Catholic Convents in Livingston County
Nuns from the Sisters of St. Joseph in Rochester resided in several convents and taught in parochial schools around the county beginning in the mid-1800s. St. Agnes in Avon is the only one of the original parochial schools that is still open, although the convent was torn down in the 1980s.
St. Rose – Lima
St. Rose Parochial School was the first Catholic high school in the Diocese of Rochester. Lay teachers staffed the parochial school beginning in the 1850s. Educational instruction was turned over to the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1875. The local school board granted the sisters the same status as public school teachers until 1894 when the Blaine Amendment, forbidding public funds paid to religious affiliated schools, was added to the New York State Constitution. The decision was challenged and a long, drawn-out court battle ensued over salary payments to the nuns. The high school instruction ended in 1946. The old school was used as a convent until 1960. The elementary school closed in 1969.
St. Patrick’s – Dansville (not pictured)
St. Patrick’s parochial school and convent opened in 1883 to serve the Irish Catholic community. Three sisters of St. Joseph of Rochester were sent to open the school and organize classes. Staff included Supervisor Sister Teresa, assisted by Sisters Euphemia, Antoinette, and Patris.
St. Mary’s – Dansville
St. Mary’s parochial school opened in 1876 on Franklin Street to serve the large German Catholic community in Dansville. The first teachers were four nuns from the Sisters of St. Joseph’s of Rochester who lived in the convent at 17 Franklin Street until 1915. The convent moved to 25 Chestnut Street where nuns resided until 1989. St. Mary’s, St. Patrick’s, and St. Mary’s parochial schools merged in 1953 and a new school was built in 1960. The school operated until 2008.
St. Patrick’s - Mt. Morris
St. Patrick’s parochial school opened in 1911 on Stanley Street and the convent was built next door on the south side of Murray Street at the corner of Murray and Stanley Street. The school operated until 1974, staffed by the Sisters of St. Joseph.
St. Agnes – Avon
St. Agnes parochial school and convent opened in 1876 and was staffed by the Sisters of St. Joseph. The convent was torn down sometime between 1986-1987 to make room for a new primary school. The parochial school is still in operation (2020).