Fr. Cole's Update - June 4, 2023
God gifted us with a beautiful day to remember and pray for the souls of all our departed service men and women who died in the service to our country. Over 100 people attended our Memorial Day Mass in St. Bernard Cemetery! Commander Ed Jackson of Youngstown VFW Post 313 erected and explained the soldier's cross as well are the various military branches whose flags were on display. Boy Scout Troop 829, who meet in our St. Bernard site hall, presented the colors, led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and served as a lector. Our full parish choir lent their voices for Mass closing with the patriotic America the Beautiful.
A very special thank you to the
many volunteers whose assistance allowed us to gather in in prayer, bless the graves of all who are laid to rest in our cemetery, and unite the souls of all the departed to Christ’s saving sacrifice.
Fr. Cole's Update - May 14, 2023
July 17-21, 2024. This year our state will be hosting the New York State Eucharistic Congress October 20-22, 2023 at Our Lady of Martyr’s Shrine in Auriesville, NY, the National Shrine of the North American Martyrs and of St. Kateri Tekakwitha.
Some of the speakers and musicians include:
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Fr. Dave Dwyer C.S.P.,. Bishop Joseph Espaillat II, Fr. Richard Fragomeni PH.D,.Dr. Peter Kreeft, Sr. Mary Grace Langrell SV, Lisa Lickona, Mother Clare Matthiass CFR, Katie PreJean McGrady, Mari Pablo, Bishop Edward Scharfenberger.
I would encourage you to learn more by checking out the following websites:
National Eucharistic Revival
National Eucharistic Congress
New York State Eucharistic Congress
Fr. Cole's Update - 2/21/2023
Important Renewal Update
St. Peter Parish Family,
As you have likely heard, the Diocese of Buffalo has begun a revitalization and restructuring process, the Road to Renewal. This process groups parishes into “families” headed by a pastor who is assisted by parochial vicars (associates). The idea is to strengthen our parishes with our diminishing number of priests. There is already a plethora of parishes within our diocese that share priests due to low clergy numbers. Diocesan statistical projections indicate that by 2030 we will have 99 active diocesan priests (only 66 of those under the age of 70) to serve 161 parishes. To position ourselves for the future, priests are being assigned to “families of parishes” that they will minister within.
I have spoken from the pulpit, and published, the challenging financial position that we find ourselves in. We are not alone. A very special thank you to those who responded by increasing your offertory support. From the supermarket to travel costs and wage increases, everyone from families and not-for-profits such as ours is feeling the pinch, our parish is not immune. With the Road to Renewal, parishes will remain financially independent but will be able to share services. If one parish has a great Faith Formation program, why can’t they be the hub for the whole family? Rather than replace an employee that departs, can their job’s duties be reallocated to another employee within the family?
Our family of parishes is among the smallest in the diocese as we are positioned to work together with St. Raphael’s in the DeVeaux neighborhood. A pastor and one other priest will then minister to our three worship sites (St. Raphael, St. Peter, St. Bernard). While I put my name in to become the pastor of the family, to date this has not been confirmed.
As the pilot phase of the Renewal rolled out, it was evident that rather than having set deadlines to
form a family, a rolling start would be more beneficial so that when a parish is ready they can begin the process. All parishes, however, are to be operating as a family by 2024. After consultation with our Pastoral and Finance Councils we have agreed that we are ready to begin the Renewal Process and face our challenges head on!
Rev. Bryan Zielenieski, Vicar for Renewal, will be preaching Masses March 18 & 19. He will then facilitate a parish Town Hall Meeting on Monday, March 20 at 7:00pm in the church at our St. Peter site. I also want to share with you that as part of the Renewal, parishes have been asked to keep their 2024 Mass Book closed until a new Mass schedule for the family has been established. There are Masses still available for 2023.
I find it fortuitous that our town hall meeting is on the feast of our diocesan patron, St. Joseph. He of all people can inspire us to be open to the movement of the Spirit calling us to work fervently yet humbly in the vineyard of the Lord.