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Desiree Lee

Diocese of Buffalo Announces Plan to Reshape the Number of Parishes through Merger

Plan presented to priests responds to critical factors impacting diocesan operations

Diocese of Buffalo
Office of Communications
Diocese of Buffalo Announces Plan to Reshape the Number of Parishes through Merger
Plan presented to priests responds to critical factors impacting diocesan operations

 

Buffalo, N.Y., May 28, 2024 – The Diocese of Buffalo today has announced that following a comprehensive and collaborative planning process directed by its Road to Renewal division, a plan was presented to Family of Parishes priests to merge approximately 34 percent of the diocese’s 160 parishes.

“The Diocese of Buffalo is facing multiple challenges including a significant priest shortage, declining Mass attendance, aging congregations and ongoing financial pressures brought about by our Chapter 11 filing,” explained Bishop Michael W. Fisher. “This plan resulted from the lessons learned as we brought parishes together in the parish family model and determined rather quickly that scaling back the number of parishes would best allow us to use our limited resources to help reenergize a spiritual renewal in the diocese.”

“These difficult changes associated with our renewal allow limited resources to be directed to the greatest needs in our community,” Bishop Fisher added, “The work of the Holy Spirit within our diocese and the support of the Western New York community has been an incredible blessing.”

The actual number of parishes merged will not be determined until clergy and parish leadership have an opportunity to review recommendations that will be proposed. They may either agree with the recommendations, or present an option for an alternative parish (or parishes) within their family for merger. Those determinations will be made between August 15 and September 1, 2024.

“To make the recommendations that will be presented to pastors, we examined parish demographics, sacramental participation, and financial support,” explained Rev. Bryan Zielenieski, Vicar for Renewal and Development, who leads the Road to Renewal effort. “We also looked at the variations of our urban, suburban and rural parishes because factors like poverty rates, availability of transportation, proximity and limited resources impact overall parish long-term vitality.”

The Road to Renewal in the diocese employs a collaborative model that saw the current 160 parishes grouped into 36 Families of Parishes which were announced in December 2021. An initial group of six Families of Parishes soon thereafter began the pilot phase. When the Road to Renewal process began, Renewal staff contacted dioceses throughout the country and 67 percent of dioceses responding were implementing, or had implemented, a collaborative model in their diocese.

Soon, pastors will be provided with detailed materials to lead consultations within their Family of Parishes. Once the parishes to be merged are identified and approved, the process to begin merging those identified parishes is expected to begin this fall.

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Rightsize and Reshape Recommendations

Desiree Lee 0 3367 Article rating: 4.2

June 7, 2024

Dear Catholic Community of Buffalo, North,

As you already know, the Diocese of Buffalo announced on Tuesday, May 28th a plan to merge approximately 34 percent of the diocese’s 160 parishes. On Thursday, June 4th, the priests, deacons and trustees from all the families of parishes in the Buffalo Vicariate (region), met with the Diocese of Buffalo Renewal Team to discuss recommendations for the “Rightsize and Reshaping” plan for the Buffalo region including our Catholic Community of Buffalo, North (CCBN) Family.

We understand that these are major changes that we will all be going through together in a very short period of time and these recommendations may be very upsetting to process for many of us, if not all. Our Family of Parishes Leadership Team (Trustees and Clergy), in collaboration with ...

 

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Diocese of Buffalo Announces Plan to Reshape the Number of Parishes through Merger

Plan presented to priests responds to critical factors impacting diocesan operations

Desiree Lee 0 862 Article rating: 5.0
Diocese of Buffalo
Office of Communications
Diocese of Buffalo Announces Plan to Reshape the Number of Parishes through Merger
Plan presented to priests responds to critical factors impacting diocesan operations

 

Buffalo, N.Y., May 28, 2024 – The Diocese of Buffalo today has announced that following a comprehensive and collaborative planning process directed by its Road to Renewal division, a plan was presented to Family of Parishes priests to merge approximately 34 percent of the diocese’s 160 parishes.

“The Diocese of Buffalo is facing multiple challenges including a significant priest shortage, declining Mass attendance, aging congregations and ongoing financial pressures brought about by our Chapter 11 filing,” explained Bishop Michael W. Fisher. “This plan resulted from the lessons learned as we brought parishes together in the parish family model and determined rather quickly that scaling back the number of parishes would best allow us to use our limited resources to help reenergize a spiritual renewal in the diocese.”

“These difficult changes associated with our renewal allow limited resources to be directed to the greatest needs in our community,” Bishop Fisher added, “The work of the Holy Spirit within...

 

[Click title for full article]

Catholic Community of Buffalo North, meet Buffalo State Newman Center, part of Family #36!

Desiree Lee 0 1313 Article rating: No rating
Catholic Community of Buffalo North, meet Buffalo State Newman Center, part of Family #36!

Over the past several months the Buffalo State Newman Center has been discerning their future as the Buffalo State Newman building was identified to be sold with the majority of funding going to help towards the Chapter 11 settlement for the Diocese.

Bishop Mike throughout this entire process has shared that the ministry of the Newman center must and will continue, although it will look different.

With the Bishop’s guidance in mind, the leadership team of Buffalo State Newman has been discerning their future and what it would look like. After numerous meetings and exploring the options of moving Buffalo State Newman ministry onto the campus of Buffalo...

 

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Letter from Lionheart 2024 Co-Chairs

"Wake the Lion"

Desiree Lee 0 2696 Article rating: 3.0


Dear Families and Friends of St. Mark School,

Get ready to roar with excitement! This year’s Lionheart Auction, "Wake the Lion” will be held on Saturday, June 8, 2024, and we are thrilled to announce that Lionheart 2024 will honor…

Our Amazing Teachers!

Our teachers at St. Mark School pour their hearts into shaping the futures of our children. Their love, dedication, and unwavering commitment set the stage for our students’ bright and rewarding futures. It is time to shower them with the appreciation they truly deserve at Lionheart 2024.

The Lionheart Auction isn’t just a fundraiser; it is a tradition that connects our community, and it is vital to St. Mark School. Past success has always...

 

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A Letter from Fr. Joe Tokasz to our Family of Parishes

Information about All Saints Parish

Desiree Lee 0 2464 Article rating: 4.3

February 19, 2024


Dear Catholic Community of Buffalo, North,



I received news this past week, that after a meeting of the College of Consultors and the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Buffalo, both advisory councils to Bishop Michael Fisher, a decision regarding the future of All Saints parish has been made.

All Saints Parish has been dealing with challenges concerning its parish property and buildings as well as its finances for over two years. Particularly the condition of its school building and parish’s financial stability and longevity. They have made great efforts over the past year in striving to increase contributions and raise fundraising efforts....

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Lionheart Letter from Fr Dave

Desiree Lee 0 1198 Article rating: 5.0


Dear Families and Friends of St. Mark School and the entire Catholic Community of Buffalo, North,

Please mark your calendars and plan to join Co-Chairs: Vera & Keith Carlino, Susan & Angelo Gambino, Erin & John Gerken and Kate & Matt Maleski and me for…

Lionheart 2024,
“Wake the Lion”
Saturday, June 8, 2024
 

As always, the evening will feature delicious food, an open bar, music, a silent auction, an exciting live auction, awards, and honoring our teachers. Join us for fun, fellowship, and lion pride.

 

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