The French speaking people of Oswego first united to start a church, St. Mary’s, in 1848, under the direction of Father F. C. Foultier. This was a period when the city’s population was expanding rapidly, and St. Mary’s became crowded by the addition of Italian, German, and Irish families. By 1870, the pews were being rented to more than one person to be used at different Masses, and the 400 French families began to feel that it would be wise to give the English speaking Catholics full possession of St. Mary’s. Eventually an agreement was reached whereby the French were paid 7,500 dollars for their rights in the church. With this money they purchased a large building known as Mead’s Hall, at the corner of East Fourth and Bridge Streets, which was dedicated to St. Louis, King and Confessor of France, and consecrated by Bishop John J. Conroy of the Diocese of Albany. The first pastor was Father John F. X. Pelletier, who came from Quebec, and the first trustees were Edward St. Michel and Edward Lefebvre.
By 1873 a convent was erected for the Sisters of St. Ann at a cost of $14,000, and for a number of years a school accommodating 300 pupils was maintained. Sadly in 1937 the school was closed due in part to the poor condition of the building of the school, the poor financial outlook from the Great Depression, and the decrease in school enrollment. From 1906 to its close, 179 boys and girls graduated from St. Louis’ school.
St. Louis’ celebrated its last Mass on December 31, 2000.
Pastors of St. Louis’ Church:
Rev. John F.X. Pelletier 1870-1884
Rev. J. J. Auger 1884-1904
Rev. Joseph Chauvin 1904-1918
Rev. Joseph Willmes 1918-1925
Rev. Michael J. Braun 1915-1934
Rev. Daniel J. Collins 1934-1941
Rev. George H. May 1941-1954
Rev. William Stapleton 1954-1955
Rev. Francis murphy 1955-1959
Rev. Arthur Blodgett 1959-1966
Rev. Charles Foster 1966-1970
Rev. Richard Tucker 1970-1976
Rev. Frederick Cummings 1976-1994
St. Louis’ was then assigned weekend priests to fill in.
In succeeding years, Msgr. Francis Furfaro, Rev. Peter Worn
and Rev. Charles Aho graciously helped with the parish duties.
Rev. George Wurz was the last administrator to serve St. Louis church.