St. Katharine Drexel Parish was formed in October 2007 with the merging of St. Agnes, St. Francis of Assisi, and Visitation parishes which had been located in the Lovejoy area of Buffalo. The parish is founded on the site of the former St. Francis of Assisi Parish. Rev. James M. Monaco is the current and first pastor of this parish family.
The history of church itself goes back to the early 20th century. The following was excerpted from James Napora’s 1995 published history of the church.
Prior to 1900, the East Lovejoy area had become home to a number of Italian families, many of whom came to the area seeking work in the nearby railroad yards. The Catholics amongst them initially attended the German services at St. Agnes Church on Ludington. By the Summer of 1908, with their numbers significantly increasing, Bishop Charles Colton appointed Rev. R. Barsotti to oversee their spiritual needs. On 23 September, 1908 Rev. J. Tomei took over the work of the parish and proceed to erect a modest frame combination church/school building. Being one of three Catholic parishes existing within a geographically close area, the congregation grew slowly. By the late 1940s, the original building had deteriorated to the point that it was economically wiser to build anew than to repair it. In 1949, they built a new school building and began worshipping in the basement of it pending the construction of a new house of worship. Plans for the new building were prepared in 1958 and on 6 April, 1959, they broke ground for the present house of worship. Constructed at a cost of $400.000 the 800 seat building was completed the following year.
St. Katherine Drexel Church
118 Schiller St. (Church address 133 North Ogden St.)
Buffalo, NY 14206
(716) 895 – 6813