The parish was established on May 5, 1904 and the cornerstone was laid August 28. The building was dedicated May 7, 1905. The school opened September 1, 1906 with the supervision of the Sisters of St. Joseph for 210 students. The Sisters of Mercy later took over the school.
Properties were later purchased for a convent and rectory in 1917. In 1928 a beautiful pipe organ was erected in the church. This parish was also damaged in the Flood of 1972.
St Anthony’s Church
From 1908 to 2008, St. Anthony’s Parish was a very vibrant community of faith in Elmira. It began as a mission to serve the growing number of Italian immigrants who came to this area around the turn of the 20th century.
St John the Baptist
As early as 1857 a German priest visited Elmira occasionally and urged German Catholics to organize a congregation. They bought property on Dickinson Street, the cornerstone of a church was laid in 1866 and the church was consecrated in 1868.
Because of growth of the congregation, expansion was necessary, and the cornerstone of the present church was laid on the site of Lake and Second Streets in 1891. The church was consecrated by
Bishop Ryan in 1892.
Located in a central location, St John the Baptist Church served a great number of downtown worshippers, who praised the devotional atmosphere, due in part to the beautiful statuary and Innsbruck windows.
St. John Benevolent Association was said to be the oldest church society in Elmira.
Although now closed, most people remember that St John’s offered a Sunday 5pm Mass that served the entire Elmira community many years prior to clusters/consolidations and closings.