The Vatican Congregation for the Clergy has upheld the decision to merge St. Adalbert Parish into St. John Kanty Parish. Both parishes are in Buffalo.
In a letter dated Dec. 16, 2010, Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, prefect for the congregation, wrote, "No obstacle exists for the merger of the parish." This letter serves as the clarification of the status of St. Adalbert Parish that was sought by St. Adalbert parishioners.
On July 1, 2007, Bishop Edward U. Kmiec announced St. Adalbert would merge with St. John Kanty and that St. Adalbert Church would no longer be used. However, as a concession because of the heritage of the parish, the bishop has agreed to designate the church an oratory and it will continue as a place of worship.
Bishop Kmiec said the merger of St. Adalbert and St. John Kanty parishes will be effective March 7, 2011. At that time, St. Adalbert Church will become an oratory of St. John Kanty Parish. An oratory is a sacred place that exists for the convenience of some community or group of the faithful.
Bishop Kmiec will allow one Sunday Mass to be celebrated in the oratory between Mar. 7 and Sept. 18.
The bishop's decision will have no impact on plans for any special events St. Adalbert parishioners have planned, including upcoming Lenten Soup Suppers and their community presence at the Broadway Market this Easter season. We hope that the merged parish of St. John Kanty will become an even stronger presence in the local community.
In a letter read to St. Adalbert parishioners the weekend of Jan. 29-30, Bishop Kmiec said, "I know that this decision will be disappointing for you, but I have every confidence that the depth of your faith will give you the strength to accept this decision and enter fully into the life of St. John Kanty Parish, or another parish of your choice. I would like to express my gratitude to you for the respect and courtesy you have shown to me throughout the appeal process. I understand the appeal was prompted by the love you have for your parish community and for the church building itself."
The final regularly scheduled Mass at St. Adalbert's will be celebrated on Sept. 18, 2011, marking the end of the yearlong observance of the 125th anniversary of the parish. At that point, St. Adalbert Oratory will not have regularly scheduled Masses. It will be available for baptisms, weddings, funerals, anniversaries and other special occaisions, with decisions made by the bishop, in consultation with the leadership of St. John Kanty Parish.
St. John Kanty Parish linked with St. Stanislaus Parish on Dec. 1, 2009. Father Thaddeus Bocianowski is currently pastor of St. Adalbert, St. John Kanty and St. Stanislaus parishes.