Friar Speaks on Spirituality of Change Throughout Buffalo Diocese

HNP Communications Around the Province

ALLEGANY, N.Y. — James Vacco presented three talks this month about the spirituality of change as part of his role with the Diocese of Buffalo’s strategic planning for restructuring.

On March 18, James gave a presentation at the Motherhouse of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, N.Y., on the invitation of Richard Husted. James said his theme was the “spirituality of our Christian journey which is grounded in faith and grace.”

On March 24, he served as the key speaker at the Catholic Men’s Conference, sponsored by the Catholic Men’s Fellowship of the Diocese of Buffalo.  Approximately 1000 men attended the program at the Western New York Events Center in Clarence, N.Y.

James said,  “During this program, I presented the spirituality and challenges of change from a Franciscan perspective – relying on examples and incidences in the life of Francis that show forth the faith and grace that comes with and from change.”

Yesterday, James gave a third presentation at Hilbert College in Hamburg, N.Y.  He said that it was a version of Saturday’s talk for the Lenten series that he titled  “Francis of Assisi and a personal life plan from the grace of change.”

Because of his role in the strategic planning process of the Buffalo Diocese, James was invited by various regions of the diocese to give presentations.  He is chairperson of the Spiritual Revitalization Committee, one of five working committees formed recently by members of the diocese’s strategic planning commission.

The task of his committee is to prepare various rituals and materials to assist in the transitions, as well as to assist the people of the diocese to understand how transition is a part of the Christian pilgrimage.  James said that the name of the diocese’s planning process is “Journey in Faith & Grace.”

“We are presently preparing a program, and researching programs for diocesan renewal once all the mergers, closings, and other changes have been implemented,” he said. “Beginning to develop a renewed spirit of identity and mission for the people of the diocese is important. We anticipate that the program of renewal will begin in the fall of 2008, since it is projected that the  decisions that are made during 2007 will be implemented by early summer 2008.”