Milestones of All Kinds
The history of the Church in Buffalo is constantly unfolding. It began on April 23, 1847 when Pope Pius IX first established the diocese with just a handful of priests to serve a rapidly growing population. During this present era, our faith community is made up of 164 parishes whose social, pastoral, and ministerial works provide spiritual support and outreach services to more than 500,000 people – of all faiths and backgrounds – in need each year. Last week saw two new milestones to be marked amidst this robust history:
On Sunday, St. Margaret Parish in North Buffalo celebrated its 100th anniversary. Nested Hertel Avenue near Colvin, this church was first identified by the fifth bishop of Buffalo, Most Reverend Dennis Dougherty, to meet the needs of the people in an area that had the promise of rapid growth. Present-day church-goers are filled with pride that their parish continues to have such a significant impact at home and throughout the community. “I can still remember one Christmas Eve Mass,” reminisced one life-long St. Margaret’s parishioner, “when the pastor asked if my 3-month-old grandson, who’s in college now, could play the baby Jesus in the Nativity play. Just having that memory – and that he may have a son for himself in another few years who will be a parishioner here, too – it’s something special.” St. Margaret’s recently began its Upon This Rock campaign, led by Fr. Joseph Wolf who has already raised 10% of the parish’s $530,000 goal.
Elsewhere in the Diocese, a different kind of milestone was reached, as Holy Trinity, Medina exceeded its goal by over $75,000! Fr. Daniel Fawls reports that his parishioners brought in 141 gifts to the Upon This Rock campaign, citing the prospect of many new renovations to both of the parish’s worship sites as a key reason for generosity. Fr. Fawls shared with us, “Many parishioners responded enthusiastically to the idea of replacing the outdated sound system in St. Mary's Church as well as the idea of having a dedicated fund which will allow us to quickly address problems that face our buildings and properties without relying on our regular offertory funds.” The campaign has had an unexpected, secondary effect at Holy Trinity, further strengthening the church’s future. Fr. Fawls explained that Upon This Rock helped “to bring the parishioners of our merged parishes closer together in pursuit of a common goal and sharing in the success of the campaign.”
Whether we’re reflecting on our past or looking out to our future, we must consider the abundance of the blessings brought before us every day and strive to move forward with a deepened sense of discipleship and stewardship of these gifts. We thank you as volunteers, benefactors, clergy, and other supporters of Upon This Rock for accepting this challenge to secure a lasting legacy for the future.
Read below for even more good news from the Upon This Rock initiative!