On Monday, May 13, parishioners of Our Mother of Good Counsel in Blasdell hosted a private meeting to discuss recent events which involved their pastor, Rev. Robert J. Orlowski, and raised concerns about actions which might be construed as sexual harassment.
The intent of the meeting was to address concerns and foster hope. It allowed members of the parish a safe space to share their anger and disappointment, a place for them to know they were not carrying their pain alone. It invited a conversation about the situation in hopes of rebuilding trust and inviting forgiveness.
Parishioners were joined by Fr. Peter Karalus, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia for the Diocese of Buffalo, who is also an experienced pastor. The discussion had three parts:
Not all questions could be answered, since both the parish and the diocese remain committed to respecting the privacy of everyone involved. This was a first conversation, with the possibility of others in the future. The sentiment, which resonated throughout the discussion, affirmed the fundamental hope that despite struggles, redemption is at hand.