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Buffalo Diocese announces Southern Tier closures, mergers

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Buffalo Diocese announced more recommended closures and mergers of parishes affecting the Southern Tier West Vicariate Tuesday night during a meeting at the Blessed Mary Angela Parish in Dunkirk.

The decision comes after the diocese’s announcement on May 28 to “rightsize and reshape” their parishes by closing or merging approximately one-third of Western New York’s 160 parishes.

The diocese is facing challenges of a priest shortage, declining Mass attendance, and financial troubles from payouts to settle child sexual abuse cases.

Buffalo Diocese to merge one-third of parishes in push to ‘rightsize and reshape’

As of Tuesday night, 40 churches have been recommended to close or merge. The full list of affected parishes can be viewed here.

You can see the list of affected parishes within the Southern Tier West Vicariate below:

Family No. 3

St. Anthony (Fredonia): merge with Holy Trinity and close

St. Joseph (Fredonia): merge with Holy Trinity and close

Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Silver Creek): close St. Rose of Lima site, of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (Dunkirk): Merge with Holy Trinity and close. Northern Chautauqua Regional School to remain open and continue at this location with ministry provided by Holy Trinity.

Blessed Mary Angela (Dunkirk) — merge with Holy Trinity. Sale of St. Hedwig, Dunkirk, and St. Hyacinth, Dunkirk campuses.

Family No. 4

Our Lady of Loretto (Falconer): merge with St. James

St. James (Jamestown): close Our Lady of Victory site

Sacred Heart (Lakewood): close Panama site

Holy Apostles (Jamestown): close St. John site

Family No. 5

Christ Our Hope (Clymer): close Sherman site

St. Dominic (Westfield): close Brocton site

Family No. 27

St. Mary (Cattaraugus): merge with St. Joseph and close

Holy Spirit (North Collins): merge with Immaculate Conception and close

Rev. Bryan Zielenieski answers parishioner concerns during diocese restructuring

Parish families and worship sites that were recommended to be closed or merged have until July 15 to make a counter proposal.

The full list of mergers and closures is set to be finalized by Sept. 1, with changes beginning in October.

To view News 4’s full coverage of the Buffalo Diocese restructuring, click here.

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Katie Skoog joined the News 4 team in April 2024. She is a graduate from the University at Buffalo. You can view more of her work here.

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