Parish History

"One of Fifty Catholic Churches in the U.S.A. built by an African American Congregation"

St. Martin de Porres/Buffalo, NY

On August 22, 1992 four parishes: St. Matthew, Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Benedict the Moor, and St. Boniface took a bold move of petitioning the bishop of Buffalo to merge these parishes and erect a new one. After almost two years of prayer, reflection, study, and painful discussion, the parishes came to the conclusion that in order to find a renewed and stronger faith community, they must first lose their individual parish identities. Leaving their homes of worship, these four congregations joined together on a pilgrimage of faith officially beginning the new parish of St. Martin de Porres on March 7, 1993.
Joining their resources together new life was breathed into this new Church community that found its temporary home within a Catholic High School Auditorium and later for a few years in yet another formerly closed Church Sanctuary. Musically, choir members came together from each of the communities to form the Mass Gospel Choir of St. Martin de Porres still under the direction of their founding director, Mrs. Ella Robinson.

For many Christian communities, the task of building a new church building especially in this day and age is a dream. Working hard to secure at least one half of the monies necessary, our faith community accepted the challenge and Bishop Henry Mansell consecrated our new Church home on March 11th, 2000; the first new Roman Catholic Church built in the city of Buffalo in fifty years.

We still look forward with a sense of excitement and some trepidation. We still dream of being debt free, building a state-of-the-art Parish Center that would host a history piece of the rich heritage of the properties and an African American Catholic Gospel Music Resource and Recording Center.

Inspired by the missionary zeal and example of St. Martin de Porres, abiding by Christ’s call to serve and nourish the spiritual needs of all people, we the people of God, led by the spirit, in the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo New York, united by faith and committed to the continuation of an evangelizing mission, unconditionally invite and welcome all to share in our oneness in Christ.

Prompted by the workings of the spirit and empowered by baptism, St. Martin de Porres Church seeks to call forth the people of God to utilize their gifts in order to strengthen our Christian community, to evangelize, to preach, to teach, to serve and to reconcile.

St. Martin de Porres stands as a living testament to our heritage. We call one another to conversion of heart in order to transform unjust structures and to hear the cry of the poor.
St. Martin de Porres,
May 27, 2012, 9:47 PM