This Day In Bonaventure History

By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93

This Day in Bonaventure History

April 24, 1949

In 1627 Fr. Joseph de la Roche D’Aillon, a missionary, became the first Franciscan from Europe to discover oil in North America. The location was in present-day Cuba, N.Y., a short 20 miles from St. Bonaventure University.

So when the new arts and sciences building was built in 1934, Fr. Irenaeus Herscher had it named after de la Roche.

Fr. Irenaeux also founded the first Petroleum Sunday on this day. It was held on the fourth Sunday in April, the same time that de la Roche set sail from France to the New World in 1625. The holiday helped bring together the Bonaventure community, the Seneca Indians and local businessmen.


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