The year 2021 marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of Most Precious Blood Roman Catholic Church in Angola, New York.
To commemorate this important occasion, Most Precious Blood Parish will celebrate various aspects of its past by remembering the people and events that shaped its rich history.
To begin, the bulletin will publish portions of MPB’s story in approximately 30 consecutive issues, beginning Sunday, March 21 and continuing through Sunday, October 3. These articles will also be posted on the parish website. The anniversary celebration will begin Sunday, March 21 with Mass at 8:30 a.m. and will conclude September 26. Announcements of additional activities will be made in future bulletins.


The History  The Beginning Part 1

 After the Diocese of Buffalo was established in 1847,  the spiritual needs of Catholics from 1850 to  1870, in what is now Angola, was attended to by the Passionist Fathers of Dunkirk. At the  request of  residents, priests traveled to the area to say Mass in the larger homes.  This continued until 1871 when Most Precious  Blood Parish  was  established.  The Rev.  Thomas Ledwith was its first pastor.
 Fr. Ledwith purchased a vacant schoolhouse on Lake St., which, after extensive repairs, became the first church of the newly formed parish.  The first baptism was performed March 26, 1871 for John Woods, son of  John and Bridget Fitzgerald Woods.  Bishop Ryan confirmed 52 persons at the parish’s first Confirmation  July 9, 1871 and Fr. Ledwith  performed the first marriage  June 30, 1872 for William Eggston and Bridget Hannon. 


In 1874 the Rev. Thomas Caraher came to Angola (incorporated in 1873) as MPB’s pastor. He purchased land on the Transit and Brant-Angola Roads for a parish cemetery. Prior to that time, all Catholic burials from the area took place in Dunkirk. The first burial in Holy Cross Cemetery was March 7 1879 for Dennis Graeney. During the next few years, the Pastorate at Angola had many changes and many pastors. The Rev. Arthur Barlow became pastor in 1878, followed by the Rev. James O’Laughlin (1879), the Rev. Christopher O’Byrne (1881), the Rev. George Burris (1881), and the Rev. J. P. Grant (1884). 


 In 1886 the  Rev. J. M. McCarthy arrived in Angola as the newly appointed pastor of the Church of the Most Precious Blood.  He would serve as its pastor for the next sixteen years. While continuing to use the old schoolhouse as his church, Fr. McCarthy began formulating plans for the construction of a new brick structure.  The men of the parish arranged to  buy an acre of land adjacent to the Lake St. property already owned by the parish.  It was purchased for $145 from Abner Dewey.  The church was dedicated in 1897.

     The Rev. Richard T. Burke succeeded Fr. McCarthy in 1902.  Seeing the need of a parish hall, he had a basement dug beneath the newly constructed church. He also bought additional property for the parish’s cemetery.  Holy Cross Cemetery was dedicated October 21, 1904.  

 The brick structure on Lake St. served as the Church of Most Precious Blood from the time of its dedication in 1897 until it was replaced by a new  building located on  Prospect St., which was completed  in 1962. The brick church was eventually sold and is now a private residenc

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