Msgr. Francis M. Skupien, longtime pastor of St. Mary Parish in Gasport, died Sept. 12, 2018, at the age of 91.
Born April 16, 1927, in Buffalo to Matthew and Blanche (Dziomba) Skupien. He attended Assumption School in Buffalo and Riverside High School, before joining the Diocesan Preparatory Seminary, graduating in 1946. He went on to attend Propagation of the Faith Seminary in Rome, graduating in June 1952, with a bachelor's degree in philosophy and a licentiate of sacred theology.
Msgr. Skupien was ordained Dec. 21, 1951, in Rome by Cardinal Fumasoni Biondi. He celebrated his first Mass the next day at the Basilica of St. Paul in Rome.
As a priest, he served for a year at St. Joseph Parish in Bliss, a missionary parish, then as assistant at St. Joseph Parish, North Tonawanda. From 1956 to 1961, he taught at Notre Dame High School in Batavia. He the then taught at Bishop Gibbons High School in North Tonawanda, where he also served as a guidance counselor. From 1970-1978, he served as pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary in Wilson, then spent the next 17 years as pastor of St. Mary's Gasport. He retired in 1995.
He is predeceased by his parents and siblings, John, Andrew, Mary, Anthony, Rose, Alice, Sister M. Emily CSSF, and Msgr. Joseph Skupien.
Visitation will take place at Assumption Parish Church (435 Amherst St., Buffalo, 14207) on Friday, Sept. 14 at 9 a.m. and immediately followed by a funeral Mass celebrated by Bishop Edward M. Grosz.