Bishop Richard J. Malone announced new assignments for several local clergy including the eight newly-ordained priests

Wed, Jul 17th 2019 10:00 am

Father Thomas M. Mahoney, who had been serving as parochial vicar at St. Gregory the Great Parish, Williamsville, since his 2015 ordination, was named administrator of St. Peter Parish in Niagara County. St. Peter's has two worship sites, Lewiston and the St. Bernard worship site in Youngstown. The parish's former pastor, Msgr. David G. LiPuma recently took over as pastor at Our Lady of Victory Basilica, Lackawanna.

Father Gregory Gallagher, OMI, resigned as pastor of Holy Cross Parish, Buffalo, effective July 15. He will continue to serve as pastor of both Holy Angels and Our Lady of Hope parishes, both in Buffalo. Father Francisco Gomez, OMI, has been named pastor at Holy Cross, effective July 15. Father Gomez previously was parochial vicar at Holy Angels, Holy Cross and Our Lady of Hope parishes. Both Father Gallagher and Father Gomez are religious order priests from the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and came to the diocese in 2017.

Father Lukasz Kopala, a native of Poland, has been given the additional responsibilities as temporary administrator at Holy Name of Mary Parish in Ellicottville. Ordained in 2015, Father Kopala will continue to serve as parochial vicar at St. John Vianney Parish, Orchard Park, where he has been assigned since becoming a priest. In Ellicottville, he takes over for Father Timothy J. Koester who was named pastor of Most Precious Blood Parish, Angola, in June.

Pastor of Nativity of Our Lord Parish, Orchard Park, Father James D. Ciupek was named vicar forane for the Southern Erie Vicariate for a term of three years. The former vicar forane, Msgr. Paul J. E. Burkard, retired from active priestly duties on June 1. Father Ciupek, who has been serving at Nativity since 2017, also was pastor at St. John the Baptist, Alden, and parochial vicar at St. Gregory the Great and SS. Peter and Paul, Hamburg.

Bishop Malone also announced that Father Johnson Machado has been incardinated into the Diocese of Buffalo. Father Machado was ordained in 2005 in India and has been ministering at St. John Neumann Parish, Strykersville, since 2015. 

The eight men who received holy orders on June 1 have their first assignments as priests. Each is serving as parochial vicar at their respective parishes. Father Robert Contarin is at St. Mark and St. Rose of Lima parishes in North Buffalo. Father Moses Ikuelogbon is at St. Gregory the Great and Father Aaron Kulczyk is at St. Gabriel Parish, Elma. Father Robert Owczarczak is in Orchard Park at St. Bernadette Parish and Father Mario Racho is in Lancaster at St. Mary of the Assumption Parish. Father Patryk Sobczyk is at Holy Family, Albion, and Father Justin Steeg is at Our Lady of Victory Basilica. In addition to serving at St. Joseph Cathedral, Buffalo, Father Donald Watkins is also serving at Collins Correctional Facility.  

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