Click here to learn more about the history and architecture of St. Teresa Church from the website of the National Register of Historic Places.
Update: Road to Renewal Pilot Program
Fr. Bill Quinlivan, our newly appointed pastor for the Catholic Family of South Buffalo, stared this new chapter in the life of the local church with a musical holy hour on August 1st at St. Teresa. Each of the parishes within the family will maintain their own identity under the leadership of one pastor:
St. Teresa’s Parish 125th Anniversary
Late in the 19th century, South Buffalo consisted of farmland with few scattered homes. William Fitzpatrick, a local builder, saw the potential for growth and set out to plan a community by laying out streets, selling property, and constructing homes.
Bishop James Quigley appointed Fr. Michael J. Kean to the South Buffalo area in April 1897 with the intention of establishing a Catholic presence. Father Kean then set out to seek members for a new congregation. At that time, St. Stephen’s (Elk Street), St. Patrick’s (Emslie and Seymour Streets), and St. Patrick’s Limestone Hill (now OLV Basilica) were thought to be too far from the South Buffalo area.
While establishing his congregation, Father Kean also searched for a worship site that would not be affected by Spring flooding. He found an abandoned school building on Cazenovia Street to be such the place. He converted the building into an eighty seat chapel and celebrated the first Mass there on April 25, 1897. This chapel was located on what is now occupied by St. Simon’s Episcopal Church. It was at this site our Parish originated!
The congregation grew along with the population of the general area. It became apparent a permanent place of worship was necessary to accommodate the increasing number of individuals and families settling in South Buffalo.
In recognition of this need and continued rapid growth in our area, the Diocese of Buffalo officially incorporated St. Teresa’s as a parish on April 4, 1898. Officially, we are known as “St. Teresa’s Roman Catholic Church Society of Buffalo.” In short, we lovingly refer to Her as St. Teresa’s!
Monday, April 25, 2022, marks the 125th Anniversary of the first Mass offered in our parish! This is a significant milestone in our history and offers an opportunity for each of us and our families, from generations deep to recent members, to reflect on the role St. Teresa’s has played in our lives and faith formation.
We remind others we are now the lone Catholic presence along Seneca Street from downtown Buffalo through to West Seneca. Much has been accomplished at St. Teresa’s over these many years; much more is yet to be completed as we move forward in Faith.