Out of the Past: Ss. Peter & Paul Parish, 1944

       By Steve Cichon

Ss. Peter and Paul Roman Catholic parish was approaching its 100th anniversary when this photo was taken in 1944.

The church and school of Saints Peter & Paul’s German Catholic Church, 1944.

It’s been in Hamburg so long, it predates Hamburg. So they wouldn’t have to travel all the way to Buffalo’s St. Louis Church for Mass, a group of 22 German immigrants organized the parish in what was then White’s Corners.

The parish’s first worship space was in the former Thilerites meeting house, which was relocated to East Main Street when a new church was built. The building still stands today opposite where Newton Road meets East Main. The first building built as Ss. Peter and Paul was built for $1000 and dedicated in 1863.

After 50 years of growth in what’s now the Village of Hamburg, Buffalo Bishop Charles Colton traveled to Hamburg to dedicate the current Romanesque church building in 1911. Msgr. Nelson Baker was on hand for the dedication of the school building (foreground) in 1921.

In 1988, $1.2 million renovation was completed on the church, which was also freshly painted for its hundredth birthday in 2011.

Then, in 1844, 22 families split off from an East Eden parish following the death of the pastor there to form their own church. Today, 174 years later, 2500 families call Ss. Peter and Paul their spiritual home.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon writes about Buffalo’s pop culture history. His stories of Buffalo's past have appeared more than 1600 times in The Buffalo News. He's a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. Since the earliest days of the internet, Cichon's been creating content celebrating the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The 25-year veteran of Buffalo radio and television has written five books and curates The Buffalo Stories Archives-- hundreds of thousands of books, images, and audio/visual media which tell the stories of who we are in Western New York.