Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


Nostalgia for Bishop McQuaid

May 18th, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid, the Jesuit high school’s namesake, has been dead for one century. He was the first Bishop of Rochester, and made this diocese into a cradle for Catholicity. He opened scores of churches, schools, orphanages, and other Catholic institutions. He formed St. Bernard’s Seminary, along with St. Andrew’s, which was a minor seminary. He elevated Rochester’s Catholic population from being small, weak, and almost priest-less, to something which was associated with the very fabric of the city.

But alas, his vision of Rochester has died. Below are some photographs, one showing Bishop McQuaid lying in state in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in downtown Rochester, and others showing the funeral and the procession to his grave for burial. In the words of St. Thomas More, “Yes, death comes for us all. Even for kings does he come.”

Click on the links to view the photos:



12 Responses to “Nostalgia for Bishop McQuaid”

  1. avatar Anonymous says:

    St. Andrew's was never a pre-seminary. It was a Minor Seminary. Seminarians attended St. Andrew's Seminary for the four years of high school and the first two years of what would be the equivalent of college. They then moved on to St. Bernard's Seminary which was a major seminary. The six years there were the equivalent of the last two years of undergraduate study and the four years of graduate study and the completion of the priestly formation program.

    When Becket Hall was constructed in the late 1960's near the campus of St. John Fisher College, students went to St. Andrew's Minor Seminary for the four years of high school, Becket Hall, a college seminary for the four years of college and St. Bernard's Seminary for the major seminary program.

    Bishop Sheen closed St. Andrew's minor seminary and the building was used for Christ the King Prep, in essence, a Catholic high school for the Gates-Chili region. That closed in the 70's and the Chancery or Pastoral Center was moved from 50 Chestnut Street to that building where it is now. The smaller building in front of the Pastoral Center where the Catholic Courier is now located was St. William's House, a boarding residence for out of town St. Andrew's Seminary students.

    Becket Hall moved from the Fairport Road building to the former Basilian Father's Residence on the campus of St. John Fisher College in the 70's. St. John Fisher had always owned the land that the large Becket Hall was on and leased it to the diocese. The building, which is now called Murphy Hall, was sold by the diocese to St. John Fisher College about ten years ago.

    Becket remained in the old Basilian Fathers' residence on the campus, now Michaelhouse, until about 1984 when it was moved to the former convent of St. Boniface Church. In the later 70's, it was no longer considered part of the minor seminary but became a pre-theology program. When it moved to St. Boniface, it became a discerning program which it is today. A few years ago, Becket moved to the former rectory of Precious Blood Church and last year moved to the former rectory of St. Thomas More Church.

  2. avatar Anonymous says:

    St. Bernard's Seminary on Lake Avenue was closed at the end of the academic year 1981. It was Bishop Sheen's dream in the late 60's to close down the Lake Ave building and build a new St. Bernard's on the campus of Colgate Rochester Divinity School on Goodman Street. That never happened. In the late 60's, Capuchin Franciscans who had a seminary in the Finger Lakes moved their major seminarians to Lake Avenue. The community occupied the former convent on the campus. Fr. Sebastian Falcone was their rector and came with them and joined the faculty. Later, in the 70's, the Franciscans pulled out of St. Bernards but Falcone remained and became a DOR priest. Albany, Syracuse, Hartford, Ogdensburg and Rochester were the dioceses who sent students to St. Bernards. Rochester sent them there almost exclusively while the other dioceses used other seminaries as well. in the late 1970's, Bishop Hogan established the Diaconate Formation program at St. Bernard's and also allowed lay persons to earn degrees from St. Bernard's. In 1981, after the priestly formation program at St. Bernard's was ended, the faculty of theology remained together and moved to the campus of Colgate Rochester Divinity School as St. Bernard's Institute. Fr. Falcone was named the president. Also present on that campus was Bexley Hall, the Episcopalian seminary; Crozier Theological Seminary, which originated in Pennsylvania and was a Baptist seminary boasting Martin Luther King, Jr. as an alumnus; and the Baptist Mission Training School. All of the schools granted their own degrees and had their own programs but shared the campus, library, classrooms, etc. In 1993, Fr. Falcone retired as president and Sr. Patricia Schoelles, a Sister of St. Joseph of Rochester who had taught Religious Studies at Nazareth College and Theology at St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore was appointed the second president. During her time, the name was changed to St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry. After years of paying rent to Colgate Rochester, St. Bernard's built its own building near the campus of Nazareth College on land purchased from the Sisters of St. Joseph. Bexley Hall is now closed as is the Baptist Mission Training School. The former library of the Divinity Schools was purchased by the University of Rochester and was merged into their stacks. Crozier has been fully merged into the now Colgate Rochester Crozier Divinity School. Trevor Hall on that campus, which was a dorm and the building housing the St. Bernard's offices, is now the offices of the American Cancer Society and the site of a temporary care facility for people receiving treatment for organ transplants.

    St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry continues to administer the diaconate program, certification programs for lay ministers, continuing education programs in theology and ministry, as well as the M.A. and M.Div. degree programs.

  3. avatar Christopher says:

    Anyone know why McQuaid Jesuit doesn't have masses anymore every Sunday (only the 1st Sunday of the month from what I'm told)? I've heard rumors that they were ordered not to by certain people for fear of stealing parishioners from the DoR.

  4. Dear Anon – "St. William's House, a boarding residence for out of town St. Andrew's Seminary students." I believe St. William's House was a residence for the priests that taught at St. Andrew's Minor Seminary.

  5. avatar Anonymous says:

    Some priests lived in St. William's House, to monitor the students. Some priests had quarters in the actual seminary building itself. And some priests commuted.

  6. Thanks, Anon. I did not know that. Were you a seminarian at St. Andrew's?

  7. avatar Anonymous says:

    The photos do not load.

  8. avatar Sister Emily says:

    Am I the only one that can't see these pictures??

  9. avatar Gen says:

    I'll re-do the photos. They work for some people, don't for others. I'm not sure why.

  10. avatar Mike says:


    I'm also one of those who cannot see the photos. I've tried both Firefox and IE and have come up empty on each.

  11. Gen – I see you posted those pictures again, I still can't view them.

  12. avatar Roman says:

    I attended St. Andrew’s Seminary in 1958-59 as a sophomore in high school. I vividly remember the main building and concur that St. William’s was a residence for teaching priests and some class members in their final year at St. Andrew’s – which would be second year of college.

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