St. Marys Catholic Church

St. Marys Catholic Church


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"Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:20

This verse from the Gospel of Matthew, a verse that underscores the lasting power of faith, holds particular significance for the community of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Jamesville, New York. St. Mary’s traces its heritage both to the 17-century Jesuit missionaries who were stationed in Jamesville and ministered to the native people of central New York and also to the three Onondaga martyrs who were killed for their Christian faith in Jamesville in 1691 and 1692.

In 1899, the Irish Catholic settlers in Jamesville joined together, using their enduring faith and collective resources, to erect the St. Mary’s church building. Their families and the St. Mary’s church family grew and prospered.

Then, in 2007, after the Diocese of Syracuse closed St. Mary’s Church, the parishioners of St. Mary’s Jamesville, bolstered by their faith, filed an appeal of their closing at the Vatican. The community of St, Mary's again joined together, pooling their resources to fund the years-long appeal process. Even with their church doors locked, the community made (and continues to make) a visible statement of their faith every Sunday morning at their sidewalk prayer services.

Finally, in May 2011, the St. Mary’s community received a favorable ruling from the Vatican, one of the first favorable rulings to be given to a parishioner group in Vatican history. This ruling stated that there was no grave reason to close St. Mary’s church, and that the church building must remain open as a site of divine worship.

The Diocese of Syracuse, as of June 2012, has not yet re-opened St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Jamesville, New York. "No trespassing" signs remain on the doors. The doors remain locked.

Keeping the lesson of Matthew 17:20 in mind, that nothing is impossible through faith, the St. Mary’s Jamesville community continues to follow the Vatican appeal process in order to re-open St. Mary's church.


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