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Father Charles Zadora 1941-2023


Father Charles J. Zadora, a retired priest of the Diocese of Buffalo, died Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023.

Father Charles Zadora

Born July 27, 1941, in Buffalo, to Charles P. and Pearl (Tobolski) Zadora, he spent 21 years as a student of Catholic education beginning with St. Stephen School in Buffalo. He went on to Father Baker High School in Lackawanna, the Diocesan Preparatory Seminary in Buffalo where he finished out his high school education and began college. He earned his bachelor’s degree from St. John Vianney Seminary, East Aurora in 1967.

Father Zadora was ordained May 20, 1967, at St. Joseph Cathedral by Bishop Stanislaus Brzana. He celebrated his first Mass the next day at his home parish of St. Stephen.

Common to priests at the time, Father Zadora spent his first year as a priest in the missionary apostolate serving the lightly populated areas. In his case, at St. Isidore in East Otto.

He then served as pastoral associate at St. Bernard in Buffalo, St. Adalbert in Buffalo, St. Mary in Lockport, St. Patrick in Salamanca, Our Lady of Victory in Lackawanna, St. Bernadette in Orchard Park, and Most Precious Blood in Angola.I

n 1984, he received his first pastorate at St. Isaac Jogues in Sherman, and St. Thomas More in Ripley. This was followed by assignments at St. Aloysius in Springville, and St. Joseph in Fredonia. He retired in 2016.

In a 2017 interview with the Western New York Catholic, Father Zadora looked back at his 50th anniversary of priesthood.“I love being a priest,” he said. “I love doing what I do, and I’m good, particularly, at the liturgy. I like caring for people and visiting the hospital, which is a big thing in my life.”

Father Zadora was a Knight of Columbus and a Knight of St. John, and served on the Interfaith Holocaust Commemoration Committee in Dunkirk.

He is survived by his siblings Christine Norris, Thomas Zadora, James Zadora, nieces and nephews.

Father Zadora will lie in repose at Our Lady of Victory National Shrine & Basilica, 767 Ridge Road, Lackawanna on Wednesday, Aug. 9, from 4-7 p.m. and Thursday, Aug. 10, from 9-10 a.m., immediately followed by a funeral Mass with Bishop Michael W. Fisher as the main celebrant.