Bishop Richard J. Malone has informed members of two parishes in Kaisertown that their faith communities will be linking, effective Oct. 1.
The Pallottine Fathers have offered to send a priest to the Diocese of Buffalo to serve as pastor of both St. Bernard Parish in Buffalo and Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish in Cheektowaga. The two parishes will be linked, which means that they will be independent parishes sharing a pastor. The Pallottines may send a second priest to serve as parochial vicar for both parishes.
"Our pastoral planning process reflects the declining number of priests serving in the diocese," Bishop Malone said. "We are fortunate that the Pallottine Fathers are assigning a priest to lead these two parishes, and I am sure the parishioners will work collaboratively with their new pastor to ensure a smooth transition."
Father Harry Szczesniak, pastor of Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish for the past 22 years, will retire effective Oct. 1. Deacon Ted May, temporary administrator of St. Bernard Parish, is concluding his ministry in the parish.
"I am deeply grateful to Father Szczesniak and Deacon May for their selfless service," Bishop Malone said.