Welcome Message From Fr. Tom

Our church is located in the Historic Bleecker Street area for the City of Utica and has been a part of the of this location since 1819 making us the fourth oldest Catholic Church in New York State. We were founded as a result of early settlers who were brought to the area to build the original Erie Canal which ended in Utica. Our recently restored church first opened on Christmas Day in 1869 and has been a beacon of hope and inspiration to all who worship here. Just as important is our mission to treat others as Jesus would. Yes, we are here for all God’s children and all are welcome and accepted here.

We look forward to meeting you and hope you find us helpful and friendly and the building as beautiful and inspirational as we do.  All are welcome!



Meet Fr. Tom!

Hi Folks:

First, a big thanks to all who have already extended welcomes and well wishes before I even arrived. Much, much appreciated. Also, a thanks to all who were involved in last week’s celebration for Fr. Buehler’s retirement. I heard it was a wonderful time. Nice job, folks. A typical question about a new Pastor is, “So, who is this guy?”

Well, I’m a native of Utica, grew up on Saratoga Street on the “West End” as it used to be called. In fact, to this day, whenever I smell hops I think of walking to school in the mornings!!! I graduated from St. Joe’s/St. Pat’s School in 1974. It was around that time when my family moved to North Utica, and as a result I attended JFK, graduating in 1978. From there, I graduated from MVCC in 1981, transferring to LeMoyne and graduating from there with a Business Degree in 1983. My first job out of college was with Clifford Fuel Company (the people with Cliff’s Markets) where I ran their computer systems for several years. After that, I went back to school and got a Masters Degree in Social Work (MSW) from Syracuse University. To complete that career change, I joined the wonderful folks at Family Services of the Mohawk Valley, working in a number of programs (including the Young Scholars Program at Proctor).

In 1997, I (finally) went to seminary (St. Mary’s in Baltimore), and was ordained in 2003. My assignments have been Parochial Vicar at St. James in Johnson City, Pastor of St. Bernard’s in Waterville, Pastor of St. Augustine’s in Baldwinsville, and most recently Parochial Vicar at Lourdes and Rosary Parishes here. And now I’m here, and I’m glad and grateful for it, as I am glad and grateful that you are here. While I don’t know many of you that well, I can tell you what I know about the parish: it’s a great place. You folks have a wonderful reputation for being a diverse, welcoming and accepting people. And that is the reason why I’m glad and grateful to be here. We’ll talk more. Looking forward to getting to know you folks better, but in the meantime . . . Thanks.

Take Care & God Bless,