First Rural Roman Catholic Church

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1785 Latta Rd
Greece, NY
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Mt. Read & Paddy Hill
The first rural Roman Catholic Church in New York State, known as: “The Church in the Woods”, dedicated to St. Ambrose, was established here in 1829 at Read’s Corners, where Nicholas Read was an 1823 pioneer. Mt. Read bears his name. Devout Irish settlers led by Felix McGuire constructed the first church, a wooden structure. A new brick building was dedicated in 1860. (Present church erected in 1966.) The 1860 structure became a library in 1969.


By the County of Monroe — 1978

What was there

The first rural Roman Catholic Church in New York State, initially a wooden building, dedicated February 5, 1832 by Fr. Frances O’Donoghue. The brick church on the corner of Latta and Mt. Read was constructed in 1858, and dedicated as the Our Mother of Sorrows Church in September of 1860. In 1878, the tower and steeple were added. The corner church was replaced by a larger, modern one  to the south at 5000 Mt. Read Blvd. in 1966.

A photo of the original wooden church.

What is there now

The 1858 brick church still stands. It has been used as a town library and school district community education center. As of September 2012, it is unoccupied. The Our Lady of Sorrows Cemetery is in a wooded area adjacent to church and has monuments dated from the 1820s to the 1980s.  Paddy Hill Elementary School is across Mt. Read Blvd.

More information

The “Our Mother of Sorrow Church Complex”  (church and cemetery) was added to the National Register of Historic Places on 11/30/1989.

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We would like to thank the following for helping us with this entry:
Matthew Conheady


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