Father Michael Uebler
Found while reading church bulletins from all over the diocese:
Father Michael Uebler, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Tonawanda, wrote about a unique class that was formed last year to teach religion to those with special needs.
Five young people were prepared for First Reconciliation which they received in May.
“This was a special moment for me,” Father Uebler wrote. “When I was first ordained I had always hoped I could minister to the handicapped in a full-time position. We no longer have enough priests to allow one of us to go into this in a full-time position. It means a lot to me that this ministry was brought to our parish. I am thankful to the adults who devoted their time to our special needs students.”
Father Uebler wrote that he is looking forward to next year when they will receive their First Holy Communion.
Two Catholic elementary schools in Orchard Park are celebrating 50 years of educating children. St. John Vianney School (1960) is just beginning its celebration while St. Bernadette School (1959) is wrapping up its festivities. Both schools opened as the population of Buffalo began to shift to the suburbs.
St. John Vianney Parish opened on June 15, 1958, with a Mass in a parking lot. Two years later, on Sept. 7, 1960, the school opened with 174 students enrolled in kindergarten through fourth-grade.
St. Bernadette Parish opened in 1957, with the school following two years later.
In Lackawanna, Our Lady of Victory Basilica is offering walk-in tours on Sundays at 1 and 2 p.m. Tours begin in the back of the church, and include the basilica, Msgr. Nelson H. Baker’s tomb and the spectacular new Father Baker Museum plus a stop at the new gift shop.
Seminarians from Christ the King Seminary are spending the summer months learning about parish life. John Adams has been assigned to Our Lady of Pompeii Parish in Lancaster. He’ll work in youth ministry, summer Bible school, as well as being present at daily Mass (“plus a whole lot more”) according to the parish bulletin.
Adams will be in good hands. Our Lady of Pompeii’s pastor is Father Leon Biernat, former diocesan vocations director
St. Mary Parish in Swormville, which celebrated the opening of its new church last month, honored two of its parishioners. Florence Herberger and Clara Roneker both turned 100 within the past two months.
St. Dominic Parish, with worship sites in Brocton and Westfield, sold the former St. Thomas More Church in Ripley. Father Marius Walter, OSB, pastor of the parish, explained the process that led to the sale included an ad hoc committee of parishioners who reviewed offers for the property, then made a recommendation to the St. Dominic Pastoral Council.
“Both committees were unanimous in deciding to accept the offer from the Knight Family, which stated an intended use of the building to be used as a type of farmer’s market, providing an outlet for local farmers to benefit from its use. The offer also stated an intent to let the Ripley Food Pantry use some of the facility for its operations.”
The sale will not only contribute to the healing of those who were members of St. Thomas More Parish, but Father Walter said it will also give them the opportunity to continue to serve in a location they helped to build and maintain. “Efforts will now benefit the town of Ripley and others who use the building in ways from which God’s children will benefit.”
Msgr. David Gallivan, pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Buffalo and former director of the Hispanic Apostolate for the diocese, hosted the Directors of Hispanic Apostolate of the Northeast in May. A member of the conference since 1980, Msgr. Gallivan wrote, “Many of us noticed how our ministries are largely among immigrant groups who come increasingly from countries and cultures that are not Latin American. This presents both challenges and blessings. We all know that from the experience of our own parish.”
St. Louis Parish in downtown Buffalo is honoring the dedication of Dr. William Fiden, who for years maintained the crypt of former pastor Father Joseph Sorg who is buried in the church. A plaque will be placed in the crypt, presented by the St. Louis Parish Council, acknowledging Dr. Fiden for his “determination and leadership” that made restoration of “this sacred room possible.”
Diana Damstetter of the Office of Communications helped to research this column.