Parish & Urban Ministry:
Margaret M. Anderton M.Div; D.Min.
Daily Bread Food Pantry:
Mary Jane Smith, Coordinator
Schenectady Parishes Works of Mercy Initiative:
Kristin Black, MSW, Coordinator
Maria Riccio Bryce, Director
Faith Formation for Children & Youth:
Arlene Parisi, Director
Katie Parisi, Coordinator
St. Luke’s parish is a culturally, economically, and socially diverse community of baptized women, men and children, who, inspired by the wisdom of the Gospel and by the tradition of the Catholic Church, are committed to fulfilling the mission and ministry of Jesus.
By virtue of baptism, we are called to build up the Kingdom of God, to affirm and give witness to the values and teachings of Jesus Christ as expressed in the Word of God and the teachings of the Universal Church.
As people of faith, we are called upon to welcome, dignify and respect all of God’s people. We are called to serve the needs of others by sharing our time, talent and treasure.
We are called to celebrate the Eucharist as the apex of our Catholic faith and Christian life.
We are called to make life choices that reflect our willingness to grow in faith as the Holy people of God.
If you wish to register, please complete the Registration Form found on our Parish Registration Page by clicking here.
Newly registered parishioners will receive the bi-monthly mailing of Stewardship Envelopes for your weekly giving. St. Luke’s depends upon the generosity of each parishioner to continue the mission and ministry of Jesus. All donations are important.
The presence of new families and individuals among us enhances our worship of God and ministry to one another. Welcome to St. Luke’s!
Registration forms may be mailed, dropped in the collection basket or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Luke’s Roman Catholic Church was established in 1916 by the fifth Bishop of Albany, Bishop Thomas F. Cusack.
On July 30, 1916, at 2:00pm the First Mass was celebrated in Tuxedo Hall, 1404 State Street, by Fr. Martin T. McMahan, its first Pastor (1916-1923) and was attended by 15 parishioners. Today, more than 1,100 families call St. Luke’s home.
By 1919, the parish had outgrown Tuxedo Hall and in the summer of 1919, construction on a large basement Church began. The Cornerstone of the new Church was consecrated on November 1, 1919. The first Mass celebrated in the new basement Church on Palm Sunday, March 28, 1920.
In 1923, Bishop Gibbons welcomed the Carmelite nuns to Schenectady and established a Monastery for their ministry of silence and prayer, on Duane Avenue and the Carmelite Monastery became a mission of St. Luke’s parish. The Carmelite Monastery relocated to Pittsford, NY after a 44 year presence in Schenectady.
Also in 1923 a new Pastor was named for St. Luke’s, Fr. James J. Dasey (1923-1930). Under Fr. Dasey’s pastoral care, the parish grew both spiritually and physically. The debt of the basement Church was retired and many of the parish societies were canonically established. A new religious education program was established for the growing number of children in the parish.
In 1930, Fr. William C. Keane was appointed the 3rd Pastor of St. Luke’s (1930-1963). During this time the need for a more formal religious education program was noted. Responding to the growing number of young parishioners, a more formal religious education program began to take shape. In 1932, the Sisters of St. Francis of the Atonement, Graymoor, NY were brought to the parish and a week-day religious education program was established. The Sisters of Atonement remained at St. Luke’s for over 20 years.
In 1936, the basement Church was no longer adequate for the growing numbers of parishioners and plans for a larger, grand edifice were completed. Fr. Keane and the first Building Committee established at St. Luke’s, envisioned the new Church as …”a Temple for the worship of God, that would bring material and spiritual blessing to endless people…and would stand as a monument to the glory of God and the generosity of the parishioners …to serve generations of people.” (Fr. Keane, dedication ceremony address, February 7, 1937). The Cornerstone for the present English Gothic structure was laid and dedicated in 1936 by then Bishop Edmond F. Gibbons.
The parish continued to expand and grow and by the early 1950’s the need for a parish Catholic School became evident. The parish established St. Luke’s School located on Albany Street in 1954 and boasted an academic program from Kindergarten through 8th grade with enrollment of over 700 students. For over a half-century, the School was staffed by the Sisters of St. Joseph who brought their excellent ministry of teaching academics, values and spirituality to students and parents, many of whom remain parishioners at St. Luke’s.
St. Luke’s School completed its mission in 2006 after educating generations of students and handing down the message of Christ to over 11,000 graduates.
With the death of Fr Keane in 1963, Msgr. Howard Manny was appointed the 4th Pastor by Bishop Howard J. Hubbard.
During the turbulent 1960’s and years following, both within society and the Church, rebellion and change was the norm. Msgr. Manny guided the parish through the renewal of the Church following the 2nd Vatican Council and the resulting Liturgical changes in the Mass. Several first time ministries were developed, Readers, Special Ministers of the Eucharist, and traditional ministries modified or changed. This was a time of great change in the Church and the parish provided a place of solidarity and peace as old and familiar ways transitioned to a future Church that included many more opportunities for parishioners to assume leadership and ministry roles within the Church. Msgr. Manny also established one of the first Visitation Ministry programs in the Diocese to care for the homebound, nursing home and hospitalized parishioners. Pastoral Care for the suffering, sick and dying remains a foundation of St. Luke’s commitment to love our neighbors. After 31 years of ministry at St. Luke’s, Msgr. Manny retired in 1994 and remained in residence as Pastor Emeritus until his death in 2012.
By the 1970-80’s the neighborhood around St. Luke’s and the Central State Street neighborhood began to deteriorate and by the 1990’s the Church was in the center of an inner city neighborhood. With the urban landscape and demographics changed dramatically, St. Luke’s remained as an anchor in a neighborhood of dimming hope while so many other urban churches either closed and rebuilt in the suburbs or became commuter churches for those living in the suburbs.
On the Feast Day of St. Dominic, August 8, 1994, Bishop Hubbard appointed the 5th Pastor of St. Luke’s, Rev. Dominic P. Isopo.
Responding to the needs of an inner city neighborhood, St Luke’s established a food pantry in the late 1990’s and continues to operate it as the Daily Bread Food Pantry. The food pantry is the second largest food provider in Schenectady County serving more than 12,000 children and vulnerable adults annually.
The parish continued to attract new parishioners and several new ministries were established: The Martha Ministry, Evangelization Ministry, the Minister of Greeter, Bereavement Ministry, Pastoral Care Ministry, Prayer Chain Ministry and in the early 2000’s an office of Parish and Urban Outreach Ministry was established.
In 2003, a 1.5 million dollar renovation of the Church’s interior was undertaken. A new Gathering Area was added, restroom facilities, the lighting and sound systems were updated and the worship space was brought back to its original beauty. As part of the renovation, a new additional parking lot was added on Furman Street.
Today St. Luke’s is home to an incredibly diverse parish family that finds its unity within its diversity. In a society that is increasingly polarized, St. Luke’s remains a place of hospitality and welcome to anyone who enters. St. Luke’s strives each day to make the words of Jesus come alive: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:37-39)
As St. Luke’s celebrates its first century coming to a close, the parish begins its second century with the construction of a new Pastoral Center and food pantry. This new construction represents a commitment to meet the growing needs of the parish, hope and vision for the future and a commitment by the parish to continue to build relationships with our neighbors. The new construction will not only meet the needs of the parish, it represents the hope and vision for the future.
The century long presence of St. Luke’s in the Central State Neighborhood serves as a beacon of hope, stability, security and a sense of the sacred in an ever changing neighborhood and world.
The generosity, loyalty and faithfulness of generations of parishioners is at the heart of our 100th Anniversary logo: “Rooted in Faith…Serving in Love”. We continue this legacy in our outreach, evangelization and spiritual enrichment for future generations as we proclaim, St. Luke’s welcomes all with great joy!