Bishop Richard J. Malone has named new pastors for two area parishes. Father Michael P. Zuffoletto was named pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Buffalo, and Father Sean DiMaria was named pastor of St. John Paul II Parish, Lake View. Both assignments are for a term of six years.
Father DiMaria, who previously served as the pastor of five area parishes concurrently, SS. Brendan & Jude, Almond-Alfred; Blessed Sacrament, Andover; Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Belmont; St. Mary, Bolivar; and Immaculate Conception, Wellsville, assumed his duties at his new parish on Jan. 31. Ordained in 2005, Father DiMaria's first priestly assignment was as parochial vicar at SS. Peter and Paul Parish, Hamburg. In 2008, he was named pastor of Blessed Sacrament and SS. Brendan & Jude. Pastorates in Wellsville, Belmont and Bolivar were later added. At St. John Paul II Parish, Father DiMaria takes over for Father Peter Karalus who was named diocesan moderator of the curia and vicar general in the fall of 2018.
Father Zuffoletto had retired from active priestly duties in 2013 when he was serving as pastor at St. Peter Parish in Lewiston. A graduate of St. John Vianney Seminary, East Aurora, and Canisius College, Buffalo, Father Zuffoletto was ordained in 1972 and served in various parishes throughout the diocese. He was an assistant at Ascension Parish, North Tonawanda; Our Mother of Good Counsel, Blasdell; Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Niagara Falls; Assumption Parish, Buffalo; and was a weekend assistant at St. Thomas Aquinas, Buffalo. Father Zuffoletto also taught at St. Mary's High School, Lancaster, and served in the Diocese of San Diego. He served his country as a U.S. Navy chaplain for many years before returning to the Diocese of Buffalo to become pastor at St. Peter, Lewiston.
Bishop Malone has given Father Robert W. Wardenski a third term as pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish, East Aurora. Originally assigned to the parish in 2005, Father Wardenski had served as parochial vicar at several parishes in the diocese including St. Adalbert, St. James and St. Rose of Lima, all in Buffalo, as well as St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Tonawanda and St. Paul in Kenmore. He received his first pastorate in 1989 when he was named pastor of both St. Peter, LeRoy, and St. Anthony, Lime Rock. In October 1999, Father Wardenski was appointed pastor at St. William Parish, West Seneca, where he served until moving to Immaculate Conception.
Father Victor Ibhawa was named administrator of Blessed Trinity Parish, Buffalo, for a term of three years; he had been serving as the parish's temporary administrator since the retirement of the pastor, Father George L. Reger, in October 2016. Father Ibhawa, a native of Nigeria, was ordained in 2010 and came to the United States in 2013 to further his education.
Bishop Malone also announced the appointment of Father Paul D. Seil as chaplain to the Buffalo Fire Department. Ordained in 1989, Father Seil has been pastor of St. Bernadette Parish for the past 10 years. In addition to various parish assignments, Father Seil was the host of the "Our Daily Bread" cooking show produced by Daybreak TV Productions and director of the diocesan Office of Worship. Father Joseph Bayne, OFM Conv., was the previous chaplain for the Buffalo Fire Department. Father Bayne, a Franciscan priest, was assigned by his order to a position in Massachusetts last summer.