St Paul’s Church is a Catholic church located at 783 Hard Rd. in Webster, NY. In 1961 Joseph Kamienski sold all but 12 acres of his land to Schantz Homes. These 12 acres were to become the home of St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church. In 1967, a committee met to formally establish the church with Father John T. Walsh as its pastor. The committee raised money for a church and a parish center. A two-story building was planned with the top floor becoming the church. The ground floor would house four classrooms, a kitchen, and a mechanical and storage area. The simple construction of the buildings represented the congregation’s desire to use its resources to help those in need. The architect was Paul D. O’Connell of Stevens, Bertin and O’Connell of Rochester. The parish then consisted of about 300 families with an elected Parish Board that worked with the pastor, something that was not common at that time.
While the church was being built, Mass was celebrated at Sweet’s Farm, a local party house. Religious education classes were held at the Webster Methodist school. The first Mass at St. Paul’s was celebrated in the unfinished church building in May of 1970. The formal dedication Mass was celebrated on May 2, 1971 with Bishop Hogan in attendance. Father Walsh led the parish at St. Paul’s for twenty-one years before retiring and moving to his former parish of St. Margaret Mary’s in West Irondequoit.
Father Ray Booth joined the staff at St. Paul’s as the new pastor in 1988. By 1992, the congregation had grown significantly. St. Paul’s community now numbered more than 1600 families. Father Booth expanded the classrooms, office space and worship area to meet the needs of the growing church. The exposed girders and cinder block of the original church remained to remind the parishioners of its commitment to the those in need. The parish center was rededicated and the congregation participated in a year long celebration of their 25th anniversary. Father Booth retired in 1999, moving to St. Louis parish in Pittsford, NY.
Rev. Stan Kacprzak was appointed pastor in 2002. Father Kacprzak oversaw the implementation of new diocesan mandates for parish operations and management. Father Kacprzak also helped St. Paul’s celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2003. The celebrations had a theme of “Catch the Spirit” of St Paul’s. Several booths were set up around the church representing the different ministries at St Paul’s and the congregation was encouraged to be take an active role in the life of the parish and to “catch the spirit”.
Rev. Paul Gitau became pastor of St Paul’s in 2010. Father Gitau was ordained in Kenya in 1994. He came to the United States in 2003 to participate in pastoral duties and to continue his graduate studies. He received Master of Science degrees in Human Service Administration and in Mental Health Counseling from St John Fisher College. Under Father Gitau’s leadership many capital improvements have been completed at St Paul’s. In 2017, Father Gitau helped St Paul’s Church celebrate its 50th anniversary with a year-long celebration of activities including a picnic, a dinner, and a Mass with Bishop Salvatore Matano. St Paul’s Church community continues to be a strong faith community with a dedication to helping those in need. St Paul’s outreach programs and ministries include Bethany House Food Collection, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, Good Sam Outreach, Health Ministry, Homebound Visits, Martha Ministry, Prayer Shawl, and St. Peter Soup Kitchen .
|Rev. John T Walsh||1967-1988|
|Rev. Raymond Booth||1988-1999|
|Rev. Stan Kacprzak||2002-2010|
|Rev. Paul Gitau||2010-|
- Dunn, Esther, Webster Through the Years, Webster, NY, Webster Town Board, 1971.
- “A Third Parish for Webster, Pastor, Vicar Named”, Courier Journal, Rochester, NY, April 28, 1967, p 1.
- “Webster Parish in Fund Drive”, Courier Journal, Rochester, NY, November 15, 1968, p 12.
- “First Mass in St Paul’s Church, Webster”, Courier Journal, Rochester, NY,May 13, 1970, p 16.
- “1988 June” The Webster Herald, Webster, NY, December 28, 1988, pg 2.
- Caius, Jenifer, “Father Booth retires, parish bids him adieu”, The Webster Herald, Webster, NY, July 28, 1999, p 3.
- “St Paul’s Church celebrates 35th anniversary”, The Webster Herald, Webster, NY, p 14.
- Latona, Mike, “Pastors opt for new home”, Catholic Courier, September 1, 2004, p A3.
- Coy, Mary, “A Sign of Good things to Come: St Paul’s Celebrates 50 Years, St Paul’s Church Bulletin, March 12, 2017, pg 3.
- A Sign of Good Things to Come St Paul’s Church in Webster celebrates 50 years”, The Webster Herald, Webster, NY, April 5, 2017 p12.
- Burke, Jennifer, “Webster Parish Celebrates 50 years”, Catholic Courier, Rochester, NY, August 2017, p M3.
- “150 Years of Eucharistic Faith, Sesquicentennial Celebration of Dioceses of Rochester, St Paul’s”, Catholic Courier, March 7, 2018 p 34
- St Paul’s Catholic Church, 2018, https://www.stpaulsrcc.org/