Cassidy Family - St. Lucy's Church History

From Helderberg Hilltowns of Albany County, NY

St. Lucy’s Church Result of Gift of Mrs. Cassidy

The natural grandeur of Altamont’s setting, the rugged beauty and splendid elevation of its country-side and convenient proximity to the Capital of the state with its sister cities, Schenectady and Troy, early drew from these cities a happy and prosperous summer colony.

From among these colonists, older residents of Altamont will recall a Mrs. Lucy Cassidy of Albany who graciously sought in the founding of a Catholic chapel in Altamont as expression of her gratefulness to the Divine Artist and Builder of this country spot so loved by her, and at the same time a practical provision for regular assemblages of people of her own faith in divine worship.

Accordingly, in the summer of 1888, Mrs. Cassidy, with the approval of the Rt. Rev. Francis Mc Neirny, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Albany, procured a favorable site on what is now Grand street, and had erected a suitable chapel which the Bishop blessed in the autumn of the same year and dedicated to the Saint of Mrs. Cassidy's special devotion, St. Anthony of Padua, and named St. Lucy's in honor of the early Christian martyr Lucy, Mrs. Cassidy's patron or name saint. At baptism, Catholic children are always given the name of some saint to whose especial care they are entrusted and whose virtues they are instructed to imitate.

This was the beginning of St. Lucy's parish. For many years priests stationed in Albany were assigned to the care of this little mission. Noteworthy among these priests for length of service was the Rev. Ferdinand Pinaud. Finally in 1916 Bishop Thomas Cusack deemed the number of all-year resident Catholic people of this territory sufficient to warrant the appointment of a resident pastor. These of course were pioneer days for the little parish and the work difficult. Father Michael Me Caffrey was given charge and instructed also to build a church 'in Voorheesville as a mission church to St. Lucy's. His work accomplished,. Father Mc Caffrey was succeeded in November 1917 by the earnest and well loved Father Walter T. Bazaar, who with little financial means at his disposal procured for the parish a rectory and made many repairs necessitated by the ravages of time upon the old church building.

A chapel had been erected by the Rt. Rev. Monsignor Delaney at Thompson's Lake and one by the Rev. Joseph Franklin at Warner's Lake. These also were assigned to t he care of the pastor of St. Lucy's.

After eight years of splendid material organization and widely felt spiritual work, Father Bazaar was appointed pastor of the larger parish in Schuylerville. His successor, the Rev. James R. Gazeley, the present pastor, took charge March 29, 1925.

It was now apparent that the growth of the parish, the ever increasing influx of summer visitors, and the unsuitableness of the old church structure made imperative extensive remodeling. In 1928 virtually a new St. Lucy's church arose.

The architecture of the building has been change to the Tudor Gothic and the grounds beautified. Many generous donations have also made possible the attaining of articles needed for the proper conduct of the various services, for the adornment of the Church interior, and for the fitting presentation of the great truths connected with a people's redemption and sanctification.

It is the earnest hope of the pastor and parishioners of St. Lucy's that Altamont, "high mountain," will prove through the years to come, prophetic of high service to the community of Altamont and enduring altitude in all things spiritual.

Picture Caption

Catholics of Altamont Worship in This Beautiful Church

St. Lucy's Church at Altamont in its present form bears practically no resemblance to the original building. It was entirely remodeled in 1928.

Altamont Enterprise August 12, 1932