Immaculate Conception/
St. Bridget’s Church

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A Roman Catholic Community of the African American Tradition

"We've Come This Far by Faith"

Mass Times

Sunday mornings 10am
Special Liturgies: Weekdays 6pm

Contact Us

445 Frederick Douglass Street Rochester, NY 14608 Office & Rectory Ph. (585) 325-3893
Office Hours 8:30 pm - 4:30 pm, Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday

Sacraments of Reconciliation

"By Appointment"

Sacraments of Marriage

"Pre-Cana is Diocesan Requirement Arrangements should be made at least six months in advanced"

Baptism

"Please call the church office to make arrangements. New members of the parish community are most welcome. Registration cards are available in the church gathering space and church office"

History

1847 April – Bishop Timon established the Immaculate Conception to serve the growing Catholic population of the poor Irish immigrants. The original church was the brick building facing Edinburgh Street and cost $4,500. Bishop Timon asked Bishop Canfield of Kildare, Ireland for young men to work in the Buffalo Diocese. Fr. John Patrick volunteered to go to America and became the first pastor of Immaculate Conception (1849-1852). He was ordained by Bishop Timon. Fr. Patrick moved on to establish many other parishes in the western New York area.
1860 Rev. Peter Bede (County Langford, Ireland) was appointed pastor.
1864 The original church was destroyed by fire. The Union Advertiser reported that the fire started in a small house on Edinburgh Street and spread to the church. The value of the church was quoted as $7,000. The water had to be brought up from the river, the Union Advertiser stated “the want of water in the locality of this fire was fully realized last night” (UA F 24, 1864) The parishioners used School House #3 for services. July 11, Bishop Timon officiated at the laying of the corner stone of the new church (the present building). August 6, the new Romansque church, which held 1,100 and faced Plymouth, was dedicated by Bishop Timon. Rev. Patricio Byrnes (born Montevido, S.A.) was appointed pastor, a position which he held until his death on Good Friday 1875. Fr. Byrnes established the Immaculate Conception School.
1870 The new parsonage beside the church facing Plymouth Avenue was erected with the great support of the parishioners. The UA reported “the society of the Immaculate Conception, Third Ward, have with a most commendable spirit erected near the church a parsonage creditable to the society and an ornament to the city. The Immaculate Conception Parochial School known, as the Plymouth Avenue School for many years, was opened. The school was built on t he Edinburgh side of the church and faced Plymouth Avenue. Cost: $15,000. December 11, Fire broke out in the rear basement causing heavy damage. The fire was started by an unattended fire in the furnace and spread quickly from the basement to the main area of the church, causing the floor to collapse. The rebuilt church was opened.
1875 Rev. Michael Meager (born Tipperary, Ireland) was appointed pastor until his death in 1886
1886 The Edinburgh annex was built. Very Rev. James F. O’Hare, D.D., V.G. (born in Rochester) was appointed pastor. He was the first priest ordained by Bishop McQuaid for the Rochester Diocese. He died in 1898 just before the golden jubilee of the parish.
1894 New parochial school and hall was dedicated; it faced Edinburgh Street and accommodated 250 pupils.
1898 Rev. Augustine M. O’Neill (born Auburn, New York) was appointed pastor of Immaculate. He served through it’s golden era. He expanded it’s perimeters and erected a new school.
1899 THE GOLDEN JUBILEE he property was now valued at $100,000. It consisted of a church, 2 school buildings, school hall and pastor’s residence, all made of brick. The parish had about 4000 communicants each Sunday and the school had 900 pupils. New windows from the Tyrolene Art Company of Europe were installed, a vestibule was added and the rectory enlarged.   Page 2