Origin of St. Vincent de Paul Parish
In 1939, Bishop Byrne decided to alleviate the crowded conditions in St. Anne’s Parish by splitting off its southern section to create St. Vincent de Paul Parish. A 1.9-acre site was chosen on Bellaire (now Holcombe) Boulevard. The first pastor, Father Michael Leahy, dedicated the completed church and rectory in February, 1941. Due to ill health, Father Leahy retired that summer and was replaced by Father Dennis Connolly.
St. Vincent de Paul School Opens
In September 1943, the school opened with four temporary classrooms, 165 students, and four teachers from the Congregation of Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament Sisters. In 1944, a 3.5-acre tract behind the church was purchased and the school was expanded. In 1948, a two-story building, now the Intermediate Building, was constructed.
The 1950's brought major construction and the acquisition of land along Buffalo Speedway. A parish-wide effort raised money to build a new church, rectory and additional school facilities. The new church was dedicated in December 1953. The rectory was completed in 1956. The gymnasium, cafeteria and adjoining primary school building were completed in 1958.
St. Vincent’s Experiences Rapid Growth
St. Vincent’s appointed its first lay principal in 1973. Monsignor Dexter George became pastor in 1975, and the school elected its first school board in 1981.
St. Vincent’s continued its rapid growth throughout the 1980's and 1990's. Monsignor James Jamail became pastor in 1985. Reminiscent of the enthusiastic parish-wide effort in the 1950's, Monsignor Jamail led a capital campaign in 1989 to build and renovate parish facilities. A new middle school/library, scout house, maintenance building and administration building were erected, and all parish buildings were renovated by the close of 1992. The parish family center was added in 1996. To meet the need for updated technology education, in 1998 the gymnasium’s stage area was transformed into a computer lab.
"Building Faith, Knowledge & Spirit"
During 1999, the parish renovated the church to expand seating and to provide a new baptismal area and gathering space. These projects were completed and dedicated in December, 2000.
Following Monsignor Jamail’s death in May, 2002, Bishop Fiorenza appointed Father John Weyer as pastor. The recent middle school and library expansion, funded primarily by PTO efforts, was completed in 2004. Carolyn Sears joined the school as principal in 2006. Today, St. Vincent de Paul Parish has grown to include over 3500 families. The school retains 54 faculty and staff members and enrolls 509 students.