St. Mary's Catholic Church

St. Mary's Roman Catholic church was incorporated in October 1796 - making it the second oldest parish in New York State.

Catholics had been part of the Albany population since the early days of the community. They were chiefly of French, German, and Irish ancestries!

Probably because of worship similarities and language, Catholics had gravitated to St. Peter's and Lutheran churches. Frans Pruyn and Villeroy (Pierre De Garmo) were identified as "Papists" when they were excused from swearing an oath in 1699.

In 1796, the first trustees were: Thomas Barry, Louis Le Coulteaux, Daniel McEvers, Terrence O'Donnell, Jeremiah Driscoil, Michael Bagley, James Robichaux (the first public meeting was held at his house), William Donovan, and Philip Farrell. The cornerstone of the first church building was laid by Barry in September 1797.

Just the beginning! - please be patient!


Sources: The printed source of record is: John J. Dillon, The Historic Story of St. Mary's, Albany, N. Y. . . . (New York, 1933). A massive Catholic History bibliography appears in Sally Light, Canals & Crossroads: An Illustrated History of the Albany, New York Roman Catholic Diocese (Albany, 1997). A list of early burials from the Catholic Church is available online. A summary of historical information is available in Weise, History of the city . . .. Link to the St. Mary's website which includes some historical material. However, I generally begin with the Wikipedia entry which is a good bet to become more and more useful. Also of general interest, Historian's corner. beautiful photographs. Finally, HSM.

Note: Existing printed resources are focused primarily on priests and organizational concerns. This page will begin to address the lives of rank-and-file Catholics such as Jean Rosie in early Albany.

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privately posted:4/25/04; last revised 9/22/12