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Msgr. Lorenzetti never let the bad times get the best of him

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Msgr. Dino Lorenzetti accepts birthday wishes from Mary Lou Cappellini, just one of the many people at St. John the Baptist Parish in Kenmore that wanted to thank him for his many years of dedicated service to the Church. Photo by Patrick J. Buechi

Part 2 of 2

Even when bad luck came his way, Msgr. Dino Lorenzetti found a way to turn it into something positive.

A trusted friend stole Msgr. Lorenzetti’s life savings. Rather than wallow in self-pity, he wrote about it in his first book, “The Agony of Betrayal,” revealing how this con artist played on the priest’s sympathies and made him hand over money for supposed medical expenses. Msgr. Lorenzetti wanted to share his story in an effort to help others who have faced betrayal in some form.

With Naval Park Board Chariman Don Alessi by his side, Msgr. Dino Lorenzetti speaks during a ceremony where he was inducted into The Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park Wall of Honor. Msgr. Lorenzetti, who served in the Air Corps during World War II, continues to support veteran affairs. Photo by Dan Cappellazzo

“Maybe I could comfort someone else who had been deceived and know that there is a remedy for it,” he said at the time. “In the secular world suffering pain is wasteful and not worth anything. It’s foolish in a way. But in the faith, suffering can be redemptive. It can be unified to the suffering of Jesus Christ where he himself had been betrayed, that was part of the redemptive action that we can be part of.”

He found putting his thoughts clearly on paper to be beneficial and therapeutic.

“(Msgr. Lorenzetti) has a lot of faith in people and sometimes has gotten burned in his own personal experiences, but he hasn’t given up on people,” said Mahony, adding the lesson is if you project love towards people, it will come back to you.

A second book, “Addio: See You in Heaven,” serves as a guide to prepare the living for heaven.

The World War II veteran shares stories from his own life and friends who have lost loved ones to demonstrate a peace in the afterlife. He views the acts of dying, as he does with most things, through a Catholic lens.

“I guess for those who do not have faith, death must be something like a graduation from school. It is the end, period,” he wrote. “But for the person of faith, death is a commencement; the beginning of a new school, new friends, new studies. It is a time pregnant with hope to be united with Him, our Blessed Mother, the choirs of angels, saints and heavenly hosts.”

“He’s a wonderful man, that’s for sure, and he’s a very good priest,” said Father Bart Lipiec, pastor of St. Martha Parish in Depew, one of the parishes where Msgr. Lorenzetti celebrates Mass. “He has a genuine love for people. There’s an authenticity to it that is not pretentious whatsoever. That’s what he is. People sense that in him, and they know they’re cared for. It shows itself in the way he treats people, the way he celebrates the Eucharist.”

The two have served at St. Martha’s together for about 16 years. Father Lipiec views Msgr. Lorenzetti as an example of an ideal priest.

“I look to him as a model of what it is to be a pastor and a good shepherd; how to deal with people, and how to deal with people who differ from you and may not necessarily agree with you,” he said. “I’ve kind of learned from him that facility of defusing situations, talking in a reasonable and calm manner, and yet, allowing people to express themselves.”

During a June 18 Mass at St. John the Baptist Parish in Kenmore, Msgr. Lorenzetti was presented with a citation by Assemblyman Bill Conrad, “in honor of his centennial birthday and in gratitude for his faithful and generous commitment to teaching the people of the Catholic Church, his unfailing demonstration of Christ-like love and kindness as a gift to the world.”

Town Supervisor Joseph Emminger toasted Monsignor’s great generous spirit by proclaiming July 23, 2021, Msgr. Dino Lorenzetti Day in the Town of Tonawanda for “his contributions of nurturing the people of God through his ministry over the last century.”

The parish also presented him with a cake and sang “Happy Birthday,” to which he replied, “I thank you so much,” sung in the same tune.

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