History of Saint Timothy’s Parish

On June 3, 1960, His Excellency Bishop Joseph Burke, Bishop of Buffalo announced the establishment of a new parish in the Town of Tonawanda to be named Saint Timothy and appointed Father Joseph L. Jensen as its first pastor.

Father Jensen wasted no time in putting together this new parish. The first Mass was celebrated on June 26, 1960 in the Sheridan Parkside Administrative Building and thus begins the history of this parish family. Ground was broken for the new church on Palm Sunday, March 26, 1961 in the presence of 200 people.

It was Father Jensen who personally visited families in the neighborhood and invited them to become active members of the new parish.

Progress was made during the summer months of 1961 and the first Mass in the new church was celebrated on October 29, 1961, the Feast of Christ the King. Construction continued and the Education Building and Rectory were completed in January of 1963.

The Altar & Rosary Society was formed to care for the church in 1961 followed by the establishment of the St. Vincent de Paul Society under the direction of Father Jensen and John Rice. The society continues today to provide assistance in the form of food to hundreds of families throughout the year. The Holy Name Society was founded in 1962. In 1964, the Ladies of Charity were formed to help mothers with new families. Fundraisers and Bingo became a part of the parish life to help support the finances of the Parish Community.

Religious Education classes were formed in 1960 under the guidance of the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur and after a few years the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Divine Child became directors and teachers. The education of our youth continues under the guidance of paid directors and volunteer catechists.

Father Jensen continued his dedicated service until 1977, when due to ill health, he had to leave Saint Timothy’s. Father John Keane was appointed pastor until 1985. It was during his pastorate that the parish mortgage was burned thus making Saint Timothy’s debt free.

Father Keane established an Athletic Club for our youth and it was during his pastorate that Rozo Field was dedicated on August 22, 1978 to honor James Rozo, a Vietnam serviceman who was a POW/MIA and a parishioner of Saint Timothy’s Parish.

Father John Ducette replaced Father Keane in 1985 and during his pastorate stained glass windows were added to the church and hall. Due to the increased parish enrollment, the parish hall was transformed into Saint Martha’s Chapel to accommodate our growing parish family. Seeing the need for senior housing in the Sheridan Parkside area, Monsignor Ducette, together with Catholic Charities and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, sponsored Saint Timothy Park Villa as a housing complex for the elderly. It was dedicated on October 24, 1996 and offers self-sufficient apartments for 50 residents.

Monsignor Ducette retired in 2008 and Father Dennis Fronckowiak became pastor. Realizing that Saint Timothy’s Parish would be celebrating its 50th Jubilee, a committee was established and plans were put into place to celebrate that momentous occasion and milestone in the history of Saint Timothy’s Parish. The 50th Jubilee celebration was concluded with a Mass celebrated by His Excellency Bishop Edward Kmiec, Bishop of Buffalo on October 29, 2010 with Father Dennis and many of the retired priests that assist our parish with celebrating weekday and weekend Masses at con-celebrating.

These 50 years have seen this parish grow into a community of over 1600 families. But the mission of this community still continues to be to serve the needs of Catholic Christians who are seeking a relationship with their God, to care for the sick, the homeless, and the poor to continue the work of our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ.

By length of years, Saint Timothy’s is not very old, but its roots have been solidly planted, fine traditions started, and as they continue to grow in years to some, they will always stand as a tribute to the priests, religious Sisters, and parishioners who have given so much of themselves to make this parish truly a place to discover God and to experience Christian love.

Pastors of Saint Timothy’s

  • Rev. Joseph L. Jensen, Founder & Pastor, 1960-1977
  • Rev. John Keane, 1977-1985
  • Rev. Msgr. John I. Ducette, 1985-2008
  • Rev. Dennis Fronckowiak, 2008-Present

Priests Who Have Assisted at Saint Timothy’s

  • Most Rev. Bernard J. McLaughlin, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus, Diocese of Buffalo
  • Rev. Msgr. John Kempczynski
  • Rev. Fred Fingerley
  • Rev. Paul Stellar
  • Rev. Eugene Tremblay, OMI
  • Rev. Francis McCormick
  • Rev. Msgr. Thomas Crane
  • Rev. Msgr. Leo Hammerl
  • Rev. Msgr. James Connelly
  • Rev. Msgr. Charles Griffin
  • Rev. Msgr. Anthony Caligiuri
  • Rev. Duane Fimbel