To the editor:
The news about the closing of a number of Rochester churches fills me with sadness, despite the fact that it is understandable. In particular, I feel very badly about the closing, next year, of Ss. Peter and Paul on West Main Street. Not only is it a beautiful church and a fine example of Romanesque architecture, it is, more importantly, the church where I was baptized. My father and his brothers and sisters were baptized and attended Mass in that church and in the church that preceded it. My grandfather and grandmother, Frank and Margaret Muench, were among the many German immigrants who were parishioners there and helped to build it. My great uncle, Oswald Heid, was sexton of the parish for a number of years. So, the family has regarded that parish as the “ancestral” parish back to the 1880s. I am sure there are many other people in the diocese whose German immigrant forbears were there when the parish was founded and can recall Father Sinclair and Father Emil Gefell.
With the passing of this church, we can, however, still look with pride at our rich heritage that these pioneers passed on to us. I hope that this building will not be sold, but, rather, will remain in Catholic hands and preserved as a center of art and culture and faith that was given to all of us by courageous immigrants.