Holy Mother of the Rosary Parish is the Cathedral see of the
Buffalo-Pittsburg Diocese of the National Catholic Church
Holy Mother of the Rosary Parish is the Cathedral see of the Buffalo-Pittsburg Diocese of the National Catholic Church
The Polish community of Buffalo, New York, at the turn of the 20th century, saw a division in its Roman Catholic parishes. Throughout the early years of St. Adalbert’s Roman Catholic parish on nearby Stanislaus Street, constant turmoil existed among the Polish congregation. Some members were dissatisfied with the Roman Catholic Diocese over who controlled the property and buildings which they had built and maintained through their contributions. These discontented souls were forced to decide their own fate when the Roman Catholic Bishop and his advisors rejected their requests. In August, 1895 an Independent Catholic parish was established in Buffalo when this group of parishioners from St. Adalbert’s decided to form a separate church just a block away. The separation was over a matter of personalities and parish ownership rather than faith and doctrine.
The first Mass was celebrated by Rev. Kolaszewski on August 8, 1895 for the members of the newly independent Holy Mother of the Rosary Parish. For the next 15 years, the history of the parish was full of growth. In 1896, a synod made up of independent parishes in the area and elsewhere elected Fr. Kaminski as their Bishop. Under his direction, a magnificent gothic Cathedral, constructed of Medina sandstone, was erected on Sobieski street site and proudly dedicated in 1906. The parish cemetery located on Dale Road in Cheektowaga is included in Kaminski’s list of accomplishments. With the death of Kaminski, uncertainty and financial turmoil resulted in the default on the Cathedral mortgage. The Roman Catholic Diocese, seizing the opportunity to crush the independent movement, obtained ownership of the church at a public auction.
In 1914 the congregation aligned itself with the Scranton, PA-based Polish National Catholic Church. With the problems of a changing neighborhood, the parish reluctantly considered moving from the old eastside of Buffalo to its suburbs. The multimillion dollar complex, located on Broadway near Schwartz Road in Lancaster, NY was opened in 1995 in time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the parish. Some of the old cathedral’s artifacts were removed and placed in the new complex including the beautiful stained glass windows of the saints, the magnificent pipe organ, some altar appointments and the original cornerstone. The six original Cathedral bells were recently installed in a beautiful bell tower and an office and rectory were added in 2012.
The Holy Mother of the Rosary Parish welcomes people of all ethnic, racial, and social backgrounds.
For more information, a book detailing the history of the Holy Mother of the Rosary Cathedral, written by Bishop Emeritus Thaddeus Peplowski, can be bought through the church office for a $5 donation.