta Hanss, R.S.M., as a pastoral associate — a role that would involve sharing administrative duties with the male priests. The petition failed, and Hanss assumed her post in September 1973. McCabe and Miller told Upstate that they felt St. Augustine could survive the closure of its school, whereas many parishioners viewed the school as essential.[xxix]SM-Parishes-in-Trouble-Upstate-11-4-1973
Ron Robitaille, “Parishes in Trouble: Diminishing White Catholic Congregations in Changing Neighborhoods,” with photos by Jim Laragy, Upstate New York, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Sunday, Nov. 4, 1973
Rapid pastoral turnover continued through the 1970s. Fr. Miller stayed only until 1975, after which Fr. David Simon replaced him. In 1978, both Simon and McCabe departed, and Fr. Elmer McDonald became the pastor. McDonald was only at St. Augustine for a year, after which Fr. William Trott began his decade-long tenure.[xxx] The 1970s were also notable for the changing racial, ethnic, and age demographics in the 19th Ward. A parish profile from November 1977 described St. Augustine as having “a large number of elderly people, a significant population of Portuguese and Italian immigrants, a growing but still very small number of black families, a stable number of young families with young children, and a declining number of middle-aged families.”[xxxi] A memo from the diocesan personnel board to St. Augustine in November 1977 predicted that 15–20 parishes in Rochester would soon need staff fluent in both English and Spanish.[xxxii]
In the early 1980s, the increasing number of African American residents and Catholic school students continued to discomfit older, white parishioners at churches such as St. Monica’s and Our Lady of Good Counsel. It cannot be coincidence that St. Augustine School, led by Sr. St. Luke Hardy, took proactive steps to emphasize social justice and racial cooperation in the same period. On March 5, 1985, St. Augustine School hosted an event called S.C.O.R.E. — the Student Conference on Racial Equality. The conference featured guests from the Urban League and the Colgate Rochester Divinity School (a Protestant seminary), screenings of the films Now That the Buffalo’s Gone and Bill Cosby on Prejudice, and remarks by Melissa Mercendetti, whom the program described as a “Spokesperson for Native American Rights.” Students’ programs contained excerpts from the Psalms and Gospel of Luke, passages from Proverbs captioned “Personal Reflection — Social Justice,” and Rev. Jesse Jackson’s speech from the 1984 Democratic Convention. The program also featured the lyrics to Sly and the Family Stone’s “Everyday People” and Albert King’s “Hold Hands with One Another,” positioning the soul classics as secular hymns. Sr. St. Luke and her colleagues’ efforts reflect the work of clergy at St. Monica and OLGC to improve the racial climate in the neighborhood, while not giving up on an activist orientation. On the administrative level, at least, these were liberal Catholic churches.[xxxiii]SA-School-Student-Conference-on-Racial-Equality-Booklet-3-5-1985
SA School Student Conference on Racial Equality Booklet (3-5-1985)
St. Augustine School closed in June 1986. At the closing ceremony, principal Sr. St. Luke wrote in the church bulletin, “All of our students, Kindergarten through Grade 8, will be missioned in a personal way to their new schools.”[xxxiv] Before the closure, the school hosted one more social justice program — a conference exploring what youth thought about nuclear war. Noted Catholic peace activist Jerry Berrigan was one of the speakers. According to City Newspaper reporter Lou Buttino, Berrigan “told the students to spiritually clasp hands with seventh and eighth graders from around the world. The conference was a lot like career day, since peacemaking is also a career — ‘a way of life.’” Buttino’s article preserves many poignant statements from St. Augustine students as they mulled what nuclear would do to the planet, and what they would say to loved ones in their final moments.[xxxv]
A 1996 oral history interview, apparently with Sr. St. Luke (although the editors, Schmitt and Staub, do not formally identify the sister), discusses the closing of the school. Note that the transcript mixes the editors’ voice with that of the interview subject:
She knows she had an influence, as did Fr. Trott and the faculty on coming to deal with this in a positive way. She remembers about some of the earlier meetings — there was a wonderful mix of pastor and concerned parents. A couple came hoping the school would be there for their kids. A wonderful mix of people — black and white, Catholic and non-Catholic.
Father Trott was a wonderful spiritual leader in the sense that he instilled in all the people that were there the message that we need to be discerning to know where God’s leading us as a community. Not saying you can’t pray that the school won’t close, make the school stay here. Helped people get above that and discern where is the Lord leading us? That was a powerful thread that carried through that whole time. It was like a lifeline. Not be griping that the Diocese didn’t do this, or we’re better than this other school, etc. The focus was, this is where we are, where is the Lord taking us. Let’s not fight it[;] it may be hard. People hated it, were upset, and emotional. It was a hard situation — where do we find life in this. A lot of similarities with the death situation — the denial, the arguing, etc. A big loss in many lives. Sister came at it from that same instance. She was an instrument along with Bill Trott. They had lots of assistance from many good people who could pick up on that spirit and move in that direction.[xxxvi]
The church bulletin for June 22, 1986, which contained Sr. St. Luke’s farewell message, also reported that St. Augustine parishioner Brian McNulty had become a Catholic deacon. Soon, his wife Lynne would become a deacon at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. Fr. Bill Trott invited the congregation to attend Lynne’s ordination ceremony at St. Stephen’s: “This is another opportunity to reach out to our Episcopal neighbors in a spirit of evangelical love, learning more about another expression of true faith and bringing the dream of Jesus, ‘that all may be one,’ another step toward fulfillment.”[xxxvii] Trott’s support of Lynne McNulty’s ministry reflected, on a local level, Pope John Paul II’s increased outreach to the global Anglican Communion, including the U.S. Episcopal Church.[xxxviii] Schmitt and Staub describe Trott’s commitment not only to ecumenical relations, but also to social justice; Trott was active in SWEM’s Project Reach evangelization initiative, formed a prison ministry, and pushed for stronger relations with the 19th Ward’s youth and African American residents.[xxxix]
In the late 1980s, St. Augustine and St. Stephen’s collaborated on Elisha House, a hospice for cancer and AIDS patients, although St. Augustine was the legal owner of the facility. Deacon Lynne McNulty was the first director of Elisha House.[xl] Simultaneously, Sr. Eileen Conheady, SSJ, of the Catholic Family Center worked with Trott and St. Augustine Building Committee chair Christine Schramm, among others, to turn the former St. Augustine convent into Women’s Place, a shelter for women who suffered from homelessness or domestic violence, and for their children. Women’s Place opened in 1989.[xli]
Parish and diocesan budget problems intensified in the 1990s. In 1992, St. Augustine joined a cost, facilities, and priest-sharing venture with St. Monica and Our Lady of Good Council called the FIRST Cluster, later known as the Roman Catholic Community of the 19th Ward (RCC19).[xlii] The churches in the cluster maintained their individual identities. A 1998 planning document for the Community called for “a Catholic spiritual presence in the 19th ward in the three distinct and vital locations represented by the three parishes…. There is still abundant life and spirit in the communities and each community has something significant to offer to its immediate neighbors, to the cluster and to the larger urban community.” Even so, church budget deficits continued to grow.[xliii] A series of violent crimes, including muggings and murders, in the 19th Ward unsettled residents and galvanized Catholic officials from the Community to lobby against gun violence.[xliv]
Several priests, including Bob Ring, Bob Werth and Ghananian priest Peter Enyan-Boadu, served at St. Augustine during the 1990s; Werth became the nominal pastor from 1992 to 2004.[xlv] The Roman Catholic Community launched a number of innovative programs, notably an LGBT ministry facilitated by Fr. Raymond Fleming of Emmanuel Church for the Deaf and affiliated with Mary Ellen Lopata’s larger Catholic Gay & Lesbian Family Ministry in the Diocese of Rochester.[xlvi] Against this backdrop of diocesan transition, St. Augustine celebrated its centennial in 1998. Volunteers collected oral histories, and Victoria Schmitt and Sister Anna Louise Staub wrote a history of the parish, which the Rochester History journal published in two parts.[xlvii] In an anonymized oral history document from this period, one parishioner wished that St. Augustine would “stay opened” in the future.[xlviii]
The Roman Catholic Community of the 19th Ward added Ss. Peter and Paul, which shared its building with Emmanuel Church of the Deaf, in the early 2000s.[xlix] Per Bishop Clark’s mandate, the four RCC19 churches would have three weekend Masses at two locations, but only one priest would serve all the churches.[l] St. Augustine became a member of Interfaith Action, a coalition of churches that aimed to beautify and improve living conditions in the city’s west side. Interfaith Action, operating out of office space in the St. Augustine rectory, lobbied the city in spring 2002 to expand policing in the 19th Ward. A May 14, 2002, town hall meeting at St. Augustine reflected Interfaith Action’s multi-pronged approach. Attendees discussed the city’s “Raise a Roof!” home ownership program, but St. Augustine pastoral minister Joachim Flores made an impassioned speech about the need for the police to crack down on 19th Ward gang activity.[li]
In 2003, RCC19 undertook a new round of pastoral planning, led by the 19th Ward/Corn Hill/Bull’s Head Planning Group. This review process built on the 1990s “Pastoral Planning for the New Millennium” initiative, which required each parish to assess its condition. In fall 2004, Bishop Clark called for the reduction of RCC19 to one priest, three weekend Masses, and a single administrative staff.[lii] Officials from RCC19 canvassed parishioners and developed a downsizing plan. In November 2005, the Planning Group recommended the closure of OLGC, St. Augustine, and Ss. Peter and Paul. Parishioners took a vote and agreed to this plan. After the closures, parishioners would report to St. Monica, which would also become home to Emmanuel Church of the Deaf. Some parishioners of the closing churches reported a feeling of loss, while others accepted the change, given the city’s declining Catholic population.[liii] Longtime St. Augustine member Kathy Murty focused on organizing her church’s archive, which was then moved to St. Monica.[liv]
St. Augustine’s final Mass occurred on Sunday, April 23, 2006.[lv] Diocesan reporter Rob Cullivan noted that St. Augustine had continued to diversify in its final years:
Koreans, Haitians, Sudanese, and many other immigrants have called St. Augustine’s home, a fact acknowledged when the congregation sang a hymn with verses in 15 different languages. Judith Ekiyor, a native of Nigeria, observed that the parishioners welcomed immigrants. “They’re trying to know you, to make you feel comfortable, supporting you in any way they can.”[lvi]
Once St. Augustine closed, the diocese sold the church to the New York Western First Junction of the Church of God in Christ, which converted the building into the New Progressive Cathedral.[lvii] The cathedral remains operational as of this writing.[lviii]SA_BWChurchPhotos8-8-1969copy_compressed
St. Augustine Black and White Church Photos (Aug. 8, 1969), Batch 1
In the endnotes that follow, SMA stands for the St. Monica Roman Catholic Church Archives, 34 Monica Street, Rochester, N.Y., 14619. Open-access back issues of The Catholic Courier, in its various iterations (Courier Journal, etc.), are available at http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/ and http://lib.catholiccourier.com/.
[i] Daniel Gorman Jr., interview with John Curran, 20 Sept. 2018; Robert F. McNamara, The Diocese of Rochester in America, 1868–1993, foreword by Most Rev. Fulton J. Sheen, 2nd ed. (Rochester, N.Y.: Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, 1998), 187; Victoria Schmitt and Sr. Anna Louise Staub, SSJ, “Building an Urban Faith Community: Centennial History of St. Augustine Church, Part One,” Rochester History 60, No. 2 (Spring 1998): 3.
[ii] SA Golden Jubilee Pamphlet (Oct. 24, 1948), 5, copy in SMA; Schmitt and Staub, “Building, Part One,” 4. See also: Rev. John H. O’Brien, “History of St. Augustine’s Church, 1898–1924, Rochester N.Y.” (1924), 15–16, SMA. Note: The ethnicity of Catholics routinely affected the creation of new parishes. For instance, in 1929–30, Bishop O’Hern created new mission churches that were largely intended to minister to Italian Catholics, while St. Helen’s Church in Gates, a mission overseen by St. Augustine, was meant to serve all Catholics in the immediate area [see: McNamara, Diocese, 345; SA Golden Jubilee Pamphlet, 13–14].
[iii] SA Golden Jubilee Pamphlet, 5–7; Schmitt and Staub, “Building, Part One,” 6.
[iv] SA Golden Jubilee Pamphlet, 5–7.
[v] Schmitt and Staub, “Building, Part One,” 10.
[vi] Schmitt and Staub, “Building, Part One,” 13; “St. Augustine’s Fair. Preparations Made to Open on Monday Evening,” The Catholic Courier Journal (Rochester, N.Y.), circa 1907, copy in SMA; St. Augustine’s Fair photographs (1906), SMA. A handwritten note on the SMA copy of the Courier article gives the publication date as May 3, 1906, but this is incorrect, since the article says, “The building to be used as a church and school by the members of St. Augustine’s parish is now completed.”
[vii] Schmitt and Staub, “Building, Part One,” 10.
[viii] Personal Interview with Mary Kavanagh McMahon (Nov. 20, 1995), edited by Sr. Anna Louise Staub and Victoria Schmitt, in Schmitt-Staub Research Notes (compiled 1990s), SA files, SMA.
[ix] SA Golden Jubilee Pamphlet, 9–13; SA House Tour Flier 1991, copy in SMA; Schmitt and Staub, “Building, Part One,” 18; Schmitt and Staub, “Building an Urban Faith Community: Centennial History of St. Augustine Church, Part Two,” Rochester History 60, No. 3 (Summer 1998): 2 [“By the 1950s, the campus of St. Augustine occupied the block of Chili Avenue between Hobart and Lozier Streets”].
[x] SA Golden Jubilee Pamphlet, 14.
[xi] Daniel Gorman Jr., interviews with John Curran, 20 Sept. 2018 and 20 Dec. 2018; SA Diamond Jubilee Pamphlet (Oct. 1973), 8, copy in SMA. I also consulted copies of newspaper articles, which I scanned as “SA Newspapers 1929–30 (Courier).pdf” and gave to SMA and the Diocese of Rochester Archives.
[xii] Schmitt and Staub, “Building, Part One,” 18–20.
[xiii] SA Louise Leschander Oral History (May 4, 1974), edited by Holly Peer 23, in Schmitt-Staub Research Notes (compiled 1990s), SA files, SMA.
[xiv] “Meeting with Sr. Anna Lousie Staub, at the St. Joseph Mother House” (Aug. 22, 1995), Rochester Museum and Science Center, copy in Schmitt-Staub Research Notes (compiled 1990s), SA files, SMA.
[xv] SA Golden Jubilee Pamphlet, 16–17.
[xvi] SA Diamond Jubilee Pamphlet, 13; SA Golden Jubilee Pamphlet, 19; Schmitt and Staub, “Building, Part Two,” 4.
[xvii] SA Diamond Jubilee Pamphlet, 26.
[xviii] SA Diamond Jubilee Pamphlet, 15.
[xix] SA Diamond Jubilee Pamphlet, 16.
[xx] SA Diamond Jubilee Pamphlet, 23.
[xxi] David Caiazza, SA Sun Folk Group History (1996), copy in SMA.
[xxii] Schmitt and Staub, “Building, Part Two,” 12; Sun Folk Group (St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church, Rochester, N.Y.), Reprise: To Benefit St. Augustine Centennial, 1898–1998, audio CD, copies in SMA.
[xxiii] SA Diamond Jubilee Pamphlet, 14.
[xxiv] SA Diamond Jubilee Pamphlet, 27–28.
[xxv] Gorman, interview with Curran, 20 Dec. 2018; Schmitt and Staub, “Building, Part Two,” 11.
[xxvi] Schmitt and Staub, “Building, Part Two,” 8–9.
[xxvii] Schmitt and Staub, “Building, Part Two,” 6–7.
[xxviii] Gorman, interview with Curran, 20 Dec. 2018. For further information on the 19th Ward Community Association, please consult the 19th Ward Community Association of Rochester Papers, University of Rochester Libraries, Dept. of Rare Books, Special Collections, & Preservation, https://rbscp.lib.rochester.edu/finding-aids/D271.
[xxix] Ron Robitaille and Jim Laragy, “Parishes in Trouble: Diminishing White Catholic Congregations in Changing Neighborhoods,” Upstate New York, Sunday, 4 Nov. 1973, 4–9, copy in SMA; quote from page 4. Further reading: Schmitt and Staub discuss the McCabe, Miller, and Hanss episode in “Building, Part Two,” 9–10. For an “official” account of McCabe, Miller, and Hanss’s hiring, omitting the parish tensions altogether, see the SA Diamond Jubilee Pamphlet, 18–22. Page 30 of the Diamond Jubilee Pamphlet calls McCabe and Miller “young, dedicated and zealous priests.”
[xxxi] “Saint Augustine Parish Profile” (Nov. 1977), SA Parish Profiles Folder, SMA.
[xxxii] “Memoranda from Personnel Board” (Nov. 11, 1977), SA Parish Profiles Folder, SMA.
[xxxiii] St. Augustine School Student Conference on Racial Equality Booklet, March 5, 1985, copy in SMA; see also St. Augustine School Teacher Conference Program, Sept. 28, 1984, copy in SMA. For the films: Bill Cosby and Thomas Mossman, Bill Cosby on Prejudice, KCET-TV, 1971, Internet Archive, Public Domain Mark 1.0, acc. Mar. 30, 2018, https://archive.org/details/BillCosbyOnPrejudice. There are several short films titled Now That the Buffalo’s Gone, but the likeliest result is: Burton Gershfield, “Now That the Buffalo’s Gone,” UCLA Student Film 1967, entry in Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in Los Angeles 1945–1980, edited by David Lebrun, acc. Mar. 30, 2018, https://www.alternativeprojections.com/films/now-that-the-buffalos-gone/#section-description.
[xxxiv] St. Augustine Church Bulletin, June 22, 1986, 3, copy in SMA. For further information on the school closure, see Fr. Bill Trott’s pastoral letter in: St. Augustine Church Bulletin, June 29, 1986, 2, copy in SMA.
[xxxv] Lou Buttino, “Boys and My Rabbit,” City Newspaper Journeys (Rochester, N.Y.), June 5, 1986, 12, copy in SMA. For more information on Berrigan, see: Ed Griffith-Nolan, “Jerry Berrigan: A Life in Activism,” Syracuse New Times, Aug. 5, 2015, accessed Mar. 18, 2018, https://www.syracusenewtimes.com/jerry-berrigan-life-activism/.
[xxxvi] Oral history interview [Sr. St. Luke Hardy?], edited by Sr. Anna Louise Staub and Victoria Schmitt, in Schmitt-Staub Research Notes (compiled 1990s), SA files, SMA.
[xxxvii] St. Augustine Church Bulletin, June 22, 1986, page 2, copy in SMA.
[xxxviii] See: “Address of the Holy Father John Paul II to H.E. Edmond Lee Browning, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America,” Monday, 12 Jan. 1987, The Holy See, accessed 15 Mar. 2018, https://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/speeches/1987/january/documents/hf_jp-ii_spe_19870112_episcopal-church.html.
[xxxix] Schmitt and Staub, “Building, Part Two,” 15–18.
[xl] SA Elisha House Documents (1989–91), SMA; SA Elisha House Documents (1991–93), SMA; SA House Tour Flier 1991, copy in SMA.
[xli] Schmitt and Staub, “Building, Part Two,” 18–19; SA Women’s Place Documents (1986–89), SMA; SA Women’s Place Documents (1989), SMA.
[xlii] St. Monica 2003 Booklet, SMA. For detailed documents on the transition, see: Brian McNulty, documents for St. Augustine parish archive, plus eight photographic slides, received Apr. 23, 2006, SMA.
[xliii] “SA 19th Ward Roman Catholic Community Planning Documents 1998” [electronic PDF file], copy of original pamphlet in SMA.
[xliv] Schmitt and Staub, “Building, Part Two,” 24.
[xlv] Rob Cullivan, “St. Augustine Marks Last Day,” The Catholic Courier (Rochester, N.Y.), May 6–7, 2006, 3, copy in SMA; Schmitt and Staub, “Building, Part Two,” 21–23.
[xlvi] Kathleen Schwar, “‘Always Our Children’: Parish Ministries Set Welcoming Tone,” The Catholic Courier 109, No. 52 (Rochester, N.Y.), Thursday, Sept. 17, 1998, 1–2, copy in SMA. Schwar mentions that Corpus Christi was one of the first Catholic churches in Rochester to have an LGBT ministry. Six months after this article was published, members of Corpus Christi broke away to form Spiritus Christi, an independent Catholic church with female clergy and a pro-LGBT stance. See: “About Spiritus,” Spiritus Christi Church (Rochester, N.Y.), accessed Apr. 10, 2018, http://www.spirituschristi.org/#/welcome/about-spiritus.
[xlvii] Sr. Anna Louise Staub, “Writing a History on St. Augustine Church,” Sisters of St. Joseph of Rochester Newsletter, Nov. 20, 1998, copy in SA files, SMA.
[xlviii] SA Centennial Committee Oral Histories (Circa 1997–98): “Personal Recollections of Parish Life,” 2, copy in SMA.
[xlix] Mike Latona and Tamara Tirado, “City Churches Cope With Change,” The Catholic Courier (Rochester, N.Y.), November 2005, copy in SMA; Roman Catholic Community of the 19th Ward Lent Schedule (“Be Still… and know that I am here”), 2003, SMA; Roman Catholic Community of the 19th Ward Lent Schedule (“Shatter the Hardness of Our Hearts”), 2004, SMA; SA Formation of 19th Ward Roman Catholic Community 2002, copy in SMA. Note: As The Catholic Courier noted in 1998, Emmanuel Church of the Deaf rented space from OLGC [Rob Cullivan, “Neighborhood Concerns Focus Urban Cluster’s Effort,” The Catholic Courier (Rochester, N.Y.), Thursday, Sept. 24, 1998, 6, copy in SMA].
[l] Gorman, interview with Curran, 20 Sept. 2018.
[li] Rob Cullivan, “Federation Wants to Save Rochester’s West Side,” The Catholic Courier (Rochester, N.Y.), Thursday, May 23, 2002, copy in SMA. Further reading: Rob Cullivan, “Campaign Improves Lives of Many,” The Catholic Courier (Rochester, N.Y.), Nov. 7, 2002, copy in SMA.
[lii] John Curran, email to Daniel Gorman Jr., 26 Apr. 2019; Gorman, interview with Curran, 20 Dec. 2018.
[liii] Curran, email to Gorman, 26 Apr. 2019; Gorman, interview with Curran, 20 Dec. 2018; Marketta Gregory, “Catholics to Shut Down 11 Churches,” Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (Rochester, N.Y.), Saturday, 19 Nov. 2005, copy in SMA; Marketta Gregory, “Closures Sadden Resigned Faithful,” Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (Rochester, N.Y.), Saturday, 19 Nov. 2005, copy in SMA; Latona, “City Churches.”
[liv] Gorman, interview with Curran, 20 Sept. 2018.
[lv] Cullivan, “St. Augustine Marks Last Day,” 1–3; Marketta Gregory, “Church to Close; More to Follow,” Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (Rochester, N.Y.), Saturday, April 22, 2006, copy in SMA.
[lvi] Cullivan, “St. Augustine Marks Last Day,” 3.
[lvii] Amy Kotlarz, “Ministries Continue in 19th Ward,” The Catholic Courier Weekly (Rochester, N.Y.), Sept. 8–9, 2007, 2, copy in SMA.
[lviii] “New Progressive Cathedral Church of God in Christ,” Facebook, accessed Jan. 22, 2018, https://www.facebook.com/New-Progressive-Cathedral-Church-of-God-in-Christ-216936488977/; “Our History,” New York Western First Junction [Church of God in Christ], accessed Jan. 22, 2018, http://www.nywfj.org/about-us.html.