Bishop Richard J. Malone recently announced new pastors for several area parishes.
Father Michael K. Brown received his first pastorate when he assumed duties as pastor of Resurrection Parish, Cheektowaga, on Jan. 21, taking over for Father Conrad P. Stachowiak who retired. Ordained in 2016, Father Brown initially joined the Conventual Franciscans when he was younger and spent a year in solitude. After discerning that wasn't the right calling for him, he finished his education at Canisius College, Buffalo, and went on to work for the government for more than two decades. He entered Christ the King Seminary, East Aurora, when he realized his calling had never left him. Father Brown was ordained by Bishop Malone at St. Joseph Cathedral and was assigned to serve as parochial vicar at St. Gabriel Parish, Elma, following his ordination. His new assignment is for a term of six years.
Father James W. Hartwell, who was pastor at St. Michael Parish, Warsaw, since 2009, is now pastor of five parishes in Allegany County. His assignment is for a term of six years. Bishop Malone named him pastor of SS. Brendan & Jude, Alfred/Almond; Blessed Sacrament, Andover; Holy Family of Jesus, Mary & Joseph, Belmont; and St. Mary, Bolivar; Immaculate Conception, Wellsville. The former pastor, Father Sean DiMaria, is now pastor of St. John Paul II Parish, Lake View. A native of Erie, Pa., Father Hartwell has served as parochial vicar at Infant of Prague Parish, Cheektowaga, and Nativity of Our Lord Parish, Orchard Park. Bishop Edward U. Kmiec named him pastor of St. Michael Parish in 2009. Father Hartwell, who was ordained in 2002, also served as vicar forane for the of Genesee-Wyoming vicariate.
Father John J. Arogyasami was named administrator of St. Mary Parish in Holley and St. Mark Parish in Kendall for a term of five years. Born, raised and ordained in India, Father Arogyasami first came to serve as a priest in the United States in 2003. He worked in Louisiana until 2016, when he moved to Western New York and was assigned to serve as temporary administrator at St. John Parish, Olean. He went on to serve in the same capacity at various other parishes in the diocese. In the summer of 2018, he was named temporary administrator at St. Mary and St. Mark.
The Diocese of Buffalo's first lay female pastoral minister, Deborah Brown, was given a three-year assignment at St. John the Baptist, Alden, the parish she had been serving since last year. In late 2017, Bishop Malone assigned Brown to the parish as pastoral minister; she began her duties on Jan. 3, 2018. Two priests serve as sacramental minister and priest moderator for the parish. In addition to previous parish work and teaching at Christ the King Seminary, Brown's credentials include a master's degree in pastoral ministry and a certificate in parish administration, both from Christ the King Seminary.
Father Vincent J. Becker was named priest moderator for St. John the Baptist Parish, Alden. Father Becker, a priest for almost 57 years, will supervise the pastoral care for the parish in accord with canon law. Following his ordination in 1962, he worked in Puerto Rico and, after his return to the diocese, he did pastoral work with in the Spanish Apostolate. He has been pastor at several parishes including St. Columba, Buffalo; St. Mary, Swormville; St. Martin, Buffalo; Immaculate Conception, Wellsville; Blessed Sacrament, Andover; and St. John of the Cross, Whitesville.