Annunciation Parish History
Ilion, New York
In December 1878, Rev. John F. Hyland became the second pastor of Annunciation Church, at a time when the fortunes of the Remingtons were in a decline. In spite of this, however, the parish debt was reduced, and in 1884 extensive repairs were made to the church. In 1886, Frankfort was separated from the parish.
Rev, John V. Quinn became third pastor. The population grew to 5000 and with a consequent increase in parishioners. In 1904, the Parish House was relocated on West Street, with the thought of eventually locating the Church there.
The fourth pastor was Rev. James B. Gilloon who arrived in 1909, in which year Mohawk, the last of the missions, was separated from Ilion. The most important event of Fr. Gilloon's 27 years of service was the erection of the School of the Annunciation, which occurred in 1925 - 26. At that time, the Henry Bennison house, occupying the present site of the school, was moved across the street and, refurbished, was occupied by the Sisters of Mercy as a Convent. The vault at the entrance of the cemetery was built in 1911, while the tool house near Section A was built in 1915. The cemetery comprises 10.9 acres of land. With the desire for a new church unfulfilled, Fr. Gilloon died on May 27, 1936.
In June of that year, Rev. James A. Nolan succeeded Fr. Gilloon. In February of 1937, a drive was undertaken to raise funds for the construction of a new church. In six weeks, pledges totaling $115,000 had been received, and in April, ground was broken for its construction. The new Church was dedicated on March 27, 1938.
The sixth pastor was Fr. Daniel A. Horan who replaced Fr. Nolan on November 10, 1944. During his pastorate, an $80,000 debt on the Church was liquidated, and in 1953, the interior of the Church was completely redecorated. On August 14, 1946, land was purchased on the Barringer Road, as a site for a Cemetery. No final decision has been made concerning the use of this land. On August 22, 1960, land was purchased near the Litchfield Cemetery, which comprises 20 acres.
Fr. Gregory Mulhall became the seventh resident pastor on June 12, 1961. From 1961 to 1968, various improvements have been made to the Church properties. The Convent for the Sisters of Mercy was completed in March 1962, at a cost of $225,000.
Four roads have been resurfaced in the cemetery; the vault and the tool-house have been re-roofed; a bill at the peak of the cemetery has been leveled making room for a greater number of burials.
The School has been updated. There is a new Principal's office, new lighting in the basement, the library has been renovated and books appropriate for the schoolchildren have been placed there. A new roof has been added to the building, new steel cabinets have been installed in the lavatories ane the parking lot outside the school has been resurfaced.
You can read on google books, the description of the Annunciation Church altars
in the 2011 Pulitzer Prize novel nominee, The Surrendered, by author Chang-rae Lee.
Plans for the renovation of the sanctuary in the Church were drawn in the Fall of 1966. These plans included: a new 5000 lb. marble altar, and an Ambo; the great Amen of the Mass in bronze lettering just below the bas-relief of Christ, King, Priest and Prophet; redecoration of the Lady Chapel to become the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament; a new marble tile floor in the sanctuary, and the removal of the altar railing. The St. Theresa Chapel, Baptistery and Our Lady's Shrine have been repainted.
A new porch has been added to the back of the Rectory. The History office has been renovated, the guestrooms have been painted, and the exterior has been repainted. Thus ends the first one hundred years of Annunciation Parish.
Reproduced from Parish Booklet - Annunciation Parish 1868 - 1968 with the permission of Father Joseph Benitende
Created and maintained by Aileen Carney Sweeney - Class of 1974
Digital Image Copyright & Copyright © 1997 - 2015 ilionalumni.com