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Retired pastor, Msgr. Del Vecchio passes away

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Msgr. Michael E. Del Vecchio, the longtime pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Lovejoy, died March 14, 2021. He was 92.

Born Oct. 15, 1928, in Lackawanna, Msgr. Del Vecchio attended Our Lady of Victory Parish and School. He even received his first Communion from the now Venerable Nelson H. Baker. He went on to attended the Diocesan Preparatory Seminary in Buffalo and Our Lady of the Angels Seminary at Niagara University. He was ordained May 5, 1954.

His assignments included assisting at St. Joseph Parish, Niagara Falls; St. John Parish, Olean; Annunciation Parish, Buffalo; Our Lady of Pompeii Parish, Lancaster; and Our Lady of Victory Basilica. In August 1973, Bishop Edward Head named Msgr. Del Vecchio to his only pastorate – St. Francis of Assisi in Buffalo, where he stayed until his retirement in 1998.

Msgr. Del Vecchio served as chaplain to Native Americans in Allegany and Cattaraugus Reservations. On April 24, 1993, Pope John Paul II named him a Prelate of Honor earning him the title of monsignor.

He is survived by his siblings Joseph Del Vecchio and Mary Miller. He is predeceased by his parents and sister Jeanette Grasso.

Msgr. Del Vecchio will lie-in-state at OLV National Shrine and Basilica, on Wednesday, March 17 from 4-7 p.m. A concelebrated funeral Mass will take place Thursday, March 18 at 10 a.m. at the basilica. Bishop Michael Fisher will be the main celebrant. Burial will be at Holy Cross Cemetery, Lackawanna.  

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