In the beginning…
The Diocese of Rochester was established by the Vatican on January 24, 1868 with the
appointment of the Rev. Bernard J. McQuaid of Newark, New Jersey as its first bishop.
One of the first acts of the new bishop was the division of Holy Family parish in Auburn
and the announcement of a new parish, which was to lie west of State Street and the
Owasco River. The new parish was organized on August 15, 1868 and called ST. MARY
OF THE ASSUMPTION, in honor of the feast of the day.
In August of 1868, the Rev. Thomas A. Maher, the first pastor of St. Mary’s parish, came
to Auburn and rented a house at 34 State St. where he celebrated Mass. He later made
use of Tallman Hall at the corner of State and Dill streets. Records tell us that the
following notice was published in the Auburn Daily Advertiser on September 12, 1868:
“St. Mary’s (new) Catholic Church service Sunday, September 13, 1868 at Brown’s
A certificate of incorporation was issued to Father Maher, pastor, and Michael Kavanaugh and Patrick Kelly, trustees, on September 26, 1868.
Learn more about our history:
- The Pastors and Priests of St. Mary’s
- The Churches of St. Mary’s
- The Organs of St. Mary’s
- A Parish History (PDF)
Learn more about our present: