Greetings and Blessings East Buffalo family!
What a wonderful first weekend as I made my rounds through the family for the first time! Last week I presided at the 4:00pm Vigil at St. Stanislaus, 8:30am at St. John Kanty, 10:00am at St. Katharine Drexel, & the 12:00pm at St. John Gualbert. Thank you all so much for the tremendous welcome I received in each parish – from welcome receptions to gift baskets, THANK YOU!
So that we are all on the same page, I wanted to reiterate a few things that I mentioned in my introductory homily for the Masses I was not present at. A bit of background about myself is that I grew up in Amherst, NY attending various Protestant Churches (Assembly of God, Baptist, and Non-Denominational). Due to the influence of my Catholic grandparents, and as I grew in knowledge and love of my Polish/Catholic heritage, I joined RCIA at St. Christopher Church and was initiated into the Catholic faith my senior year of High School. When I moved to the City of Buffalo to attend Buffalo State College, I joined and became involved in my grandparents church, Assumption of the BVM in Black Rock.
Throughout high school and college, where I graduated with a degree in Hospitality and Tourism, I worked for Hart Hotels for eight years. First at the Holiday Inn that was on Niagara Falls Blvd, then left the company as the office manager at the Holiday Inn Express by the Buffalo Airport to join the seminary. After being ordained in 2017, I was assigned as Parochial Vicar at SS. Peter and Paul, Hamburg for two years, then to St. Aloysious Gonzaga in Cheektowaga as Temporary Administrator, and most recently, as pastor at St. Peter’s in Lewiston for the past three years.
As we move forward as a family of parishes, my priorities are twofold. The first is reopening the St. Stanislaus Convent (Pitass Center). Having been vacant for three years there is much repair and cleaning work to be done. Thank you in advance to all who are able to help clean this Sunday, July 16 at 2:00. I truly hope that the Pitass Center can be a place of welcome for all. Three events are already booked there – a family staff and trustee luncheon, a Polonia Committee meeting, and program the Renewal Office is hosting.
My second focus is organizing our pillar groups. I have done my best to keep the Mass Schedule the same for July and August having lost Fr. Jim Monaco, Fr. Paul Ladda, and Fr. Ben Fiore who has been assigned as parochial vicar to the downtown family. I would ask you to seriously consider joining a pillar committee. The descriptions and tasks of each are below. We cannot do this without YOU and we ARE ALL in this together. Sign-up sheets are available in each worship site. Once our family pillar groups are established the next step is to come together for a training session led by the Renewal Office.
As always, if you have absolutely any questions or concerns, please call your parish office or email me at email@example.com. We have so much to be thankful for, have a joyous week!
Please consider joining a Pillar Group!
Liturgy Description: The Liturgy is the primary way in which we worship God. The focus on the liturgy pillar is to make sure we have the very best worship taking place within our family of parishes. Priority is to be given to the dignity of each celebration, focusing on good ministry, music and participation. Priority is not to be given to appeasing locations and times. Consideration also needs to be taken into account for church capacities and accommodation of people at a location. • Mass Schedules for each parish within the Family • Sacrament schedule • Liturgy Committee
Spiritual Life Description: Spiritual Life works hand in hand with Liturgy. The Spiritual Life pillar should focus on fostering a relationship with Jesus Christ through para-liturgical experiences, retreats, devotions and any activity within the family that will help bring people closer to Jesus. • Devotions • Retreats • Life in the Eucharist
Forming Disciples Description: Forming Disciples involves all aspects of education. If your family has a Catholic school within it, your pillar group for forming disciples must contain a representative from the school. How the family supports all education is the primary function of this pillar group. • Religious Education (K-12) • Catholic schools • Youth Ministry (Grades 6-8) • Youth Ministry (Grades 9-12) • Young Adult Faith Formation • Adult Faith Formation • Adult Leadership Training • Inclusive Catechesis • Family Formation • RCIA/OCIA • Sacramental Preparation
Outreach/Inreach Description: This pillar involves how we as church respond to the needs of our people, both in and outside of our family of parishes. Social outreach/justice are a key component of this pillar and can work together with organizations that already focus on specific outreach activities; St. Vincent de Paul, Food Pantry, etc. Outreach • Any ministry or activity aimed at bringing relief for those who are suffering, while maintaining inclusivity • Evangelization efforts geared at people who are unchurched and seeking Christ • Promotion of missionary discipleship to attract new Catholics Inreach • Ministry to those who are in physical or spiritual need • Empower parishioners • Develop a culture of welcome
Stewardship Description: Stewardship looks at how we utilize time, talent and treasure among our parishes for the good of our parishes and people. Working closely to make sure our efforts in fundraising do not compete with one another, this pillar group works on coordinating efforts for a fundraising schedule, determining how volunteers get involved in ministries between parishes within the family and ways that people can get involved in the family. • Volunteers: Donate time, treasure and/or talent • Family/Parish hospitality • Any activities that have to do with the above
Administration Description: The Administration Pillar looks at the business components of how our parishes operate, and looks at creating efficiencies that respond to the challenges of diminishing resources and personnel as we move forward. Determining each parish’s fiscal responsibility within the family is also a part of this pillars task. This pillar will work closely with the Pastor of the Family and the Renewal office to ensure expectations for the family within the Renewal are being met. • Human Resources: Compensation, benefits & policies • Safe Environment • Governing/Family leadership • Central office • Processes/On-site Hours • Personnel • Budgeting/finances • Communications • Data/Reporting • Security/Compliance