History of St. Madeleine Sophie
St. Madeleine Sophie Parish, named for a woman who was a determined foundress and a leader in Catholic education, was started by Bishop Gibbons in 1939 in response to the spiritual needs of the people of western Albany County. Throughout our nearly 80 year history, our parish has proven to be a strong and flexible faith community responsive to the signs of the times and to the people living within our reach and beyond.
Our first Mass, celebrated by Bishop Gibbons on November 26, 1939 in “Georges Place” a rented dance hall on a country road, was the beginning of a parish that has evolved with the times and circumstances. The little white church dedicated on April 15, 1951, gradually expanded with the population until 2003 when a new 800 seat church building consecrated by Bishop Hubbard on June 25, was added to the 27 acre parish complex. St. Madeleine Sophie school, opened in 1960 through the enterprising efforts of a group of parents, now includes 3 and 4 year old nursery and pre-K and a computer lab as well as after school care and summer camp. Our parish center dedicated on May 21, 1977 was built, with the help of enthusiastic and skilled parishioners, to accommodate the activities of our growing community. The multi-use building still offers space for year round parish, school, faith formation, youth ministry, and community activities.
A glance back at our history reveals men and women, youth and children led by loving and forward thinking priests, religious and dedicated lay leaders whose pioneering and generous spirit, willingness to accept challenges, and with the Grace of God, has made us the thriving and dynamic parish we have become.
Our present 2300 family parish is now embracing the age of technology while facing the need for evangelization and faith formation in new ways and on new levels. As we engage with our Bishop and the diocese in a new and different initiative, Re-Igniting Faith, we hope to build on our heritage to enliven our faith, our parish and our diocese and help us to reach out more effectively to those in need.