Father Dennis Mende 1946-2021
Father Dennis W. Mende, a longtime fixture in Jamestown, died Sept. 8, 2021. The pastor of Holy Apostles and St. James parishes was 74.
Born Dec. 7, 1946, in Franklin, New Jersey, to Rudolph and Margaret (Torok) Mende, Father Mende was educated in the Kenmore area attending Sweet Home Central School, Herbert Hoover Jr. High School and Kenmore East High School. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from SUNY at Albany in 1968. He graduated from Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora in 1983, then ordained on Nov. 19, 1983, at St. Joseph Church in Albion by Bishop Edward D. Head.
He had served as parochial vicar at St. Mark, Buffalo; St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Dunkirk; St. Amelia, Tonawanda; and St. Mary of the Assumption, Lancaster. From 1990-1993, he served as director of the Office of Worship. In 1995, he was named pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Buffalo. In 1999, he moved to SS. Peter & Paul, Jamestown. SS. Peter & Paul merged with St. John and took on the name Holy Apostles in 2008. On July 1 of this year, Father Mende took on the additional responsibility of pastor of St. James.
Through his years as a priest, he also served as chaplain of Carmelite Monastery; Brooks Memorial Hospital, Dunkirk; and Chautauqua County Home, Dunkirk. He served as parochial vicar for the Hispanic Community at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Dunkirk.
Father Mende was named Religious Educator of the Year in 2004.
Father Mende enjoyed his time in Jamestown. He also loved gardening, traveling and listening to music. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Richard.
Father Mende will lie-in-state at Holy Apostles Parish, SS. Peter & Paul site, 508 Cherry Street, Jamestown on Monday, Sept. 13 from 12-7 p.m., prayers immediately following.Family will be present from 1-5 p.m. Additional calling hours will be on Tuesday, Sept. 14 from 9-11 a.m. at SS. Peter & Paul Church. A funeral Mass will be celebrated immediately following at 11 a.m., with Bishop Michael W. Fisher as the main celebrant.