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Parish Life

Most Precious Blood prepares 150th anniversary celebration


ANGOLA — 2021 is the Sesquicentennial Year for Most Precious Blood Church. The anniversary celebration will begin with Mass at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 21.

The first Catholic settlers came to Angola about the year 1850. In those early days, Mass was said occasionally in the home of one of the Catholic families of the area, whenever a priest from Dunkirk or Buffalo came that way. By 1870, there were a significant number of Catholics in the vicinity. Recognizing the need for a resident pastor, Bishop Stephen Ryan, the second bishop of the Buffalo Diocese, appointed Father Thomas Ledwith as the first resident pastor of Most Precious Blood. An abandoned schoolhouse was purchased and converted into a church. The first baptism in the newly formed parish was performed on March 26, 1871. Bishop Ryan confirmed 52 persons at the parish’s first confirmation on July 9, 1871. Father Ledwith performed the first marriage on June 30, 1872.

Subsequently, land was acquired for a parish cemetery. The first burial in Holy Cross Cemetery was on March 7, 1879. Plans were made for the construction of a new brick structure on Lake Street and in 1897, the church was dedicated. Recognizing the need to accommodate the many summer vacationers of the Catholic faith. Bishop John Duffy approved the construction of a chapel on Old Lake Shore Road. St. Peter’s Chapel became a reality in 1938. A school was constructed on Prospect Street and in 1953, the first elementary school students were welcomed to Most Precious Blood. In 1961, ground was broken across from the school on for a new church and rectory. The first Mass at the present location was celebrated on June 21, 1962.

The history of the parish will be told in a series of weekly bulletin articles beginning with the March 21 publication. The articles will also be posted to the Parish website at http://www.mpbangola.org. Activities will be announced in the weekly bulletin and on the parish website and will be in accordance with the health and safety guidelines in effect. The commemoration will conclude with Mass on Sunday, Sept. 26. Most Precious Blood Church is located at 22 Prospect Street in Angola.