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Rochester Churches Monroe County
St. Paul

Biography

Location: Monroe County, Webster
Address: 783 Hard Rd. Map
Parish formed: April 19, 1967
Present church built: After May 1970
Present affiliation: Parish
Web site: http://www.stpaulsrcc.org/

Pastors/Rectors/Administrators

  • Fr. John T. Walsh, April 1967-June 30, 1988 [upon retirement]
  • Fr. Ronald P. Harley, 1982 [Temporary administrator for 6 months]
  • Fr. Raymond H. Booth, June 30, 1988-June 29, 1999 [upon retirement]
  • David Simon, June 29, 1999-May 2, 2002 [upon suspension]
  • Fr. Brian Cool, May 2, 2002-June 25, 2002 [Temporary administrator]
  • Fr. Stanley G. Kacprzak, June 25, 2002-Sep. 1, 2011
  • Fr. Paul Gitau, Sept. 1, 2011-present

History

St. Paul's church was established by Abp. Fulton J. Sheen in April 1967 in response to the growing Catholic population in the town of Webster. Fr. John T. Walsh was assigned with the task of building up a new parish community comprised of roughly 300 families. The Diocese of Rochester budgeted $400,000 for the nascent parish.

The first Masses were offered at the Sweets Farm restaurant, which would soon become Arena's Party House. Early religious education was offered in a local Methodist school. The parish took an active interest in social concerns, and set up a program of tithing 10% of collections toward charitable causes through the Good Samaritan Commitee.

In the late 1960s, the Kamienski family donated land to be used as a permanent site for St. Paul's church. Money was raised by parishioners, and the church was completed in early 1970 with the first Mass offered by Fr. Walsh in May of that year. The church was designed and constructed by parishioners, and was quite plain in its design -- which is still reflected in the church appearance today. Religious art in the worship space was deliberately made abstract so as to allow each person "to see what they felt, regardless of their personal heritage," according to a parish history.

St. Paul's witnessed significant growth as the years passed. Fifteen years into its existence, the parish retired their mortgage and began reserving money for future expansion. Plans progressed, and $1.5 million renovations were completed in 1991 during the pastorate of St. Paul's second Pastor, Fr. Raymond Booth. The sanctuary was shifted from the left side wall, where the organ is now situtated, to its present location in the center of the church. Overall, the size of the St. Paul campus was doubled during this project.

Growth continued into the early 2000s. As of 2001, the parish had 1,800 registered families. Attendance was strong as of 2006, with an average of 1,239 worshippers each weekend, but this number has dropped significantly down to the mid-600s today. St. Paul had plans to redesign its worship space in the late 2000s, though these proposals haven't progressed since the design phase. The parish has recently completed some smaller capital improvements to the cement steps and storage garage.


Exterior Photographs
Interior Photographs

Stations of the Cross
Historical Photographs
Map
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