EAST AURORA — Christ the King Seminary will host its annual Curé of Ars Awards dinner on Thursday, Oct. 1, at the Adam's Mark Hotel and Event Center. This year's event will honor Msgr. Thomas F. Maloney and the permanent diaconate community of the Diocese of Buffalo.
Msgr. Maloney is being recognized for more than 47 years of dedicated service and ministry in the Diocese of Buffalo, including the past 20 years as pastor of St. Amelia Parish in Tonawanda. Msgr. Maloney consistently has demonstrated a particular devotion to Catholic education and the support of vocations.
The permanent diaconate community of the Diocese of Buffalo represents a total of 209 men who have made an incredible journey of being ordained as permanent deacons. They serve as examples of loyal faith and charity to the people of God. Deacon John Leardon, director of deacon personnel for the diocese, and Deacon Greg Feary, director of deacon formation, will accept the award for the permanent diaconate.
Father Joseph Gatto, president-rector of Christ the King Seminary, said Msgr. Maloney is richly deserving of the award.
"Much like St. John Vianney, who is known as the patron saint of all priests, Msgr. Maloney's counsel has been sought by bishops, priests, women religious, and men and women contemplating a vocation including the permanent diaconate, along with parishioners from all walks of life and facing a variety of challenges, and parish staff," Father Gatto said. "Msgr. Maloney has also demonstrated a particular devotion to education and ministering to young people."
Father Gatto praised the deacons of the diocese.
"These men responded to their inner stirring and a calling from God to serve as ministers of the Word, to proclaim the Gospel and preach the homily; ministers of the Liturgy, to baptize, to witness marriages, Communion services and conduct funeral rites; and ministers of service, to work with the marginalized, the poor and the imprisoned, while also bringing comfort to the sick," he said. "They minister in parishes throughout the diocese, often inspiring others to become active members of their parish. They also minister in prisons, hospitals and immigrant communities throughout Western New York, work with young people, and offer faith-formation, such as RCIA."
The program begins with cocktails at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and an awards ceremony at 6:30 p.m.
Theresa Kazmierczak, a retired public relations professional at M&T Bank and a member of the seminary's board of trustees, is this year's chair. Msgr. Richard Siepka, director of spiritual formation for the seminary, is vice chair. The event is sponsored by Maid of the Mist.
The Curé of Ars was established in 1985 to honor those who reflect the qualities of Christian dedication and service that marked the life of St. John Vianney. The award is presented to individuals or organizations whose qualities include a particular attention to healing those in need of God's reconciling love, a willingness to contribute their gifts towards pastoral care, and a commitment to the Church as a primary instrument for the divine-human encounter.