St. Joseph Cathedral, 50 Franklin St. in downtown Buffalo, will be the setting for the ordination of three men to the priesthood on Saturday, May 28 at 9:30 a.m.
Bishop Richard J. Malone, bishop of Buffalo, will confer Holy Orders on Rev. Mr. Michael K. Brown, Rev. Mr. Samuel T. Giangreco Jr. and Rev. Mr. Michael P. LaMarca through the invocation of the Holy Spirit and the imposition of hands.
The three deacons will graduate from Christ the King Seminary, East Aurora, on Friday, May 13. Following their ordination, Bishop Malone will appoint them to their first assignments as priests at parishes in the diocese.
Deacon Brown's life before the priesthood was not typical of most seminarians. He started college at St. Francis College in Loretto, Pa., but, after a semester, returned home to attend Canisius College, Buffalo. He joined the Conventual Franciscans after a few semesters at Canisius and spent a year in solitude. He had grown up in a religious family, had a strong devotion to Mary and thought this was his calling. He later decided that life was not exactly the right fit for him. He finished his studies at Canisius and went on to spend more than two decades working for the government. In addition to teaching middle school math and religious education at various parishes, he married and raised two sons, Justin and Robert. Years after his divorce and annulment, the Buffalo native entered Christ the King Seminary to answer the call that never really left him. During his studies at the seminary, Deacon Brown was assigned to St. Brendan on the Lake, Newfane; Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Orchard Park; St. Jude the Apostle, North Tonawanda; Mercy Hospital, Buffalo; and Sacred Heart of Jesus, Bowmansville.
Deacon Giangreco, who has a bachelor's degree in sociology from the State University of New York at Buffalo, said he felt his calling to the priesthood at an early age but ignored it. The idea surfaced again when he was a freshman in college. He said he felt overcome by an intense feeling of love after praying one evening. That experience reminded him of the call he felt when he was much younger. The Williamsville native finished his studies and entered Christ the King Seminary the fall after his graduation from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Deacon Giangreco's assignments as a seminarian have been at St. John Neumann, Strykersville; Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Niagara Falls; St. Martin of Tours, Buffalo; Immaculate Conception, East Aurora; and St. John Vianney, Orchard Park.
Deacon LaMarca had his own unique background before entering the seminary. He began his college studies at St. Bonaventure University and, after his first year, switched to Medaille College, Buffalo, with intentions of having a career is sport management. He interned with the Buffalo Bisons, working on opening day and even as the team's mascot, Buster Bison, and was focused on working in the business of sports. Like Deacon Giangreco, Deacon LaMarca entered the seminary right after college after thoughts of the priesthood kept entering his mind. He credits his family for their support during his formation and his friends who showed interest in his journey along the way. Born in Buffalo and raised in West Seneca, the future Father LaMarca was assigned to several parishes during his seminary years, Immaculate Conception, Wellsville; St. Peter, Lewiston; St. Christopher, Tonawanda; and St. Joseph Cathedral, Buffalo. He also served at the St. Joseph Campus of Sisters of Charity Hospital, Cheektowaga; the Franciscan Center, Buffalo; and in the diocesan office of Pro-Life Activities.