Director's Update

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Greetings to all,

First of all, I am very delighted, and I’m sure that all of you are as well, that we are finally experiencing the nice warm weather that we have been waiting for. It seems like this year in particular it has been a long time coming, which makes it all the more appreciated now.

With the nice weather has come some new and exciting on-goings in the Vocation Office. One in particular is the first-time implementation of a vocation technique that I had been hearing about from other vocation directors for a few years, and finally decided to try in Buffalo. This is the St. Andrew Dinner. The St. Andrew Dinner is an event where the bishop gathers with the men of his diocese who are discerning the vocation of priesthood. This gives bishops a chance to get to know their discerners and vice versa. This was done over two evenings in April at the bishop’s residence. The first evening was for high school students, and the second was for men of college age and older. On both of these evenings many fond memories were made. Great laughs were shared, inspiring stories were told, and some fervent prayers were offered. The discerners very much enjoyed hearing Bishop Malone share his story of how he discovered his vocation to priesthood. And as always, it is a great benefit for discerners to gather and assist each other on their journey of discovering God’s plan for them.

Shortly after the St. Andrew Dinners I joined my colleagues from around New York State at our biannual regional meeting of the vocation directors.  We met at the Notre Dame Retreat Center located on the beautiful Canandaigua Lake. It is always a joy for me to get together with my colleagues from other dioceses and share faith, wisdom, and many great laughs. I was happy to have gained much enrichment from the gathering.

While this goes without saying, the true highlight of recent months was the ordination of four new priests to our diocese. Words cannot describe the joy and cheer of the many people who watched as Fr. Peter Bassey, Fr. Paul Cygan, Fr. Peter Santandreu, and Fr. Gerard Skrzynski laid down their lives for the service of God and Church in response to their call from Christ. We continue to pray for them as they advance in their call, and we pray that they continue to be encouraged by the many joys of priestly ministry.

Another recent joy was being able to gather with many of my brother priests at the annual Priests’ Convocation, which is held at Christ the King Seminary. One bonus of this year’s convocation was a sneak-peak at the progress of the Classroom Building, which has been undergoing extensive renovations and updates. I and many others are looking forward to seeing the finished product later this summer. The seminarians and all who are returning to class this Fall should be in for a real treat as they will be utilizing a building that has been greatly improved both aesthetically and technologically. 

Until my next post, let us pray for our newly ordained priests, for our seminarians who are on their summer pastoral assignments, and for those applying for admission to the seminary for this Fall. May the Holy Spirit continue to be their strength and their guide.

I sincerely thank all of you for your prayers and support.


In Christ,


Fr. Andrew Lauricella

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