Monroe County, Irondequoit, Point Pleasant
4282 Culver Rd.
1908 [mission], 1925 [parish]
Present church built:
May 4, 1969
Sep. 26, 2010 [last Mass], Jan. 19, 2016 [relegated]
Web site: http://kateriirondequoit.org/
In 1908, Mrs. Salome Boucher brought up the possibility of establishing a Catholic chapel in Northeast Irondequoit to serve
summer visitors of Sea Breeze and Point Pleasant. Bp. Thomas Hickey, the second Bishop of Rochester, agreed with her assessment
and St. Salome's mission chapel was born. This would be the first Catholic church located within the town of Irondequoit.
Mrs. Boucher donated land on the Southwest corner of Culver Road and Park Road for construction of the small
wooden chapel. The chapel would be named after her patron saint. On June 14, 1908, Bp. Hickey came to St. Salome's to dedicate the
The original St. Salome's church wouldn't last long, as fire destroyed the chapel on October 11, 1910. A second church would be built
a year later at a different location on farmland donated by John Zuber. The cornerstone was laid by the Diocese of Rochester Vicar General, Msgr. Dennis Curran, on June 18, 1911 and the first
Mass at the second church would be offered August 6th of that year. The church was dedicated by Bp. Hickey a month later, on September 3rd.
This church could seat about 300 people.
St. Salome experienced growth in the 1920s, and opened its own school with 90 students in September of 1921. The school was administered
by the Rochester Sisters of Mercy. On April 18, 1925,
St. Salome was transformed from a seasonal chapel into a full parish. The first resident Pastor would be Fr. Edward Eschrich, who would
serve the community until June of 1966. The parish recotry was completed August 1st of that year.
St. Salome opened their first convent on White Street in September 1926.
The parish school was expanded in September of 1952, and the church in 1955 with the addition of the South wing and St. Anne shrine. The
convent would move to Brad Street in 1959, and was expanded a year later. Toward the end of the 1960s, the community would experience
disaster once again. On June 17, 1967, the second church was destroyed by fire just as the first had been. However, this time the fire
was caused by a lightning strike. The second church was demolished on April 28, 1968 and groundbreaking for the third, present day church
took place on May 12th of that year by Bp. Dennis Hickey. This new church was designed by Edward Ribson, who also designed the
Notre Dame retreat house. The first Mass in the church was offered by Fr. Fleming on May 4, 1969 and the edifice was dedicated
by Ven. Fulton J. Sheen on October 5, 1969.
A community that had previous experiences with disaster had to rebuild once again after vandals broke into the church in 1980
and committed serious damage. As part of their crime spree, the vandals destroyed the altar and pulpit, threw hosts to the ground,
and walked off with the parish tabernacle. Edward Ribson was brought back in to design a new altar, pulpit, and tabernacle stand
for St. Salome's. The restored church would be rededicated by Bp. Matthew Clark in 1981.
Demographic shifts caused a decline in parishioners from this point on. By 1989, the parish school had closed. In June of 2007,
St. Salome was clustered with other Irondequoit parishes, Christ the King and St. Thomas the Apostle. These three churches
would share a Pastor who lived at Christ the King's rectory. In May of 2008, the St. Salome rectory, former school, and convent were all razed
to the ground in order to make room for new senior apartments entitled "St. Salome Apartments." This complex would be managed
by Providence Housing Development Corporation. St. Salome, Christ the King, and St. Thomas would become part of a merged
Irondequoit parish (joined with St. Margaret Mary and St. Cecilia) as Blessed/Saint Kateri Tekakwitha on July 1, 2010.
Shortly after the parish merger, plans were put into place to hold final regular Masses at both St. Salome and St. Thomas, two sites
not selected by the Irondequoit Pastoral Planning Group (IPPG) to be a part of the new Irondequoit parish. A "closing" Mass was held on September
26, 2010, and regular Masses have not been offered at St. Salome since. The decision of the IPPG has been a controversial one, and appeals
have been made to save this church and St. Thomas in Western Irondequoit.
On January 19, 2016, a decree was signed by Bp. Salvatore Matano relegating St. Salome for secular use. The church
may soon be sold.