The buildings will be vacated and the friars will leave the more than 100-year-old building by June 30, 2017, according to Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, who said that the decision was made by the Provincial Council at its May meeting.
All ministerial activities on this property will conclude by the end of June next year, after which the current buildings and property will be available for purchase, Kevin said. The Council made its decision to sell for two reasons: The cost of maintaining the building — which was constructed in 1892 — had become prohibitive, and the friar community is shrinking. Two friars are moving this summer to new assignments, which will reduce the friar community in Buffalo to four members.
The four remaining friars have expressed a strong desire to live and minister among the poor and marginalized in this Western New York city. The friars are in conversation with the bishop of Buffalo to identify an appropriate living space and suitable ministries.
The Franciscans have served Western New York City since the middle of the 19th century. They have staffed numerous parishes in Buffalo, beginning with St. Patrick Church in 1858. The friars and their partners-in-ministry provide assistance to the greater Buffalo and Western New York region through a food pantry, thrift shop, and prison ministry, and by organizing a values-centered day camp for neighborhood children every summer. The friars also offer healing and prayer services, and assist at local schools and other ministries.
— Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for Holy Name Province.