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St. Casimir Parish - Yonkers NY

A brief parish history from a 1903 Parish Book

Some 25 years ago the first Polish Catholics came to Yonkers. They went to the different Roman Catholic churches of this City on Sundays and Holidays to fulfill their religious duties. As their numbers grew larger, they began to think of a Congregation and church of their own.

In the year 1899 they held the principal meeting, at which all expressed their willingness to have their names associated with the Polish pioneers of the Roman Catholic faith. Then a committee of four was appointed to visit the nearest Polish priest in order to receive instructions on the proper methods to pursue.

This committee called on the Rev. Joseph Dworzak, D.D., pastor of St. Valentine's Church in Williamsbridge, NY, who unhesitatingly promised to help them in their good endeavors. Afterwards he announced a meeting, which was held on September 21, 1899. In consequence of an address. delivered by this Rev. Gentleman to a large assemblage. a resolution was passed: to form a Polish R. C. Parish in Yonkers under the patronage of St. Casimir. Father Dworzak was made its first rector and the Messrs. Fr. Zegarfowski and Fr. Zielinski were elected lay-trustees.

The late Most Rev. Archbishop M. A. Corrigan gave his sanction to this undertaking on September 24, 1899.

In the course of time Father Dworzak experienced that he was unable to direct his parish in Williamsbridge and to fulfil the increasing duties of his new office. So he resigned from the rectorship of St. Casimir's Church. His successor was the Rev. Michael Siupek of Florida, NY, who said the first Mass for his new parishioners in St. Mary's chapel on January 21, 1900. Through the kindness of the Rev. Charles R. Corley the congregation was permitted to worship in this chapel until they could move into their own church.

Father Siupek incorporated the new congregation under the laws of the State of New York. Then he bought 4 lots, on which the church and parsonage now stand, and paid for them $4.000.00 In the month of February 1901 he left the parish with the intention of returning to Brazil.

He was succeeded by the Rev. Anthony Jakubowski, who began to build the church .and rectory. Mr. G. H. Streeton made the plans and Mr. J. McKeefrey, general contractor, was the successful bidder. Amount of contract $29400.00. The Corner Stone was laid by the Very Rev. Dean Lings on Sunday, Nov. 9, 1902.

In January 1903 the Most Rev. Archbishop John M. Farley transferred the Rev. A. Jakubowski to St. Valentines Parish in Williamsbridge and sent Father Dworzak to take his place in Yonkers. Father Dworzak soon started a collection in behalf ot the Church Building Fund, which amounted to $5,698.60. The first Mass in the new church was celebrated by him on Trinity Sunday, June 17, 1903, The solemn blessing of this new edifice was postponed until Nov. I5, I903.

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Last Updated on October 20, 2011