St. Charles Parish History

St. Charles Parish was started in 1929 when Bishop Daniel Curley became aware of a shift in population to the west of Syracuse. At that time, the Rev. Joseph F. Canfield was appointed the first pastor of the church. The first census showed there were 70 families in the new parish. On the corner of Orchard and Fay Roads, a wooden framed church was erected, and friends and benefactors donated all of the statuary, altar, and sanctuary furnishings. The first Masses were offered in the new church on September 8, 1929, and the following October the first Confirmation class of 25 children and 14 adults took place. In June of 1930, Fr. Canfield purchased the corner of West High Terrace and Orchard Road and began construction of the rectory. Once again, a great many men donated their time, skills, and services to build the rectory. In 1942, Fr. Canfield purchased a farmhouse on East Corey Rd. as a convent, and the first Missionary Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception arrived to work in the parish as teachers of religious education. In 1952, St. Charles School was built to accommodate the growing number of young people in the parish, and the convent was enlarged for the increased number of sisters needed to staff the school. The first graduating eighth grade class was in 1955, and in May 1966, work began on a new gymnasium and auditorium.

Time and growth continued to change St. Charles Parish. The wooden church became inadequate for the size of the parish and Msgr. Canfield began a building program to replace the 30-year-old church. The famous “corner” was to be used once more for the site of the new church, and Msgr. Canfield and the parishioners could not bear to have the wooden church razed. So the building was offered to the Solvay Veterans of Foreign Wars. It was transported to its current spot on Charles Avenue. St Charles parishioners once again proved their love of the parish by contributing for the new church. Bishop Walter A. Forey presided at The Solemn Mass of Dedication of the newly constructed church in honor of the Blessed Trinity. The liturgy was held on Blessed Trinity Sunday, May 28, 1961, and the new pastor of St. Charles, Fr: John J. Quigley, offered the Mass while the beloved retired Msgr. Canfield was the Chaplain. In 1963 Msgr. Richard A. Clark was appointed pastor and served for 16 years. Fr. James D. Mathews was the pastor when St. Charles celebrated our Golden Jubilee as a parish with a Solemn Liturgy of Thanksgiving on Nov. 4, 1979. On Nov. 8, 1986, the parish marked another milestone. The completion of the renovations of the church was an endeavor to make the spirit of Vatican II alive on a spot that was once just afield in Westvale. Fr. James Carey was the next pastor appointed by the Bishop, and he continued to foster the vision that the first pioneers created. His love of St. Charles of Borromeo’s Motto “Humilitas” showed in his quiet dedication to the Church and in his fostering of lay and ordained ministry at St. Charles.

St. Charles celebrated our Diamond Jubilee in 2004 with, then Pastor, Fr. Louis Aiello . We joyfully gathered together at our church with Bishop James Moynihan to celebrate a liturgy on November7, 2004, commemorating the seventy-five faith- filled years of commitment of our parishioners to serve the Lord and to love one another.

As a Parish, we move forward in the 21st century with Rev. Brian Lang leading us in faith as a Catholic Community.