History of Our Lady of the Snow

Our Lady of the Snow Parish is St. Joseph’s Church in Weedsport and St. Patrick’s Church in Cato. In June 2020, the process of relegation began for St. John’s Church in Port Byron, and its Saturday evening Mass and daily Mass have ceased.

Weedsport, Cato, Port Byron and Montezuma have had a long history together. In 1853 the resident pastor of St. Alphonsus in Auburn was charged with the care of Catholics in Weedsport and the surrounding areas until they could build their own churches and support a pastor. A church was built in Weedsport in 1855 and in 1858 construction started at the current location of Rt. 34 and Hamilton Street. The new church was completed and dedicated in 1859, and incorporated on August 6, 1869.

The pastor of St. Joseph’s was given the care of Catholics in Cato, Red Creek, Port Byron and Montezuma. Masses were often said in private homes. St. Patrick’s built their church in 1874 and was incorporated on March 5th, 1874; St. Michael’s, Montezuma, was started by 14 families in 1865; St. John’s, Port Byron, began as a missionary church to St. Joseph’s in 1858 and incorporated on July 6, 1899.

During the mid 1980’s Planning Groups were being formed to make plans to compensate for the decreasing number of priests. Parishes were encouraged to cluster and reduce the number of masses. These Groups are still active and the needs are still present to merge. In 1985 the last mass was said at St. Michael’s and they joined with the parishioners at St. John’s. In 1986 St. Joseph’s, St. John’s and St. Patrick’s formed the Northern Cayuga Catholic Community. On July 7, 2005 they officially became one incorporated parish under the name of Our Lady of the Snow.

During these years we have included in our mission as a faith community to provide opportunities so that each may give according to the gifts that each received, administer it to one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. As a parish we support our Social Ministry activities such as donations for food baskets at the holidays, giving to the annual summer Migrant Workers project, food donations to local food banks, and attending the Lenten Soup Suppers. Our Social Ministry group also keeps parishioners informed about current issues pertaining to Social Justice. As a parish and as individuals we support the Catholic Charities of the Finger Lakes.