1895, the small town of Sayville, more a resort town than a year-round
community, was in need of a Catholic church. Until then, people
traveled to St. Francis DeSales in Patchogue by horse and buggy and by
railroad handcar to attend Sunday Mass.
Father Thomas Duhigg
|With the arrival of Father
Thomas Duhigg in the spring of 1895, St. Lawrence the Martyr Parish
found a temporary home at the Old Methodist Episcopal Society
Building. Father Duhigg, a young man of 32, found no church, no
rectory, and very few parishioners. But those who did attend that
first Mass on June 2, 1895, in a church rented for $25 a month, had faith.
The property on the southeast corner of
Handsome Avenue and Main Street was purchased for $4,250.
Construction of the church began in June, 1896. The
building contract went to A.M. Gatchell of Newark, New Jersey,
because he was the only contractor whose price came within the
$10,000 limit set by the Bishop. This was a huge
obligation considering that the average weekly collection was $30. On October 11,1896, St. Lawrence's permanent home was
And in 1898, Father Duhigg built a rectory on the same
plot of land, west of the church. He had been renting rooms in
various homes in Sayville, but when a mysterious fire caused $3,000 in
damage and nearly destroyed
the church, Father Duhigg felt that he needed to reside closer to it.
History >>> | 1 2
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