Diocese announces new clergy appointments

Fri, Sep 18th 2015 08:00 am
Office of Communications
Father Todd M. Remick (from left), Father Bernard U. Nowak and Father Lawrence P. Damian (WNYC File)
Father Todd M. Remick (from left), Father Bernard U. Nowak and Father Lawrence P. Damian (WNYC File)

Among the recent clergy assignments announced by Bishop Richard J. Malone are six priests who were given additional terms as pastor at the parishes they have been serving. 

Father Lawrence P. Damian, pastor of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta Parish, Depew; Father Bernard U. Nowak, pastor of Nativity of Our Lord Parish, Orchard Park; Father Todd M. Remick, pastor of St. Mary of Lourdes Parish, Bemus Point; and Father Joseph A. Walter, pastor of St. Dominic Parish, Westfield, have all been appointed to a second term of six years at their parishes.

A graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., Father Damian was ordained in 1971 by Bishop James McNulty.  He was associate pastor at several parishes before receiving his first pastorate in 1991 when he was named pastor at St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Collins Center.  He was also pastor at St. Martin, Langford; St. Mary, New Oregon; and St. Michael, Warsaw, before being named pastor at Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta in 2009.  That parish was formed when St. James and St. Augustine parishes in Depew merged. 

Father Nowak, ordained in 1974, came to Buffalo from Detroit, Mich., as a child.  Over those years, he has served at many parishes throughout the diocese, including simultaneously serving as pastor at five parishes.  His previous assignments as pastor have been at St. Mary of Lourdes, Mayville; St. Mary, Mayville; Our Lady of Lourdes, Bemus Point; Our Lady of Snows, Panama; St. Isaac Jogues, Sherman; and St. Matthias, French Creek.

Following his ordination in 2006, Father Remick was parochial vicar at St. John the Baptist Parish, Kenmore.  In 2009, he was named pastor at St. Mary of Lourdes Parish, Bemus Point.  The parish was formed when St. Mary, Mayville, and Our Lady of Lourdes, Bemus Point, merged in 2008. 

Father Walter, a priest for more than 17 years, was originally a priest of the Order of St. Benedict and used the named Father Marius Walter, OSB.  When he became a diocesan priest, he reverted to his baptismal name, Joseph.  He has been pastor at St. Dominic Parish since 2008.  St. Dominic was formed when St. Thomas More, Ripley, and St. James Major, Westfield, merged in October 2008 and took the name St. Dominic.  Father Walter was administrator at the two parishes prior to the merger.       

Father Paul W. Steller, pastor at St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, Lancaster, and Father Michael G. Uebler, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Tonawanda, both received a third term as pastor at their respective parishes. 

Father Steller, who has degrees from Niagara University; Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.; Canisius College, Buffalo; and St. John Vianney Seminary, East Aurora, also studied at Columbia University, New York, N.Y.  Following his ordination, he was assigned to St. Helen Parish, Hinsdale.  He served in academic settings for many years as either a faculty member or campus minister at the Diocesan Preparatory Seminary and Bishop Fallon High School, both in Buffalo, Erie Community College in both Williamsville and Orchard Park, and at Niagara County Community College, Sanborn. 

Father Uebler, who also is coordinator of the Priests' Personnel Board, was ordained in 1982, and has been at St. Francis since 2003.  Prior to his assignment at St. Francis, Father Uebler served as parochial vicar at St. Ambrose, Buffalo, and St. Edmund, Tonawanda.  He was a faculty member at St. Mary's High School, Lancaster, for nine years and received his first pastorate in 1996 when he was named pastor at SS. Peter and Paul Parish, Arcade. 

Father Krzysztof Frost, SAC, was named pastor of Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish, Cheektowaga, and St. Bernard Parish, Buffalo, for a term of six years.  The parishes officially merged Oct. 1 and are independent parishes sharing a pastor.  The former pastor at Our Lady of Czestochowa, Father Harry Szczesniak, retired and the former administrator at St. Bernard, Deacon Ted May, concluded his ministry at the parish. 

Bishop Malone also named Father Edward "Ted" Jost, former pastor at St. Jude the Apostle Parish, North Tonawanda, administrator of St. Mary of the Lake Parish, Hamburg, for a term of six years. Born in Kansas and raised in Western New York, Father Jost studied English and theater at Niagara University and theater at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.  After working in theater and traveling with a national company, he returned to Western New York and entered the seminary.  Father Jost's previous assignments were at St. Vincent, Springbrook; St. Christopher, Tonawanda; Our Lady of Victory Basilica, Lackawanna; Fourteen Holy Helpers, West Seneca; and Ascension and St. Albert the Great parishes, North Tonawanda.    

Father Patrick T. O'Keefe, parochial vicar at SS. Peter and Paul Parish, Hamburg, was reassigned to the parish with continued responsibility as campus minister at D'Youville College, Buffalo, for a term of three years.  Ordained in 1996, Father O'Keefe, an Orchard Park native, began his work at D'Youville in 2010, two years before being assigned to SS. Peter and Paul.  His previous assignments have included serving as parochial vicar at St. Mary, Swormville; St. Benedict, Eggerstville; and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Orchard Park. Father O'Keefe also was administrator at St. Patrick's in Randolph. 

Father Sebastian C. Pierro was reassigned senior parochial vicar at St. Gregory the Great, for a term of three years.  He was first assigned to the Williamsville parish in 2012.  Ordained by Bishop Edward D. Head in 1982, Father Pierro served as parochial vicar at various suburban Erie County parishes and received his first pastorate in 1994 when he was named pastor at Holy Trinity Parish, Dunkirk.  He went on to serve at St. Peter's Parish, Lewiston, for many years before moving to Hamburg to serve as parochial vicar at SS. Peter and Paul. 

Correction: A previous version of this article listed incorrect information about Father Walter's pastoral career.


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