Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Lifestyle

January 9, 2006

Father Joe's farewell

Father Joe’s last 10 a.m. Mass at a packed St. Anthony’s Church on Sunday featured an emotional sermon, songs, applause and tears.

After more than seven years at St. Anthony’s-St. Joseph’s, the Rev. Joseph S. Rogliano has been reassigned to Fourteen Holy Helpers in West Seneca. His final Masses in Lockport’s twin parishes will be next weekend. Father Joe’s farewell Mass will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday at St. Joe’s. A reception will follow.

There were tears from the An-Jo Angels, who made a surprise singing performance at the service, tears from the 49-year-old priest from Springville and tears during the dismissal from brightly refurbished church on Bristol Avenue.

“I ask you to remain strong, much stronger than I am, in supporting our parishes, especially in this interim,” Rogliano said. “In all my wildest imagination, I could never have imagined what this seven and a half years would have been like. You have taught me so much. You have shown me so much. You have shown the city of Lockport and the Diocese of Buffalo how to twin.

“Other parishes don’t know what it is like, how wonderful it can be.”

Other diocese parishes will likely learn what merging is like in the next 24 months, but Rogliano cautioned area catholics not to jump to conclusions.

Rogliano encouraged parishioners to attend a meeting at 7 p.m. Jan. 16 at DeSales. The Rev. Joseph Gatto of St. John the Baptist and Sister Regina Murphy will present information concerning the diocesan plan. Murphy is spearheading the mission for the Diocese of Buffalo.

“It’s really an important meeting,” Rogliano said. “All that I can tell you is that nothing has been decided yet. This is the first step.”

The churches have to make recommendations by Feb. 28.

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