Type to search

Clergy Assignments

Bishop Fisher appoints Father Kopec and Father Szczesny to new positions


Bishop Michael Fisher has made the following appointments.

Father Jerome E. Kopec has been appointed episcopal vicar for clergy, effective June 1. Since this will be a full-time position, Father Kopec will leave his role as administrator of St. Philip the Apostle Parish after June 1.

Fr. Jerome Kopec

Father Walter J. Szczesny has been named the bishop’s delegate for Priestly Life and Care. In this new position, Father Szczesny will collaborate with the vicar for clergy and other diocesan offices in providing guidance, direction, and both pastoral and spiritual support to the priests of the diocese. This appointment is effective June 1, and is for a term of three years, renewable at the pleasure of the bishop. This assignment is in addition to his responsibility as pastor of Our Lady of Peace Parish in Clarence. Father Szczesny will be relieved of his office of moderator of the curia as of June 1.

Father Peter J. Karalus was appointed vicar general of the diocese and vice president of the Diocesan Corporation on March 17. He had been serving in that position since 2018, but canon law states that the position must be filled by the current bishop of a diocese.

Bishop Fisher accepted the resignation of Msgr. Salvatore Manganello vicar general on March 30. He will remain as the diocesan judicial vicar, as well as pastor of St. Louis Parish.

Deacon Gary M. Hoover has been appointed temporary parish administrator of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Tonawanda effective March 31. He will no longer be serving as permanent deacon at St. Mary Parish, Swormville.

Fr. Walter Szczesny

Father James C. Croglio will serve as the priest moderator of St. Francis of Assisi, Tonawanda, effective March 31.

Father Peter J. Santandreu has been assigned to higher studies in canon law at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. This assignment will be effective Aug. 26. As of that date, Father Santandreu will no longer serve as parochial vicar at St. Amelia Parish in Tonawanda.

The following priests, whose terms as pastor have concluded, have been reappointed effective April 6, for an additional six-year term or until a subsequent appointment: Father Joseph E. Vatter – St. Paul Parish, Kenmore; Father Richard A. Csizmar – Holy Family Parish, Albion; Father Ivan Skenderovic – St. Raphael Parish, Niagara Falls; Father Mitch Byeck – Epiphany of Our Lord Parish, Langford; Msgr. Robert E. Zapfel – St. Leo the Great Parish, Amherst; Father Leon J. Biernat – St. Gregory the Great Parish, Williamsville; Father Duane R. Klizek – Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph Parish, Niagara Falls; Father Joseph P. Janaczek – Our Lady of Loretto Parish, Falconer; Father Ivan R. Trujillo – Resurrection Parish, Batavia; Father Robert S. Hughson – St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Niagara Falls; Father Dennis F. Fronckowiak – St. Timothy Parish, Tonawanda; Father Matthew J. Zirnheld – St. Andrew Parish, Kenmore; Father Paul D. Seil – St. Bernadette Parish, Orchard Park; Father Karl E. Loeb – St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Springbrook.