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St. Stanislaus Kostka R.C. Church, Perry, NY

When Poles began finding work at the Perry Knitting Mills in the early 1900s, the Village of Perry became home to Wyoming County’s first Polonia. By 1908, the community had swelled to almost 450 souls, most of whom attended St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church. Money was raised and a petition was circulated that Joseph Nawloski, John Rozanski , and Joseph Pisarek presented to Bishop Colton to establish a Polish parish in Perry. In the summer of 1910 Reverend Thomas Grochowski C.SS.R. from New York City investigated the need for a Polish mission in Perry and determined there was none. The bishop disagreed with Father Grochowski’s assessment and on November 14, sent Father Joseph Rudzinski to Perry, establishing St. Stanislaus Kostka. On Sunday, November 20, 1910, Father Rudzinski celebrated the first Mass for the parish in a rented hall on Water Street.

In his first year in Perry, Father Rudzinski purchased the hall and converted it into a temporary church and rectory. Rudzinski also began scouting out a more centralized location for his parish. It took a year but in 1912, the cornerstone for the church at 75 Water Street was laid, and the structure was completed shortly thereafter. On July 11, 1915, Bishop Colton dedicated the new church building. The property of the temporary church was converted into St. Stanislaus Cemetery, with G. Jablonski and G. Zawisza being some of the earliest interments. With the completed church, St. Stanislaus purchased property for a parochial school in late 1914, but that project never came to fruition.

By 1916 the parish had $10,000 in holdings including the church, school property, cemetery, and 800 parishioners, all of whom were surprised when Father Rudzinski passed away in June. There would be a quick succession of priests at St. Stanislaus until Father Adalbert Cichy was appointed there in 1924. During his tenure, Father Cichy paid off the parish debt and helped set up the Infant Jesus Day Nursery run by the Felician Sisters in 1938. The next year, the Felician Sisters began teaching religious classes and at the request of a number of families, Polish language classes. Father Adalbert’s successor Father Michael Klukaczewsk, built on Cichy’s financial fortitude and maintained some parish savings while still having the funds to install a new organ, new stained glass windows, and having new vestments made.

During World War II, St. Stan’s was considered one of the most active and thriving parishes in Wyoming County, but following the war the population of Perry began to see a decline. This decline only escalated as the industries around Perry started to close, and younger residents went away for school never to return. By the turn of the millennium the parish numbers had diminished greatly.

As part of the Journey in Faith and Grace, St. Stanislaus Kostka was joined to St. Joseph’s in Bliss, Assumption in Portageville, St. Mary’s in Silver Springs, and St. Joseph’s in Perry creating St. Isidore’s parish. As a result of the merger, St. Stanuslaus was one of the locations the new parish decided to close. In July 2012, the parish campus was sold to Pastor Fabian Hernandez and serves as Iglesia Cristiana Jesucristo es el Poder.


"Church Observes 30th Anniversary." Perry Record [Perry, NY] 15 Oct. 1942: 1. Print.
"Death of Rev. Joseph Rudzinski." Perry Record [Perry, NY] 8 June 1916: 4. Print.
Drabik, Michael. "Polonia in Perry, New York." Searchers 21 (Fall 1998): 13-15. Print
Ederer, Martin F. "Catholic Polonia in Western New York - 10 Genesee and Wyoming Counties Polish Parishes." Am-Pol Eagle [Cheektowaga, NY] 10 Feb. 2005: 11. Print.
"Genewefa "Gienia" Zawisza." Find A Grave - Millions of Cemetery Records and Online Memorials. N.p., 4 Dec. 2010. Web. 12 Jan. 2017.
"Genowefa Jablonski." Find A Grave - Millions of Cemetery Records and Online Memorials. N.p., 4 Dec. 2010. Web. 12 Jan. 2017.
Karney, Alfred. "A Summary of Polish Parish Reorganization after the Journey in Faith and Grace." Am-Pol Eagle Newspaper, n.d. Web. 12 Jan. 2017.
Kobielski, Milton J. Millennium of Christianity of the Polish People, 966-1966: Buffalo Diocesan Observance. [Buffalo]: Millennium Committee of the Diocese of Buffalo, 1966. Print.
"Notice to the Public." Perry Herald [Perry, NY] 6 Sept. 1910: 1. Print.
"Polish Church to Be Dedicated." Perry Record [Perry, NY] 15 Apr. 1915: 1. Print.
"A Polish Parish." Perry Herald [Perry, NY] 18 Nov. 1910: 1. Print.
"Priest Welcomed to Perry." Perry Herald [Perry, NY] 22 Nov. 1910: 1. Print.
"St. Isidore's Parish, Perry NY - Home." St. Isidore's Parish, Perry NY - Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Jan. 2017.
"St. Stanislaus Kostka." Polish Parishes of WNY - Detail. PGSNYS - Polish Genealogy Society of NY, n.d. Web. 12 Jan. 2017.
Suplicki, Rev. John. "Pastor Reviews 40-Year History of Polish Parish." Perry Herald [Perry, NY] 18 Jan. 1951: 12. Print.
"Will Establish Parochial School." Perry Herald [Perry, NY] 23 Dec. 1914: 1. Print.

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