Three years ago, our Parish Historian spent countless hours researching and chronicling the history of our parish. We then ran the historical articles for sixteen consecutive weeks in the bulletin – the positive response was tremendous! So, in this 90th Anniversary Year of Blessed Sacrament Parish, let’s run these wonderful articles again as we lead up to our 90th Anniversary Celebration on October 26th, 2019. The first in the series is below.
If you happen to have an old photo or two that you’d like to share, we can see if it will duplicate well and perhaps include it along with the articles. And, enormous gratitude goes out to our parish historian (who prefers to remain anonymous) for this wonderful contribution to our parish!
THE BIRTH OF A PARISH
The Bible tells us that nothing happens by mere chance and that there is a time for different things. Thanks to the vision of St. Joseph’s Parish, especially Mrs. Ayler & Mrs. Milbrod, it was seen that there was a need for a parish nearer to their homes in “Duck Town”. After securing enough petitions from their Catholic neighbors, Mrs. Ayler and Mr. Thomas Rechin took these petitions to Bishop Turner, who agreed to make a priest available for Mass if the people could come up with a suitable location for the celebration of Mass.
This resulted in the first Masses being celebrated in the Kenilworth Fire Hall on Sunday mornings. It was Fr. Klauder from St. John’s and other neighboring priests who kept alive “the Mission of St. John’s” by saying Mass for the people of Duck Town.
(First article in the series, originally published in the February 14, 2016 bulletin)
From the beginning, the congregation was known as “Saint John’s Mission, Kenilworth”. The portable altar (built by early parishioners) and an old organ donated by Father Klauder (Pastor, St. John the Baptist Church) were utilized. Thanks to good neighbors, the portable altar was stored in the attic of the home of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Rechlin (at 142 Hawthorne) and rolled down Hawthorne to the fire hall on Sunday mornings. The first Masses of the little congregation took place in the fire company’s former fire hall, a wooden structure on Hawthorne Avenue, originally established in 1919, that preceded the handsome brick building at Hawthorne and Maxwell that was built with funds from the Work Progress Administration (WPA) in 1938. (The current fire hall building was dedicated in 1999.) The three young daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Rechlin (our former parishioners: Mrs. Clara Kelly, Mrs. Ethel Buchanan and Mrs. Ellen Wielopolski) used to scrounge the neighborhood for garden flowers for the 9 o’clock Sunday Mass. The vision of the early parishioners bore fruit when in October 1929, Bishop Turner appointed Father Michael Fitzgerald as the first pastor.
It should be noted that Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Rechlin, their daughters, and their familiesmaintained a strong, active, interested membership in our church and its school all of their lives.
Second in the sixteen article series, originally published in the February 21, 2016 bulletin
Rt. Reverend William Turner, Bishop of Buffalo established this new parish north of Kenmore Avenue and east of Niagara Falls Boulevard, east of the Niagara Falls High Speed Tracks. While Rev. Michael J. Fitzgerald was appointed Pastor, he, in turn, asked Messrs. Frank J. Drexelius and James O. Burns to act as Trustees. The gentlemen agreed to their new roles and their names are affixed to the incorporated title of our parish. It was suggested by the new pastor to procure property in a central location and make arrangements for a permanent building. Later on, as Father Fitzgerald recalled the adventure of purchasing his parish’s property, he referred to the property as “a wilderness and roadless hamlet”. The new church made arrangements with M & T Loan Company with the purpose of procuring a mortgage at a later time from the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank of New York. Once the property was procured, plans for a building were drawn up. Father Fitzgerald determined that the name of his new church would be Blessed Sacrament because of his devotion to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Indeed, this could have been the needed “extra” that enabled this parish to survive its unique and difficult birth, considering the fiscal condition of our country at the time of the stock market crash. The people of this new congregation had shown their good faith by having $3,200.00 available for Father Fitzgerald to buy the land. A whole block: 700 feet by 250 feet between Claremont and Wendel from Chelsea to Berkley. The money was raised by card parties, raffles, etc., before the start of the parish. Father Fitzgerald showed his courage and dedication when he assumed a mortgage of $72,000.00, when his first Sunday collection was $22.60 and a raffle for a bushel of potatoes brought in the sum of $5.00. Third in a sixteen article series; originally published in the February 28, 2016 bulletin.
THE GROWTH OF A PARISH (OURS!)
Reverend Michael J. Fitzgerald first saw the light of day at the twilight of the nineteenth century, May 27, 1895, in Muchross, Ireland. He studied at St. Brendan’s Seminary, Killarny; St. Kieran’s College, Ireland. In 1914, Father Fitzgerald prepared for the priesthood at the Seminary of Our Lady of the Angels at Niagara University, Lewiston. He was ordained December 1, 1918. Prior to his pastorship, he was named Assistant Pastor of Saint Joseph’s Cathedral and then at St. Monica’s Church and, St. Thomas Aquinas, all of Buffalo. He was invested with the rank of domestic prelate, with the title of Monsignor at ceremonies December 13, 1959 in Saint Joseph’s New Cathedral in Buffalo. He had been elevated to the rank by Pope John XXIII, two months earlier, along with other Pastors from the Town of Tonawanda, which included: Rt. Rev. James Donovan of St. Andrews, Rt. Rev. Timothy Ring of St. Paul’s, and Rt. Rev. William Solleder, Pastor of St. Christopher’s Shine. The First Announcement Book shows that Father Fitzgerald said his first Mass for the newly formed parish on December 8, 1929 (the Feast of the Immaculate Conception) in the Kenilworth Fire Hall. In addition, Father Fitzgerald’s first entry in the Record Diary, dated December 15, 1929 noted: 3rd Sunday in Advent. (1) census to be continued; (2) am now living in the parish; (3) collection last Sunday $22.60. Fourth in a sixteen article series; this installment was originally published in our March 6, 2016 bulletin
Since the church’s founding in 1929, our first Pastor, Rt. Reverend Monsignor Michael J. Fitzgerald remained our Pastor for 32 years–years of great struggle. While, it’s great to see growth, paying for it is quite another issue. Little did Father Fitzgerald realize what lay ahead; his new assignment became effective the day the stock market crashed, sending much of the nation into panic. During the 1930s, there were times when Father Fitzgerald was unable to collect even the small salary that was due him. History records that at one time our founder even sold his car in order to buy groceries to help those parishioners who were destitute and out of work. The rest of the story of the 1930’s, and beyond, can be summed up with our Pastor’s many trips up and down the streets in his car, to bring the children to and from school as no one provided school busses in those days. This typical kindness was especially appreciated at lunchtime as it would give those students that lived close to or beyond Englewood Avenue more time to eat their noon meal and still walk back to school in time for their afternoon session. We must recognize his battles with the banks and his contagious Irish humor inspired a parish that would not give up! A parish that could survive a Depression could also survive World War II, but again it wasn’t easy. Fifth in a sixteen article series; this installment was originally published in our March 13, 2016 bulletin
In July 1935, Father Kenneth Muller, a newly ordained priest, was assigned to assist Father Fitzgerald. Father William Snyder replaced Father Mullen in July 1, 1939 and proved to be of great help to our Pastor in the four years of his assignment. When Father Snyder was transferred, the Bishop was unable to send Father Fitzgerald another assistant, resulting in an increased work load that fell on his shoulders. While other priests were periodically assigned during the late 40’s, Father Fitzgerald was often without an assistant. To add to his burden, the financial struggles and preoccupation with the war was increasing in the minds of the nation and of the parish. Sixth in a sixteen article series; this installment was originally published in our March 20, 2016 bulletin
Father Fitzgerald loved the Irish, but clearly he loved all of God’s children! Agreeing with this statement, were our late parishioners, Robert Rumschik, Edward V. Ryan and Edward R. Turner, then President of the Parish Council. Other Trustees in the years that followed, included Edward Pempsell, Peter McGlynn, William McKernan, Ed Ryan and Jerome Schwaed, who also would have happily agreed. (Currently, our parishioners serving as dedicated Trustees are Mrs. Sally Kingsley and Mr. John Rozak) Father could also be found as a frequent visitor in the homes of these earliest parishioners, which included the McCormick’s, the Bagles, the O’Neills, Ellises, Barretts, Mowreys and Burnses. And he was also a constant visitor with the Weber, Fleischman, Jann, Kalick, Miller, Frediani, Ferrand, Milbrod, Ayler, Meiler, Nichter, Hagen, Wagner, Karnath, Cicero, Pempsell, Drexelius, Altenburg, Rechlin, Glose and Kreutzer families. Indeed, all of families gave much of their time, substance and to this parish, which we should never forget. This kindly priest, who became a legendary figure in the Kenilworth area of the Town of Tonawanda, sparked these pioneer efforts to build a church and school with typically Irish wit and a sense of neighborliness that endeared him throughout the pre-ecumenically-conscious years to other Christians and Jews. Seventh in a sixteen article series; this installment was originally published in our March 27, 2016 bulletin
In addition to Father Fitzgerald’s great love for his parishioners, he also loved the “Fighting Irish” football team of Notre Dame University, which during the 1920’s was coached by the legendary Knute Rockne. Interestingly enough, the games were broadcast by radio and our priest seldom missed listening to a Notre Dame game. The games were played during Saturday afternoon when Father generally heard confessions. One Saturday afternoon, while listening to the Notre Dame/Navy game, a knock came to the rectory door. The interrupter was a small girl who wanted to go to confession. Father Fitzgerald asked her, “What in the name of heaven could a child like you do wrong?” Father instructed her to kneel down and he would give her absolution. The young one knelt; Father patted her on the head and asked her to pray for him. He instantly realized and obviously regretted that the great game had, for a minute, caused him to place his priestly duty second to something not quite as worthy of his attention. In addition to his love of the fighting Irish, not many people knew of his ability as an expert Bridge player. Eighth in a sixteen article series; this installment was originally published in our April 3, 2016 bulletin
In the 1950’s there was a need for more buildings, however, there were always more bills than cash to pay them. Yet, to Monsignor Fitzgerald the fact that the children could attend a Catholic school as they desired made the struggle worthwhile! Monsignor felt that the needs of the children always came before his own. Next to the children, Father showed his greatest concern for the Sisters of Saint Mary of Namur, an order that originated in Namur, France. (The order worked throughout elementary schools in the Kenmore/Town of Tonawanda area and also ran Mount Saint Mary’s High School, on Delaware Avenue.) Father so appreciated the work the Sisters did to bring Christ to the children, he would do anything he could for them. During the 1950’s, the Sisters insisted that the student population of Blessed Sacrament School put on a “Christmas Program” for the clergy. Enrollment in the school was significant, yet the sisters would “pack” the entire student body into the main hall of the school, which we know, today, as Father Cotter Hall. Each grade participated either by recitation of Christmas stories, poems, singing, or the re-telling of the Christmas story-complete with costumes and props. This program would last 2-3 hours and, at its conclusion, Father Fitzgerald would stand, with other members of the clergy, and applaud and smile with great enthusiasm and appreciation. Often, you could see tears in his eyes. Father was so proud of the students and the Sisters; he would extend exuberant thanks for the work and effort that had gone into the Annual Christmas Play. Father then would “rally the students” and announce that each child would get a candy cane from him as a Christmas gift. Then, he would proclaim, because the program was so grand, “there will be no school tomorrow!!” You can only imagine the surprise of the dedicated sisters and the great enthusiasm of the students. It was something to behold! Ninth in a sixteen article series; this installment was originally published in our April 3, 2016 bulletin
The old rectory preceded construction of the church/school building as well as a building behind the rectory. This building housed Father Fitzgerald’s car, a few turkeys and a goat, which Monsignor claimed “kept the grass cut cheaply”. Father built outdoor basketball courts near his garage “to keep the boys off the streets.” The former rectory, a big brown house had to be replaced with a more functional building. During 1950, heavy cranes, trucks and bulldozers were moved in and the “house” was then picked up and swung over to the open field (or lot) where it stands today, at the corner of Wendel and Chelsea. The “house” was of great interest and, hopefully, ownership to our former parishioners, the late Mr. and Mrs. Joseph (Marian) Dundon and their large family of eight children. However, before the sale could take place, the mover wouldn’t move the house until all the cobblestones were removed from it, however, the attorney wouldn’t let the cobblestones be removed until the Dundon family paid for the house and the bankers wouldn’t give the Dundon family money to pay for the house until it was moved. Mr. Dundon kiddingly said he was going to write a letter to the Pope on this unusual dilemma—he was so exasperated because of the many roadblocks. Finally, after a visit with the Bishop, the home was purchased by the Dundon family. Three weeks after the purchase, the Dundon family (all of them) were outside cementing the stones back into place on the house. To their surprise, 25 Holy Name Society members from the church came along and plastered all of the cracks between the cobblestones. Friends and relatives came forward and installed two flights of stairs. The house was complete with exactly 12 rooms for the large family. “The house felt tears on the floors and laughter bouncing off the walls, and usually the latter”, Mrs. Kathleen (Dundon) Sullivan laughingly explained. “Our house was very sociable! It loved Christmases, birthdays and parties”, which she wrote about in an article she titled, “Our House”, for the June 1960 issue of The Catholic Miss of America magazine. She noted that she and her brothers and sisters referred to their home as “the wrecktry”, that it has been blessed three times, had two bibles, three statues and two crucifixes in it when the family moved in. Kathleen smiled as she recalled, “Our house laughed a lot and if you were to listen today, she’s sure you can still hear the giggles, and, if you look carefully, you can still find secret hiding places.” Every time, Monsignor Fitzgerald encountered any member of the Dundon family, he was quick to ask, was the family happy and enjoying their new home?
During this time, the parish was growing in so many ways with increased families, additional buildings, more parish activities and, as always more debt. In 1950 Monsignor Fitzgerald “borrowed” rectory plans from his good friend, Monsignor James Donovan, Pastor, of St. Andrews Church (Sheridan & Elmwood Avenues). The old rectory was then moved over to its new address at Chelsea and Wendel and was replaced by the more up to date, modern, green-awninged building we see today. Tenth in a sixteen article series; this installment was originally published in our April 10, 2016 bulletin
During Monsignor Fitzgerald’s 31 years as Pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church, our revered founder oversaw construction of a church, a school and rectory. At the time of his retirement at the age of 65 years, there were 1600 families, school enrollment of 1100 pupils, where originally there were 90 families and 70 children in the school.
At the time of his resignation and prior to his departure to his homeland, our founder wrote these words:
While on his way to his family home in Killarney, after leaving his adopted country and Buffalo, he died suddenly of a heart attack on February 20, 1961, in a Dublin hotel, while awaiting a reunion with his two brothers. He is buried today in St. Joseph Church, Rathmore Cemetery, located in a small town in Kerry, Ireland, just west of the border of Cork. (We extend our sincere thanks to the family of our long-time (1946) parishioners, the late Eugene and Anne Reger, who just recently donated letters their parents had received from Monsignor Fitzgerald after this return to Killarney, Ireland. It was Monsignor Fitzgerald’s assistant at the time, Father William Snyder, who drove Monsignor from Buffalo to New York City, where he would board his ship for the return to Ireland. Perhaps it was those long days at sea that got him thinking of Blessed Sacrament and all of his many friends that he had left behind. He wrote from Muckross, Killarney to the Reger’s: “I was weaker than I expected – it must have the long days at sea that got me down. The weather is nice, sunshine each day—not that Florida heat. The ocean was rough. As ever, M.J. Fitzgerald.” Then the Reger’s received a second note, which would be the last. Again written from Muckross, Monsignor wrote: “So nice to hear from you. So the old Buick faded. I will be back sooner than expected. The U.S. is my home and there I want to turn my toes to the daisies. I will see you in three-week’s time. As ever, M.J.F.” Eleventh in a sixteen article series; this installment was originally published in our April 17, 2016 bulletin.
A native of WNY, our second pastor, Monsignor Bernard J. McLaughlin, was born on November 19, 1912. He received his sacraments and Catholic education at Ascension and Visitation churches in North Tonawanda. He was a member of the first graduating class of the Diocesan Preparatory Seminary, completing studies in 1930. He then studied in Rome and was ordained there at the St. John Lateran Basilica on December 21, 1935. In August, 1936, he was named as Assistant Pastor at St. Joseph’s New Cathedral and, in June 1942, was named Assistant Secretary of the Diocesan Tribunal. In November 1953, he was selected to build new churches on the west side of Buffalo and this included the building of Coronation Church, its rectory, school and convent, all while fulfilling his duties at the Chancery. On December 16th of that same year, Monsignor was appointed Chancellor of the Diocese of Buffalo.
In June 1961, Monsignor Bernard J. McLaughlin was appointed Pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish. During his tenure as pastor, he was elevated to the office of Bishop, in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, by Pope Paul VI, on January 6, 1969.
For two years, a proposed plan to build a parish center was investigated, assessed and financially reviewed. This new proposed center would seat 600 people in its auditorium, house a gymnasium and other related facilities, along with a kitchen and meeting rooms. Closely involved were Father George J. Cotter, Sister Mary Hartley, School Principal, and Mother Julianne, Provincial Superior for the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur.
Also involved were Edward J. Schwendler, Finance Committee Chair, Dominic J. Terrari, Parish Council Presi-dent, Frank W. Lukasik, Holy Name Society President and David L. Huff, Vice President, as well as Nicholas H. Willett, Past President of the Parish Council. Other clergy included, Reverend Gerald A. Behr, Reverend Daniel J. Szostak, our Associate Pastors. Other included Mrs. Vincent (Ruth) Brady, Parish Council Secretary. Also, James Walsh, Leonard S. LoVallo, Edward Turner, Homer J. Patterson, Alfred Melchiorre, Anthony J. Rinelli, Peter McGlynn and Robert W. Riter. Additional key workers included Mrs. Thomas (Sylvia) Branyo, John Crowley, Mrs. Robert (Catherine) Endres, Edward Gersitz, William Gersitz and Thomas McGlynn. Additional parishioners included Mr. Stephen Godfrey, William J. Group, Mrs. Frank (Molly) Morrow, Ed Pempsell and Edward J. Tucker.
After in-depth study, the Parish Center Project was approved. Then, on a rainy day on May 18, 1969, there was a procession after the 12:00pm Mass to the site where our new $490,000 parish center would be built on Berkley Street, while our Pastor, Bishop Bernard J. McLaughlin, auxiliary Bishop of Buffalo, officiated at the ground-turning ceremony. The parish center was completed and finally dedi-cated by Bishop James Aloysius McNulty, tenth Bishop of Buffalo, along with Bishop McLaughlin and Father George Cotter.
The new center would be used for many activities and would allow the parish great flexibility in sponsoring various functions. The Parish Center had to be paid for and a savings account was established. A Saturday night bingo would be added to the already existing Tuesday night bingo. The funds from the total bingo programs enabled the parish to eliminate the mortgage in five years, and a debt of $350,000 was paid off in January 1975. A mortgage burning ceremony was held on September 28, 1975.
In January 1972, Bishop McLaughlin was appointed Pastor of St. John the Baptist Church (Town of Tonawanda).
Father George Cotter was appointed pastor on January 29, 1972.
Thirteenth in a sixteen article series; this installment was originally published in our April 24, 2016 bulletin.
In the 1950’s, it was evident that there was no longer a feasible way to expand our church building; therefore, in 1958, with Mortimer J. Murphy as our architect, a new church to seat 1100 people was planned. The relocation of parishioners to this new structure would provide four more classrooms in our church/school building (now Father Cotter Hall), which would allow for additional students, so desperately needed to accommodate our growing school population.
The completion of this temporary church was to be a long-range proposition with a permanent floor and pews installed with an inexpensive outer building. This temporary one-floor plan, a Quonset-type building, was completed for Christmas Mass in 1959. The windows of the church were of frosted glass in shades of amber and yellow and a large Crucifix, in this very simple church, was our main focus at the altar. Where now Wendel Avenue backs our beautiful stained glass windows, the altar was backed by Chelsea Avenue. The same Crucifix, which was our focus then, is still in use today and is now located in our chapel, next to Father Bill’s confessional.
The building’s main entrance actually faced Father Cotter Hall and this building would be the beginning of the permanent church we occupy today. This very simple blue building served our parish until August 20, 1979; it was closed so that work could begin on a more permanent church structure.
Steam pipes were imbedded in the concrete entryway and sidewalks to prevent icy conditions, which also are still in use today. Finally, it was envisioned that the permanent church, in time, would be built directly over this temporary structure – a very different configuration than we see today. A slight descent of the aisle was designed so that upon entering the main door, across from our memorial garden, it would provide a clear view for worshipping.
Today, as you enter the church through our Chapel entrance and turn right, (toward the Sacristy, counting room and our choir room) the choir room, in particular, is where our altar was located, in what was once our temporary church. Fourteenth in a sixteen article series; this installment was originally published in our May 1, 2016 bulletin.
Father George C. Cotter was born on October 5, 1922 and was one of five children of the late Mr. and Mrs. James H. Cotter, Sr. in Buffalo, New York. He was a graduate of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary School, Lafayette High School, and Canisius College. He then went on to the University of Detroit and graduated in 1944 as a civil engineer and spent the next two years in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Upon his discharge, he spent one year as a civil engineer in Chicago, Illinois. During this time the civilian, George C. Cotter, decided that his calling in life was not to pursue an engineering career, but to enter the priesthood, following in the footsteps of his brother James, who at the time had been in the seminary for two years. George Cotter entered Christ the King Seminary of St. Bonaventure University, and was ordained on June 7, 1952, among the first group ordained by the late Bishop Joseph A. Burke. Father Cotter’s first assignment was in Almond, NY, where he served as administrator of St. Brendan’s parish. In September 1953 he was assigned as an assistant to Monsignor Fitzgerald, at Blessed Sacrament. Fifteenth in a sixteen article series; this installment was originally published in our May 8, 2016 bulletin.
The Growth of a Parish (OURS!) – 90th Anniversary Year
Father Cotter was well liked by the Blessed Sacrament community and was also very active with the children in the school. In addition to his priestly duties, he regularly visited classrooms and was often seen handing out report cards to the students, offering great encouragement, sincere praise and enthusiasm to all the students in the school. He was very interested in sports and the various scouting programs affiliated with the school. Father trained and was most dedicated to those students who served our church as altar servers. At that time, our large parking lot was filled with loose, large stone gravel and while the surface was in order for cars, the students weren’t really able to use the playground safely for their recess activities such as jumping rope or tag. Before long, the entire parking lot was paved and Father Cotter, complete with his huge cigar and carrying his stop watch, could be seen joining all the students on the playground during recess. In time, he organized some of the older students into teams running foot races and worked with them to increase their speed and dexterity. His efforts were very well received; in time, the older students advanced and Blessed Sacrament students, for the first time, qualified and competed in the “All Catholic” annual track events held in the spring in Delaware Park.
In 1969 he was made pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Silver Springs, NY, and, while a country pastor, his many friends from Blessed Sacrament kept in close contact with him during his two-year assignment. In 1971, when it became quite evident that Bishop McLaughlin was to be reassigned, a group of parishioners organized and requested by letter that the Bishop please give consideration to returning Father Cotter to us as our new pastor. On January 29, 1972 it was announced that Father George Cotter would be our third and our new pastor at Blessed Sacrament, news of which the parish community was and still is, today, very grateful.
During the late 1950’s, Blessed Sacrament parishioners worshipped in a Quonset type building; in 1977, Father Cotter expressed his feelings that perhaps it was time that our community had the permanent church they so wished for. With his engineering background, this priest understood how this building would be put together and, working very closely with the members of the Parish Council, it was decided that a superstructure of brick could be built over the “hut”. Father Cotter indicated that it would be very timely if the building of the church could be completed by 1979, since this would be the parish’s 50th anniversary. The long sought after dream had now become a reality-thanks to the leadership of Father Cotter. A meeting was held in the spring of 1977, and it was agreed that a new church was feasible. After many committee meetings, a Building Fund Drive was begun on September 29, 1977. Realizing $325,000.00 in pledges, the dream of a new church could become a reality. Today, as you enter the church through the Chapel entrance and turn left toward the church entrance, you’ll see two very large plaques mounted on the wall naming those parishioners who participated in the “1979 Pledge Drive Founders Roll” and the “1979 in Memoriam Roll’. Ground was broken June 13, 1978 and the Blessed Sacrament Church was dedicated during a concelebrated evening Mass on April 4, 1979. The main Concelebrants that evening included Bishop Edward Head, Bishop Bernard McLaughlin and Bishop Pius Benincasa, ably assisted by our Pastor, Father George Cotter and his assistant, Father Jay McGinnis.
The church was filled to overflowing as parishioners rejoiced in the accomplishment of their new church. Front pews were filled with many Sisters of St. Mary of Namur and Felician Sisters who had taught in our school for so many years, all returning for this celebration. Even today, Father Cotter’s spirit is still alive through the use of his beautiful chalice, given to him by his parents and family members, at the time of his
ordination. It is a beautiful sacramental that Father Bill recently had refurbished and cleaned. Father Bill uses this chalice often when he offers the Sacrifice of the Mass. Father Cotter’s picture hangs in our former church/school building today that we affectionately call “Father Cotter Hall”. Sixteenth in a sixteen article series; this installment was originally published in our May 15, 2016 bulletin.