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Diocese celebrates first anniversary vicariate Mass at OLV Basilica

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On Wednesday, June 1, Bishop Michael W. Fisher presided over the first of several Masses of Thanksgiving paying tribute to the Diocese of Buffalo’s 175th anniversary. OLV National Shrine & Basilica hosted the celebration that brought together clergy and faithful from parishes throughout the Southern Erie Vicariate. Concelebrants included the priests of the vicariate with participation from several of its deacons.

Vicariate Mass – Msgr. Paul J.E. Burkard delivers his homily during the Southeastern Vicariate Mass honoring the 175th anniversary of the Diocese of Buffalo. Bishop Michael W. Fisher looks on. (Photo courtesy of OLV National Shrine & Basilica)

“It was a tremendous evening and a wonderful honor for us to host the Mass,” said Msgr. David G. LiPuma, pastor of OLV. “To be able to celebrate the diocese in this way – by gathering together and worshipping in the basilica – is something I know all of the attendees will remember for a long time.”

The service was highlighted by homilist Msgr. Paul J.E. Burkard, pastor emeritus of Our Lady of Victory Parish, who talked about those that founded and grew the Diocese of Buffalo in its first decades. He asked attendees to live their lives with the same spirit of faith and courage that pioneers such as St. John Neumann, Bishop John Timon and Venerable Nelson Baker had as they made their mark on Western New York’s Catholics forever.

The next Mass of Thanksgiving will be celebrated with members of the Northern Erie Vicariate at SS. Peter & Paul Parish in Williamsville on July 28.

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