Monroe County, Rochester SW
253 Troup St.
Present church built:
Closed - destroyed by fire in 2001.
Due to the growing influx of Italian immigrants into the city of Rochester, a handful of Italian-American parishes
were established in the early 1900s. St. Anthony of Padua was created in 1906, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in 1909,
Church of the Annunciation (St. Agnes) in 1917, Our Lady of Sorrows in 1924, and St. Francis of Assisi in 1929.
St. Lucy was another Italian parish, erected by Bp. Thomas F. Hickey in 1912 to serve
Italians residing in the southwest quadrant of the city. Fr. Mario Catalano was assigned as the first Pastor, and
work began in 1912 to construct a church at the corner Troup and Tilden Streets. A temporary rectory was
secured on Tilden St. that lacked several modern amenities, including indoor plumbing. While construction of the
church was in progress, the community worshipped in the old 1859 Ss. Peter & Paul church on King St., as well as the
St. Lucy's church was completed in 1913. A variety of furnishings were brought over from the soon-to-be-demolished
Ss. Peter & Paul church and incorproated into St. Lucy, including: the altar, stained glass windows, pews, and even bricks.
Approximately 1,200 parishioners belonged to the nascent parish.
The parish school opened in the Fall of 1912, and it was staffed by the Sisters of St. Joseph. The sisters resided
at the St. Mary orphan asylum and St. Patrick girl's asylum, as there was no on-site convent at the time.
The parish began construction on a rectory in 1925, with the project completed in the Summer of 1926. Growth
continued in the mid-1920s, as the school grew to 268 students. A temporary convent would eventually be opened on
Clifton St., with a permanent convent coming to fruition on Reynolds St. in 1943. The interior of St. Lucy
would be remodled during the pastorate of Fr. Ventura after a successful fundraising effort.
The parish celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 1963. Bp. Kearney visited the church to bless a new stained glass
window installed above the main entrance. Despite the jubilee festivities, the parish would enter into a period of decline.
At this time, the number of students in the parish school had fallen from the 260s of the 1920s to almost half that number:
160 in 1963. The parish school closed a decade later in 1973. The church would soon close as well. A controversial
decision to close St. Lucy's resulted in the parish shutting its doors in June 1975. St. Lucy church
was sold to Lily of the Valley Church of God In Christ for $75,000.
The former parishioners of St. Lucy's maintained a good relationship with Lily of the Valley throughout the years,
whose leadership left much of the church interior intact. Masses would be offered in the former church
sporadically, including a 1995 reunion Mass celebrated by Bp. Dennis Hickey. A statue of
Christ in the tomb was located in one of the side shrines which had been covered up, and it was discovered years later
in the very same location. It was decided to leave the statue there rather than relocate it.
However, that statue would soon prove to be a regrettable one, the church would be destroyed by fire in 2001.
The bell from atop the main entrance survived, having fallen to the ground during the blaze, and it's now on display
in front of the St. Padre Pio chapel in Gates as an enduring memorial to the former St. Lucy church.