Rochester Churches Cayuga County
Ss. Peter & Paul (Ukrainian)


Location: Cayuga County, Auburn
Address: 134 Washington St. Map
Parish formed: Oct. 1901
Present church built: Sep. 5, 1910
Present affiliation: Ukrainian parish in the Eparchy of Stamford
Web site:


  • Fr. Leo Giretsky, 1901-
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  • Fr. J. Tzar, ~1910ish-
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  • Fr. Stephen Pobutsky, -1930s-
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  • Fr. Leo Sembratovich, -June 1939
  • Fr. Francis Bonn, June 1939-Aug. 1939
  • Fr. Michael Lysiak, Aug. 1939-
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  • Fr. Basil Ostas, <1956>
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  • Fr. John Squiller, 1960s?
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  • Fr. Mihai Dubovici, 1995-2000
  • Fr. Robert Bacho, 2000-2001>
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  • Fr. Mihai Dubovici, 1995-2009>
  • ..
  • Fr. Vasyl Colopelnic, <2013-present


Ukrainian Catholics came to Auburn in the late 1800s and first worshipped at St. Alphonsus church. Since these individuals did not speak English well, Ukrainian mission priests would visit the area and offer liturgies in the language of the people. In 1900, a group of about 14 Ukrainians organized to worship in a house located at 14 Clark St. The number of attendees would eventually grow to about 75 people. In October of 1900, the group voted unanimously to incorporate themselves as the "Greek Catholic Church of Ss. Peter & Paul."

The new community began to raise money, and after collecting $160 they purchased a lot for a church of their own. On Oct. 10, 1901, they began to worship at their newly constructed church located at 128 Washington St. Additional lots were purchased in 1905 and 1906 for the present-day church.

Division struck the new community, and a dispute arose between attendees from East Galicia and those from Hungary. The church would be closed down for seven months while a court heard a legal case between the two groups. Eventually, the group from E. Galaicia prevailed, who had temporarily been worshipping at St. Alphonsus, and they moved back into the church. The group from Hungary broke away from the community and began their own parish.

On Sep. 5, 1910, the present-day church was completed and dedicated by Bp. Soter Stephen Ortynsky. The former church building was eventually converted into the parish school. The parish built a rectory in 1914. The school opened its doors in 1941.

Following World War II, and with the rise of Communism in Eastern Europe, many more Ukrainians immigrated to the United States and began to worship at Ss. Peter & Paul church. As the parish continued to grow, a convent was built on Dec. 10, 1961 at 105 Cottage St.

A significant renovation project was undertaken by Fr. Mihai Dubovici in the late 1990s that included work on the roof, flooring, carpets, and painting of the buildings. The total cost of this project came to $100,000. As of the early 2000s, the parish was comprised of approximately 250 families. On Sep. 30, 2001, Ss. Peter & Paul church celebrated its centennial with a Divine Liturgy offered by Bp. Basil H. Losten, head of the Eparchy of Stamford, and Bp. Matthew Clark of the Diocese of Rochester.

Unfortunately, the parish school would close its doors on April 23, 2013. The decision was made by Bp. Paul P. Chomnycky due to declining enrollment and the school's inability to balance its budget with too few students. Several families were upset with this decision, and wanted to begin their own independent Catholic school.

Ss. Peter and Paul continues to be a home for the Ukrainian Catholic community in Auburn, NY, and is presently under the pastoral leadership of Fr. Vasyl Colopelnic in their well-preserved church at 134 Washington St.

Exterior Photographs
Interior Photographs

Stations of the Cross

Stained Glass
Historical Photographs


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