The eighth Buffalo Mass Mob is set to converge upon St. Casimir Church, Buffalo, this Sunday morning, with a generational chanted Mass set to begin at 10 a.m.
A Kaisertown landmark for the Polish Catholic community, St. Casimir Church was established in 1890 after Buffalo City Judge David Kenefick donated the land around the intersection of Casimir and Weimar streets to the growing parish community. The original wooden building was built for only $12,000. The current structure was built and completed in 1927 at a cost of $500,000. The mosque of St. Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey influenced the unique Byzantine design.
St. John Paul II visited St. Casimir Church in August 1976, two years before his election as the pope. Then known as Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, he celebrated two Masses at St. Casimir and stayed overnight. A room in the rectory of St. Casimir, designated as the Papal Prayer Room, is dedicated to St. John Paul II and includes several mementos of his life and visit to Buffalo.
Buffalo Mass Mob is a grassroots concept designed to support city of Buffalo Catholic parishes and increase attendance at one pre-selected church every two months or so. The Mass Mob leadership committee, Danielle Huber, Alan Oberst, Greg Witul and Christopher Byrd, announce the next location through their social media platforms, and the news frequently goes viral. The concept has even been adapted in other cities like Detroit and St. Louis.
While previous participating Mass Mob parishes have not been able to successfully retain their one-week attendance boost, several churches have reported an increase in contributions and giving during a Mass Mob event.
For those interested, the morning will officially begin with a 9:15 a.m. church tour in front of the Mason Funeral Home across the street from St. Casimir on the intersection of Weimar and Casimir streets. At 9:15 a.m., the Chopin Singing Society will begin caroling inside the church.
Following the Mass, a reception will be held with old Polish-style sweet or savory naleśniki with coffee and other drinks served.