Church of St. Martin de Porres (Poughkeepsie, New York)

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The Church of St. Martin de Porres
General information
Architectural style Postmodern (for present church)
Town or city Poughkeepsie, New York
Country United States
Construction started 1852 (first church)[1]
1853 (first school and rectory)[1]
1859 (second church)[1]
Completed 1878-1879 (steeple and organ added to 1859 church)[1]
Cost $4,500 (for 1859 church)[1]
Client Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York

The Church of St. Martin de Porres is a Roman Catholic parish church under the authority of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, located in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, New York.


The parish was established in 1852 on Union Street, Poughkeepsie, as the Church of the Nativity for the German community of the city. Prior to that they attended services at St. Peter's Church conducted by German priests from New York City.[1] That same year, the first church was started and a cornerstone laid. The first pastor was the Rev. Joseph Schaefler, who had served the community previously at St. Peter's, and he swiftly raised the capital to erect a rectory and school.[1] St. Michael's parochial school opened in 1853. The congregation swelled so much that by 1859 a new church was erected at a cost of $4,500.[1] Partly due to its isolated nature, there was a quick succession of pastors. Among those the Rev. Dr. George Schrader (pastor from 1878 to 1879) purchased the cemetery, installed an organ, and added a steeple.[1]

In 1962, Nativity Church in the City of Poughkeepsie was forced to close because the building was deemed unsafe.[2] A new parish was formed in the Red Oaks Mill section of the Town of Poughkeepsie. The church was rededicated to St. Martin de Porres in 1962. The current pastor is the Msgr. James Sullivan.[3]


The present church is a large gable-fronted cruciform-on-plan postmodern structure with a four-stage pyramidal-capped bell tower, surrounded by a parking lot and dense wooded areas to its rear. The interior features a wide array of modern stained glass with less traditional and more recently canonized or beatified Catholic figures.


  • Rev. Joseph Schaeffer (1852-1853)
  • Rev. John Tanzer (1853-1855)[1]
  • Rev. James Roesch (1855-1859)[1]
  • Rev. Joseph Tuboly (1859-1861)[1]
  • Rev. Jose Volpe (1861-1864)[1]
  • Rev. Caspar John Metzler (1864-1873)[1]
  • Rev. Franz Hundhausen (1874-1878)[1]
  • Rev. Dr. George Schrader (1878-1879)[1]
  • Rev. Callus Bruder (1879-1911)[1]
  • Rev. James Roesch (1911-)[1]
  • Msgr. James Sullivan (present)[3]

St. Martin de Porres School[edit]

The first parish school was founded around 1853 by the Rev. Joseph Schaeffer.[1] The Rev. Franz Hundhausen (pastor from 1874 to 1878) introduced the Franciscan Sisters from Peekskill, New York as teachers of the school.[1]

St Martin’s school opened in September 1964 with 200 students in grades one to three, staffed by the Sisters of St. Dominic from Blauvelt.[2] The parish school is located on 122 Cedar Valley Road.[4]

Calvary Cemetery[edit]

The Calvary Cemetery at 62 LaGrange Avenue was purchased by the Rev. Dr. George Schrader (pastor from 1878 to 1879),[1] and administered by Nativity Church.[2] The church is associated with Calvary Cemetery at 62 LaGrange Avenue, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. 12603.[5]


External links[edit]