OUR PARISH HISTORY
In 1951, the Diocese of Buffalo purchased land at the corner of Mill Road and Seneca Street in the Village of Ebenezer to be used as the site for a new parish. On June 18, 1955 the Most Reverend Joseph A. Burke, DD, announced the formation of our parish, “Queen of Heaven”, and on June 22, Rev. Joseph J. Vogel was appointed the first pastor. In turn, Mr. John Solly and Mr. Raymond Gross were named the first trustees in August.
This newly born parish consisted of approximately 1,000 families, mostly from Fourteen Holy Helpers Church in Gardenville. On June 10, 1956, ground was broken for our new school building and what was planned as a “temporary” church. Fr. Vogel on that occasion offered the first Mass ever celebrated in the Ebenezer district of the Town of West Seneca.
The first Mass in our present Church was celebrated July 7, 1957, by Fr. Vogel.
In September 1957, our school opened with an enrollment of 690 students. In 1962 a new addition was added to the school to accommodate 350 more students. Sister Agnes Marie, OSF, was appointed our first principal.
The present rectory was completed in June 1960 and in 1968 the convent was constructed.
By 1958, part of the parish formed the new St. John Vianney Parish and in 1967 Queen of Heaven saw 400 families realigned in order to become part of the newly created St. Catherine of Siena Parish. Rev. David Gernatt, a former Parochial Vicar at Queen of Heaven, was named pastor of this neighboring parish.
In 1977, under the direction of Fr. Vogel, renovations were made so that the “temporary” Church became the permanent Church. In the late 1980’s the narthex was added, along with new windows and air conditioning. In 1996 the Parish Center was built and it was dedicated in 1998.
In January 1984, Msgr. Vogel retired and was succeeded by Rev. James F. Campbell. By then, the parish census had grown to 2,000 families and the school enrollment was 540 students.
In 1998, Msgr. Campbell was appointed to the position of Rector of St. Joseph’s Cathedral, and Rev. Thomas J. Quinlivan was appointed by Bishop Mansell as our new pastor.
Today, Queen of Heaven has over 2,600 families and a school enrollment of approximately 340 students. Our parish is a prayerful, vibrant, active community that has numerous ministries, organizations, clubs, and services dedicated to the advancement and fulfillment of the Body of Christ through the intercession of Mary, Queen of Heaven.
(Text based on the Parish Informational Booklet, 11/6/02)