Desiree Lee

Status Update: Rightsizing and Reshaping

Statement from Fr. Joe Tokasz

July 15, 2024

The Family of Parishes Leadership Team (trustees and clergy) of Family of Parishes #20 (The Catholic Community of Buffalo, North) has evaluated the recommendations presented and received on June 6, 2024 at Vicariate Meeting for the Buffalo (City) Vicariate. They have made the decision to not accept the recommendations received and plan to present counter proposals as per the guidelines/ processes which we have been asked to follow by the Road to Renewal Team of the Diocese of Buffalo. We will be submitting the written counter proposals before August 5th to the review committee and meet with them to present these counter proposals before August 23rd and await the decisions to be released by September 1st.

Many parishioners of the parishes in the Catholic Community of Buffalo, North of course have worries and concerns with regards to what this means for their parish community. This is natural, as this necessary restructuring which is taking place in the Diocese of Buffalo effects the parish communities and the people who make them up and their spiritual lives. This is hard for all the people, especially those who have spent their whole lives being a part of only one parish community or have found solace and consolation in a loving community of faith during difficult moments.

However, parishes that once had to offer six of seven Sunday Masses now only need one or two and these are never full, often using only a half or a quarter of the capacity of the church building. People have moved out of the city or out of WNY and are a part of parish communities elsewhere. Others have lost their faith or stopped actively being a part of the worshiping community of faith. We have too many aging church buildings and properties which are mere blocks from each other, a five-minute car ride, which are in communities that have changed greatly in the hundred and some years since these parishes were founded in places that were still fields and open spaces.

Every parish community has its own set of struggles whether it is financial, building problems, people focused on the wrong things (social or events rather than faith in God and the gospel message), not enough people, an aging population, change in demographics, lack of handicap or mobility challenged accessibility, properties built for a walking community now in a driving world, not enough parking, etc. We are doing our best to meet the signs of the times, looking at what we have realizing that we cannot keep all of it and make sure we have what is necessary to continue to share the good news of Jesus Christ and celebrate the sacraments for the future.

May God Bless You All,

Rev. Joseph W. Tokasz
Parish Administrator
Catholic Community of Buffalo North



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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...


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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.

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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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Desiree Lee 0 2696 Article rating: 3.0

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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,

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