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Karl R. Josker | all galleries >> Galleries >> Lofty Photos > St.Gerard's RC Church, Bailey and E.Delevan, Buffalo, NY
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10-17-03 Karl R. Josker

St.Gerard's RC Church, Bailey and E.Delevan, Buffalo, NY

St. Gerard's dates from 1911 and is an exuberant example of the classical style. The interior is spectacular, far exceeding what one would expect in a neighborhood parish.

St. Gerard's closed in January, 2008.

10-18-08 Note: A Norcross , Georgia congregation has proposed buying St. Gerard's, dismantling it, moving it to Norcross, Georgia, where it would be reassembled for continuing use as a Catholic Church.

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Diann 16-Mar-2017 20:13
Diann S. ( Weber) I felt so sick to my stomach and cried when I heard of the closing of St. Gerards! My family lived on Hazelwood from the early 1900"s to 1975 when the family sold the home. My Grandfather Joeseph Weber worked as a custonian at the church for many years. My Mom Emily, Aunt Margaret , Uncles Joe and Harold all grew up at the parish. I remember the gradeur and beauty of the church at Grandpa's funeral in 1982. That was the last time I was there. I'm very proud of my families heritage at St. Gerard's
Diane R. 12-Mar-2013 23:21
So sad that I will never see the inside again....went there as long as I could, down to the last Mass.....absolutely gorgeous inside and majestic on the outside....grew up in this parish, baptized, confirmed, graduated, buried my Dad there, got married there; Father Salbert married us in 1969......nothing like a Christmas Mass at St. Gerard's.....
Shariys 01-Jan-2011 19:12
Is there any update on this? Even though I don't reside in Buffalo, I visited two years ago and discovered what a church wonderland Buffalo is. Unfortunately, it seems that a certain diocese has been head-over-heels at turning Buffalo into a church wilderness. How many more Transfigurations, how many more Our Lady of Lourdes, do they want? I also would be happy to see this disassembled, sent down south, and reassembled; rather than just letting it sit and ROT, which Buffalo seems to have more than enough of already.
Richard J Brownell 10-Oct-2010 21:14
Brownell,,,,,we have a family history which dates back 100. Years ! My grandmother Edna Pernick worked in the rectory for twenty years !,,,she also was in the 1st class to graduate from the "old bldg",,,all my aunts and uncles as well as my 'mom. "Arline Pernck". Graduated from there as well. Many fond memories for all.....i my wife and I were married @ St Gerards In 87' Ni pulled Msgr Selbert out of retirement for that one !...did you know Jake the janitor was his brother !!!?? think they should of course save the church,,and move it to Atlanta,,,,rather. Than see it crumble away,,,all the old folks are gne now,,,,and they most certainly would not of stood by and let it deteiorate....and when t sits on its. New site down south I will be honored to take that drive and again celebrate mass there in a church that is dear to me,
Reenie 13-Jun-2010 04:16
I attended St. Gerard's in 1955, 1956, and 1957, for K, 1st and 2nd grade. Can you believe I walked blocks to school unescorteod; in kindergarten, I was 4 years old. In my memories, St. Gerard's was a very big church with sounds bouncing all over the place. I guess I was a naughty child, according to those times. I recall once that I knelt on the sidewalk on the way home from school, trying to erase an F on a math paper - a first grader cheating. I licked my finger, rubbed my finger on the red ink F, then rubbed a pencil eraser over the F. I watched horrified as a large hole emerged. Another time, second grade, a purse which I wasn't supposed to take to school, which had a music box on the bottom which played a light airy tune when you wound the key, was taken from me by a sister. My seat was in the back of the classroom, so I thought she wouldn't hear. I enjoyed songs, cookies, and naps in K very much. Memories of the church is all about the church sounds, and how they swirled and splashed wildly around me.
Amy (Mazur) Griggs 08-Apr-2010 17:10
Alumni of St Gerard’s are planning an "all ages/all classes" Reunion
June 10th, 2010

We are looking for names of people to invite!
For more reunion information e-maill:
Amy (Mazur) Griggs
Class of “84”
Dwight Gram III 24-Mar-2010 18:58
I went to St. Gerard's School for kindergarten and 1st grade (1973-1974). On a more fun note, I also remember having my Easter basket blessed in the church each year. We lived across the street on Langmeyer and would walk to church each Sunday. Those were the days when you could walk to things! My late father, Dwight Jr. also added a post on this message board back in 2008. I love and miss you Dad! Dwight III
greta 11-Feb-2010 01:36
I live in the Metro Atlanta area and just saw a news report that a group in Atlanta is trying to purchase the church and move it to Atlanta.......When I saw the photo of the church on the internet, I believe this is the church my family helped found. I've sent emails to a few cousins but can't wait to find out. My family's name was Schuler and Meiler - is there a roster I can find online to find out more history of the church? Greta in atlanta (
Nanette Bremner 30-Jan-2010 01:03
Looking at this beautiful picture brings back many memories. I can almost smell the incense and see Monsinour Selbert walking up to the alter. My cousins Mary Ann, Carl and Bob Janish and myself (Nanette Kramer) all walked to school from Roebling everyday and attended 8:00 Mass each morning. Does anyone remember Jake the Janitor? He was ther sometime in the 50'S. Carl has a clock from the basement in the school that Jake gave him for helping clean.

I have my communion (1952) and my graduation class picture (1960) which were traditionally taken on the front steps of the church. Would be honoured to donate them if a museum is established at the new location.

Two years ago at a firends house I met my Kindergarten teacher Miss Trippi by accident. She is now in her 80's and sharp as a tack. St. Gerards was her first teaching job.

Inow live in Orangeville, Ontario and haven't been back to the old neighborhood for many years. I truly hope St. Gerards can be relocated and preserve its natural beauty.

My brother John Kramer may have more information on the history also.
Shariys 07-Jan-2010 23:08
Has there been any more progress on the proposal of this church being dismantled and moved?
d stump 23-Jul-2009 21:46
does anyone have info on eugene and elizabeth stump who celebrated 50 th anniversary here in 1993.
Shariys 08-Jul-2009 22:43
More power to that Georgia parish. Let them come and get it. Let the church live on in its beauty and be the inspiration for a growing, viable parish. Otherwise -- what?? A year and a half later, there are no takers. The economy's in the tank. Yep, let's put a historical marker in front of it and let it sit and rot like St. Francis de Sales or Our Lady of Lourdes ...
Guest 25-May-2009 05:02
I also graduated in 1958 from St. Gerard's. Does anyone have a class photo they can scan and send to me? Because of relocations my photos are long gone.
Best regards,
Donald Miklas
Dwight Gram 27-Nov-2008 15:10
Graduated from St. Gerards in 1958. Resident of the parrish from 1951 to 1974 .Wonderful memories of times past.
Guest 20-Nov-2008 22:22
The below posting has a typo in the e-mail. I was unable to change it but this is the correct e-mail for the
Alumni of St Gerard’s are planning a Reunion
In 2009!
Please Come to the
St Gerard Parish School and Neighborhood Reunion
To Benefit Gerard Place

We are looking for names of people to invite for more information call:
Amy (Mazur) Griggs
Class of “84”
Amy 20-Nov-2008 20:32
CORRECTION to reunion email
(for the "s")
Amy Griggs 18-Nov-2008 20:16
Alumni of St Gerard’s
Please Come to the
St Gerard Parish School and Neighborhood Reunion
To Benefit Gerard Place in the Spring of 2009

We are still looking for names of people to invite for more information call:
Amy (Mazur) Griggs
Class of “84”
Thomas Mueller 10-Nov-2008 19:34
My parents, grand-parents and my two brothers and I attended St. Gerard's almost from the beginning. I graduated from there and went to Canisius High School. I have been back many times over the years. Now live in Georgia and though cannot imagine this beautiful church being gone, am thrilled to think it might wind up here in Georgia a short drive from us. I still have a childhood friend, Bob, who lives just across the street from St. Gerard's.
If it has to move anywhere we will be happy to have it here.
Guest 29-Oct-2008 19:56
The chalice may have been sold at the estate sale held shortly after the church closed. I know many objects were sold to other parishes - Corpus Christi used the monstance from St. Gerard's at their 40 Hours Devotion a few months ago.

Shame on the Buffalo Diocese for abandoning its most magnificent churches and the city's poorest neighborhoods.
Guest 28-Oct-2008 22:57
Does anyone have any info regarding the Chalice from this church? I have been told my mother that my grandparents (life long parishioners) donated their gold wedding bands (along with other parishioners) to the church to have them melted down and made into the chalice. With the latest discussion on moving this church to Georgia, I have very strong feelings about my grandparents rings remaining in Buffalo.
Amy 25-Oct-2008 03:02
I am in the BEGINNING phases of working with the folks at Gerard Place to organize another St. Gerard's/Bailey-Delevan reunion. We will be meeting in November for a planning meeting and will have better ideas about dates at that time. If you would be interested in getting more information about the event and to possibly meet-up with some childhood friends, please email me at
craig murphy 15-Oct-2008 22:55
That makes me very sad. I drove up 2 summers ago to attend Sunday Mass.
When I arrived all the church bells were ringing. As a little boy the Sisters taught us that the bells were the voice of God.
Why is is always about numbers and money ! These areas need more than any other time in history churches that are open dedicated to the love of God and people.It only took me one visit to know the dedication of the people of St. Gerards.
Guest 18-Sep-2008 02:31
Yes, Craig, it's true - the diocese plans to tear down St. Gerard's. They have been very secretive about it but the wheels are in motion. Such a shame.
Craig Murphy 01-Sep-2008 23:32
I hear that the diocese is considering having St Gerard's church torn down.
Does anyone know the status for this structure?
The Rochester Diocese has closed 10 inner city churches since 2006.
Thomas Coleman Kelly 17-Aug-2008 21:47
I attended St. Gerard's School 1940 thru 1942 - - made my First Communion there in 1942 at the age of 8. We were not well off. Lived in upper rear flat at 2470 Bailey Ave. -- easy walk to church & school. My mother worked as a waitress at Edna's restaurant for 25 cents an hour plus free lunch each day for herself and her three children. We all attended St. Gerard's. My father worked assembly line at Ford Motors. Father Cooker, I believe, was monsignor. Sister Eustatius (spelling) was a very cruel nun. Most people in Catholic circles were aware of it. She used unreasonable punishment such as hitting your out-stretched hand with a wooden pointer. Because I talked in class, I was made to kneel before a statue of St. Theresa situated in classroom corner on wooden kneeler during class. When class recessed for lunch, the nun did not bother to release me from punishment. She came back with class from lunch and all she said was "Thomas, I forgot you were still there. You may be excused for a brief lunch now." It's true we may need a little of that sort of discipline today. Of course, they would never get away with what they did back in the years of the 1940s. I adored my wonderful mother who happened to be a very pretty woman then. Once the nun preached in class that women who wore nail polish were not good. I knew my mother wore nail polish and always tried to look her best. This was very hurtful at the time. It was war time, and I remember Sister Eustatius saying that Hitler was a good man and we should not hate him. There are some other unpleasant memories I have of the school at St. Gerard's. My parents were very strict about attending church and we did so as a family each Sunday. My mother used to pray at the church at other times - - nine Fridays, novenas, etc. I am now in my early 70s and some of these memories have left scars that are not easily forgotten. I am sorry they are thinking about destroying the church itself. During Lent, I remember vividly making the Stations of the Cross. I remember confessions and communions every week-end. What was most awesome for an eight-year-old boy was praying in that huge edifice and looking upward at the many glorious and colorful windows and painted walls. Thomas August 17, 2008
Jenn Thompson 13-Mar-2008 17:22
I went to St. Geard's from K - 7 when they closed the school portion of the school. I did not the wonderful chance to graduate from there. I could not belive that they were closing it down. I wish I could have been there for the final mass (live in Texas). Does anyone know if they are going to do tours or anything with the building? Or what they are going to do with some of the items left in the church or office areas.
1-8-08 09-Jan-2008 03:37
St. Gerard's, one of the most magnificent Catholic Churches and houses of God in Buffalo, is now closed and had its last Holy Mass on Tuesday, January 1, 2008.

Goodbye, good St. Gerard's!
Kevin 30-Dec-2007 23:17
The St. Gerard's Parish Community has been a true "Pillar of Faith" for many. Those who have worshipped in it's space over the past 100+ years are the better for it, and will always carry a piece of St. Gerard's in their heart. "Salve, Sancte Pastor Bone. Salve, valide patrone, Gerarde mirabilis." A part of me deep inside dies with the closing of it's doors. R.I.P. my beloved home.
Rosemary 29-Dec-2007 17:18
So many good memories. I am who I am because of the family of St. Gerard's. What a wonderful place to grow up. Fortunately, the memories cannot be destroyed. Thank you St. Gerard's.
Diane R. 02-Nov-2007 23:12
This has been my parish my entire life...from Communion to graduation to marriage and beyond. It is heartbreaking that it will be gone. A thousand memories everytime I walk through the doors. Only wish we could do something.
Chris 02-Nov-2007 12:17
I just attended a baptism there, the last time I'll be in the church.It closes 1/1. It brought back memories of the countless Masses I attended there growing up. My great uncle (Joe Mazur) painted much of the ceiling, and my grandad "touched it up" in the 1960s.

There was an event benefitting Gerard's Place, where we got to tour the schools and the convent. Talk about a flash-back! Yes, they still have a bowling alley near the lyceum. I used to pin-stick there as a kid. So did many other men from various generations who were in attendance.

Very beautiful church. Very sad about its closing.
Craig Murphy 29-Jul-2007 23:52
Very Sad times for the people of this parish.
It reminds me of my parish SS Peter and Paul Church that was closed by the Rochester Diocese. Our church was purchased by the Coptic Orthodox Church.
And the interior remains untouched.
I hope and pray that this church can be given the respect it deserves.
Guest 03-Feb-2007 01:30
I Love this church and its people. Its a shame they want to close it and that its soon no longer going to be in exsistance. I hope that with the chruch closings the building doesn't go to waste. As this photo shows it's really a beautiful place.
guest 04-Dec-2006 16:22
Lived in the neighborhood from 53-66, first communion, confirmation and first marriage in 1973. Alot of fond memories, CYO, Bowling Ally and Religious instruction in Grammar School.
Guest 17-Jan-2004 08:06
This one brought a tear to my eye. My father was baptized in the font to the left of the altar in 1927. This was my grandparent's church. My father and his brother grew up in this parish, and my uncle never left. I have great memories of attending mass there with his family. My cousins were all altar boys, and it is no exaggeration to say that over the years we got into every corner of this building. Monsignor Schreck would not be pleased! I haven't seen the interior since my uncle's funeral in 1993. It looks great.

Those white cylinders hanging from the tops of the columns nears the spandrels are new to me, wonder if they are loudspeakers? The amplified sound in the 60's-80's was always terrible. But the echo still rings in my ears and this photo brought back the sound of the place again. And the smell of it. A wonderful photo. It's a shame it's a bit too dark to see the polished columns better.

I wonder if they still have to bowling alley in the school basement?

Would you consider interiors of:
St. Bartholemew's on Grider
St. Mary of Sorrows on Genesee and Rich
St. Paul's Evangelical (Washington St. between Gensee and Chippewa?)
St. John's Evangelical (Hickory Street?)