The first Roman Catholic Church in Delaware County
was organized at French Woods in 1850. The
church, St. Francis deSales, was part of the Diocese of NY. Priests from Sullivan County traveled to Long
Eddy and French Woods to minister to the people.
In 1888, all of Delaware County became part of the
Albany Diocese; Sullivan County remained part of the Diocese of New
York. St. Paul the Apostle Church had been
formed and a building had been erected. Rev.
John W. Dolan was pastor of St. Paul at the time of its
The former home of Martin Wheeler on West Main
Street was purchased in 1889 and became the present rectory. During the same year, St. Paul acquired the
land at west end for the cemetery. This
allowed burials to take place in Hancock rather than in Deposit.
Over the years many renovations and additions have
been made at St. Paul’s. In 1922, to
enlarge the body of the church, the room then used as a sacristy was
incorporated into the main church. An
addition was built at the rear to serve as the new sacristy. The east and west entrances to the sacristy,
the two side altars and the arched ceiling were added in 1928.
The Fr. Rausch Memorial Hall was built in the
1950's through the efforts of Fr. John Rausch and the parishioners
during his tenure from 1935-1955. The hall
is utilized for religious education, bingo, dinners, social events,
pre-school, Community Children’s Center, food bank, shelter, and other
Since 1988, a new parking lot with landscaping was
built on the lower grounds. The “Little
House” was renamed the “DeSerio Center” in dedication to Joe DeSerio
who served as a Trustee and caretaker of St. Paul's for over 35 years. The Fr. Rausch Hall had an extensive
refurbishing; the Church’s interior was redecorated and re-carpeted; a
memorial garden was erected in memory of Fr. Jim Cribbs, a former
pastor; a statue of Rachel was dedicated in the upper garden and a Way
of the Cross was installed in the lower part of the property .
We are most grateful to God for His innumerable
blessings during these many years and we pray that we may continue to
be faithful witnesses to His Son in the future.
There have been many priests assigned to St. Paul's over the years. The link below is a list, how far back can you remember.