Buffalo Diocese Announces More Parish...

Buffalo Diocese Announces More Parish Closings Across WNY

There are 61064 comments on the WGRZ Buffalo story from Oct 14, 2007, titled Buffalo Diocese Announces More Parish Closings Across WNY. In it, WGRZ Buffalo reports that:

The Diocese of Buffalo's "Journey of Faith and Grace" has led to the closings of more parishes across Western New York.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WGRZ Buffalo.

From Buffalo News

Lancaster, NY

#36923 Feb 14, 2011
Former church sites now serving those in need

Updated: February 14, 2011, 6:29 AM

The 2011 appeal for Catholic Charities of Buffalo is under way. The news conference to announce the start of this year’s $10.5 million campaign was held at one of our organization’s newer sites on Caldwell Place in Lackawanna, in the former parish center of St. Barbara Parish.

Our Lackawanna and South Buffalo food pantries moved to this site last summer. The South Buffalo pantry is operating out of this location temporarily while its prior home in the former Holy Family School is being transformed into affordable senior housing. When the renovations are complete, the South Buffalo pantry can move back into a completely renovated site.

This is the third consecutive year we have introduced a new site for Catholic Charities at our annual media event, and all of them have been former church properties. Two years ago we met at the Lovejoy food pantry in the parish house of St. Katharine Drexel Parish, and last January we gathered at the transformed rectory of the former St. Mary of Sorrows Parish, where the WIC nutrition program and preventive service programs are housed.

These three sites represent just a small portion of the 18 total former convents, rectories and schools that Catholic Charities has turned into viable sites for our work, including four properties that were impacted by the Journey in Faith and Grace. While a few are still works in progress, in each of these cases a church property has life once again, where our services are delivered to people in need in Erie and Niagara counties.

Our food pantries provide an essential service of basic food assistance to seniors, families and individuals.

In Lackawanna, some 288 individuals walk through our doors each week and receive food to stretch often meager monthly food budgets. With food, gas and other household costs increasing and jobs continuing to be scarce in our area, the pantry is a welcome sight for many people, Catholic and non-Catholic alike.

The staff and volunteers of all of Catholic Charities’ four food pantries, including the St. Brigid-Fulton Street Food Pantry, can attest to the growing need of our food recipients. In 2010 the four food pantries distributed bags of food to provide 213,717 meals to 23,000 individuals. In December 2010 alone, the Lackawanna and South Buffalo pantries distributed 14,304 pounds of food to 578 households.

It is important to note that all four pantries are beneficiaries of the annual Appeal for Catholic Charities. Appeal funds truly make possible the work of the pantries because a significant portion of their budgets are supported through appeal dollars.

Utilizing former church properties is another way that Catholic Charities benefits our community, moving into those neighborhoods where the needs are greatest, and advocating for those in need, particularly those who are poor and most vulnerable.

Dennis C. Walczyk is chief executive officer of Catholic Charities of Buffalo.
A Lot of Spin

Lancaster, NY

#36924 Feb 14, 2011
From Buffalo News wrote:
Former church sites now serving those in need
Updated: February 14, 2011, 6:29 AM
The 2011 appeal for Catholic Charities of Buffalo is under way. The news conference to announce the start of this year’s $10.5 million campaign was held at one of our organization’s newer sites on Caldwell Place in Lackawanna, in the former parish center of St. Barbara Parish.
Our Lackawanna and South Buffalo food pantries moved to this site last summer. The South Buffalo pantry is operating out of this location temporarily while its prior home in the former Holy Family School is being transformed into affordable senior housing. When the renovations are complete, the South Buffalo pantry can move back into a completely renovated site.
This is the third consecutive year we have introduced a new site for Catholic Charities at our annual media event, and all of them have been former church properties. Two years ago we met at the Lovejoy food pantry in the parish house of St. Katharine Drexel Parish, and last January we gathered at the transformed rectory of the former St. Mary of Sorrows Parish, where the WIC nutrition program and preventive service programs are housed.
These three sites represent just a small portion of the 18 total former convents, rectories and schools that Catholic Charities has turned into viable sites for our work, including four properties that were impacted by the Journey in Faith and Grace. While a few are still works in progress, in each of these cases a church property has life once again, where our services are delivered to people in need in Erie and Niagara counties.
Our food pantries provide an essential service of basic food assistance to seniors, families and individuals.
In Lackawanna, some 288 individuals walk through our doors each week and receive food to stretch often meager monthly food budgets. With food, gas and other household costs increasing and jobs continuing to be scarce in our area, the pantry is a welcome sight for many people, Catholic and non-Catholic alike.
The staff and volunteers of all of Catholic Charities’ four food pantries, including the St. Brigid-Fulton Street Food Pantry, can attest to the growing need of our food recipients. In 2010 the four food pantries distributed bags of food to provide 213,717 meals to 23,000 individuals. In December 2010 alone, the Lackawanna and South Buffalo pantries distributed 14,304 pounds of food to 578 households.
It is important to note that all four pantries are beneficiaries of the annual Appeal for Catholic Charities. Appeal funds truly make possible the work of the pantries because a significant portion of their budgets are supported through appeal dollars.
Utilizing former church properties is another way that Catholic Charities benefits our community, moving into those neighborhoods where the needs are greatest, and advocating for those in need, particularly those who are poor and most vulnerable.
Dennis C. Walczyk is chief executive officer of Catholic Charities of Buffalo.
You would think that a substantial amount of the money raised was going for such things as soup kitchens.

Why not have the press conference in the mansion or the Bishop's conference room?

Why not say a substantial portion of the money raised supports this kind of living for the Bishop?

Or show a diocesan employee with a fancy car and in front of their fancy suburban house.

They could then say they make their money on a portion of the money raised and it affords them such luxury.

THEY NEED TO STOP LISTENING TO MEDIA AND PUBLIC RELATIONS CONSULTANTS AND START CONSULTING THE SCRIPTURES.
anonymous

Buffalo, NY

#36925 Feb 14, 2011
How many of the people who read the news article about the Catholic Charities Food Pantries knew of the closing of the Pantry at St. William's Parish, that served the needy for thirty. The Pastor(from the Altar) and the Diocese through Kevin Keenan(radio announcement) lied to the people and said it was being renovated and would reopen. Actually the Food Bank would not allow a pantry at that site because of the behavior or the administration of the parish. Anyone who calls a Pantry Volunteer a bitch and gives the pantry staff one week to leave the space is not worthy to be called "Father"
Thank God for SPIRITFILLED CHRISTIANS from St.David's Church in West Seneca, the Pantry still provides over two thousand meals a month to those in need. In March they will be honored by the people of West Seneca as Service Organization of the Year.
I wonder

Liverpool, NY

#36926 Feb 14, 2011
anonymous wrote:
How many of the people who read the news article about the Catholic Charities Food Pantries knew of the closing of the Pantry at St. William's Parish, that served the needy for thirty. The Pastor(from the Altar) and the Diocese through Kevin Keenan(radio announcement) lied to the people and said it was being renovated and would reopen. Actually the Food Bank would not allow a pantry at that site because of the behavior or the administration of the parish. Anyone who calls a Pantry Volunteer a bitch and gives the pantry staff one week to leave the space is not worthy to be called "Father"
Thank God for SPIRITFILLED CHRISTIANS from St.David's Church in West Seneca, the Pantry still provides over two thousand meals a month to those in need. In March they will be honored by the people of West Seneca as Service Organization of the Year.
If anyone from the Diocese will be at that event! I seriously doubt it. Probably because they wont be making any money off it!
anonymous

Niagara Falls, NY

#36927 Feb 14, 2011
anonymous wrote:
How many of the people who read the news article about the Catholic Charities Food Pantries knew of the closing of the Pantry at St. William's Parish, that served the needy for thirty. The Pastor(from the Altar) and the Diocese through Kevin Keenan(radio announcement) lied to the people and said it was being renovated and would reopen. Actually the Food Bank would not allow a pantry at that site because of the behavior or the administration of the parish. Anyone who calls a Pantry Volunteer a bitch and gives the pantry staff one week to leave the space is not worthy to be called "Father"
Thank God for SPIRITFILLED CHRISTIANS from St.David's Church in West Seneca, the Pantry still provides over two thousand meals a month to those in need. In March they will be honored by the people of West Seneca as Service Organization of the Year.
I attended the opening of the Food Pantry at St. David's Church. A black eye for Catholics,as the Episcopal Bishop gave the blessing and thanked the volunteers for their work. There were two Catholic Priests from Queen of Heaven and two from Buffalo who attended. There were also some people there from the three non Catholic Churches that provided food for the people while the new Food Pantry was being was cleaned and stocked. Two groups, not Catholic, bought two new freezers. Is it any wonder so many people left the new parish at St. Williams.
YOU NEVER KNOW

AOL

#36928 Feb 15, 2011
LOUISVILLE, Ky.(WHAS11)-- A man named as the parish council chairman at St. Therese Catholic Church in Germantown, previously convicted of rape has now been added to a lawsuit. The lawsuit from Gary and Margie Weiter says she was fired for complaining that Father James Schook was secretly living at the rectory. Schook had been removed from another parish after allegations he sexually abused five young boys. Those allegations the archdiocese later called credible.

The lawsuit says Schook's presence was especially troubling for Gary Weiter, who was abused by another priest at Saint Therese when he was a child.

On Monday WHAS11 learned an amended lawsuit now names Bruce Ewing as the parish council chairman. In 2007 Ewing, a former priest, was convicted of raping a 15-year-old girl in the 1970s. Ewing, who also spent years working for the city as an aldermanic aide, is now on Kentucky's sex offender registry. The Weiters say they were never told of Ewing's past and that Ewing, as parish council chairman, did not adequately respond to their concerns about Schook.
warsawfil

South Amboy, NJ

#36929 Feb 15, 2011
Is anyone going to the DA's office about the accusations against HORAable Robert Hora? Whatever happened to the case against Mock at St. Teresa's?
Anonymous

Lancaster, NY

#36930 Feb 15, 2011
warsawfil wrote:
Is anyone going to the DA's office about the accusations against HORAable Robert Hora? Whatever happened to the case against Mock at St. Teresa's?
Is that who Horrible is? I thought it was just a play on words!

I thought the case against Mock involved a professor at Trocaire.
From ABC News

Lancaster, NY

#36931 Feb 15, 2011
Buffalo College Professor Claims Discrimination Because He's Straight
Dr. Csaba Marosan Says He Was Harassed, Then Fired in Retaliation From Trocaire College

26 comments
By SARAH NETTER
Aug. 4, 2010

A New York college professor who claims that he was discrminated against for being a heterosexual man and then fired for complaining has caught the interest of the state's Human Rights Division.
Dr. Csaba Marosan told ABC News that he endured years of being ostracized by administrators at Trocaire College, a Catholic, two-year school in Buffalo, for not being part of their clique made up largely of younger, gay men dubbed the "Merry Men."

The complaint filed by Marosan, a native of Hungary, also alleges discrimination based on his accent and his gender. His allegations were investigated by New York Human Rights Division, which has found probable cause that Trocaire College not only discrminated against Marosan, but fired him in retaliation for lodging the initial complaint.

"I want some changes in the school," Marosan said. "I mean, this cannot go on."

Marosan, who holds a medical degree in Hungary but is unlicensed to pratice in the U.S., worked at Trocaire, first as an adjunct professor then as a full-time faculty member in the school's natural sciences department.

In his first complaint, filed with the Human Rights Division in April 2009, Marosan claims that the Rev. Robert Mock, dean of academic affairs for non-nursing studies, and Vice President Thomas Mitchell treated him less favorably than his female colleagues. Mock, according to the complaint, would poke fun at his customs, his clothing and his accent. In April 2010 Marosan amended his complaint to include allegations of discrimination based on his sexual orientation. The amendment came after Marosan was fired in February in what he says was retaliation for the first Human Rights complaint.

In the amendment, Marosan claims Mock and Mitchell "are known or believed to be gay or bi-sexual."

"Mr. Mitchell and Father Mock have given preferential treatment to young and/or gay males," the complaint alleges. "Father Mock formed a group called the 'Merry Men' where these young and/or gay males would socialize on and off campus, leading to preferential treatment."

Marosan pointed to the promotions of two of the members of the so-called "Merry Men" who had less experience and education than anyone else in the department.

He claims he watched other men he believes to be gay as well as less-educated women be promoted to positions above him even though his superiors knew he was interested in a higher level teaching job.

"I have dozens of witnesses to situations I've been through there," he said.

James Grasso, an attorney for Trocaire College, emphatically denied Marosan's claims. He also couldn't speak to Mock or Mitchell's sexual orientation, saying only "those are private matters."

"The college wants the case to be dismissed," he said.

The college, in its formal response to Marosan's amended complaint, says that he was never denied a promotion over anyone based on gender or sexual orientation and that Marosan never applied for the jobs he referenced that were filled by the other staff members.

Marosan, Grasso said, "never raised any of these issues … until the thought he was going to lose his job."
From ABC News

Lancaster, NY

#36932 Feb 15, 2011
Grasso paints an entirely different portait of the Hungarian doctor, one in which he had to be counseled by school officials in 2008 after administrators received several complaints from female students over "repeated and inappropriate and sexually laced comments in class" during the course of his lecture's on anatomy.

But the state's findings also noted that Marosan's record showed no indication of a finding on the sexual harrassment complaint and that at least one of the student's statements was found to have been coached by Mock.

Grasso also denied that Marosan's termination had anything to do with his accusations.

"The primary reason he was let go was that the Middle States Association [of Colleges and Schools,] as part of their accredited process, came through and did an evaluation," Grasso said. "And he didn't hold what they determined was the preferred degree for the field he was teaching in."

The association wanted all professors to have master's degrees, he explained, and even though Marosan was an M.D., it wasn't a U.S.-held title.

A spokeswoman for the Human Rights Division declined to comment on its investigation, saying the office was prohibited from discussing any case until a final ruling had been issued.

According to the probable cause finding, a public hearing before an administrative judge will be scheduled within weeks.

Though Marosan was let go from the college at the beginning of the year, he continues to draw a paycheck thanks to his union contract. But he is being paid a base salary, which Grasso says is in the "mid-30s."

Marosan said he's lost about 60 percent of his pay, since he's no longer allowed to pick up extra classes, which brought his annual salary up to $75,000 or $80,000.

Though Marosan would like to be compensated for his lost wages, he said there's a larger issue at stake of changing the way things are run at Trocaire.

"This is not about personal gain," he said. "I will get what I lost either way. There is a court system for that."
anonymous

Buffalo, NY

#36933 Feb 15, 2011
warsawfil wrote:
Is anyone going to the DA's office about the accusations against HORAable Robert Hora? Whatever happened to the case against Mock at St. Teresa's?
I hear fr Hora is blaming it on Bartnik's poor record keeping at St. Mary's. However, if anyone knows Bartnik, they know that he was maticulous in keeping his records. I know that hora won't even publish how much they recieved in weekly collections.

Speaking of St. mary's in E. Eden, what ever happened to Fr. John Kelly? Shortly after Kmiec was appointed as Bishop he resigned as Pastor at St. Mary's. I have heard taht he went to the military, is this true?
Answer

Lancaster, NY

#36934 Feb 15, 2011
So far only one employee was arrested and that employee confessed to embezzling thousands of dollars. This employee was sentenced in court a few months back. Another employee returned thousands of dollars in merchandise that had been charged and paid for by the parish. I don't think charges were pressed against that person because the items were returned. That employee obviously is no longer at the parish.

As for the clergy, it isn't too often that we see any charges being pressed against them. God bless their hearts.
New Translations

North Tonawanda, NY

#36935 Feb 15, 2011
I was reading some of the "new texts" for the Mass. How ridiculous!
Example: the Creed --.....true God from true God, not , one in Being with The Father....."

New Translation": ".....not made consubstantial with the Father."

Consubtantial? Really? Who cares?

The church should concern themselves with bringing the faithful back to the fold rather than worry about "consubstantial"!!!!

Do you honestly think this new text will bring the people flocking back to the church. I think not.

Much ado about nothing, in my opinion!!!!

The church is literally falling apart with new pedophile lawsuits in the news almost every day. The young people are not going to church. Many older people have also fallen by the wayside (especially since JF&G). And we're worried about new texts!!
Because

Liverpool, NY

#36936 Feb 15, 2011
New Translations wrote:
I was reading some of the "new texts" for the Mass. How ridiculous!
Example: the Creed --.....true God from true God, not , one in Being with The Father....."
New Translation": ".....not made consubstantial with the Father."
Consubtantial? Really? Who cares?
The church should concern themselves with bringing the faithful back to the fold rather than worry about "consubstantial"!!!!
Do you honestly think this new text will bring the people flocking back to the church. I think not.
Much ado about nothing, in my opinion!!!!
The church is literally falling apart with new pedophile lawsuits in the news almost every day. The young people are not going to church. Many older people have also fallen by the wayside (especially since JF&G). And we're worried about new texts!!
The boobs that run the place dont care about your soul. They are concerned with what will be popular and entertaining to bring the people back to give their money to suppport their sick cause.
Capt Smith

North Tonawanda, NY

#36937 Feb 15, 2011
New Translations wrote:
I was reading some of the "new texts" for the Mass. How ridiculous!
Example: the Creed --.....true God from true God, not , one in Being with The Father....."
New Translation": ".....not made consubstantial with the Father."
Consubtantial? Really? Who cares?
The church should concern themselves with bringing the faithful back to the fold rather than worry about "consubstantial"!!!!
Do you honestly think this new text will bring the people flocking back to the church. I think not.
Much ado about nothing, in my opinion!!!!
The church is literally falling apart with new pedophile lawsuits in the news almost every day. The young people are not going to church. Many older people have also fallen by the wayside (especially since JF&G). And we're worried about new texts!!
Its called rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic!
Anonymous

Lancaster, NY

#36938 Feb 15, 2011
Answer wrote:
So far only one employee was arrested and that employee confessed to embezzling thousands of dollars. This employee was sentenced in court a few months back. Another employee returned thousands of dollars in merchandise that had been charged and paid for by the parish. I don't think charges were pressed against that person because the items were returned. That employee obviously is no longer at the parish.
As for the clergy, it isn't too often that we see any charges being pressed against them. God bless their hearts.
Shocking cases of stealing at churches

Updated: Monday, 01 Nov 2010, 7:37 AM EDT
Published : Monday, 01 Nov 2010, 7:31 AM EDT

* Rich Newberg
* Posted by: Emily Lenihan

BUFFALO, N.Y.(WIVB)- "Thou shalt not steal." It's a commandment that is being ignored by those dipping into the till of area churches and religious institutions.

The stealing happens at all levels.

Less than three weeks ago Maria Kaetzel, the cafeteria manager at Trinity Catholic Academy in South Buffalo, agreed to pay back the $63,000 she stole from students' lunch money. Prosecutors tell News 4 she took 67 cents on every dollar.

It goes on and on, despite high-profile cases of larceny and broken trust.

In 1991 the conviction of Anthony Franjione, the comptroller of the Buffalo Catholic Diocese who embezzled $1.4 million, sent shock waves through the very foundations of the Church in Buffalo.

Former Erie County District Attorney Frank Clark said, "And I think their shock was legitimate, but hundred thousand dollar thefts were happening left, right, and center after it happened. More money was taken from 1991 or 2 to 2005, than had been taken in the fifty years before that."

And it continues to this very day, from pastors to church secretaries. Father Norman Sullivan stole more than $200,000 mostly from the church collection while he was pastor of the Most Holy Redeemer Church in Cheektowaga.

In July, 2009 Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita said, "Simply stated he was controlling the count. One for you, one for me. Two for you, one for me. Three for you and one for me."

Church secretary Maureen Durrell asked for forgiveness after admitting she stole nearly a half-million dollars from Saint Christopher Parish in the Town of Tonawanda.

In July, 2007, Maureen Durrell said, "I will always continue to seek forgiveness and apologize to everyone I have hurt."

A study by Fraud Examiners found that lower paid female employees were the most typical suspects when the amount stolen from non-profit organizations amounted to less than $50,000 dollars.

Most had been employed for about seven years and had never committed a crime before.

Many times, the thieves just got a slap on the wrist from the organization, either out of forgiveness or the fear of negative publicity.

Dr. Marilyn Fleckenstein of Niagara University said, "Most do nothing. One in four do not pursue any kind of criminal charges, nor do they fire the employees."

When the amount stolen hit the $150,000 dollar mark, the thieves tended to be male managers and executives, who were among the most trusted to handle the financial data.
Anonymous

Lancaster, NY

#36939 Feb 15, 2011
Kevin Keenan of the Buffalo Catholic Diocese said, "We're taught to trust people, but we've also learned that you need to verify."

To better protect Catholic institutions, the Buffalo Diocese has updated a number of safeguards.

From a tamper-proof "secure pack" for church collections, to the Parish alert that went out recently identifying a former St. Paul's usher, who admitted to Kenmore Police that he had stolen about $2,000 dollars from the parish collection. There's a concern he may have preyed on other parishes as well.

Keenan said, "It also serves as a reminder that you need to be vigilant and you need to do everything in your powers to follow the procedures and policies that we have in place in order to safeguard the collections."

Secure packs for collections are sealed and numbered. Any tampering would be easily noticed.

Yet, some parishes still haven't adopted the new procedures a source of frustration for the Diocese.

In some cases, those who steel don't go to jail. Why is that?

The cafeteria manager got probation even though she admitted stealing $63,000 dollars of lunch money. It's a source of frustration for prosecutors who spend a lot of time investigating these cases.

Judges often will settle for the money being paid back to the organizations. Some of those convicted have no criminal history, but were guilty of giving in to temptation.

Are churches more likely today to cooperate, than cover up?

Dr. Marilyn Fleckenstein, who teaches business ethics at Niagara University, believes institutions realize a little bad publicity in the short term is better than trying to cover up or ignoring stealing in the long term. It tends to continue on, if someone doesn't "blow the whistle."


Copyright WIVB.com
Anonymous

AOL

#36940 Feb 15, 2011
anonymous wrote:
<quoted text>I attended the opening of the Food Pantry at St. David's Church. A black eye for Catholics,as the Episcopal Bishop gave the blessing and thanked the volunteers for their work. There were two Catholic Priests from Queen of Heaven and two from Buffalo who attended. There were also some people there from the three non Catholic Churches that provided food for the people while the new Food Pantry was being was cleaned and stocked. Two groups, not Catholic, bought two new freezers. Is it any wonder so many people left the new parish at St. Williams.
If only the rest of the parishioners knew what was really going on with the pantry at St. Williams and how the pastor treated the employees and volunteers maybe more parishioners would leave and there would be no Blessed John 23. The wrong parish was closed.
anonymous

Buffalo, NY

#36941 Feb 15, 2011
What a joke! The diocese is suppose to be so concerned about stealing? What about the $4 million the bishop 'steals' from catholic charities so he can live the high life?
THAT is what they are most concerned about: that ALL of the donations don't go directly to the chancery and the bishop!
WHAT a joke!
Anonymous

Lancaster, NY

#36942 Feb 15, 2011
When is Saint John Gualbert merging?

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