Cleansing Fire

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D&C: Whatever Happened To … St. Patrick’s?

February 3rd, 2015, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

Below is a link to an interesting piece in the D&C:
    Whatever Happened To … St. Patrick’s? by Alan Morrell

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11 Responses to “D&C: Whatever Happened To … St. Patrick’s?”

  1. avatar Jim says:

    Great article, but I’m confused where it states that the Cathedral (St. Patrick’s?) was demolished in 1937. Then it said that a nearby social hall was used for the church. Then we read where it flourished in the 1940s. Was this still the same building? Can anybody answer this? I know that my aunt, who worked at Kodak in the 1940’s used to go to daily Mass at St. Patrick’s on her lunch hour.

  2. avatar raymondfrice says:

    All I can tell you is that the whole church was sold to Kodak which demolished it to make room for its own expansion. Right afterwards, Sacred Heart Church became the pro cathedral until it was consecrated a full cathedral about 1962.

  3. avatar militia says:

    Well, that sure explains what happened to Kodak.

  4. avatar Choir says:

    St Patrick’s did continue in the social hall. The social hall became the church after the cathedral was demolished in 1937. The social hall was demolished in the early 80s. I remember this because this was one of the places at which the Tridentine Latin Mass was celebrated. I wrote an article about St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Search the archives to read it.
    When I started singing at SS Peter and Paul’s, many of the members were former members of the old Cathedral choir. I learned very early on never to bring up the closing of the cathedral. It made all the former singers very irate because of how the closing of the cathedral was handled.

  5. avatar Jim says:

    Thanks Choir, for clearing up the confusing part of the article. I wish I could see a picture of the social hall-church, before it was demolished in the 80’s.

  6. avatar christian says:

    My father, who is mainline Protestant, recounted to me how magnificent St.Patrick Cathedral in downtown Rochester, New York was, and stated he was not impressed with Sacred Heart Cathedral.

  7. avatar Eliza10 says:

    Maybe Bernie could find and publish here some nice pictures of the old St. Patrick’s…

    And I wonder why they chose Sacred Heartinstead of the beautiful St. Michael’s for a Cathedral?

  8. avatar y2kscotty says:

    Eliza10 – Good question! Or even SS Peter and Paul? I hope someone has a good answer to your question.

  9. avatar christian says:

    I think there were a lot of church politics involved with the decision not to use SS. Peter and Paul Church or St. Michael Church for the Cathedral. I have heard a long time back from both of those congregations, that there was thought in mind with the construction and ornamentation of their churches, that it would be the next Cathedral.

    I had heard parishioners, including those involved with the councils of those churches, state that there was a general consensus that their church wasn’t picked because it was of German origin and considered a German church.

    Of course, there is nothing in writing that I know of, to state that reason was behind the Diocese not choosing St. Michael Church or SS. Peter and Paul Church as their Cathedral.

  10. avatar christian says:

    To note: Bishop Edward Mooney was the bishop of the Diocese of Rochester from August 1933 until May 1937 and Bishop James E. Kearney was bishop of Rochester from 1937 until 1966.

    There were some other churches in Rochester that looked magnificent and they are now longer a part of the Diocese of Rochester, and in some instances, no longer Christian churches. Holy Redeemer was one such magnificent church, with German origins.

    I was told by someone in good authority, that all the masses at Holy Redeemer were said in Spanish by the 1980’s, and when the old German parishioners, who were the main financial support for that church, requested at least one mass in English on the weekend, they were refused. So the old German parishioners they withdrew their funds from that church along with their presence, and the church “collapsed.” It closed a short time afterward. Honestly, it was too much to say one mass in English on the weekend for long-time parishioners!I heard the beautiful windows were removed from the church.

    St. Francis Xavier was another magnificent church. The Diocese of Rochester took no effort to conserve basic important elements from that church, especially components from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, knowing Muslims not allowing any images or artifacts from another religion.

    It could have been that the Diocese did not want to enter into controversy choosing one church over another church for the Cathedral, and start out new. Did you notice that Sacred Heart Cathedral was built at the border of the city and the suburb of Greece/Irondequoit.

  11. avatar Choir says:

    When I was a boy soprano, the organist at Saints Peter and Paul’s was my music teacher, and later good friend. He was organist at the old Cathedral when it closed in 1937. Both St. Michael’s and SSPP were both in the running to be named the new cathedral. There was some jealousy from the Irish priests that those churches (both of German origin) would be the new cathedral as the Irish laymen and priests wanted to build a new Irish parish in hopes that it would be the new cathedral. SSPP had a drawback in that the sanctuary wasn’t large enough. They needed,and wanted, to cut from the cupola down through the entire church structure and separate the main body of the church from the cupola; then lay down an expanse of flooring and put the parts back together again.Plus SSPP slopes downward at, I believe, a 4 degree pitch, so the altar is always in view even from the back of the church. Then as the story goes, Msgr. Burns of Sacred Heart played some politics with Bishop Kearney. The politics was that SH would be a good compromise place for the cathedral, the church was relatively new and it was a nice area. SSPP expansion would have cost too much money. Not sure why St. Michael’s fell out of the race.


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