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History of The Church of the Epiphany in Sodus, NY

written by: Mary Piekunka

On February 19, 1916, the first Mass in Sodus proper was said by Reverend Michael J. Krieg of
Ontario at the Elmwood Avenue home of Mrs. Harry Gramkee, whose husband was a non‑Catholic. There were seventeen people present.[i] On later occasions the weekly gathering place to celebrate Mass was upstairs over Catlin’s Market at 6 West Main Street. There were members of twelve families in attendance, and among them were the families of Thomas Doyle, John Fletcher, Sr., Charles Camp, Jacob Boone, Harry Gramkee, William Hayes, and Thomas LaBelle.[ii]

The Reverend Charles F. Shay was named pastor on July 1, 1922, and was sent to Sodus by Bishop Thomas F. Hickey to establish a parish. He also was pastor of St. Rose of Lima, the chapel at Sodus Point, and St. Gregory’s Church, the mission at Marion. The Church of the Epiphany was incorporated on August 17, 1922, by Right Reverend Thomas F. Hickey, Bishop of Rochester, Right Reverend Monsignor Dennis J. Curran, Vicar General of the Diocese of Rochester, Reverend Charles F. Shay, pastor and treasurer of the Church of the Epiphany, Walter A. Young, and Joseph T. Doyle, lay trustees.[iii]

By 1922, there was an anti-Catholic movement in Sodus, and Father Shay found much evidence of anti-Catholic feeling in the town; at first no one greeted him on the street. The Ku Klux Klan had moved into the North and brought with it its hate list including Blacks, Jews, and Catholics. Thomas Gilmore tells the following story: “My father, Thomas B. Gilmore, had the shoe store in Sodus when Father Shay came there as pastor. There were very few Catholics in that part of Wayne County, and my father pitched in and became an active member of the parish. My mother, Mary Boylan, had graduated from St. Patrick’s School (in Rochester) at the same time as Shay. Well, one night three members of the Ku Klux Klan burned a cross on the front lawn of the church. If they thought they could scare the priest and his parishioners, they were very wrong. Father Shay and Tom Gilmore jumped into a car and chased the three men‑–chased and caught them. Then they beat the three of them up. My dad did most of the damages as he had done a bit of boxing in his day. In later years, every time they met, Monsignor Shay would say to my dad, “Remember Sodus?â€�.

Children later told Father Shay that if a Catholic church were to be built, the local people were determined that it would not be on Main Street but a distance away on the lake front. Father Shay wrote a bid to an absentee owner on a house that was for sale, but the owner sold it to a Protestant rather than have it used for Catholic purposes. Eventually, Father Shay met Robert West who sympathized with him and knew of his treatment. He agreed to sell him a house at 102 West Main Street.[iv] The deal was concluded on December 9, 1922.[v] The property cost $4,234.25 plus legal fees and was financed by a loan of $4,300 from the Lincoln Alliance Bank of Rochester that was signed by Father Shay.[vi] This property was across the street from the present church property.

Reverend John M. Sellinger became the second pastor on January 12, 1923. He also was responsible for the chapel at Sodus Point and the mission at Marion. He was noted for his patriotic career as an army chaplain in World War I. Reverend Sellinger traded the property acquired by Father Shay for the present lot on the south side of the street. This would be a more suitable location.[vii] The present site at 105 West Main Street was obtained on June 22, 1923, from Maria C. Rogers, a descendant of the Green family, which had extensive land holdings in Sodus.[viii] The site consisted of a sizable lot, a house, and a large barn. Father Sellinger, according to the Church of the Epiphany’s financial report of January 1, 1924, took out another note from the Lincoln Alliance Bank of Rochester for $14,800. This was evidently the sum borrowed for the construction of the church. Construction of the church began on the large lot, and on June 1, 1924, the stucco church was dedicated. The funding for the stained glass windows came from individual parishioners, each of whom donated $1,000 per window.[ix] The total construction debt was about $33,000, and over $10,000 was collected in memorial donations, fundraisers, and collections, leaving the church with a $22,000 loan.[x]

Reverend Daniel B. O’Rourke was named the third pastor of the Church of the Epiphany on August 12, l925. Father O’Rourke was greeted on his arrival at the parish by a fiery cross burning across the street from the rectory and church. Evidently, nothing like that had happened during Army Chaplain Sellinger’s stay. Father O’Rourke heard that the man who ran the trolley station had planted the cross, and he confronted him. The suspect denied the charge, but said he knew who had done it. (Father O’Rourke was a personal friend of the head of the trolley company and could have easily made trouble for the man had he wanted.) Actually, Father O’Rourke and the “suspect� became good friends. Father O’Rourke won over the town, too, just by his congenial personality. That Christmas, 24 of the 25 merchants along Main Street gave him a present.[xi]

Doris Sims, a local lawyer, remembers the night when she was riding in Katharine Gaylord’s car down Main Street, and they saw a cross burning. It was the same day Father O’Rourke arrived in town. The ladies stopped the car and removed the fiery cross. She recollected that many prominent people in town belonged to the Ku Klux Klan. (Father O’Rourke also recalled seeing another cross burning on Green’s hill the night Al Smith was defeated in 1928.)

The congregation of the Church of the Epiphany at that time consisted of about ten families. In addition, Father O’Rourke also was responsible for the mission church in Marion, and the chapel at Sodus Point. Father O’Rourke was a great fund‑raiser for the church. He would use local talent and bring in people from Rochester to perform in minstrel shows that he staged in the local theater. As a result, he raised considerable funds in the short time that he was pastor.[xii]

When Father O’Rourke was having his fund raising drive, several local businessmen donated money to him. One of these was storekeeper Harry Williams. The local Klan disapproved. One night while Harry’s daughter Martha and a visiting classmate from the South were home on vacation from a finishing school, they looked out on their lawn at 35 Maple Avenue and saw a cross burning. Martha and her father disregarded the matter, but their Southern guest was frightened. In her part of the country, a burning cross implied a threat to family or home.[xiii]

Franklin Saunders, parishioner of Sodus, remembers coming out from a Boy Scout meeting in the school building at 87 West Main Street and seeing a cross burning on the lawn in front of the church. Carl Brown, another parishioner, recalled a cross burning in front of his own rooming house on Belden Avenue after the KKK had had a meeting that night. Other parishioners say that crosses were burned several times on Green’s Hill. Of course, one could never be sure whether these crosses on Green’s Hill were official “KKK� crosses or the pranks of practical jokesters. Ironically, two or three of the Sodus clansmen ended up marrying Catholic girls and became strong supporters of the church. Isn’t it true that it’s easiest to hate people when you don’t know them![xiv]

The fourth pastor, Reverend Daniel R. Sullivan, succeeded Father Dan on October 31, 1929. Like his predecessors, Father Sullivan also officiated at St. Rose of Lima and St. Gregory’s Church.

During the Great Depression of 1929‑1939, there were few parishioners, and the Sunday collection amounted to only $15‑$20. Consequently, the rectory was closed in 1934, and the Church of the Epiphany became a mission church of St. Mary’s of the Lake, Ontario, under Reverend Thomas H. Lochren. He also was responsible for the chapel at Sodus Point and mission at Marion. Mass was celebrated in Sodus only on Sundays, usually by Father Edward R. Dempsey, Assistant Pastor at St. Mary’s in Ontario, or by Father George C. Vogt of Rochester. Subsequently, the rectory was rented for $20 a month, first to the Charles D. Fox family and then to the John I. Hendricks family. The large barn was leased for $8 a month to the telephone company for storage.[xv]

On June 18, 1942, Reverend Ralph J. Meyer was named pastor of Sodus, and the parish house became a rectory again. Before his arrival, nothing had been paid on the remaining $22,000 debt except the 6% interest. Trustees Martin Leckinger and John J. Doyle negotiated a deal with the bank so that they would make the same interest payment but apply half of it to the principal.[xvi]

During Father Meyer’s pastorate, he had the mission of St. Mary Magdalen in Wolcott, and the chapels of St. John Fisher at East Bay, and St. Rose of Lima at Sodus Point. [xvii] On February 4, 1953, Reverend James F. O’Connell replaced Father Meyer and continued as pastor of the mission and chapels.[xviii] However, on June 29, 1954, St. Mary Magdalen was made a separate parish, with St. John Fisher as a chapel. Father O’Connell began saying Masses throughout the year at St. Rose and the Church of the Epiphany.[xix]

During Father O’Connell’s tenure, the Rosary-Altar Society and the Holy Name Society became quite active. In 1954, a committee of parishioners, under the chairmanship of Joseph Gaudino, cleared out the basement of the rectory and turned it into a small parish hall. It was used for religious instructions, meetings, and suppers.[xx]

On July 2, 1956, Reverend William M. Lammers became pastor of the Church of the Epiphany/Mission of St. Rose. Father Lammers was a frugal administrator, monitoring church expenses carefully. One of his first decisions was to close St. Rose of Lima during the winter and to celebrate Mass there just throughout the summer. Instead of heating the church on weekdays, he would celebrate Mass in the rectory, where the heat was also turned down. Being a handyman, he did much of the maintenance work himself. Thanks to his saving ways and the efforts of the parishioners to raise funds by bazaars, he was able to pay off the remaining $7,500 mortgage, which was owed when he became pastor.[i][xxi] In 1958, the parishioners had a picnic at the Sodus Fruit Farm, under the chairmanship of Robert VanDevelde, to celebrate the burning of the mortgage.[ii][xxii]

Reverend Thomas F. McVeigh became pastor of Church of the Epiphany/Mission of St. Rose on June 23, 1964. In September of that year, he made the decision to keep St. Rose open during the winter months, and he continued to celebrate Mass there throughout the year.

One of the highlights of Father McVeigh’s pastorate was the visit of Most Reverend Fulton J. Sheen, the sixth bishop of Rochester, to administer the sacrament of Confirmation in 1967.[xxiii] Bishop Sheen was a noted writer and TV personality before he was assigned to Rochester. He was not only welcomed by the huge crowd of parishioners but by many members of the community at large.

From February 14, 1968, until his death on February 5, 1984, Reverend John F. Cavanaugh was the pastor of both the Church of the Epiphany/Mission of St. Rose.[i][i][xxiv] On October 1, 1978, he decided to keep St. Rose closed during the winter months as Father Lammers had done twelve years earlier. Under his leadership the interior of the rectory and church were completely renovated. The clapboards of the rectory and the shingles on the church (they had long since been added to cover the stucco) were replaced by vinyl siding. Father Cavanaugh likewise started a fund in 1978 in hopes of building a parish hall. On November 2, 1983, he also had a large illuminated sign erected in front of the church.[ii][ii][xxv]

On October 23, 1983, the parish celebrated the Church of the Epiphany’s sixtieth anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone with a potluck dinner held at the American Legion Hall. In the speeches, note was taken of the many physical changes that had been made in the parish plant.

Some of these changes were the result of the revised liturgical regulations that had followed the Second Vatican Council of 1962‑1965. One such change was the reversal of the altar, so that the priest could face the congregation. The altar railing was also removed so that there would be no appearance of a physical barrier between the congregation and the altar of God. With the removal of the altar rail, the faithful, who used to kneel to receive Communion, began to receive standing.

Other practices evolved. Lay people started to participate in the Mass by doing the readings and even helping to distribute Holy Communion. After the Council, English was gradually introduced into the Mass to replace the Latin verses, and from 1970 on, celebration of the entire Mass in English became the usual practice. Henceforth, the congregation followed the Eucharistic liturgy in “missalettes� provided by the parish church instead of in personal prayer books.

Evening Masses now being permitted, the Church of the Epiphany introduced a Saturday evening Mass in 1970. Since this Mass is the Mass of the following day, attendance at it fulfills one’s Sunday obligation. With the permission to celebrate evening Masses, there came a necessary change in the old Eucharist fast, which had been from midnight until communion time. After 1964, a well person receiving in church needed only to fast for only one hour before Holy Communion, and medicine and water would not break this fast.

The fast and abstinence rules of penitential days were also changed. Friday abstinence from meat was changed from all Fridays to just Fridays of Lent, and the law of fasting binds only well adults on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, instead of all of the Wednesdays and Fridays of Lent.[xxvi]

In April of 1982, Edward R. Sergeant became the first permanent deacon to serve the parish of Church of the Epiphany.[xxvii] The permanent deacon is an ordained minister of the Catholic Church, second only to the priest. He may preach, baptize, and officiate at marriages and funeral services. He has a distinct role involving the ministry of charity and the ministry of the Word, as well as the ministry of the Liturgy. The diaconate is a permanent but not necessarily a full‑time office.[xxviii]

After Father Cavanaugh’s death, Deacon Edward R. Sergeant helped with many of the details of running the parish. Reverend John Hempel, our interim priest, arrived March 1, 1984. During Father Hempel’s stay, a parish fund drive was held in order to fulfill Father Cavanaugh’s dream of a parish center. It was estimated that the building would cost $135,000. The goal of the drive was set at $85,000, as $50,000 in donations had already been collected since the funding was started in 1978. [xxix]


Father Hempel was replaced by Reverend John D. Dillon, administrator, on June 26, 1984.[i][xxx] On August 6, 1984, ground was broken for the Father Cavanaugh Parish Center. Present at the ground breaking ceremonies were Father John D. Dillon, Deacon Edward R. Sergeant, Donald Roder, Michael Walker, Robert Hillis, and Herbert Spiegel, all members of the building committee. [ii][xxxi]

Father Cavanaugh had built a two‑car garage to replace the one‑car garage, which was to the east of the new garage and eventually was razed to add parking space. These garages replaced the two‑story barn located in the southeast corner of the parcel of land bought in 1923. Now even the two‑car garage, which stood behind the rectory, had to be torn down to make way for the new hall with attached two-car garage.

On April 3, 1985, the Father Cavanaugh Parish Center was used for its first public function.[iii][xxxii] Even though the building was not yet completed and the kitchen was without a stove or refrigerator, the ladies of the Parish Activities Society, under the co‑chairmanship of Andrea Walker and Dorothy DeLyser, successfully hosted a Lenten luncheon for 75 ladies of the Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal, and First Reformed churches.

The Parish Activities Society also held a coffee hour there on Easter Sunday, April 7, 1985, in honor of Deacon Edward R. Sergeant.[iv][xxxiii] He had been transferred from service at Sodus to become the Roman Catholic chaplain at the Newark, New York, Developmental Center.

The first Parish Council meeting in the parish center was held on April 16, 1985, and the following officers were elected: Herbert Spiegel, chairperson; Robert Hillis, vice chairperson; Rose Leisenring, corresponding secretary. Council members were as follows: Gail Bieszad, Richard Clark, Karen Hillyard, John Millon, Mary Piekunka, Donald Roder, Joan Stell, and Michael Walker. Father John D. Dillon and Deacon Edward R. Sergeant were Ex‑Officio members.[v][xxxiv]

On April 22, 1985, the Sodus Council of Churches met in the new Father John Cavanaugh Parish Center for their annual dinner and meeting. It was the first time our church was in a position to host the affair.[vi][xxxv]

It had been Father Cavanaugh’s dream to be able to have religious instructions for the children in one building. Up until 1985, religious instructions for the various grades were held in several parishioners’ homes. Now with the new parish hall, all the children were able to come to a single destination. We had come a long way since the days in the 1940’s when Catholics had to plead to get release time from school hours for religious instructions. At that time, the children were met and escorted to a nearby parishioner’s home, and the door was locked during religious instructions.

Most Reverend Dennis W. Hickey visited the Church of the Epiphany on May 22, 1985, to administer the sacrament of Confirmation to thirty‑seven young men and women. After the service Bishop Hickey blessed the new Father John Cavanaugh Parish Center, and a reception followed.[vii][xxxvi]

On June 25, 1985, Reverend John D. Dillon was promoted from administrator to pastor of the Church of the Epiphany/Mission of St. Rose.[viii][xxxvii]

In the fall of 1985, the parking lot for the church and parish hall was paved. At the same time the area around the parish hall was attractively landscaped.[ix][xxxviii]

The parishioners gathered for their first Christmas party in the new Cavanaugh Center on December 13, 1985. Over a hundred people attended the covered dish supper. Door prizes were distributed, and Father Dillon played a jolly Santa Claus to the children.[x][xxxix]

After years of planning, Father Cavanaugh’s dream became a reality. The parish hall was completed, and the public was invited to an open house on April 27, 1986. The Father Cavanaugh Parish Center stands as a memorial to the man whose dream was to provide a facility where the educational and social aspects of Christian commitment could be fulfilled. Due to the tireless efforts of a nucleus of parishioners and the generous support of the people, the dream of Father Cavanaugh was fulfilled.[xi][xl]

In order to stress the unity of Church of the Epiphany/Mission of St. Rose, it was felt that the parish bulletin should carry the pictures of both churches. Juanita Warner, a parishioner with artistic skills, did a sketch of the two buildings, which appeared on the first parish bulletin on August 31, 1986.[xii][xli]

As another way of bringing the parishioners together, the Activities Society decided to hold its first breakfast in the new parish hall on November 9, 1986. Thanks to the efforts of the committee (Barbara Allman, Polly Becker, Dorothy DeLyser, Mary and Ernie Piekunka, and Mae and Bob VanDevelde), the breakfast was a huge success. Little did the original committee know that in months to come, breakfasts in the Cavanaugh Parish Hall would become a regular social event.[xiii][xlii]

During 1986, the rectory kitchen was remodeled and was able to be used by Thanksgiving Day. In the following month, a ramp was built in front of the parish hall, and an enclosed porch lift was added to the back of the Church of the Epiphany also to accommodate those using wheelchairs.[xiv][xliii]

All that was lacking now in the Father Cavanaugh Parish Center was a picture of the former pastor. Peggy Peplow Gummere of Trenton, New Jersey, was commissioned to execute a portrait in oils of Father Cavanaugh. This was hung in the main hall of the Center. The unveiling ceremony took place on June 28, 1987, and a reception followed with parishioners and members of the community in attendance. [xv][xliv]

In August, 1987, the people of the parish had their pictures taken for an illustrated church directory. This was the first time our parish had attempted a pictorial directory. A total of 157 portraits were taken.[xvi][xlv]

The Church of the Epiphany was redecorated in the fall of 1987. The whole interior was repainted, and the pews were stripped and refinished.[xvii][xlvi]

A Sunday morning coffee hour was held for the first time in the parish center on January 17, 1988. It was sponsored by the Youth Group, consisting of Edward Sergeant, Bo Capacci, Claire Walker, Mark Walker, Mark Minier, Jenny Holtz, Chris Holtz, and Stephanie Knapp. The organizers felt that a coffee hour would give the parishioners a chance to relax, enjoy a warm drink, and chat with each other after the Masses.[xviii][xlvii]

On February 13, 1988, the parish center featured its first spaghetti supper. Under the chairmanship of Bob Hillis, cooks Mario and Jan Cotraccia put on a delicious meal.[xix][xlviii]

The men of the parish meanwhile became interested in forming a Knights of Columbus Council, for Sodus had never before had this Catholic organization. On April 12, 1988, the Sodus Knights of Columbus held their first meeting.[xx][xlix]

In the spring of 1988, the Confirmation class painted the rectory basement, and professionals were hired to refinish the floor in the parish center.[xxi][l] The Religious Education Program, ably conducted by Rose Leisenring, had increased in enrollment, and another classroom was needed. It was decided to convert the chapel in the parish center into a classroom to accommodate the large number of pupils.[xxii][li]

A breakfast for the First Communion Class on May 7, a reception for the Confirmation Class on May 22, a parish picnic at Forman Park on June 26, and a birthday dinner for Father Dillon on July 22 were all on the agenda of the Activities Society for 1988. The society had also scheduled several breakfasts for parishioners and the community.[xxiii][lii]

At the Parish Council meeting of December 20, 1988, Herbert Spiegel of the Finance Committee announced that the debt on the parish center had been paid off. The total cost of building and furnishing the hall had come to $264,103. Much of the work was done by parishioners, including the tiling of the bathrooms and kitchen, the installation of the carpeting, and laying the hardwood floor in the main hall.[xxiv][liii] During the summer of 1988, the parish hall was air-conditioned.

At its February, 1989, meeting, the Sodus Chamber of Commerce presented to Father John D. Dillon its Certificate of Merit award for services to the community, especially for his work with the children.[xxv][liv] Because of his congenial and helpful ways in the Sodus community, Father Dillon was a popular priest and helped strengthened the Catholic congregation’s relationship with many others in the community.

In June, 1989, the parish council chose to recognize some parishioners for their outstanding volunteer work. They awarded their Achievement Award, in sincere appreciation and recognition for distinguished service, loyalty, and devotion to the Church of the Epiphany and the Mission of St. Rose, to Rose Leisenring and Herbert Spiegel. The same award had been given in 1988 to Helen and Robert Hillis.[xxvi][lv]

The parish council also wanted to recognize long‑standing members for their participation and involvement in parish affairs. Minerva DeMarco, Elsie Fletcher, Esther Sprong, and Michael Fratangelo each received a framed letter thanking them for their unselfish devotion of time and talent to their church.[xxvii][lvi]

On November 3, 1989, the parishioners of both the Church of the Epiphany/Mission of St. Rose gathered together to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the dedication of the Church of the Epiphany. They celebrated by having a covered dish supper, which was under the chairmanship of Helen and Robert Hillis. Following the supper, which was held in the Father Cavanaugh Parish Center, Father John D. Dillon and Deacon Edward R. Sergeant praised the parishioners for their work over the past years. Mary G. Piekunka, recounted the histories of the Church of the Epiphany/Mission of St. Rose, which she had compiled. She also showed slides of the previous pastors in charge of the churches and of important events throughout the years.[xxviii][lvii]

The ladies of the Activities Society hosted a Lenten luncheon for the ladies of the area churches on Ash Wednesday, 1990. The speaker, Mary Piekunka, gave a church history commentary to go along with slides pertaining to the Church of the Epiphany/Mission of St. Rose.[xxix][lviii]

Recognition for their contribution to the church was given to Charles and Elaine Costello when they received the Recognition Award in 1990. Elaine played the organ at Masses and other church functions for many years, and among other contributions, Charlie taught Confraternity of Christian Doctrine classes for many years.[xxx][lix]

The parish center did not have a sign until March, 1990, when the Activities Society donated one purchased through profits made by serving breakfasts to the community.[xxxi][lx] After holding rummage sales, the Activities Society donated $3,000 to help defray the cost of the dishwasher installed in the newly enlarged kitchen in the parish center.[xxxii][lxi] During the summer of 1990, space in part of one garage of the parish center was taken to enlarge the kitchen and install more cupboards, a garbage disposal, and a preparation table. Other improvements to the church property included installing air conditioning units in the Church of the Epiphany during the summer of 1989.[xxxiii][lxii] During the following summer, the chimneys on the rectory and St. Rose of Lima were replaced, the chimney on the Church of the Epiphany was repaired, and the entire front porch of the rectory was rebuilt from the foundation.[xxxiv][lxiii] A new speaker for sound, shaped like a round globe, was placed in the middle of the ceiling of the Church of the Epiphany during the winter of 1991.[xxxv][lxiv]

On May 1, 1991, Reverend George Heyman was appointed pastor of the Church of the Epiphany/Mission of St. Rose, and concurrently served as temporary administrator of St. Anne’s Church, Palmyra, and St. Gregory’s Church in Marion.[xxxvi][lxv] As Father Heyman attended a language institute to learn Spanish during the summer, Deacon Edward Sergeant helped administer the parish from May1 until August 2.[xxxvii][lxvi]

Edward and Rose Sergeant were recognized for the Achievement Award in 1991. Ed, though not assigned as Deacon to our parish has provided his services for many years. At the time of Father Cavanaugh’s death, he was responsible for the smooth transition. Also, he helped administer the parish during the summer of 1991 before the arrival of Father George Heyman. Through her understanding and love, Rose supported Ed during these times.[xxxviii][lxvii]

One of the first projects Father Heyman undertook by order of Bishop Clark was to assess our future needs in order to meet the growth of our parish family. With the help of a long range planning committee, the following proposals were submitted: 1. Locate land that could be suitable for future development, 2. Continue to study the growth patterns for one year, 3. Create a finance committee to analyze the potential for fund raising in our parish, 4. Adjust the weekend Mass schedule for maximum participation and utilization of current facilities, 5. Continue to maintain the current physical structures with no new major capital expenses.[xxxix][lxviii]

It was decided to wait to see what the growth rate would be, and Mass schedules would be adjusted. Beginning Memorial Day weekend, there would be only the Saturday evening 7 p.m. Mass and the 8 a.m. Mass on Sunday at St. Rose of Lima, and a 5 p.m. Saturday evening Mass at the Church of the Epiphany, as well as a 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Sunday morning in Sodus.

In November, 1991, Lawrence Dapolito was hired as our new parish organist. Until this time, our parish relied on volunteer organists Elaine Costello, Dorothy Eastley, and Marjorie Baker, who did a superb job with their musical talents.[xl][lxix]

On our church feast day of Epiphany, 1992, the students in our religious education classes put on a play for the entire parish. Over 125 people attended the play and enjoyed refreshments.[xli][lxx]

The Church of the Epiphany hosted the World Day of Prayer for the Sodus and Sodus Point area on March 6, 1992. Mary Piekunka assisted by Rose Leisenring chaired the program “Living Wisely with Creation�. Women from all area churches participated in the program.[xlii][lxxi]

A new Galanti organ from Italy was donated to the parish in memory of Esther Sprong. The organ from the Church of the Epiphany replaced the old organ at St. Rose of Lima.[xliii][lxxii]

Deacon Lance Gonyo joined us for the summer months. As he was recently ordained to the Diaconate, he came to our parish to participate in the daily routine of a country parish. Besides helping Father Heyman, he organized a coffee hour for the parish and chaired a spaghetti supper for the parishioners.[xliv][lxxiii] These events brought the parishioners together for an enjoyable time.

A volunteer appreciation party was held at the parish center on July 10, 1992. Rose Leisenring was recognized for all the endless hours she spent as Religious Education Coordinator. A delicious meal was enjoyed by all, which was followed by dancing to the music of the orchestra, For Dancers Only.[xlv][lxxiv]

A coffee hour was held after Sunday Masses on August 30 to say goodbye to Deacon Lance as he would return to his studies to the Seminary in Baltimore. The coffee hour was also an opportunity to meet our new Coordinator of Religious Education, Christopher Vogt.[xlvi][lxxv]

In September, 1992, the Children’s Liturgy of the Word program began. Children in grades K‑4 participate in this program twice a month in the Parish Center where they celebrate the Liturgy of the Word in a way that is meaningful to them. They leave the church after the Opening Prayer of Mass and return in time for Holy Communion. Babysitting was also instituted at the Parish Center at this same time.[xlvii][lxxvi] Coffee hours, too, were started in September and are held on the last Sunday of the month in the Parish Center after the Sunday Masses.

Our parish acquired a beautiful painting of our Lady of Guadalupe from a donor from St. Mary’s Church downtown Rochester. The portrait was hung in the northeast stairwell of the Parish Center.[xlviii][lxxvii] Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Patroness of the Americas, Queen of the Mexican people, and symbolizes God’s love for the downtrodden.[xlix][lxxviii]

Bishop Matthew Clark announced that the Diocese of Rochester would hold its seventh synod. A diocesan synod is the process through which a bishop consults with representatives of the clergy, religious, and lay people of his diocese. Current issues are discussed, a vision for the future articulated, and in some cases, laws for the diocese are enacted. This is the first Synod held since 1954.[l][lxxix] Our parish participated in the Diocesan Synod by holding meetings for three consecutive weeks starting September 20.[li][lxxx] The topics discussed were “How can we as Church support Christian marriage and family life in all its forms?� “How can we support our parishes in being faith filled communities?� “How can we help those facing violence, addiction, burdensome pregnancy or terminal illness?� Our parish passed on our recommendations to the Regional Synod. The Synod continued in February of 1993.

The activities for the fall, 1992, included an Octoberfest sponsored by the Knights of Columbus,[lii][lxxxi] adult education classes presented by Father Heyman on the topic “Catholic Morality: What do we believe?,�[liii][lxxxii] a breakfast sponsored by the Parish Activities Society, and at the request of the Council of Churches, Father Heyman conducted an Advent Bible Study.[liv][lxxxiii]

The dedication of the Galanti‑Ahlborn Preludium II Organ donated by Esther Sprong and the dedication of the Shulmerich Novabell II Carillon System donated by Cora Helfer was held on November 29, 1992. Lawrence Dapolito, church organist, and Father George Heyman presented a beautiful organ recital, followed by a reception in the Parish Center.[lv][lxxxiv]

Since neither the Church of the Epiphany/Mission of St. Rose had full capacities at the Saturday evening Masses, a vote was taken in 1992 as to which church would hold the Saturday evening Masses. The vote decided that the Mass would be held at the Church of the Epiphany and that St. Rose of Lima would be closed from the first Sunday of Advent through Easter Sunday. This change will help bring our parish family closer together for the winter months.[lvi][lxxxv]

Another change took place concerning the Sunday collections. After years of having two collections on Sunday, one envelope will be used beginning in January of 1993.[lvii][lxxxvi]

A rosary was draped on the hands of the Blessed Mother statue. The rosary was donated in loving memory of Frankie Lepreau.[lviii][lxxxvii]

The Parish Activities Society did not hold their Christmas party for the parish this year before Christmas but instead decided to have a celebration in January, 1993, of “Little Christmas,� which is the Feast of the Epiphany. A good time was had by all at the Potluck Supper, and the children especially enjoyed the clown and gifts.[lix][lxxxviii]

The Parish Activities Society donated the full cost of installing wall to wall carpeting in the Parish Center, in hopes of improving the acoustics. The carpet was in installed in February of 1993.[lx][lxxxix]

The Knights of Columbus held a breakfast on February 7. The proceeds of the breakfast were used to sponsor two youths from our parish to attend the World Youth Day held in Denver, CO, in August. The Parish Activities Society also donated $500 toward this project.[lxi][xc]

Father Heyman carried out the Synod recommendation by establishing the Stephen Ministry in our parish. Vera Erwin, Bob and JoAnn Bacher, Chris Vogt, and Father attended a two‑week Leader’s Training course in California before implementing the Stephen Ministry in our community.[lxii][xci] A Stephen Minister is a lay person who brings Christ’s healing love and a supporting hand to the spiritual, social, and emotional needs of our community. After 50 hours of training the following became our first Stephen Ministers: Dee Burlee, Joan Hurley, Linda Nevil, Dennis Grandjean, Lois Anne Swales, Nancy Kohlmeler, Peter Beganskas, Ed Renner, JoAnne Bernhardt, John Williams, Roger Tessier, Patrick Becker, and Julie Sattelberg.[lxiii][xcii]

Bishop Matthew Clark visited our parish in September, 1993. He attended the various Masses, including the Spanish Mass.[lxiv][xciii] Since there is a great influx of seasonal workers during the harvest season in this region, a Spanish Mass was held during the months from July to November. Some of these workers became permanent residents, and there became a need to have a Spanish Mass year round.[lxv][xciv] This became a reality in 1994.

Our first parish retreat was held in October, 1993. The retreat of Renewal and Reconciliation took place in the parish hall and was a worthwhile experience to those who attended.[lxvi][xcv] The men in our parish have always shared in a retreat of their own. It is usually held the last week in February at a retreat house on Canandaigua Lake.[lxvii][xcvi]

Our parish reaches out to the people in the community by our various projects. Helen and Bill Lee have been in charge of the Clothes Closet for many years. The Clothes Closet, which is stocked by donations by our parishioners, provides clothing for the needy.[lxviii][xcvii] The Christmas Basket project, co‑chaired by Karen Capacci and Karen Hillyard for many years, provides food baskets and gifts during the Christmas season.[lxix][xcviii] Parishioners donate money and canned goods for the baskets and pick name tags off a “Giving Christmas Tree� in order to buy specific gifts for sponsored individuals. The “Cups n Saucers� is a support group for stay‑at‑home parents or day‑care givers. It provides adult conversation, supervised activities for the children, community involvement, field trips, entertainment, and education.[lxx][xcix] Our parishioners also reach out to people in the diocese by contributing to the Thanksgiving Appeal, which funds different organizations catering to the various needs of individuals in the diocese.

In March, 1994, our parish hired our first property manager, Corey Gropp.[lxxi][c] Among other things stated in the job description, she will oversee the buildings of our parish, coordinate capital improvements and physical plant maintenance within a budget, and work to set up long and short-term goals for the physical plant.[lxxii][ci]

On June 5, 1994, the parishioners of the Church of the Epiphany celebrated its 70th anniversary with a covered dish supper. Mary Piekunka gave a slide presentation on the history of our parish. Pictures were taken of the longest attending parishioners, which included Polly Becker, John Doyle, Lawrence Fletcher and daughter Pat Negus, Leo Fletcher, Mary Griffin, Walter Hurley, Caroline Musso, Mary Piekunka, Mae and Bob VanDevelde.[lxxiii][cii]

At the coffee hours after Sunday morning Masses on June 26, the parishioners bid Father George Heyman good‑bye. There was also a party after the 7 p.m. Mass. Among other things that Father accomplished during his tenure here was a sense of community, meaning belonging, supporting, caring and concern for each other. He established a Finance Committee so that the Pastoral Council could concentrate on the life of the parish. Attendance at daily Mass increased, and every Thursday morning a group met together for coffee and discussion. Also, the Stephen Ministry has ministered to people in need, and the Stephen Ministers themselves have grown in an awareness of each other’s needs. Father Heyman left the parish to return to graduate school at Harvard University.[lxxiv][ciii]

Reverend David J. Faraone began his duties as pastor of the Church of the Epiphany/Mission of St. Rose on June 28, 1994.[lxxv][civ] Since summer is a busy time, it was decided to hold a reception for Father in the fall. An open house in his honor was held at the church rectory on October 2. It was a joyous occasion attended by many. Father wanted to have the reception in the rectory to give people who normally do not have an occasion to visit the rectory an opportunity to see the interior.[lxxvi][cv] Father’s collection of autographed photos of movie stars, which is displayed in the front hall, was a main attraction. Since Father Faraone’s arrival, changes in the staff took place. Anne Wilkin became our new Religious Education Coordinator since Christopher Vogt resigned to pursue further studies.[lxxvii][cvi] As we did not have a choir director, Sheila Sullivan Buck was appointed parish choir director and head of our cantor program.[lxxviii][cvii] Both of these women came to our parish with impressive backgrounds.

In October, 1994, the fall‑winter Mass schedule was changed again. The parish staff determined that snowplowing costs would be saved by holding Mass at St. Rose of Lima, Sodus Point, on Saturdays and also changed the time from 5:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Also eliminated was the 7 p.m. Saturday evening Mass and the 8 a.m. Mass at Sodus Point. The Sunday Mass schedule at the Church of the Epiphany changed to 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., with the Spanish Mass at 1 p.m.[lxxix][cviii]

Another successful parish retreat was held in November under the capable leadership of Bob and Joanne Bacher and their committee.[lxxx][cix] In December, the Parish Activities Society held a potluck Christmas dinner in the Parish Center, following the blessing of the new stained glass window at St. Rose of Lima. The new window at St. Rose of Lima was made possible through a donation from the estate of Michael and Helen Gerhard and incorporated panels of windows from the old Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Rochester.[lxxxi][cx]

Father Faraone left in January, 1995, for Costa Rica for an intensive five‑week course in Spanish. Since a Spanish Mass is offered at our parish and there is a growing population of Spanish‑speaking people, fluency is a necessity for the pastor. While he was away, Father Paul Freemesser filled in for him.[lxxxii][cxi]

Upon his return to the parish, Father Faraone presented during Lent a five‑week adult education course on “Consistent Life Ethics.�[lxxxiii][cxii] The programs were well attended, as people had expressed a desire for adult education programs during the Synod process.

The Parish Activities Society hosted an open house on April 23 for Father Faraone on the occasion of his tenth anniversary of priesthood ordination. Over 200 guests enjoyed delicious food as well as entertainment by actress Reverend Mother, who brought smiles by telling stories about our pastor.[lxxxiv][cxiii]

During the summer of 1995, our parish had a seminarian‑intern for thirteen weeks. Steve Lape, a former disc jockey, lived at the rectory and ministered to our parish.[lxxxv][cxiv] He assisted with the entertainment at our parish picnic at Forman’s Park in August. Forman’s Park was a beautiful setting for staging a Mass, and for the first time, our parish held an open air Mass. The largest crowd ever to attend our parish picnic was present.[lxxxvi][cxv]

The buildings of our parish continue to undergo renovations. The Knights of Columbus painted the classrooms during the summer of 1995.[lxxxvii][cxvi] During July of 1994, the interior of the church was professionally painted. Paul Secore, who used to do maintenance for our parish, installed a laundry room in the back hall of the rectory during the spring of 1993.[lxxxviii][cxvii]

Father Nathaniel Kuguta, a priest from Kenya and student at Saint John Fisher College began assisting Father Faraone on weekends.[lxxxix][cxviii]

In October, 1995, Father Faraone conducted a series on “Whatever Happened to the Church of My Youth?� Parishioners had a lot of questions to ask and found the series enlightening.[xc][cxix]

The Parish Activities Society, along with Father Faraone, felt a need to minister to the needs of the grieving following a funeral. Therefore, a Martha Ministry group was formed to provide refreshments, such as a brunch or luncheon for family and friends of the deceased following a funeral or memorial service. High praises have been bestowed on this group as their services are very much appreciated.[xci][cxx]

Again, Bob and Joanne Bacher and their committee organized a parish retreat, which was held in October in the parish hall. This year’s theme was “You Gotta Have Heart,� and the retreat was well attended.[xcii][cxxi]

December was busy getting ready for Christmas. A Christmas supper was sponsored by the Parish Activities Society, and following the dinner, Mr. and Mrs. Santa arrived to present gifts to the children. Christmas baskets and gifts were prepared to give to the needy.[xciii][cxxii] The church was beautifully decorated by parishioners, and the red velvet drape which hung on the sanctuary wall at Epiphany for many years was replaced at this time with a beige and turquoise printed fabric. The fabric was given to the parish by the Parish Activities Society and sewn by Sherry Brandt.

The annual Christmas party was held December 7. Ham, potatoes, and dessert were provided, and guests brought a dish to pass. After supper, a special time was shared with Santa giving out presents to the children.[xciv][i]

January 7, 1997, was the starting date for weekly bible studies. Thirty people attended the first meeting. Study guides were provided, and after reading the bible, a discussion followed.[xcv][ii]

New blue vestments were donated to the Church of the Epiphany by Margaret Cinelli in memory of her late husband Frank.[xcvi][iii]

A special evening for married couples was planned for Valentine’s Day by Father Faraone, Shari List, Betty Dildine, and Helen Hillis. A romantic evening dinner catered in the parish hall was served, followed by an evening Mass and Renewal of Vows.[xcvii][iv] After dinner couples shared viewing their wedding albums.

The Parish Activities Society held a breakfast in January and also one in February. New lectors and Eucharistic ministers were commissioned in February. New lectors are Sue Clark, Betty Dildine, Chris Ganier, Pamela Rogers and Joan Workmaster, and the new Eucharistic ministers are Fred and Judy Burkhard, Carol Monsees, Andrew Secore, John Williams, and Joan Workmaster.[xcviii][v]

Our guest speaker during Lent, 1997, was Sister Barbara Moore, RSM, who gave the homily at each of our liturgies Palm Sunday weekend and lead our faith community in an “Evening of Recollection on Palm Sunday evening. It was a powerful way to begin Holy Week.[xcix][vi]

Twenty-one parishioners received their First Eucharist and twenty-four parishioners received the Sacrament of Confirmation. The First Eucharist class each received a suncatcher, and each one in the Confirmation class received a Holy Bible, all gifts from the Parish Activities Society. Each celebration was also followed by a reception given by the Parish Activities Society.[c][vii]

The summer Mass schedule was changed in order to allow enough time between Masses to prepare for the next one. The 8 a.m. Sunday morning Mass at St. Rose of Lima was changed to 7:30 a.m. The other Mass at St. Rose of Lima is held Saturday evening at 5:30 p.m., and Sunday Masses for the summer at the Church of the Epiphany are at 9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and the Spanish Mass at 2:00 p.m.[ci][viii]

A special Marian devotion was held May 20, 1997. A “Living Rosary” was held as each parishioner prayed a decade on the Rosary.[cii][ix]

In June, literature was passed out explaining the different activities in our parish, and a survey was taken of the parishioners as to what they would like to participate in.[ciii][x] Father Faraone held the second annual blessing of the Fishing Fleet and Pleasure Boats, which took place at Sodus Point the last Sunday in June, 1997.[civ][xi]

The parish welcomed another seminarian. Patrick VanDurme from Dansville came in July to spend thirteen weeks with us as part of an internship.[cv][xii] Father Faraone held his annual “thank you” night for volunteers by holding a “Night on the Bay” on Monday evening, July 14, at the Sodus Bay Yacht Club. Marty Vaars from Holland and Andre Schlemper from Brazil, foreign students who had been staying with Father Faraone for the school year 1996-1997, showed a video of parish activities, which they had taped the last few weeks they were here. It was enjoyed by all.[cvi][xiii]

The Church of the Epiphany/Mission of St. Rose were featured in the “Catholic Courier,” July, 1997. The article gave a parish profile and carried a picture of Father Faraone blessing the boats at Sodus Point.[cvii][xiv]

After giving many years of dedicated service, eight members of the Parish Activities Society resigned to provide the opportunity for new and younger members of the parish to give new life and service to their parish. Members resigning included Dorothy DeLyser, Mary and Ernie Piekunka, Dorothy Himes, Peter Beganskas, Barbara Allman, Mae VanDevelde, and Polly Becker. A substantial amount of money was left in the treasury, which they hoped would be used to replace rugs in the parish hall and on the church steps.[cviii][xv]

Bob Hillis headed up another parish breakfast following the Sunday Masses in conjunction with the “Celebrating Sodus” celebration on September 14. Vince and Joanne Myerly did another superb job in organizing the parish picnic, which was held at Forman’s Park on September 21, following an open air Mass. This year was a pig roast followed by entertainment for the kids, including a magician.[cix][xvi]

Another Marian devotion was held October 7, 1997. A living rosary was held with each volunteer leading one Hail Mary.[cx][xvii]

Our second annual Mass of Remembrance was held November l. It was a time for family and friends to get together to remember their loved ones who passed away during the past year. Following Mass, a reception was held in the parish hall.[cxi][xviii]

Father Faraone escorted a group of people to Italy November 10-20. They visited Venice, Padua, Bologna, Florence, Siena, Assisi, and Rome. Josephine Carlotta and her daughter Pauline Baker from our parish accompanied him.[cxii][xix]

Forty people gathered December 8 to listen to an update on our pastoral planning for the new millennium. The Church of the Epiphany/Mission of St. Rose parish is in the Western Wayne Planning Team, which also includes the following parishes: St. Patrick, Macedon; St. Anne, Palmyra; St. Gregory, Marion; St. Mary, Ontario; and St. Michael, Newark.[cxiii][xx] The Church of the Epiphany/Mission of St. Rose priority issues included addressing the needs of people living in poverty in the forms of outreach and spirituality. Also included were faith formation for our youth, faith formation for our young adults, ministering to the migrant population, and the presence of a minister for hospitals, tourists, and the Hispanic community.[cxiv][xxi]

The new Parish Life Committee, which replaced the Parish Activities Society, held a Euchre Tournament in the parish center December 12.[cxv][xxii] A fun time was had by all.

A crowd of approximately 85 people gathered in the parish hall for a Christmas party. Ham, scalloped potatoes, and desserts were provided and guests brought a dish to pass. After dinner Christmas carols were sung, and the children enjoyed the piñata and Santa Claus. The Chinese grab bag was also a big hit.[cxvi][xxiii]

The third annual Lock-In for Teens was held Sunday night, January 18, 1998, in the parish center. The all-night affair was attended by 113 teenagers and 15-20 adults. Greg Gunn, a youth leader from Florida, lead a seminar on peer pressure, and Mike Donohue, a disc jockey, provided music from 3 until 6 a.m.[cxvii][xxiv]

The Children’s Liturgy of the Word program is held during the 9:30 a.m. Sunday Mass. Mary Ange, Suzanne Putman, Ginger Knapp, Ed Kohlmeier, and Rita Wlodarczyk take our young members over to the Parish Center to teach them about the gospel while the priest reads the Gospel and gives his homily to the congregation.[cxviii][xxv]

The Parish Life Committee started out the New Year of 1998 with a bowling party in January, a Valentine’s Dinner and Dance in February, and a Euchre Tournament in March.[cxix][xxvi]

Bible studies, Stations of the Cross, Masses, Communal Penance Service, and our annual Soup Supper for the poor were all held to give parishioners the opportunity to prepare for Lent. On Holy Thursday, the washing of the feet took place during the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at a banquet table similar to the Last Supper, the Passion and Death of the Lord service was held on Good Friday, and on Saturday an Easter Vigil Mass was held at the Church of the Epiphany.[cxx][xxvii] Reverend John A. Colacino homolized at each of our Palm Sunday services and during the Triduum.[cxxi][xxviii] During the Easter Vigil Mass, Jerry Lalone, Josh Ginett, Paul Ginett, Marjorie DeGelleke, Susan Casserino, Gregory Symes, Debra Secore, and Cheryl Aman were fully initiated and received into the Church.[cxxii][xxix] Also, through the Council of Churches, men’s breakfasts were all held at our Parish Center and the women’s Lenten luncheons were held at various churches. These events all had inspirational speakers. Under the co-chairpersons of Dorothy DeLyser and Mary Piekunka, our parish was host for the Lenten Luncheon on March 11.[cxxiii][xxx]

May, 1998, was a busy month. In accordance with the Synod Goal “Life-Long Faith Formation”, Father Faraone, Deacon Ed Sergeant, and Ann Wilkin presented three adult learning sessions.[cxxiv][xxxi] The Sacrament of the First Eucharist was received by thirty children, and twenty adults received the Sacrament of Confirmation from Bishop Matthew Clark.[cxxv][xxxii] On the last weekend of May, a reception was held after each Mass for Father Nathaniel Kuguta who was leaving us. Father Nathaniel ministered among us for almost three years while attending college in Rochester. He returned in June to his home diocese of Mombasa in Kenya.[cxxvi][xxxiii] As in the past, Father Dave urged everyone to wear red for Pentecost Sunday and to bring bells to ring during Mass.[cxxvii][xxxiv] Also, on the last Sunday of the month, parishioners are urged to bring food for the poor. This practice continues all year long.[cxxviii][xxxv]

From June l to August 30, Phil Yawman served as a summer intern. He is studying to be a permanent diaconate in the Diocese of Rochester, and assisted with hospital visits, homilizing, baptismal preparation class and attending to the Hispanic ministry on Sunday afternoons.[cxxix][xxxvi]

The Parish Life Committee planned a baked food sale at St. Rose of Lima in July chaired by Bob Hillis and Bernie Taft. The fourth parish picnic, chaired again by Vince and JoAnne Myerly, was held in August. Also in August, a trip to the Renaissance Faire, and another Euchre Party were planned.[cxxx][xxxvii] Charlie and Elaine Costello and their crew hosted a successful hot dog roast at St. Rose on the Fourth of July.[cxxxi][xxxviii] Another hot dog roast was held there in August with the Steger family in charge.[cxxxii][xxxix] Pat and Al Miller also chaired a hot dog roast at St. Rose. The three events raised $1,428 for our parish.[cxxxiii][xl]

Joe Brogan and Al Miller co-chaired our first combination golf tournament and pig roast on August 22. After enjoying a game of golf at the Port Bay Golf Club, people gathered at the American Legion Post in Wolcott to enjoy a pig roast.[cxxxiv][xli] Prizes were given out, and a good time was had by all.

The new parish pastoral council officers are Georgette Taft, chairperson; Dave Colway, vice-chair; and Pam Rogers, secretary. New members of the council are John List and Diane Murphy.[cxxxv][xlii]

In September, 1998, our parish participated in the “Celebrating Sodus” days by putting on a breakfast, chaired by Bob Hillis.[cxxxvi][xliii] Father Faraone and Father Brian C. Cool led a pilgrimage to Ireland October 15-27. Dave and Marie Colway and Jean Clark from our parish accompanied them.[cxxxvii][xliv] On the first weekend of November, Bob and Joanne Bacher were in charge of our retreat “People Encounter Christ.”[cxxxviii][xlv]

Our parish was honored in a couple of ways this year. Father David Faraone was appointed by Bishop Matthew Clark to a three-year term as chairperson of the priests’ convocation committee.[cxxxix][xlvi] One of our high school seniors, Scott Flynn, church cantor and choir member, received the “Hands of Christ” award from Bishop Clark. This award is given to seniors who are active, involved Christian role models in parish, school, or community.[cxl][xlvii]

On the first Sunday of Advent, Father Faraone began to use the new and approved lectionary consisting of two books for Mass in all the Dioceses of the United States. Also, the missalettes were abandoned in favor of a more permanent worship book called “Ritual Song.” The hymns contained in this book are both traditional and contemporary. This book does not include the readings from Scripture nor does it include Eucharistic prayers like the missalettes. The idea behind this concept is that we are to give our undivided attention to the Mass. No doubt there will be a period of adjustment for everyone to focus on the spoken Word and not the written Word.[cxli][xlviii]

A “New to You Sale,” along with a raffle and sale of a new TV, was held in the parish center November 13 and 14. Under the supervision of Ann Wilkin with special helpers Sandy Peterson and Bob Wilkin, $865 was raised from all the donations that the parishioners brought in for the benefit of the Church Youth Program.[cxlii][xlix] On the Feast of All Souls day at evening prayer, 35 deceased people were remembered in prayer. A candle was lit in each one’s memory.[cxliii][l] Also, in November a teen Mass and ice cream social was held by the Youth Group.[cxliv][li] There was so much information to be shared that the bulletin had to be increased in size.[cxlv][lii] The larger format was started on Sunday, November 29.

A Christmas party was held early in December, as well as a Euchre Tournament planned by the Parish Life Committee for December 11. The Christmas basket project was chaired by Jackie Pulsifer, and her committee worked many hours to accomplish this social ministry.[cxlvi][liii] Our church is involved in many social ministries including the Clothes Closet, Martha Ministry, soup supper, daffodil sale, and participation in the CROP walk. We also have volunteers who run errands and transport our parishioners for health care needs.[cxlvii][liv]

In celebration of the Feast of the Epiphany, a program was held on January 3, 1999. Lessons and Carols celebrating the Feast of the Epiphany were presented, with parishioners and Father Faraone doing readings and the choir singing hymns.[cxlviii][lv]

On January 19 parishioners met to discuss the 75th anniversary celebration and the possibility of building renovations and property enhancements. They also gave their views on how they see themselves as a Faith Community and reflected on years past. Priority issues concerning the Catholic Community of Western Wayne County were also discussed. Parishioners then signed up as to what committees they would like to serve.[cxlix][lvi]

A parish mission was held February 14-17 on “The Theology and Spirituality of Relationships.” Father Simeon Gallagher of St. Louis, Missouri, preached the mission. He is a member of the Order of Friars Minor, Capuchin, and has an international reputation for conducting retreats. He kept the congregation’s attention during his program and was well received.[cl][lvii]

There was ample opportunity to prepare for Lent, 1999. Besides the mission, the men of the parish were invited to attend the annual retreat at the Notre Dame Retreat House in Canandaigua. The focus was “Two Great Commandments of Love.” Bible studies continue to be held weekly, Stations of the Cross are prayed every Wednesday night, and almsgiving to Operation Rice Bowl, a program to raise money for the poor, continues during Lent.[cli][lviii]

A group of interested parishioners met on February 8 to form the 75th Anniversary Committee. Tina Spano and Bernie Taft were appointed co-chairpersons. Six committees were formed, with chairpersons as follows:[clii][lix] Historical (quilt & church history): Mary Piekunka Musical: Diane Murphy, Lorraine Kucmierowski Prayer: Diane Murphy, Lorraine Kucmierowski, Pat Miller Public Relations: Rosanne Surridge Social: Pat Miller

The Youth Group continues to hold fundraisers to pay for a trip to the National Catholic Youth Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, in November. They have had a bottle drive, “A New to You Sale,” and sold scented candles and flowers for Easter.[cliii][lx]

The third parish bowling party was organized by Corey Ginett and Pam Rogers. It was held March 7 and was well attended by families and friends.[cliv][lxi]

A church expansion committee was formed to look into the possibility of expanding our facilities. Members of the committee were asked to consider expanding our gathering space and to include a baptismal font, reconciliation room, and Eucharistic area or “chapel.” This would all have to be done in compliance with the diocesan guidelines.[clv][lxii]

Our parish hosted a Lenten luncheon for the churches in our area. Betty Dildine was chairperson and also was the speaker.[clvi][lxiii] She spoke on her work on the Martha Ministry committee.

Appreciation was extended to the new altar servers for volunteering their time and to Charlie and Elaine Costello for preparing the new altar servers: Nina Barber, Nick Cuvelier, Ryan Quinn, Shawn Quinn, Susan Snyder, Smantha Spade, Stephanie Thurston, and Chris Thurston.[clvii][lxiv] Acknowledgements were made to Bill Lee for the beautiful wood framing on the photograph of our seven catechumens and candidates with Bishop Clark taken by Pat Miller, also thanks to Bob Bacher for the new paten being used at weekday Mass and to Barbara Mathis for donating two beautiful trees to our parish.[clviii][lxv] Thank you’s went to all the Faith Formation Catechists who have completed another year of service teaching our children: Karen Capacci, Patricia Genesky, Patricia Georgetti, Susan Johnson, Kate Johnson, Pamela Lergner, Carol Monsees, Jessica Monsees, Sandra Petersen, Christine Spano, Erin Putnam, and especially to Nancy Gadsby who retired after six years of service.[clix][lxvi]

We have an active and vibrant church community. Since coming in June, 1994, Father David Faraone has implemented many activities that bring us together as a church family. We now have retreats, adult education courses, bible studies, socials for newcomers, and Martha Ministry. We’ve had Blessing of the Boats ceremonies, open air Masses at our annual picnics, and trips to see plays and foreign countries. Father Dave plans liturgical celebrations that are creative and moving, such as wearing of red garments and ringing bells on Pentecost Sunday and setting up a banquet table like the Last Supper on Holy Thursday. For the religious ceremonies, Father Dave started the Liturgy Committee to assist him in coordinating these and other events, such as the Living Rosary and the Mass of Remembrance. Father Dave also hired our first choir director, Sheila S. Buck, to provide music to enhance our weekly and special Liturgies. Our homilies are very moving as Father David Faraone and Deacon Ed Sergeant are both gifted homilists. Father Dave encouraged the formation of the Social Ministry Committee, which was formed out of the needs of the community, especially for the poor and migrant. The Befrienders Ministry was started to meet the health care needs of parishioners, and Soup and Bread suppers were started to help support Operations Rice Bowl. Father Dave encourages his staff to work as a team, appreciates the advice and insights of the Parish Council, encourages the talents and abilities of committee members, and works to empower all parishioners to use their God-given talents to serve the Lord and spread the Good News. He is actively involved in all phases of parish life, and his enthusiasm has inspired our community.

Volunteers teaching religious education classes and serving many hours on the various committees of the church are an important aspect of the spiritual life of the parish. Also, we now have many lay people participating at Masses in capacities as lectors, Eucharistic ministers, cantors, altar servers, and ushers. With all working toward a goal of a parish financially secure with a church and parish hall, we have come a long way from that struggling congregation with no church or money. We are indeed indebted to God for his guidance throughout the years and thank Him for all his blessings.


  1. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 09/13/1981.The Record. (Sodus, NY), 08/11/1916.2. John J. Doyle interview, 02/11/1983, by Mary Piekunka.3. Wayne County Miscellaneous Docket No. 8, page 108.

    4. Msgr. Charles F. Shay interview, 05/28/1963, by Rev. Robert F. McNamara.

    The Record, (Sodus, NY), 11/17/1922.

    5. Wayne County Deeds Book 262, page 177.

    6. Church of the Epiphany Financial Report, 01/1/1923.

    7. Msgr. Charles F. Shay interview, 05/28/1963, by Rev. Robert F. McNamara.

    8. Wayne County Deeds Book 264, page 381.

    9. John J. Doyle interview, 02/23/1985, by Mary Piekunka.

    10. Carl Brown interview, 03/19/1985, by Mary Piekunka.

    11. Ibid.

    12. Fr. Daniel B. O’Rourke interview, 09/22/1959, by Rev. Robert F. McNamara.

    13. Doris Sims interview, 11/10/1988, by Mary G. Piekunka.

    14. Ibid.

    15. John J. Doyle interview, 02/23/1985, by Mary G. Piekunka.

    16. John J. Doyle interview 02/11/1983, by Mary G. Piekunka.

    17. Ibid.

    18. Church of the Epiphany Scrapbook, newspaper clipping 1953.

    19. Rev. James F. O’Connell interview, 11/11/1988, by Rev. Robert F. McNamara.

    20. Courier‑Journal, (Rochester, NY), 04/02/1954.

    21. Courier‑Journal, 08/29/1958.

    22. Epiphany Scrapbook, newspaper clipping 1958.

    23. Epiphany Scrapbook, pictures 1967.

    24. Courier‑Journal, 02/08/1984.

    25. Epiphany Scrapbook, picture 1983.

    26. Recollections of Mary G. Piekunka, 60th Anniversary Dinner, 10/23/1983.

    27. Courier‑Journal, 04/14/1982.

    28. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 03/07/1982.

    29. Building Fund Drive Letter, 02/18/1984.

    30. Church of the Epiphany Scrapbook, pictures 1984.

    31. Courier‑Journal, 10/10/1984.

    32. Sodus Council of Churches Women’s Lenten Luncheon Program, 04/03/1985.

    33. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 04/14/1985.

    34. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 04/28/1985.

    35. The Record, (Sodus, NY), 04/18/1985.

    36. The Record, 06/20/1985.

    37. The Record, 07/11/1985.

    38. Church of the Epiphany Building Fund, check no. 184, 10/29/1985.

    39. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 12/15/1985.

    40. Church of the Epiphany Scrapbook, Open House Program, 04/27/1986.

    41. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 08/31/1986.

    42. Church of the Epiphany Scrapbook, pictures, 11/09/1986.

    43. Church of the Epiphany Parish Council Minutes, 11/18/1986.

    44. Church of the Epiphany Scrapbook, Unveiling Ceremony Invitation, 06/28/1987.

    45. Church of the Epiphany Parish Council Minutes, 10/20/1987.

    46. Church of the Epiphany Parish Council Minutes, 12/15/1987.

    47. Church of the Epiphany Scrapbook, Communications Committee Notes, 02/1988.

    48. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 02/21/1988.

    49. Church of the Epiphany Scrapbook, Knights of Columbus Bulletin, 1988.

    50. Church of the Epiphany Parish Council Minutes, 04/19/1988.

    51. Church of the Epiphany Parish Council Minutes, 05/17/1988.

    52. Ibid.

    53. Church of the Epiphany Scrapbook, H. Spiegel Report, 11/18/1988.

    54. The Wayne County Mail, (Ontario, NY), 02/16/1989.

    55. Church of the Epiphany Parish Council Minutes, 09/19/1989.

    56. Ibid.

    57. The Wayne County Mail, 11/09/1989.

    58. Church of the Epiphany Scrapbook, Lenten Luncheon Program, 02/28/1990.

    59. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 07/08/1990.

    60. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 03/25/1990.

    61. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 09/09/1990.

    62. Church of the Epiphany Financial Report, 06/30/1990.

    63. Church of the Epiphany Financial Report, 12/21/1990.

    64. Church of the Epiphany Parish Council Minutes, 01/15/1991.

    65. Wayne County Star, (Lyons, NY), 09/05/1991.

    66. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 05/05/1991.

    67. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 06/23/1991.

    68. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 09/29/1991.

    69. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 11/03/1991.

    70. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 01/12/1992.

    71. Wayne County Mail, (Webster, NY), 02/27/1992.

    72. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 07/05/1992.

    73. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 07/19/1992.

    74. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 07/05/1992.

    75. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 08/30/1992.

    76. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 09/13/1992.

    77. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 09/20/1992.

    78. Catholic Courier, (Rochester, NY), 12/10/1992.

    79. Catholic Courier, (Rochester, NY), 06/21/1990.

    80. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 09/20/1992.

    81. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 10/18/1992.

    82. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 11/01/1992.

    83. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 11/22/1992.

    84. Organ/Carillon Dedication Program, 11/29/1992.

    85. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 11/15/1992.

    86. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 12/06/1992.

    87. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 12/20/1992.

    88. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 0l/03/1993.

    89. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 02/07/1993.

    90. Ibid.

    91. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 07/11/1993.

    92. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 03/20/1994.

    93. Catholic Courier, (Rochester, NY), 09/09/1993.

    94. Deacon Edward Sergeant Homily, 12/10/1994.

    95. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 08/0l/1993.

    96. Parish Life Pamphlet, 1994.

    97. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 08/15/1994.

    98. Sodus‑Williamson Pennysaver, 12/1993.

    99. Parish Life Pamphlet, 1994.

    100. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 03/06/1994.

    101. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 01/30/1994.

    102. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 05/29/1994.

    103. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 06/19/1994.

    104. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 07/03/1994.

    105. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 09/25/1994.

    106. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 07/17/1994.

    107. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 11/06/1994.

    108. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 10/30/1994.

    109. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 11/13/1994.

    110. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 12/11/1994.

    111. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 01/01/1995.

    112. Wayne County Star, 03/16/1995.

    113. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 04/30/1995.

    114. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 05/14/1995.

    115. Wayne County Star, 08/03/1995.

    116. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 08/13/1995.

    117. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 04/18/1993.

    118. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 09/17/1995.

    119. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 09/24/1995.

    120. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 10/22/1995.

    121. Wayne County Star, 10/12/1995.

    122. Wayne County Star, 12/10/1995.

    123. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 01/07/1996.

    124. Catholic Courier, 02/15/1996.

    125. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 02/18/1996.

    126. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 03/10/1996.

    127. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 03/17/1996.

    128. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 03/10/1996.

    129. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 03/31/1996.

    130. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 05/19/1996.

    131. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 05/26/1996.

    132. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 06/16/1996.

    133. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 06/30/1996.

    134. Letter to Toronto-Bound Friends, 07/01/96.

    135. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 03/24/1996 & 06/22/1997.

    136. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 09/15/1996.

    137. Ibid.

    138. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 10/06/1996.

    139. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 10/20/1996.

    140. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 06/22/1997.

    141. Mass of Remembrance Program, 11/02/1996.

    142. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 12/29/1996.

    143. Ibid.

    144. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 01/19/1997.

    145. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 03/09/1997.

    146. Ibid.

    147. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 03/23/1997.

    148. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 04/27/1997 & 05/25/1997.

    149. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 05/04/1997.

    150. Living Rosary Program, 05/20/1997.

    151. Survey of Time and Talents, 06/15/1997.

    152. Blessing of the Fishing Fleet and Pleasure Boats flyer, 06/29/1997.

    153. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 07/06/1997.

    154. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 06/29/1997.

    155. Catholic Courier, (Rochester, NY), 07/17/1997.

    156. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 08/10/1997.

    157. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 10/26/1997.

    158. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 09/28/1997.

    159. Mass of Remembrance Program, 11/1/1997.

    160. Italy Flyer, 11/10-20/1997.

    161. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 12/14/1997.

    162. Flyer-Catholic Parishes Planning for the New Millennium.

    163. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 11/16/1997.

    164. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 12/14/1997.

    165. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 01/25/1998.

    166. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 02/1/1998.

    167. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin & Flyer, 02/8/1998.

    168. Catholic Lenten Calendar, 1998.

    169. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 03/29/1998.

    170. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 04/12/1998.

    171. Lenten Luncheon Program, 03/11/1998.

    172. Life Long Faith Formation Flyer.

    173. Programs for First Eucharist & Sacrament of Confirmation, 1998.

    174. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 05/17/1998.

    175. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 05/24/1998.

    176. Ibid.

    177. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 05/31/1998.

    178. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 06/14/1998.

    179. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 08/02/1998.

    180. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 08/09/1998.

    181. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 09/13/1998.

    182. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 08/02/1998.

    183. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 08/09/1998.

    184. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 09/27/1998.

    185. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 07/19/1998.

    186. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 10/25/1998.

    187. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 06/28/1998.

    188. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 10/25/1998.

    189. Rev. David Faraone’s Letter, 11/7-8/1998.

    190. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 11/29/1998.

    191. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 11/08/1998.

    192. Ibid.

    193. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 11/29/1998.

    194. Euchre Tournament Flyer, 12/11/1998.

    195. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 11/08/1998.

    196. Lessons & Carols Program, 01/3/1999.

    197. Meeting Agenda, 01/19/1999.

    198. Program and Flyer for Parish Mission, 02/14-17/1999.

    199. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 02/07/1999.

    200. Minutes of 75th Anniversary Committee, 02/08/1999.

    201. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 02/14/1999.

    202. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 02/21/1999.

    203. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 03/07/1999.

    204. Lenten Luncheon Program, 03/17/1999.

    205. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 03/21/1999.

    206. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 03/28/1999.

    207. Church of the Epiphany Parish Bulletin, 04/04/1999.

PASTORS of The Church of the Epiphany, Sodus, New York

St. Rose of Lima, Sodus Point, New York

St. Gregory’s Church, Marion, New York

St. Mary Magdalen, Wolcott, New York

St. John Fisher, East Bay, New York

1.        Rev. Charles F. Shay, pastor of Sodus, mission at Marion, and chapel*
at  Sodus Point, July 1, 1922, to January 12, 1923.

2.        Rev. John M. Sellinger, pastor of Sodus, mission at Marion, and chapel at Sodus
Point, January 12, 1923, to August 12,1925.

3.        Rev. Daniel B. O’Rourke, pastor of Sodus, mission at Marion, and chapel at Sodus
Point, August 12, 1925, to October 31, 1929.

4.       Rev. Daniel R. Sullivan, pastor of Sodus, mission at Marion, and chapel
at Sodus Point, October 31, 1929, to July, 1934.

5.       Rev. Thomas H. Lochren, non‑resident pastor of missions at Sodus
and Marion and chapel at Sodus Point, 1934 to1942.

Because of the Great Depression, Sodus was made a mission of St. Mary’s of the Lake, Ontario, in 1934, under Reverend Thomas H. Lochren.  Mission priests under Father Lochren were Reverend Edward R. Dempsey, assistant pastor at Ontario, and  Reverend George C. Vogt.

6.     Rev. Ralph J. Meyer, pastor of Sodus, mission at Wolcott, and chapels at Sodus Point
and East Bay, June 18, 1942, to February 4, 1953.

7.     Rev. James F. O’Connell, pastor of Sodus, mission at Wolcott, and chapels at Sodus Point and East Bay, February 4, 1953, to June 29, 1954.  Pastor of Sodus and mission at Sodus Point, June 29,1954, to July 2, 1956.

8.     Rev. William F. Lammers, pastor of Sodus and chapel at Sodus Point,July 2, 1956, to
June 23, 1964.

9.    Rev. Thomas F. McVeigh, pastor of Sodus and mission at Sodus Point, June 23, 1964, to February 14, 1968.

10.   Rev. John F. Cavanaugh, pastor of Sodus, February 14, 1968, until his death on February 5, 1984. Mission of St. Rose, February 14, 1968, until October 1, 1978. Chapel of St. Rose, 1979 until 1984.

After Father Cavanaugh’s death, Deacon Edward R. Sergeant helped with many of the details of running the parish.  Reverend John Hempel, our interim  priest, arrived on March 1, 1984, and stayed until June 26, 1984.  He was replaced on that date by Reverend John D. Dillon, who served as administrator until the following June. Father Hempel re-opened St. Rose for the summer months on May 27, 1984.  Father Dillon continued to keep St. Rose open during the winter months.

11.    Rev. John D. Dillon, pastor of Sodus and mission at Sodus Point
June 25, 1985 to May 1, 1991.

12.    Rev. George P. Heyman, pastor of Sodus and mission at Sodus Point.
May 1, 1991 to June 28, 1994.

13.    Rev. David J. Faraone, pastor of Sodus and mission at Sodus Point.
June 28, 1994 to  1999

14.     Rev. Lance Gonyo, pastor of Sodus and mission at Sodus Point. 1999 – 2005

15.   Rev. Symon Peter Ntaiyia, pastor of Church of the Epiphany, Sodus and Mission of St Rose, Sodus Point. 2006 to 2009

St. Maximilain Kolbe 2009 – Present

*Chapel in this context is used to distinguish when Mass was only offered during the summer months.

Reference for above list: Archives of the Diocese of Rochester