Notable early pastors include Rev. Vincenz Scheffels, who purchased the cemetery in 1875 and served as pastor on three different occasions and Rev. Andrew Frey who wrote “An Historical Sketch of SS. Peter and Paul Parish” in 1900. Rev. Anthony Bornefeld served as pastor from 1908 until his death in the church on April 7, 1920. He was the force that built the present Romanesque style church in 1910, rather than splitting the growing congregation into two parishes. Bishop Charles H. Colton dedicated our third church building on July 2, 1911. Rev. Bornefeld is remembered today by his gift of two stained glass windows of Saints Francis Xavier and Catharine, named after his parents, and by the magnificent enameled chalice he donated to the church. Rev. Anthony Veit became pastor on May 7, 1920 and served for thirty-seven years.
Our parish has also included a school since 1863, and Rev. Veit replaced the old 1874 building with a combination grammar and high school that was dedicated by Rev. Nelson H. Baker on November 13, 1921. Today, our parish continues to make history.
In 2006 under Pastor Rev. Mark Wolski, new construction of the Parish Center was completed. The new addition allowed for the parish to be handicapped accessible. The parish center included a parish meeting room, the Franciscan Chapel and a brand new gymnasium. The addition also allowed for renovations to the school’s old gymnasium, which was turned into a state-of-the-art computer lab, library and school resource room.
To celebrate the current church building’s 100th anniversary in the fall of 2011, the church was freshly painted.
Rev. Arthur Mattulke now serves as pastor to a congregation of 3,500 families after Rev. Mark Wolski’s retirement in 2012. Over 270 boys and girls attend our grammar school and nearly 1,000 children come here weekly for religious education. Many groups such as the St. Vincent DePaul Society, Parish Outreach and the Altar and Rosary Society spread the gospel as they minister to the Hamburg community, making Saints Peter and Paul Parish a vibrant community for the 21st Century. For a more detailed history of our parish, please refer to the booklet, “Saints Peter and Paul Church, Hamburg, New York: 1844-1994” by Martha Eder.
January 21, 2002 John R. Edson