St. Joseph Parish, Gowanda, New York
- This article was considered for deletion at Wikipedia on November 13 2014. This is a backup of Wikipedia:St._Joseph_Parish,_Gowanda,_New_York. All of its AfDs can be found at Wikipedia:Special:PrefixIndex/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/St._Joseph_Parish,_Gowanda,_New_York, the first at Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/St._Joseph_Parish,_Gowanda,_New_York.
- Wikipedia editors had multiple issues with this page:
- The topic of this article may not meet Wikipedia's general notability guideline. But, that doesn't mean someone has to… establish notability by citing reliable secondary sources that are independent of the topic and provide significant coverage of it beyond its mere trivial mention. (November 2014)
St. Joseph Parish, Gowanda, New York, is a Roman Catholic parish in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, located in the rural Western New York Village of Gowanda, in the county of Erie. The Parish was named for Saint Joseph. The physical address of St. Joseph Church and Rectory is 26 Erie Avenue, however the Church is located at the corner of Erie Avenue and East Main Street. The Church was built in 1957, with Auxiliary Bishop Leo R. Smith laying the cornerstone in 1958. The beginnings of St. Joseph Parish, however, started in 1855, with the original church being built from 1887 to 1889 at a slightly more western location on Erie Avenue. Holy Cross Cemetery, which is part of the Parish, was deeded in 1884. St. Joseph School, located at 71 East Main Street, is also associated with the Parish and was opened in 1925. Today, St. Joseph Parish is led by Rev. Joseph D. Porpiglia; and serves the residents of Gowanda, Persia, Dayton, Perrysburg, Collins, and other surrounding areas.
- 1 Background and history
- 1.1 Mission of St. Paul of the Cross Parish
- 1.2 Holy Cross Cemetery creation
- 1.3 St. Joseph Church construction
- 1.4 Church founding in 1898
- 1.5 Opening of St. Joseph School in 1925
- 1.6 Continued parish growth
- 1.7 Construction of new church in 1957
- 1.8 Continued development
- 1.9 The parish in modern times
- 1.10 Parish anniversaries
- 1.11 Recent parish history
- 2 St. Joseph School details
- 3 Mission priests to the parish and approximate dates of service
- 4 Parish priests and approximate dates of service
- 5 Female religious leadership of the Parish
- 6 Mother superiors and principals of St. Joseph School with dates of service
- 7 Selected parish groups and organizations
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Background and history
Mission of St. Paul of the Cross Parish
In 1855, there were four Roman Catholic families living in the Village of Gowanda. At that time, Rev. Pamphilius, a Franciscan friar, celebrated religious services with the families, having traveled there from Ellicottville. Rev. Pamphilius performed religious services at the home of Daniel Hurdley.
In 1861, St. Paul of the Cross Parish of Dayton was established by the Passionist Fathers from Dunkirk. By 1867, services were being held in Peter Rink's Hall on Buffalo Street in Gowanda. Peter Rink's Hall was located above his store in the Village of Gowanda. Approximately sometime in the 1870s, Rev. J.H. Leddy began performing religious services at Rink's Hall. In the latter part of the 1880s, religious services were moved to the home of William Kennedy.
Holy Cross Cemetery creation
In 1884, Rink donated $200 to the Church for purposes of purchasing one acre of land to establish a Catholic cemetery. Another reference reports that Rink donated the actual land for the cemetery. On October 10, 1884, such land on a hill near the Church and just east of the village, was deeded. It was named Holy Cross Cemetery, and is located on Cemetery Hill Road in Gowanda, adjacent to Pine Hill Cemetery, which is a Protestant cemetery.
St. Joseph Church construction
For the construction of the new church on the west side of Erie Avenue, a building committee was formed. The Building Committee included Peter Rink; Joseph Nabor, Jr.; William Kennedy; William Smith; Cornelius Collins; Peter Freeman; and Henry Salzler. Construction of the Church occurred from 1887 to 1889. Rink provided monetary assistance in the building of the Church.
Since the completion of construction on the early church, priests recorded to have served there in the 1880s and 1890s were Rev. O. Hogenforst; Rev. J. Wilber; Rev. John Nash; Rev. Adolph; Rev. Daly; Rev. Thomas Harrack; and Rev. John Tracey.
Church founding in 1898
St. Joseph Church was founded in 1898. At the time of its founding, it was still considered a mission of St. Paul of the Cross Parish in Dayton. St. Paul's also served Roman Catholics in both Perrysburg and Cattaraugus at that time.
In 1898, Rev. John Tracey, the pastor of St. Paul's, transferred his residence from Dayton to Gowanda, making St. Joseph Church the center of the parish. Services at St. Joseph Church were then held each Sunday and on holy days. The reason that Tracy transferred to Gowanda was due to the large influx of immigrants to the area for industrial work. European immigrants of Slovenian, Polish, and German descent moved to the area, providing a workforce for the newly built factories in the area. The increase in population of the area necessitated Tracy's move so that religious services could be centralized in Gowanda.
Rev. P.J. Enright was assigned to St. Joseph Parish and Church in 1900. Materially and spiritually, he built up the Church. Enright enlarged the Church, and "was instrumental in having the wooden tower and bell from" St. Paul's in Dayton placed in St. Joseph Church. The bell has been maintained by the Parish, and is now in the school building. The year 1920 saw Rev. J.E. Rochford become pastor of the Church.
Opening of St. Joseph School in 1925
The Franciscan Sisters of Stella Niagara provided services to the Parish, Church, and School, beginning in 1925. They lived at a Catholic convent on Erie Avenue. Sisters Fidelis and Elma (also identified as Sister Alma) taught 54 students in the School at its opening.
In 1928, an auditorium was opened in the School. By that time, there were eight grades of students in the School, all of which were led and/or taught by five resident Sisters of the Order of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity of Stella Niagara, New York. Later, a cafeteria and library were created for the School.
Continued parish growth
The 1930s witnessed continued growth of the Parish. New organizations for religious involvement by women were established, including the Holy Name Society and the Daughters of St. Joseph. At this time, Rev. Henry Shaw was pastor, being followed by Rev. Patrick Tobin. Because the size of the Parish outgrew the Church, services were moved to the auditorium in the School, with the first Mass being celebrated there on December 17, 1940 by Monsignor John J. Nash.
In the 1940s, the Parish, Church, and School continued to grow. The Mother's Club was formed through the Church during this time; and the School provided an education to more than 100 students. Students at the School were taught by seven Sisters in the 1940s. Rev. John Hennessy was pastor during this time.
Another women's group within the Church was formed in 1951, the Altar and Rosary Society. Rev. Denis Donovan was pastor of the Parish at this time. By 1954, Rev. Guinessey was pastor, marking a milestone of sending some graduates of St. Joseph School to the former Cardinal Mindszenty High School in Dunkirk. Rev. George Freeman was pastor in 1955, and announced plans for building a new church in 1956.
Construction of new church in 1957
On June 23, 1957, ground was broken for the construction of the new, larger St. Joseph Church. The cost of the new church was $250,000. During the groundbreaking, several religious officiated, including Most Rev. Msgr. Alfred Hagemaier, the Dean of Southern Erie County; Rev. Freeman; Rev. Gene Kaczmarkek; and other local priests. The cornerstone was laid by Auxiliary Bishop Leo R. Smith on June 12, 1958; and the first Mass was celebrated on December 24, 1958. The structure was remodeled in the early 1980s, and later served as home to the Gowanda Grange.
In the 1960s, the Mother's Club was renamed the Home-School Association; and lay teachers began educating in the School. Bells and carillons were donated for use in the Church by the George Massar Family. Rev. Theodore Rog became an assistant priest to Rev. Freeman; and Freeman celebrated his 40th anniversary to the priesthood in 1969.
The parish in modern times
Freeman died in 1975, and Rev. Paul J. Whitney became pastor. He guided the formation of the Parish Council and St. Joseph School Board. Tuition began to be charged by the School to help defray costs of the parish subsidy. Whitney also guided extensive reconstruction of the Church during that time. Rev. John Kwiecien came to the Parish during this time; and the Folk Group regularly provided music and song during Masses in the Church.
Rev. Lawrence Milby became pastor in 1982, serving the Parish for nearly 20 years. A 19-rank pipe organ was purchased from the former Richmond Avenue United Church of Christ in Buffalo, and placed in the Church in 1990. The organ was built by Clarence Morey, an organ-builder from Utica, in 1905. Volunteers dismantled the organ for travel to the Church, where it was rebuilt and restored by Kurt Ruhland of Ruhland Organ Company of Cleveland, Ohio.
In 1988, there were 127 students enrolled in St. Joseph School. Students from the Parish, as well as those from neighboring parishes attended the School. At that time, the Parish's religious education program provided Roman Catholic religious instruction to 125 students. A Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) was also active in the Parish. Nearly 800 registered families were members of the Parish. Deacon Louis Pais served the Parish for many years.
The Parish celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1998 with a Mass performed by Most Rev. Henry J. Mansell, Bishop of Buffalo; and Milby. In 1999, the Parish ceased to be a residence for the Sisters of St. Francis due to their declining population and the need for their services in other areas of the diocese.
In 2001, the school celebrated its 75th anniversary. An open house, Mass, and dinner marked the event. Specially remembered at the anniversary was Sister Elma, who had helped to open the school in 1925, and who had celebrated her 80th anniversary as a religious sister.
Recent parish history
In 2011, Walsh celebrated a memorial Mass for New York State Trooper Gary Kubasiak, who was shot and killed while answering a call for back up, and while off duty, in 1982. County Route 58, also known as Peck Hill Road, between Dayton and Perrsyburg was named in Kubasiak's honor in 2011, and Walsh gave the invocation at the ceremony. Kubasiak was 33 when he was killed. James Swan, the man who shot him, was mentally ill; he was sentenced to 35 years to life in prison. Kubasiak has two adult sons who became New York State Troopers in 1998. The New York State Trooper barracks in Collins has also been dedicated to Kubasiak's memory.
Rev. Joseph D. Porpiglia became pastor in 2012. Immediately prior to coming to the Parish, he was pastor at St. Benedict Parish in Amherst, New York. Porpiglia maintains his own blog on the Church website that informs parishioners about religious events and experiences. Deacon Fred Johnson serves at the Parish which has 300 registered families as members. Deacon Thomas A. McDonnell also served the Parish.
The Parish offers daily Masses, as well as Masses on weekends and holy days. Stations of the Cross may be observed during Lent at the Church. Confessions are also heard each week by the priest. In addition to religious education and confirmation classes, classes for baptism and Catholic inquiry may also be offered. The parish priest regularly performs marriages, baptisms, confessions, calls to those who are ill, and funerals.
St. Joseph School details
Enrollment and composition
As of January 2014, there were 54 students who attended St. Joseph School in pre-kindergarten through 8th grade. Other sources reported 70-90 students at the School. At the time of closure in 2014, there were 8-10 full-time and six part-time teachers at the School, populated by 95%-96% Caucasian and 4%-5% American Indian students.
Mission, curriculum, and activities
The school maintained a statement of mission that is in the Roman Catholic tradition. The core curriculum of the School included Roman Catholic religion, science, social studies, English language arts, and mathematics, with first year algebra being taught in 8th grade. Art, music, Spanish, and physical education were also taught at the School, with computer instruction being integrated into general subject areas. As of 2014, the school piloted a computer-based math program, "Reasoning Mind," and was one of three elementary schools in the diocese to do so.
Students could participate in musical groups including choir and band; this program was in conjunction with the State University of New York at Fredonia. The School also offered opportunities for student participation in sports, including track and field; basketball; baseball; and softball and volleyball for girls.
Transportation, financial considerations, and networking
Students were bussed to the School from more than 12 towns and/or villages, including Gowanda, Persia, Collins, Perrysburg, North Collins, Eden, Springville, Forestville, Cattaraugus, Little Valley, Pine Valley, and Silver Creek. The Persia, Collins, and Perrysburg students were included in the Gowanda bus routes. The School offered a sliding tuition rate scale for both Catholic and non-Catholic families that have more than one child who attends the school. Annually, many scholarships were awarded by the School to eighth grade graduates. The School also stayed connected with alumni through a newsletter, dinners, and fundraising events; and it began awarding the Fidelis Service Award in 2009.
Patrick Brady was the principal of the School, and Donna Cook is the assistant principal at the time of closure. Cook taught 6th grade at the School, and has the most years of teaching experience - at 36 years - of anyone in its employ; she also doubled, when needed, as assistant principal.
During the academic year, 2006-2007, that Brady became principal at the School, a faculty/staff turnover rate of 40% was observed there. The School also experiences other challenges in maintaining experienced and qualified employees. As of 2007, the starting salary for qualified, experienced educators at the School was $14,000, annually. Prior to 2004, teachers were also required by the New York State Department of Education to hold permanent teaching certification after five years of teaching, and a master's degree in education within five years of graduation with a bachelor's degree or initially being certified. As of 2007, educator licensure requirements changed, however there are educators at the school who may not have met those requirements. In 2014, three teachers and one administrator held permanent certification at the School. A salary that is poverty level for a family of two, based on 2007 federal poverty guidelines; as well as a lack of support at the School for teachers seeking permanent teaching licensure, therefore, are additional reasons why educators leave its employ.
2014 school closure
On September 25, 2013, Brady informed parents of St. Joseph School students that the Diocese of Buffalo was conducting a program to investigate the viability of schools. At the close of the 2013-2014 academic year, St. Joseph School is slated to close. Brady expressed his disappointment about the closure, and informed parents of it by e-mail and letter. Rev. Porpiglia also informed school parents of the school closure. Prior to Porpiglia having an opportunity to inform parents by personal letter about the closure, Brady included statements made by Porpiglia in his own communications to parents. There are those who would consider Brady's actions in that instance to be unprofessional.
When asked about the low enrollment of the School by Willis, Brady stated that the area has experienced a declining population and has been negatively affected by the economy. Critics of the School maintain that some members of the leadership associated with the School were lacking in morals and values. Proponents of the School have stated that it was an excellent place to send one's child for an education.
St. Joseph School Fidelis Service Award recipients
- Daniel R. Gernatt, Sr., in 2009
- Babs Reid, in 2010
- Maureen (McHale) Minnick, '74, in 2011 
- Donna Cook, in 2012
- Angela (Ragona) Herrington, '56, in 2013
Mission priests to the parish and approximate dates of service
- Rev. Pamphilius, 1855-1870s
- Rev. J.H. Leddy, 1870s
- Rev. O. Hogenforst, 1880s
- Rev. J. Wilber, 1880s
- Rev. John Nash, 1880s
- Rev. Adolph, 1880s
- Rev. Daly, 1880s
- Rev. Thomas Harrack, 1880s-1890s
Parish priests and approximate dates of service
- Rev. John Tracey, 1898-1900
- Rev. P.J. Enright, 1900-1920
- Rev. J.E. Rochford, 1920-1930
- Rev. Henry Shaw, 1930s
- Rev. Patrick Tobin, 1930s
- Rev. John Hennessy, 1940s
- Rev. Denis Donovan, 1940s-1950s
- Rev. Guinessey, 1950s
- Rev. George Freeman, 1955-1975
- Rev. Theodore Rog, 1960s-1970s
- Rev. Paul J. Whitney, 1970s-1980s
- Rev. John Kwiecien, 1970s-1980s
- Rev. Lawrence Milby, 1982-2002
- Rev. Daniel Walsh, 2002-2012
- Rev. Joseph D. Porpiglia, 2012–Present
Female religious leadership of the Parish
Mother superiors and principals of St. Joseph School with dates of service
It should be noted that the Sisters were referenced as "Mother," being the teachers of the 7th and 8th grades, as well as being the leaders of the School. Template:Colbegin
- Mother Lucille Reiner, 1925-1930
- Mother Erica, 1930-1931
- Mother Elma, 1931-1933
- Mother Francesca, 1933-1937
- Mother Boniface, 1937-1939
- Mother Roseanne, 1939-1942
- Mother Beatrice Lippert, 1942-1947
- Mother Cleopha, 1947-1948
- Mother Anne Brennan, 1948-1951
- Mother Patricia (now Sister Dolores Garner), 1951-1955
- Mother Barbara (now Sister Barbara Holtzinger), 1955-1961
- Mother Maristella, 1961-1962
- Mother M. Peter (now Sister Mary Frances Welch), 1962-1964
- Mother M. Vincent (now Sister Doris Besch), 1964-1969
- Sister Paul Merkl, 1969-1976
- James T. Wojdan, 1976-1979
- Sister Mary DiLeone, 1979-1982
- Sister Diane Bernbeck, 1982-1989
- Allan Kinsley, 1989-1994
- Sister Frances Clare Perry, 1994-1998
- Daniel Grande, 1998-2000
- Vincent George, 2000-2006
- Patrick Brady, 2006–Present
Selected parish groups and organizations
- Altar and Rosary Society
- Altar Servers
- Bingo Committee
- Eucharistic Ministers
- Hospital and Home Visitors
- Liturgy Group
- Msgr. David A. Gernatt Council #15113 of the Knights of Columbus
- Music Ministry (Choir, Music Ensemble, and Organist)
- Parent Association (Formerly the Home-School Association)
- Parish Council
- Religious Education
- St. Joseph School Board
- St. Vincent de Paul Society
- Youth Group
- Diocese of Buffalo: About the Diocese, Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, 2013, Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- 2003 St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Eden Prairie, MN: Olan Mills Church Directories, January 2004.
- St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, Gowanda, NY: St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, 2012, Retrieved 1 March 2014.
- St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church: History, St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, Gowanda, NY: St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, 2012, Retrieved 1 March 2014.
- Historical sketch of the Village of Gowanda, N.Y. in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of its incorporation, August 8, 1898, Buffalo, NY: The Matthews-Northrup Company, Leonard, I.R., Reprinted 1998, Salem, MA: Higginson Book Company
- St. Joseph's Parish Guide (1992). Gowanda, NY: St. Joseph Church and Hamburg, NY: H&K Publications, Inc.
- St. Joseph Church, Gowanda, Facebook, Menlo Park, CA: Facebook, 2014, Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- Kirby, C.D. (1976). The Early History of Gowanda and The Beautiful Land of the Cattaraugus. Gowanda, NY: Niagara Frontier Publishing Company, Inc./Gowanda Area Bi-Centennial Committee, Inc.
- St. Joseph School, Gowanda, New York: About us, St. Joseph School, Gowanda, NY: St. Joseph School, 2014, Retrieved 1 March 2014.
- Holy Cross Cemetery, FindAGrave.com, Provo, UT: Find A Grave, Inc., 2014, Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- Pine Hill Cemetery, FindAGrave.com, Provo, UT: Find A Grave, Inc., 2014, Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- Trooper Gary Kubasiak honored with highway 29 years after his death, The Observer, Dunkirk, NY: John D'Agostino, 31 August 2011, McDonnell, S., Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- The region: Outpatient is held in trooper's death, The New York Times, New York, NY: The New York Times, 1 September 1982, Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- ODMP remembers...Trooper Gary E. Kubasiak, Officer Down Memorial Page, Fairfax, VA: The Officer Down Memorial Page, Inc., 2014, Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- Fr. Joseph D. Porpiglia, ZoomInfo.com, Waltham, MA: Zoom Information, Inc., 11 November 2012, Retrieved 4 March 2014.
- News - Catholic life: Time in military service changes priest's ministry, Western New York Catholic, Buffalo, NY: Diocese of Buffalo, 8 November 2012, Lindahl, K., Retrieved 4 March 2014.
- Fr. Joe's blog, St. Joseph Church, Gowanda, NY: St. Joseph Church, 2013, Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; no text was provided for refs named
- Farewell St. Joseph's: Principal reflects on history of 90-year-old school, The Observer, Dunkirk, NY: John D'Agostino, 19 January 2014, Willis, J., Retrieved 4 March 2014.
- St. Joseph School, LocalSchoolDirectory.com, 2014, Retrieved 4 March 2014.
- St. Joseph School, Great Schools, Oakland, CA: Great Schools, Inc., 2014, Retrieved 4 March 2014.
- Who's who in education 2008, Buffalo Business First, p. 4, Buffalo, NY: American City Business Journals, 20 March 2008, Retrieved 4 March 2014.
- St. Joseph School mission statement, St. Joseph School, Gowanda, NY: St. Joseph School, 2014, Retrieved 1 March 2014.
- Student life, St. Joseph School, Gowanda, NY: St. Joseph School, 2014, Retrieved 4 March 2014.
- Athletics, St. Joseph School, Gowanda, NY: St. Joseph School, 2014, Retrieved 4 March 2014.
- Bussing information, St. Joseph School, Gowanda, NY: St. Joseph School, 2014, Retrieved 4 March 2014.
- Registration and financial aid information: 2013-2014 tuition rates, St. Joseph School, Gowanda, NY: St. Joseph School, 2014, Retrieved 4 March 2014.
- St. Joseph School Graduation Program, Gowanda, NY: St. Joseph School, 2013.
- Principal's pen, St. Joseph Times, Vol. 1, No. 8, Gowanda, NY: St. Joseph Church, September 2011, Retrieved 5 March 2014.
- Fidelis Service Award, St. Joseph School, Gowanda, NY: St. Joseph School, 2014, Retrieved 4 March 2014.
- St. Joseph School administration, St. Joseph School, Gowanda, NY: St. Joseph School, 2014, Retrieved 1 March 2014.
- Patrick J. Brady, Principal, ZoomInfo.com, Waltham, MA: Zoom Information, Inc., 2014, Retrieved 4 March 2014.
- Testimonials from Ed Tech day sites, EdTech Foundation of Western New York, Buffalo, NY: Educational Technology Foundation of WNY, 2014, Retrieved 5 March 2014.
- Class shirts given at St. Joseph's School in Gowanda, Gowanda News, Gowanda, NY: The Metro Group, 29 November 2013, Retrieved 5 March 2014.
- Faculty/Staff directory, St. Joseph School, Gowanda, NY: St. Joseph School, 2014, Retrieved 4 March 2014.
- "Faculty/Staff Information" (2007). Gowanda, NY: St. Joseph School.
- "St. Joseph School Teaching Contract" (2007). Gowanda, NY: St. Joseph School.
- Types of certificates and licenses, NYSED.gov, Albany, NY: New York State Department of Education, 2012, Retrieved 6 March 2014.
- Annual update of the HHS poverty guidelines, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC: Department of Health and Human Services, 2007, Retrieved 6 March 2014.
- Brady, P.J. (25 September 2013). "Parent Note Special Letter." Gowanda, New York: St. Joseph School. Retrieved 5 March 2014 from pdf online.
- 'Lucky 7s' for local patriarch Dan Gernatt, Sr., Gowanda News, Gowanda, NY: The Metro Group, 15 February 2014, Pankow, M., Retrieved 26 February 2014.
- St. Joseph's, SeekAndFind.com, New Berlin, WI: Liturgical Publications, Inc., 23 February 2014, Retrieved 1 March 2014.