In Buffalo, Empty Churches Fuel Religious Diversity

April 11, 2004

Source: The Buffalo News

On April 11, 2004 The Buffalo News reported, "A former Polish National Catholic cathedral at Sycamore and Sobieski streets was recently converted into a mosque. The Islamic crescent moon symbol graces the tops of the various steeples. Buddhists worship in a converted Buffalo police station on Fillmore Avenue. Many faiths have converted various buildings around Buffalo into houses of worship. Protective plexiglass covers the stained-glass windows of St. Ann's, making the church at the corner of Broadway and Emslie Street appear shuttered and closed. Inside, it remains one of the most beautiful sanctuaries in Western New York, and today, it will be the place where some Catholics - commuting from the suburbs or other parts of Buffalo - choose to celebrate Easter. Others will head to Masses at nearby St. Adalbert, Corpus Christi or St. Stanislaus - the ornate Catholic churches on the East Side built to accommodate throngs of worshippers when nearly everyone who lived in the area was Catholic. Easter is one of the few times a year the giant Catholic churches, struggling to survive, experience sizable crowds... Driving the religious diversity in the area is simple economics. Large properties are often available at bargain prices for groups with little money to build."