St. Philip Neri - Westport, NY
In 1639 a man by the name of Father Issac Jogues traveled up Lake Champlain to where present day Westport exists. He with two other missionaries (members of the Society of Jesus - Jesuit priests), were prisoners of the Iroquois Indians and were to be taken to the Mowhawk Valley. They had begun a movement to bring the natives of the region to the Catholic faith. After much suffering, Father Jogues was killed on October 18, 1647. He was later canonized to Sainthood on September 26th, 1930.
Long after the passing of Father Jogues there were a sufficient amount of practicing Catholics to support the celebration of mass in private homes in 1849, thereby establishing a “station” in Westport. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that the church was built, with the parish’s incorporation taking place in 1881.
The original church unfortunately burned in 1980 as a result of drapes catching fire from two votive candles. By the time the Westport Fire Department became aware of the fire, it had a significant start. Although many of the items within the church were saved (vestments, relics, etc), the building was deemed a total loss and was later demolished.
A new church was built nearly 5 years after the incident with assistance from insurance monies and parish fundraising. The new church was dedicated in 1985 by Bishop Stanislaus Brzana.