St. Joseph’s in Lyndonville celebrated Golden Jubilee in 1967

Posted 5 March 2023 at 11:38 am

St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Lyndonville is shown on its 50th anniversary in 1967. Photograph by Bill Covell.

By Catherine Cooper, Orleans County Historian

Illuminating Orleans, Vol. 3, No. 9

LYNDONVILLE – News of the devastating fire which occurred at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Lyndonville on the night of Feb. 28 dismayed many, far and near.

Rev. Thomas F. Gleason, pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Medina, is credited with organizing the construction of St. Joseph’s Mission Church in Lyndonville in 1917 to serve the fifteen Catholic families who lived in the vicinity.

The church, which seated 125 people, was built on land purchased from J.H. Lake. It was dedicated on Nov. 25, 1917, by Bishop Dougherty of Buffalo. A large contingent from St. Mary’s Church in Medina were in attendance.

St. Joseph’s was served by pastors and assistants from St. Mary’s for 45 years. During that time, the congregation grew to one hundred families. The Rosary Altar Society was established. Additional land on the north side of Lake Avenue was purchased for parking. A church hall and kitchen were added.

St. Joseph’s Church, Lyndonville, as it appeared before renovations for the Golden Jubilee.

St. Joseph’s was raised to the status of a parish on August 30, 1962. The parish comprises the Town of Yates, that part of Carlton west of Oak Orchard Creek and that part of the town of Ridgeway north of Ridge Road.

Fr. Bosack served as pastor in Lyndonville for 32 years

Rev. Albert J. Bosack was appointed as the first pastor. He was installed on Sept. 2, 1962, by Rt. Rev. Msgr. Felix McCabe, pastor of St. Joseph’s parish in Albion. Genial and much loved, Fr. Bosack served the Lyndonville congregation until his retirement in 1994.

A rectory was built on a lot east of the church in 1964.

The Church celebrated it’s fiftieth anniversary in 1967. In anticipation of this event, a new organ was purchased for the church, the building was painted inside and out, the fellowship hall and kitchen were renovated .

On Sunday, October 15, Most Rev. Stanislaus J. Branza, Auxiliary Bishop of Buffalo celebrated a Pontifical Solemn High Mass of Thanksgiving at the church.

Altar boys, followed by Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus from Medina, march in procession along Lake Avenue in Lyndonville toward St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church for a Mass to celebrate the church’s Golden Jubilee. (Journal-Register on Oct. 18, 1967)

A Golden Jubilee Dinner Dance for parish families and friends was held at the Apple Grove Inn in Medina on October 13, 1967. Rev. Charles Amico was guest speaker. Harold Suzanne played a program  of organ music during the evening and the Bob Still Trio provided dance music.

This group was photographed for the Journal-Register at St. Joseph’s Golden Jubilee dinner dance held at the Apple Grove In,  Friday, October 13, 1967. Mrs. Iola Layer, at the left, was dinner chairman. The three ladies in the center were original members of the parish: Mrs. Floyd Smith, Helena Mahar, and Mrs. Stanley R. Berry, Sr. To the right are Stanley Barry, Jr. a church trustee and his wife, Margaret.

For many years the regular weekend schedule comprised a Saturday Mass at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday Masses at 8:30 am and 10:30 am to serve the congregation of one hundred families. During the summer months, the influx of lakeside vacationers necessitated the celebration of an additional Mass.

Though the congregation has since declined to fifteen families, this “little white church” has a special place in the hearts of many.