The Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo announced its annual Curé of Ars awards dinner will be virtual this year and done in partnership with three prominent, local restaurants - Ristorante Lombardo, Russell's and The Roycroft Inn. Proceeds from the livestreamed event on Thursday, Oct. 8, will be used to support those studying for the priesthood, permanent diaconate, and lay ecclesial ministries in the diocese.
"Given the continued uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 we have elected to host this year' event virtually," said Richard Suchan, the foundation's executive director. "We have seen a number of non-profit organizations move their fundraising events - walks, runs and even golf tournaments - to a virtual format, so we decided to try something creative as well, while also supporting the local restaurant industry."
Suchan said each of the featured restaurants have created a special menu for this year's dinner which will be available for takeout the afternoon of the event.
This year's three honorees are: Father Eugene Ulrich, pastor at the Church of the Annunciation in Elma; Susan Santandreu, being recognized for her commitment to the Church and endless support of vocations within our diocese; and Personal Touch Food Service Inc., under the leadership of Dave Cervi, the provider of quality food service at Christ the King Seminary for many years, as well as a number of parish rectories and Catholic schools.
The program will be livestreamed on Thursday, Oct. 8 beginning at 6 p.m. and will include: a video presentation from Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger, apostolic administrator for the Diocese of Buffalo, outlining his vision for vocations in the diocese; remarks from Father Kevin Creagh, CM, who was recently appointed to a newly created position as Vicar for Evangelization and Ministerial Formation in the diocese; an update on the academic and spiritual formation of Buffalo seminarians now underway at St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore, Md. along with those in the final year of formation at Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora; a report on the theological preparation of lay students and candidates for the diaconate program taking place at St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry in Rochester.
The program will also be available on demand at www.frdcb.org.
"We are grateful to our many supporters for their understanding and patience during these extraordinary times," said Suchan. "And we especially want to thank Tom Lombardo, Russell Salvatore and Janice Sterba at The Roycroft Inn for partnering with us."
For more information on tickets, dinner options, or sponsorship opportunities, visit FRDCB or contact Laura DeMizio, coordinator of special events, at 716-847-8373 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Curé of Ars, established in 1985, pays tribute to individuals, groups and organizations which best exemplify St. John Vianney's character and qualities of Christian dedication, compassion, self-giving and humble service. St. John Vianney was a parish priest of Ars, France, who in 1929 was named by Pope Pius XI as the patron of parish priests.
The Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, N.Y. was formed in 1996 as a non-profit entity that acquires, manages and distributes funds to benefit educational, religious and charitable needs of Catholic institutions, ministries and social outreach services within the Diocese of Buffalo.