Buffalo Diocese Catholics to consolidate Wednesday from 12 to eight vicariates

BREAKING: The Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo is changing its structure Wednesday, with a consolidation from a dozen regional vicariates to seven geographic areas, plus one for campus ministries, which places nine Allegany County churches in the new Southern Tier East Vicariate.

Rev. James Hartwell

The action, to take effect February 1, will place Rev. James Hartwell, pastor of the Immaculate Conception Church in Wellsville, as interim vicar forane, or the priest in charge of a subdivision of a diocese.

The 161 parishes in the former 12 vicariates now will be grouped under 36 Families of Parishes, along with campus ministries which include activities at Alfred State College, Alfred University and Houghton University.

In Allegany County, one Family of Parishes will be comprised of SS. Brendan and Jude Church in Alfred, Blessed Sacrament in Andover, St. Mary’s in Bolivar, Immaculate Conception in Wellsville, Holy Family of Jesus, Mary & Joseph In Belmont, and St. Mary’s in Canaseraga, with St. Patrick’s in Belfast, Our Lady of the Angels in Cuba, and St. Patrick’s in Fillmore organized into the second.

The move is designed to support the diocese’s Road to Renewal theme, according to Bishop Michael W. Fisher, and streamline how it strengthens its ministry in Western New York.

Additional details on the new vicariates and Family of Parishes structure for the entire diocese are available at http://bit.ly/3HFzDeX.