April 15 – Happy Birthday Father Anthony Pinciurek

PinciurekToday’s Amsterdam Birthday Celebrant shares something in common with long-ago US President John Adams and current Yankee shortstop Didi Gregorius. All three men took over jobs that had previously been performed by “legends” and regardless of how well they did (or do in the case of Gregorius) it won’t be good enough.

Anthony Pinciurek was born in Poland on April 15, 1880. That was the same year the very first Polish immigrants settled in Amsterdam. A devoutly Catholic people, these early Poles originally attended Mass at the predominantly Irish St. Mary’s and mostly German St. Joseph’s, Amsterdam’s first two Roman Catholic churches. By 1893, there were 118 Polish families living in this city and they desperately wanted to establish a Polish Parish with a priest who spoke their native tongue. Thomas Burke, the Bishop of Albany at the time, responded to their plea in September of 1895 by sending them Reverend Anton Gorski. Gorski turned out to be the George Washington and Derek Jeter of St. Stanislaus Parish. Under his direction, the proud Roman Catholic Poles of the Fourth Ward not only got an amazingly beautiful church consortucted, they got a school and rectory built too, plus were able to purchase the land that would one day become the Parrish’s cemetery.

DiamondOpenHouse340Then suddenly in 1924, in what must have been quite a shock to the Cornell Street congregation…

The rest of Father Pinciurek’s birthday post will be published in the second editionof A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam NY Birthdays, which will be available for sale right after Thanksgiving. To make sure you get your hands on one of the first copies, join my mailing list here.

The first edition of A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam NY Birthdays, which features my birthday posts for 320 current or former Amsterdam residents, is currently being sold at Liberty Fresh Market, on Route 30 in Amsterdam. You can also purchase it online here.

One of St. Stanislaus most famous former parishioners shares Father Pinciurekr’s April 15th birthday.

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