Msgr. Joseph M. Dowdell 1935-2019

Mon, Jul 29th 2019 11:10 am

Msgr. Joseph M. Dowdell, who was known for his near quarter century as pastor for Sacred Heart Parish in Lakewood, died July 26, 2019, at the St. Joseph Campus of Sisters of Charity Hospital, Cheektowaga."

Born Aug. 14, 1935, in Buffalo, the son of Michael J. and Rose (Burkhardt) Dowdell attended St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute in Kenmore and Canisius College, where he earned a degree in bachelor's degree in business administration. He also attended SUNY Fredonia, St. Lawrence University in Canton, and Catholic University of Puerto Rico. For seminary studies, he attended Christ the King Seminary at St. Bonaventure, where he earned a master's degree in theology, and St. John Vianney Seminary in East Aurora."

He was ordained March 9, 1963, at St. Joseph New Cathedral, Buffalo by Bishop Leo Smith.

His varied assignments include ministry in Santa Cruz, Puerto Rico; Spanish-speaking Apostolate; professor at Cardinal Mindszenty High School in Dunkirk; associate chaplain at Mercy Hospital in Buffalo; assistant pastor at St. Peter Parish, Lewiston; chaplain at the St. Jude Center in Buffalo. In 1980, he received his first pastorship at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Andover, and St. John of the Cross in Whitesville. He later served as pastor of St. Mary's in Lockport, Blessed Sacrament in Delevan, Holy Family in Machias, and Sacred Heart in Lakewood. He retired in 2013.

In 1993, he was appointed prelate of honor by Pope John Paul II.

Father Dowdell is survived by his sister Jane Dowdell and predeceased by his parents and sister Joan Fischer.

A funeral Mass will be held at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Harris Hill on Tuesday, July 30 at 10:30 a.m. Bishop Richard J. Malone will preside. Burial at Mount Calvary Cemetery, Cheektowaga.  

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