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Rochester Churches Monroe County
St. Salome

Biography

Location: Monroe County, Irondequoit, Point Pleasant
Address: 4282 Culver Rd. Map
Parish formed: 1908 [mission], 1925 [parish]
Present church built: May 4, 1969
Present affiliation: Closed
Date closed: Sep. 26, 2010 [last Mass], Jan. 19, 2016 [relegated]
Web site: http://kateriirondequoit.org/

Pastors/Rectors/Administrators

  • Mission of St. Francis Xavier and then Most Holy Redeemer, 1908-1925
  • Fr. Edward J. Eschrich, Apr. 18, 1925-June 28, 1966 [First resident Pastor; upon retirement, poor health]
  • Fr. Walter E. Fleming, June 28, 1966-Dec. 5, 1973 [upon death]
  • Msgr. Gerard Krief, Apr. 1972-Dec. 1973 [Temporary administrator, during illness of Fr. Fleming]
  • Conrad Sundholm, Dec. 1973-1982
  • Fr. Albert L. Delmonte, 1982-June 28, 1994
  • Fr. Daniel V. Hogan, -June 26, 1990 [Temporary administrator, sabbatical]
  • Fr. William G. Darling, June 28, 1994-2001>
  • Fr. Richard J. Beligotti, Sep. 20, 2001-June 2007
  • Fr. Norm Tanck, June 2007-June 26, 2012
  • Fr. Paul English, June 26, 2012-present

History

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 church building.

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.


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