His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York said mass at Immaculate Conception Church in Kingston last Sunday, September 4 in honor of its 125th anniversary and the 25th anniversary of its 24-hour Adoration Chapel.
Initially, the Delaware Avenue church served Kingston’s Polish immigrant population, which had begun settling in Kingston around 1878 and started attending St. Peter’s Church on Wurts Street, which had served a mostly German population.
According to the church’s website, a Polish-speaking priest was asked to come hear parishioners’ confessions for Easter. The Rev. Francis Fremel was sent to St. Peter’s as he spoke both German and Polish. Fremel was inspired to start a separate parish and he was appointed its first pastor in 1893. The cornerstone was laid for the new church on September 6, 1896.
On Christmas Day 1896, the Rev. Francis Fabian, the second pastor of the parish, celebrated the first mass at the new church as it was still under construction. A neighboring Catholic school was established in 1907 by the Felician Sisters of Enfield, CT and closed in 1979.
The current pastor, the Rev. Miroslaw (Mirek) Pawlaczyk, has been serving at Immaculate Conception since 2016 as its 12th pastor since the parish’s founding.