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October 3, 2021 - 9:23am
posted by Anne Marie Starowitz in catholic church, Catholic schools, schools, education, news, batavia.

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Several articles have been written on the early public schools from this area, including those still in use today.  When the very first schools were built, Catholic schools were also built alongside their churches.

Rev. Thomas Cunningham established the first Catholic school in 1873. He became the first priest to settle permanently in the village. With him came six Sisters of Mercy.  The sisters lived in the Davis Building on Jackson Street that served as their convent until 1873.  The sisters started a school in a barn next to the convent.  Due to a fire, the sisters had to move the school to a large stone building on Jackson Street that became Marshall News Store many years later.

In 1882 St. Joseph’s Parish began to build a new school and convent on Summit and East Main Street.  It was a solid unadorned building with a small turret over the front door and little towers on the front corners.  It had four rooms on the first floor for the younger students and three rooms above for the older children.  High school students were enrolled at the school until 1912.  Music lessons were taught in small spaces in the corridors.

St. Joseph’s School served as a parochial elementary school until 1959.  The building was listed as unsafe for young children, so in the fall of 1959, a new school with twelve classrooms and a cafeteria was built.  The old school was razed.  In 1973 office space and a new gymnasium and assembly hall were added to the eastern side of the new school.

Rev. Peter Pitass started Sacred Heart School in 1904 when he organized Sacred Heart Parish.  The school’s classrooms were ready for pupils by 1918.  Those classrooms served the Polish community until the flood of 1942. The school and church were located at the foot of Jackson Street.   By 1954 the school was also deemed a fire hazard, and plans were drawn up for a new school and church.  The new school would be located east of the church facing Sumner Street.  By the end of the year, a new fireproofed school building was built for $8,000.00.

In 1904 approximately 20 students were enrolled at Sacred Heart School.  By 1934 the number had increased to about 60 students, and registration remained at about that level until the ‘60s. Then, in the ‘60s, enrollment began to decrease. Finally, in 1974 enrollment was so small that Sacred Heart School merged with St. Anthony’s. Thus, after 70 years, there was no longer a school in the Sacred Heart Parish.

In 1908 Rev. Hyacinthe Ciabbatoni brought two Sisters of Mercy to Batavia to organize a school.  In 1909 property was bought on Liberty Street at Central Avenue; members of the parish put together two old houses to serve as a school and a parish hall.  In 1930 a new school was built by Frank Homelius, one of Batavia’s native architects.  He designed a school building with two floors, a social hall, and a gymnasium behind it.  It was dedicated as St. Anthony’s Community Center.  It was the most prominent meeting place in the city.  The school had nine classrooms on two floors along central corridors, with offices on either main entrance.  The basement had a nursery room, kitchen, and lavatories.  It was a T-shaped building with a gymnasium used for athletics and as a meeting hall or a dining room.  This community center was used for political rallies, union meetings, Grange meetings, fundraising, and Bingo. Many a bride will remember having her wedding reception at the Community Center with dinner on one floor and dancing on another.  

By 1908 there were between 200 and 250 students enrolled at St. Anthony’s School.  By 1970, 7th and 8th-grade students attended St. Mary’s, where junior high classes were offered.   In June 2006, St. Anthony’s School closed its doors after 95 years as an educational and social activity center on Batavia’s south side. 

Rev. Edward J. Ferger established St. Mary’s Elementary School when he organized the building of a Catholic High School, Notre Dame High School, in 1951.  The school opened before the buildings were complete.  The first-year students met at St. Anthony’s Community Center for classes until the school was finished.  In 1952 St. Mary’s school was built and faced Woodrow Road. St. Mary’s had eight classrooms and a small gym in a separate building.  Sisters of the Holy Cross were the first teachers at St. Mary’s, and then the school was run by the Felician Sisters.   At the end of the 2003-2004 academic year, St. Mary’s Elementary School closed its doors due to limited financial resources and fewer students.

In 1951 Notre Dame High School welcomed its first class of 58 boys and girls to temporary quarters at St. Anthony’s School.  Notre Dame High School was dedicated on September 6, 1952.  The school has two floors with classrooms along Union Street and a large gymnasium in the rear.  A cafeteria is below the gym.  A small chapel and library are on the second floor.   In the early years, Notre Dame’s faculty consisted of nuns and priests.  There were times when up to 500 students walked the halls between classes with one-way traffic jamming corridors. Over the years, Notre Dame’s enrollment has fluctuated, but today it remains an alternative to public school education.    

All students will remember the attractive uniforms the girls had to wear.  Sacred Heart had a plaid jumper, St. Anthony’s a brown uniform, St. Joseph’s a blue uniform, and St. Mary’s girls wore a blue jumper crossed in the front and the back.        The actual everyday uniform at Notre Dame HS was a pleated skirt and a long-sleeved blouse buttoned to the neck, and to add to the uniform’s lovely appearance was a bolero. If you rolled over the waistband of the skirt to make it shorter, you would get detention.  Besides the unattractive uniforms, some might remember the classrooms overflowing with students, singing Gregorian chant at Mass, attending a High Mass on Sunday, and no meat on Friday. 

One could also not forget the Notre Dame Girls’ Basketball uniform the girls had to wear in the ‘50s and ‘60s.   The uniform was a royal blue, pleated, heavy cotton jumper that had to touch your knees, a long-sleeved white blouse that had to be buttoned at the top, and bloomers. The inspiring girls’ basketball team had only two girls who could run down the court, and the rest could take three steps and pass the ball.  It made for a very “fast-moving” game.  The windows had to be covered when the girls were playing just in case a “boy” might try to look in the window.    

Over the last century, schools were established, moved, burned down, and closed.  Many of these schools closed due to low enrollment, but the memories these students hold in their hearts remain. A young girl remembers living next to old St. Joseph’s School, sneaking over to the old school, and peeking in the windows.  A nun would let her come in and sit and color.  Her older siblings all attended the school.  In the early days at St. Joseph’s School, there was not a gymnasium. Instead, students would gather every day on the blacktop in the parking lot and jump rope or shoot baskets on the outdoor basketball court.

Grade school, high school, it didn’t matter if it was a public or private school; the memories would be the same. So many will still be in touch with that special friend they hung around with in grade school and possibly high school.  Stories get better with age as they are told over and over again. 

Today St. Joseph Regional School is the only Catholic elementary school left in Batavia. Yet, it offers everything the public schools provide.  Notre Dame High School still proudly stands on Union Street, graduating boys and girls on the same grounds their parents and grandparents stood many years ago.

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Comments
July 8, 2013 - 3:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in catholic church.

Press release:

Catholic Charities of Buffalo officials recently announced that the 2013 Appeal exceeded its $10.7 million goal, with cash and pledges received to date totaling $10,819,043.65.

Completing his first Appeal since being installed as Bishop of Buffalo last August, Bishop Richard J. Malone addressed donors and supporters of Catholic Charities at the organization’s headquarters regarding the final report of the 2013 campaign.

“As a result of the incredible generosity of the Western New York community, I have the great joy of announcing we have met, and surpassed, our goal again this year,” Bishop Malone said.

These are the totals raised by parishes in Genesee County:

St. Brigid -- $17,755.00
Resurrection -- $73,434.00
Ascension -- $34,112.02
Our Lady of Mercy, Le Roy -- $96,672.00
St. Padre Pio, Oakfield -- $40,595.45
St. Maximillian Kolbe, Corfu -- $23,931.31
Mary Immaculate, East Bethany -- $25,047.00

TOTAL -- $311,546.78

Joined by Catholic Charities’ leaders, staff, and the Appeal leadership team and volunteers, Bishop Malone thanked donors and supporters for their dedication and commitment toward achieving this year’s Appeal goal.

“After months of planning, we launched this year’s campaign on a cold but sunny morning in early January, with hopes of raising $10.7 million,” he said. “Much like a long-distance runner facing the last several miles of a marathon, our Appeal leadership team, our many volunteers throughout the Diocese of Buffalo, and of course our dedicated staff, simply refused to give up until the race was complete, raising more than $2.2 million since March 25.”

Bishop Malone recognized the hard work of everyone involved in the Appeal.

“On behalf of all those served by Catholic Charities and all those who have in any way contributed to this year’s Appeal, I thank you for your support,” said Bishop Malone. “Your continued efforts will allow us to protect, strengthen and empower those in need throughout our eight-county diocese.”

Sister Mary McCarrick, OSF, Catholic Charities’ diocesan director, also highlighted the work and dedication of all the individuals involved in this year’s Appeal, specifically the community’s youngest and most faithful supporters.

“The compassion and help demonstrated by students this year show us that the future of the Appeal is in good hands!” she said.

Catholic Charities empowers children, families and seniors to achieve meaningful, healthy and productive lives. In all situations, we deliver support to meet immediate needs and then assess for other needs to ensure long-term success. We are the most comprehensive human service provider serving more than 130,000 people in all eight counties of WNY with 70 programs and 61 locations. We receive highest ratings for quality of service from the Council on Accreditation and for financial health/accountability from Charity Navigator. For 89 years, Catholic Charities has been making a difference for people of every faith and ethnicity in WNY.

The patron of Appeal 2013 is Blessed Frederic Ozanam, a layman who co-founded the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

For more information on Appeal 2013 or to make a donation, contact Catholic Charities at (716) 218-1400 or go to www.ccwny.org. Check out Catholic Charities on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ccbuffalo and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ccbuffalo.

March 13, 2013 - 5:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, religion, catholic church, Resurrection Parish.

For Father Ivan R. Trujillo, today's election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, had a special meaning and brought Trujillo a special joy.

Bergoglio, now known as Pope Francis I, is the first pope from South America, and though Bergoglio is from Argentina and Trujillo is from Bolivia, it is a good thing for the church that a new pope was selected from the 455 million Catholics in South America, home to 42 percent of all Roman Catholics in the world.

"I'm very happy that they elected somebody from South America because most South Americans, most Latin American people, are Catholics, I'd say 80 percent" Trujillo said. "They are very happy. I'm very happy."

Trujillo is pastor of Resurrection Parish, which includes Batavia's St. Joseph's and St. Mary's. He was ordained in Jamestown in 1990 and became an assistant at St. Mary's in 1995. Four years ago, when St. Joe's and St. Mary's merged to form Resurrection Parish, Father Ivan was appointed pastor of the parish.

It was a Jesuit, like Pope Francis, who inspired Trujillo to become a priest. In Bolivia, while studying philosophy, the rector of the school was a Jesuit. The priest had a passion, as most Jesuits do, for working with the poor.

A good deal of Father Ivan's work in Western New York is with the poor and less fortunate. He works with the poor and sick in his own perish, ministers to inmates at Attica and Wyoming correctional facilities, and works with migrant workers in Genesee, Orleans and Niagara counties.

Pope Francis -- taking the name of St. Francis Xavier -- has a reputation for humility and caring for the poor, living an austere life in Buenos Aires. For a time, Bergoglio gave up riding in a limo and instead took public transportation around the city, but had to give up the practice for security reasons.

"I believe it is a great sign that he will be a pope for the poor and everybody else," Father Ivan said. "I’m pretty sure he’ll be trying to reach the most needy people."

Trujillo believes that Francis, coming out of the Jesuit Order, will be a capable administrator as well as a spiritual leader, which is something, he said, the church needs now.

"It's a good time to celebrate," Trujillo said. "I know there are many problems with the church, but knowing about Jesuits, I'm sure he's well organized and he'll be a good asset for our universal church."

Trujillo was returning from Wyoming when church staff called him to say that a new pope had been elected. He returned to St. Joe's in time to see Pope Francis introduced to the crowd in Vatican City and a worldwide television audience.

It was an thrilling moment, he said.

"At the moment I’m a little bit shocked and so glad," Father Ivan said. "I wish the best for the pope and the whole church. One thing that impressed me with him was that he asked first to be blessed by the people in Rome and after that he blessed the people. After he was blessed by the people, he blessed them. That was a very nice symbolism that he will be a pope for the people and at the same time he brings some order that we need."

Comments
December 25, 2012 - 8:40am

I am in search of true Biblical guidance, from Pastors, Priests, Reverends or any knowledgable, believer in Jesus. I have recently been diagnosed, with severe situational social anxiety disorder and really worried about taking the perscribed medicine. Im struggling to not loose my job, from the stress. Iv reached out for help, but after 3 or 4 days of trying. I guess Iv learned where not to go again. Coping with my loss & isolation through, holidays has turned out to be more then I can bare. I am a devout believer, that Christ died for our sins so that we may have the choice to, be forgiven. Im far from iliterate, but my reading level, comprehension & retension, is a real problem for me. This makes it hard to gain acurate knowledge, in a timely way. To recognize the truth, from a lie. Im not computer savy, but I Googled my biblical concerns & the information below, is what I found. Ill try to include a link, to the site, if that may be of help. What Id need to know, is this Biblical truth. Or just one more of the many, distorted views. Im afraid this will be too large, to post on the Batavian. So if you have the time, @ the web address below, you can read the rest. Please, help…

http://www.luke173ministries.org/466804

THE 3 RS OF ACCOUNTABILITY: REPENTANCE, RESTITUTION, AND PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY By Rev. Renee Pittelli Being accountable for one’s behavior is part of growing up and being a mature adult. It is a fallacy that God is all forgiving, and when unrepentant offenders claim that "God forgives me", they are wrong. God does not forgive us until and unless we confess our sins and repent (change our ways). The Lord holds us accountable for our behavior, and he instructs us to hold each other accountable as well. Accountability consists of three parts, Repentance, Restitution, and Personal Responsibility: Repentance: REPENTANCE: Remorse, contrition, or self-reproach for what one has done or failed to do; making a change for the better as a result of remorse; a turning from one’s sinful ways; feeling of such regret for past conduct as to change one’s mind regarding it, atonement; forsaking of sin; the feeling or act in which one tries to right a wrong, it always includes the admission of guilt, and also at least one of: a solemn promise or resolve not to repeat the offense, or an attempt to make restitution for the wrong, or in some way to reverse the harmful effects of the wrong where possible. When we rebuke, set limits on, or break off our relationship with an unrepentant offender, she may shrug and tell us, "I know God forgives me", the implication being that the Lord forgives her even if we don’t. But guess what? She is WRONG. & The Lord NEVER forgives unrepentant evildoers. He REQUIRES that sinners humble themselves and come to him for forgiveness, and that they show remorse and change their ways.

August 16, 2011 - 8:00pm

St. Mary's Church, of Batavia, got a visit from the Blessed Virgin Mary Monday night. The church at 20 Ellicott St. was one of her last stops in Genesee County as she tours the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.

The International Pilgrimage Statue of Our Lady of Fatima has been crisscrossing the Western Hemisphere for the past 64 years (there is another statue made for pilgrimages in the Eastern Hemisphere). It was sculpted in 1947 by Portuguese sculptor Jose Thedim, who based it on descriptions provided by one of the children who received visions of the Virgin Mary at Fatima, Portugal, in the summer of 1917.

According to Carl Malburg, one of the statue's custodians, the Bishop of Fatima commissioned the Pilgrimage Statue 30 years after the three children -- Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco -- received the visions.

"The idea came from the message," Malburg said. "It was meant for all the world, not just the people of Fatima."

"Fatima is not over," said Malburg's fellow custodian Patrick Sabat (pictured below), referencing Pope Benedict XVI. "There is a continued need for prayer and penance."

Addressing the people who attended Monday's service, he added: "Pope John Paul II said the message of Fatima is more urgent and more relevant now than it was in 1917."

Much of the content of the Fatima visions -- which began on May 13 and occurred on the 13th of every month until October -- deals with the harm that human sins do to the world, leading to war and destruction. The Virgin Mary reportedly told the children that if enough people carried out her instructions, there would be peace on Earth.

"Pope Benedict XV (who was Pope at the time of the Fatima visions) called Mary the Queen of Peace," Sabat said, adding that her intercession would work "when all human efforts at peace had failed."

Malburg, of Indiana, and Sabat, of the Philippines, escort the Pilgrimage Statue in its travels on behalf of the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue Foundation, which is based in Munster, Ind. With permission from Bishop Edward U. Kmiec, they are making a 21-day trip through the Buffalo diocese.

Interestingly, the Buffalo diocese was the first place the statue visited in the U.S. on her very first pilgrimage in 1947. One of her stops was Our Lady of Fatima Church in Elba.

"And we thought, 'Why not bring her back?'" said Sally Ross, Ph.D, a member of St. Padre Pio Parish (which includes Our Lady of Fatima in Elba and St. Cecilia's Church in Oakfield).

Ross was the one who came up with the idea of bringing the statue back to Western New York for a pilgrimage. It all started when she, as a member of Our Lady of Fatima, did some research into how her church got its name. She learned three interesting facts about the Elba church:

1. The Pilgrimage Statue's visit in 1947.

2. It is the oldest church in the U.S. to bear that name.

3. The knoll in front of the church on which the Fatima Shrine is now located was once used by the Ku Klux Klan as a place to burn crosses.

Fact number three is especially interesting if you think about the Fatima message.

"Our Lady wants all her children to live together in peace and harmony," Malburg said. "She said that if we follow her instructions, there will be peace."

To that end, Sabat called everyone to be "Prayer Warriors."

"This is a different kind of war," he said. "It's a war of reparation for the sins of the world."

According to a pamphlet from the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue Foundation, fighting this war includes making each of one's daily sufferings a sacrifice in atonement for sin, praying the Rosary every day, and wearing the brown scapular as a sign of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Miracles and favors have been reported in areas the statue has visited over the years. One of the most famous of these miracles is the "Miracle of Tears," which refers to reports of the statue crying human tears in more than 30 instances.

While there may not have been any tears in Western New York so far, people have been affected by the statue. The pilgrimage isn't over yet, and Ross has already gotten some follow-up calls.

"I wish I could have recorded them, (as they talked about the message)," she said. "Even just the timbre of their voices...it's just incredible."

As much of an impact as the statue has had, Sabat and Malburg were both very clear that Catholics do not worship Mary or statues.

"A statue's just a piece of wood," Malburg said. "And the person it represents (Mary) is not divine. But we do talk to her and ask her to pray for us."

He also said that he sometimes meets fundamentalists who object to giving this type of honor to Mary. To this he replies, "You have a guardian angel, don't you?" His point is that Catholics talk to Mary the same way most Christians might talk to their guardian angels.

"Mary is still the greatest catechist (teacher of the faith)," Sabat said. "She's a role model for all Christians, and we continue to imitate her virtues. Our goal is to be as close to Christ as possible, and she was the closest person to Christ there ever was."

St. Joseph's Church welcomed the Pilgrimage Statue at Mass this morning. It is heading to Orleans County today, but will return for a visit to the New York State Veterans' Home on Aug. 19. All total, it will make seven more stops throughout the region before the pilgrimage concludes on Aug. 22.

For more information, go to www.pilgrimvirginstatue.com.

Supplemental Video: Malburg and Sabat on local news show in Cincinnati

 

May 29, 2010 - 6:24pm
Event Date and Time: 
June 8, 2010 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

For those interested in an upcoming spiritual retreat, there will be an information session in the Sacristy of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, at 20 Ellicott St. in Batavia, from 7 until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 8.

October 25, 2008 - 9:30am
posted by Steve Reese in Announcements, Le Roy, raffle, catholic church.

 

Holy Family School in LeRoy is hosting their annual. 10 Trip Raffle & Party on Saturday, November 8thfrom 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the school gym, 44 Lake Street in LeRoy. This year’s grand prize is a trip for 2 to Hawaii
 
Your $20 donation includes a chance to win one of 10 trips, admission to the party, pasta dinner sponsored by Barilla, beer, wine, pop, and dessert.  Winners do not need to be present.
 
The party will also feature additional floor raffles, blitz raffles, 50/50’s and pull tabs.
 
Tickets are available from any Holy Family student, or by calling Holy Family School at (585) 768-7390.
 
Any businesses or individuals that would like to donate door prizes are welcome to call the school and drop off prizes on the day of the event between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m.
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