FRCDB Cocktails for Catholic Education Event 2022

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BACK COVER

FRONT COVER

COCKTAILS

Catholic Education FOR

Verdict is in: It’s unanimous. Catholic schools win!

APRIL 3, 2022

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INSIDE FRONT COVER

INSIDE BACK COVER

Saluting Catholic Schools for embracing the faith, teaching minds, and transforming lives. Faith. Academic Excellence. Service to Others.

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Catholic Education COCKTAILS FOR

’22

PROGRAM DETAILS INTRODUCTION.....................................Rev. Joseph Rogliano, Honorary Chair John DiSciullo, WBBZ-TV WELCOME....................................................... Most Reverend Michael W. Fisher

15th Bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo

IMPORTANCE OF CATHOLIC EDUCATION................................Nancy Gugino

Executive Director, The Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo

PRESENTATION OF AWARDS CHAMPION OF CATHOLIC EDUCATION Reverend Robert Wardenski Immaculate Conception, East Aurora

THE SPOTLIGHT AWARD Rev. Msgr. Francis G. Weldgen Rev. Msgr. Thomas F. Maloney TIM RUSSERT’S SISTER LUCILLE SOCCARELLI / FR. JOHN STURM MAKING A DIFFERENCE AWARD Nancy Zoricak, St. Benedict School NATALIE MATTIMORE LEWIS KINDNESS COUNTS CHARACTER AWARD Lena Hurley, St. Benedict School TIM RUSSERT SCHOLARSHIP FOR CREATIVE WRITING Ryann Morris, DeSales Catholic School CLOSING REMARKS..............................Rev. Joseph Rogliano, Honorary Chair John DiSciullo, WBBZ-TV Cocktails for Catholic Education 2022

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My Dear Friends in Christ, My greetings and my sincere appreciation to you for your support of the 2022 Cocktails for Catholic Education televised event held on April 3rd. I so hope you enjoyed this wonderful one hour televised event on WBBZ-TV that highlighted the people and the programs that make Catholic education so important to the mission of the Diocese of Buffalo. Once again, we had hoped to meet in person for this outstanding and important event, but the Covid resurgence altered our plans, and we were presented with a novel opportunity to showcase what makes Catholic education so special and vital on our local broadcast partner. With this broadcast event, we have showcased those schools, and many individuals and organizations that make Catholic education crucial to the mission of the Church. Also, by raising muchneeded funds, especially in light of these exceptionally difficult last

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two years, we continue to make an investment in the future of our youth. Without this support, access to quality Catholic education would be out of reach for some Western New York families. For more than 20 years, with your assistance, the Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo has raised more than $6 million in need-based tuition assistance for elementary students. I would like to recognize our Platinum Sponsor Immaculate Conception Parish in East Aurora for their generosity. Our Gold Sponsors this year are Maid of the Mist and the Chancery of the Diocese of Buffalo. The important work our schools perform is also aided by our Silver Sponsors -- Bond, Schoeneck & King, Buffalo Dental Group, The Habib Charitable Fund, Innovative Mechanical Systems, Inc., Morris Masonry Restoration LLC, Susan Santandreu – Mary, Mother of Vocations Ministry, and The William E. & Ann L. Swan Foundation. An important component of this year’s event is the establishment of an Emergency Assistance Tuition Fund, a fund that will further assist

Cocktails for Catholic Education 2022


our families to afford a Catholic education for their children. I also wish to recognize our teachers and our administrators who have persevered during these supremely challenging times to provide high quality education either remotely or mainly in person to our students throughout our 38 elementary schools in six counties. In addition, I would like to highlight this year’s special honorees. Father Bob Wardenski, pastor of Immaculate Conception, is the Champion of Catholic Education. Nancy Zoricak, of St. Benedict School, is the Sr. Lucille Socciarelli/Fr. John Sturm Making a Difference Award recipient, and Msgr. Thomas Maloney and Msgr. Francis Weldgen, are Foundation Spotlight Award winners. All honorees reflect the generosity and commitment to Catholic education that makes such a difference in our young people’s minds, hearts and spirits.

and Father Joe Rogliano for their entertaining hosting of this televised event. May the Lord continue to keep you safe and well, and I look forward to seeing you in my travels throughout the Diocese. Yours sincerely in Christ,

The Most Reverend Michael W. Fisher Bishop of Buffalo

On behalf of our educators, families and students, I offer my sincere thanks and gratitude for your support of this very special Cocktails for Catholic Education. Also, kudos to John DiSciullo

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FROM THE

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOUNDATION OF THE R.C. DIOCESE OF BUFFALO I am honored and humbled to serve as the new Executive Director of the Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo (FRCDB). Many thanks to the Foundation’s Board of Directors, committed staff and the tireless efforts of my predecessor, Rick Suchan, who continues to go out of his way to make this transition seamless. I am most grateful for your support as I discover the many praiseworthy roles of the FRCDB. After having served at the Brothers of Mercy for nearly 10 years as their Executive Director, I am thrilled to serve the eight counties of Western New York in this new role. Tonight’s event highlights the importance of Catholic education and its impact in our students’ and their families’ lives. Each year, the FRCDB receives letters of gratitude from families expressing their sincere appreciation for the assistance we can provide because of your most generous support. As a matter of fact, many of our families – even with a two-income household – are struggling to make ends meet during these challenging 4

times. Even though their child’s Catholic education ranks high among their priorities, many of our families find they are in arrears with tuition payments due to rising costs of living. We often hear sentiments from students that remark about how their school family is the one stable thing in their lives – how their friends, teachers and school families offer support to their home family and how they love their school family much like their home family. Thank you for tuning in tonight, as your presence tells a lot about you and how important a Catholic education is to you. Whether you attended a Catholic elementary or high school or experienced a Catholic education through your own children or grandchildren, you understand the impact our faith foundation provides for generations through this life-impacting education. The mission remains strong to instill in

Cocktails for Catholic Education 2022


our children the values necessary to be successful in their careers while displaying a presence as a humble disciple of Christ. Tonight’s fundraiser is dedicated to needsbased tuition assistance for students attending Catholic elementary schools in Western New York. Our partnership with the BISON Children’s Scholarship Fund allows your generosity to be leveraged to provide even more scholarships to our Catholic school students. These scholarships offer stability for both our families and our schools. All scholarship recipients’ families are economically eligible and require a minimum contribution of $500, creating a personal investment for families and a stronger stake in their child’s education. Once selected, BISON commits to assisting the student for the full nine years of elementary school, including grandfathering in younger siblings, for as long as the family remains financially eligible. We share BISON’s view that a quality education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty. This year, the FRCDB has initiated an Emergency Tuition Assistance Fund for difficult situations that may not meet the BISON Fund criteria but are extraordinary and truly in need of support. There has been an increasing number of special circumstances and unexpected

short-term hardships for our Catholic families in the past few years. Sometimes it’s an unexpected death in the family or a change in the family’s financial position that requires consideration. With the support raised for this special fund, the FRCDB will be able to help more families experiencing hardship who do not want to sacrifice their child’s school family and Catholic education. Thank you for paying it forward for a child in need. Your support plays an integral role in their life formation by allowing them to remain in a Catholic school. Be sure to Text2Give (716) 249-0106 or scan the QR code on pages 29, 31, 33 or 34 to further support our mission to sustain Catholic education in WNY. I look forward to meeting all of you in the coming months as I settle into my new role. Until then, I remain Sincerely yours, Nancy Gugino

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo

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Immaculate Conception Parish, East Aurora Proudly Supports Catholic Education

Congratulations to our Pastor and Champion of Catholic Education

Rev. Robert W. Wardenski!

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Thank you to our Generous Sponsors PLATINUM SPONSOR

GOLD SPONSORS

SILVER SPONSORS

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Thank you to our Generous Sponsors BRONZE SPONSORS

E llen

KOESSLER

The Kenneth L. & Katherine G. Koessler Family Foundation

BAR SPONSORS

SIGNATURE DRINK SPONSORS

FOOD STATION SPONSOR

EMERGENCY TUITION SPONSORS Attica Auto Supply, Inc. Mary Grace & Paul Bauer

KOESSLERFAMILY FOUNDATION

Sandy Curlett

Joyce E. Fink

Adele Kraus Cocktails for Catholic Education 2022

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A/V AND WINE UNDERWRITERS

INDIVIDUAL SUPPORTERS Rev. James Augustyn

Dr. Michael LaFever

Barb & Alan Blackburn

Masiello, Martucci & Associates

Rebecca & Patrick Boyle Catholic Cemeteries

St. Christopher School

Barbara & Jerry Mazurkiewicz Mt. Mercy Academy

Catholic Charities

Pratt Collard Buck Advisory Group

Foundation for Inclusive Catholic Education

Mt. St. Mary Academy

Guard Construction & Contracting

Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary School

Laurie & Michael Hahn

James Newton

Ken Myszka

Independent Health

Rev. Paul Nogaro

Carol & Paul Kostyniak

Phillips Lytle LLP

St. Mary’s RC Church, Swormville St. Stephen RC Church St. Thomas More Guild of WNY Villa Maria College Robert Wunsch Cathy & Bruce Zgoda

DONORS Annarlette

Katie Juhasz

Susan Santandreu

Assumption Parish

Diane & Joseph Kapsiak

Thomas Schultz

Michael G. Botticelli

Kenneth L. & Katherine G. Koessler Family Foundation

Colleen & Dr. John Sellick

Kari Buchinger

Dr. Bernard Kolber

Catherine Burns

Kenneth Kopacz

Ann & Dan Celani

Carol & Paul Kostyniak

Pat & Bill Christ Kathleen & Tom Christy Sr. Carol Cimino, SSJ, EdD John Connelly

Ellicott Development Company Most Rev. Michael W. Fisher

Amy Johnson

Msgr. Leo McCarthy Mader Construction

N&G Gian Family Foundation

Karen Downing

Ronald Huefner

St. Rose of Lima Church Donna & Richard Suchan

Barbara Mierzwa

Ruthanne & John Daly

Cathy & Bob Greene

Sisters of St. Francis

Barbara & Jerry Mazurkiewicz

JoEllen & Rick Cronin

Anne Gaulin

Trish Lewis

Robert Scott

Pia & Eugene O’Connor Siobhan Pawelczyk Jeffrey Porcelli Shelly Reidy Fr. Joe Rogliano

Betsy & John Sullivan Ann L. Swan Joan Thomas Josie & Pat Tronconi Dr. Timothy Uhl Tom Vacanti Ellen Vossler, DDS Michele Walter Laura Zaepfel Rev. Bryan Zielenieski

Russell Salvatore

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“Catholic education gives soul to the world.” – Pope Francis, June 2018

Bond is happy to support the Diocese of Buffalo and its commitment to Catholic education.

ALBANY BUFFALO GARDEN CITY NEW YORK CITY ROCHESTER SARATOGA SPRINGS SYRACUSE UTICA WESTCHESTER Avant Building - Suite 900, 200 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14202 • 716.416.7000 • BSK.COM

Congratulations Reverend Robert Wardenski Champion of Catholic Education

Reverend Monsignor Francis G. Weldgen Reverend Monsignor Thomas F. Maloney The Spotlight Award

Nancy Zoricak

Sr. Lucille Socciarelli/Fr. John Sturm Making a Difference Award

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HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC EDUCATION DINNER In February 2001, during Catholic Schools Week, the Diocese of Buffalo initiated the Celebrate Catholic Education Dinner. Through the efforts of a dedicated committee, working with the Diocesan Board of Education and Foundation office, the dinner attracted an overflow crowd of Western New Yorkers to celebrate their belief in and support of Catholic education. Inaugural guest speaker, Tim Russert, shared his story of the impact of Catholic education: “I would not be here tonight if it were not for my Catholic education in Western New York.” In successive years, the event continued to draw even larger crowds celebrating champions of Catholic education.

COCKTAILS FOR CATHOLIC EDUCATION “Catholic education has been at the core of our family culture for generations ... it has provided a strong moral framework and a rock-solid Catholic identity. We can think of few endeavors more important to us as a family than to support our Catholic schools.” - DONNA AND BILL COLLINS, 2004 Chair Couple Mindful of the struggles many families continue to face amidst these unprecedented times, our 2022 Planning Committee has re-envisioned our annual fundraiser. What began as the Catholic Education Dinner in 2000-2001, then re-branded as Gala 22:6 in 2014-2015, now is re-envisioned as a Cocktail party to support our WNY Catholic Schools! As excited as the committee was to host everyone in a new venue for the new format, Covid struck again and out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our community, the event was transitioned to a television broadcast to help the growing number of families in need meet the cost of Catholic education. This event will now be televised on WBBZ-TV on Sunday, April 3, 2022 from 8 - 9 pm. Honoring those who serve the Catholic school students of Western New York, the Cocktails for Catholic Education event has a dedicated mission of providing needbased tuition assistance for families across Western NY. This event is the expression of the support and spirit of our community. It is an opportunity for foundations, corporations, parishes and educational institutions throughout Western New York to come together in support of our children and their schools. It is also the vehicle to honor Western NY organizations, individuals, universities and foundations that have lived out the mission of Catholic education and positively impacted this community.

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Congratulations

Reverend Robert Wardenski Champion of Catholic Education

Reverend Monsignor Francis G. Weldgen Reverend Monsignor Thomas F. Maloney The Spotlight Award

Nancy Zoricak

Sr. Lucille Socciarelli/Fr. John Sturm Making a Differnece Award

We thank you

for your lifetime of service and generosity to our diocese and community.

The Habib Family

“Women-Owned Business”

Heating • Air Conditioning • Ventilation • Sheet Metal Fabrication

623 Young St. Tonawanda, NY 14150

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Phone (716) 692-0608 Fax (716) 695-3403

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THOSE WHO SERVE ON THE

2022 COCKTAILS FOR CATHOLIC EDUCATION EVENT COMMITTEE

EVENT CHAIR

Fr. Joe Rogliano, Pastor of St. Mark & St. Rose of Lima

EVENT COMMITTEE Kari Buchinger

Trish Lewis

Ann L. Swan

Pat & Bill Christ

Barbara & Jerry Mazurkiewicz

Josie & Pat Tronconi

Pia O’Connor

Tom Vacanti

Kathleen & Tom Christy Sr. Carol Cimino, SSJ, EdD Ruthanne & John Daly Anne Gaulin Katie Juhasz Dr. Bernard Kolber Carol Kostyniak

Siobhan Pawelczyk Shelly Reidy Susan Santandreu Colleen Sellick Betsy & John Sullivan

Dr. Timothy Uhl Ellen Vossler, DDS Michele Walter Laura Zaepfel Rev. Bryan Zielenieski

FRCDB STAFF Nancy Gugino

Alisa Tiburzi

Kate Boswell

Laura DeMizio

Kristyn Million

Rhonda Hess

Executive Director

Special Events Coordinator

Laura Genco

Grant Program Coordinator Director of Shared Advancement Services

Advancement Data Specialist Advancement Data Specialist

Programs Coordinator

PAST DINNER GALA CHAIRS 2021 - Rev. Joseph Rogliano 2020 - Susan Santandreu 2019 - Kathleen & Tom Christy 2018 - Rev. Joseph Rogliano 2017 - Laura Zaepfel 2016 - Pia & Eugene O’Connor 2015 - Jill & Christopher Marks 2014 - Ruthanne & John Daly 2013 - Diane & TJ Revelas and Mary & Mark Hoffman 2012 - Jean & Tom Comer 2011 - Kellie & Steve Ulrich

2010 - Betsy & John Sullivan 2009 - Katie & Jake Schneider 2008 - Maureen & Mike Pratt 2007 - Patti & Bill Lawley and Kirsten & Mike Lawley 2006 - Mary Clare & Ronald Smith 2005 - Nancy & Paul Kolkmeyer 2004 - Donna & Bill Collins 2003 - Karen & Richard Penfold 2002 - Barbara & Jerry Mazurkiewicz 2001 - Ann & Bill Swan

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THE 2022

CHAMPION OF CATHOLIC EDUCATION AWARD RECIPIENT

Reverend Robert W. Wardenski When Rev. Robert Wardenski graduated from St. John Vianney Seminary in 1972, he never thought he would return to East Aurora. In 2005, he was called back to the area to serve as Pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish. On the occasion of his 40th Ordination Anniversary the East Aurora Advertiser interviewed him. Reporter Kathleen Geib opened her article with these words: “Equipped with humility, a lively sense of humor and a neat white mustache, the Rev. Robert W. Wardenski feels he’s always sent to a parish for a reason, but never knows why. That’s where his faith comes in. ‘If God wants me there, I’ll go there,’ Fr. Bob said, illustrating his deep trust in God.” His priestly ministry includes the following parishes: St. Adalbert, St. James and St. Rose of Lima, all in Buffalo, St. Francis of Assisi in Tonawanda and St. Paul in Kenmore. He received his first pastorate in 1989 when he was named pastor of both St. Peter, LeRoy, and St. Anthony, Lime Rock. Holy Family Catholic School, LeRoy, was the first school he served as pastor for. In 1999 he was appointed pastor of St. William Parish, West Seneca, where he served until moving to Immaculate Conception. At every parish he was actively involved in Catholic Education, and he is extremely supportive of Catholic Schools. Fr. Bob is a product of Catholic Education. He graduated from Holy Apostles Ss. Peter and Paul Elementary School and Bishop Ryan High 16

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School. During high school, he felt a calling to the priesthood so he went to Minor Seminary for college prior to entering St. John Vianney Seminary. As a priest he honed his skills by reading and participating in workshops and conferences to utilize the best practices for both forming and informing disciples. At Immaculate Conception he frequently visits the school and Faith Formation classes. He teaches at all of the Sacramental Preparation Meetings, is present at all school functions and meetings. Every year he looks forward to taking the 8th graders to the Corning Museum of Glass and to Chef’s Restaurant for lunch. Parishioners can tell you of the unique way he says “Fish Fry” and “Festa Con Vino” to promote the school’s fundraisers at Mass. He is present at every fundraiser too. His actions embody one of his common phrases, “Parish first.” Fr. Bob’s servant leadership and belief in collaborative ministry empower his parish. He expects collaboration from his staff and sees the parish, school, faith formation, youth ministry, et al as one. His witness inspires loyalty. During the trials of this pandemic many teachers and staff have stated that they stay and work their hardest because of Fr. Bob. His ministry and vision make Immaculate Conception a vibrant faith community. Rev. Robert Wardenski’s passionate commitment and dedication to spreading the Gospel make him a Champion of Catholic Education.

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S MINISTRY,

C. IN

TH MO ER O Y,

OCATIO N FV

Mary, Mother of Vocations Ministry would like to congratulate all of tonight’s award recipients and thank all those who make Catholic Education possible.

MA R

For information about joining MMVM please contact Susan Santandreu at (716) 649-2058 or ssantandreu7@verizon.net

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Previous Honorees

PAST CHAMPIONS OF CATHOLIC EDUCATION HONOREES

PAST BISHOP MEDAL HONOREES

2021

The Comer Family Maid of the Mist

2012

2020

Buffalo Dental Group, LLP Sister Mary McCarrick, OSF

2011

Rosalie & Frank Ciminelli Rev. Msgr. Paul J.E. Burkard

2019

Katherine K. Juhasz John C. Dwyer

2010

Ann L. Swan Rev. Msgr. Dino Lorenzetti

2009

Rev. Msgr. Francis Braun Sr. Jeanne Eberle Paul Koessler †

2008

Carol & Carl Montante

OF BISHOP KMIEC

Barbara & Gerard Mazurkiewicz

PAST BISHOP MEDAL HONOREES OF BISHOP MALONE

2018

The Upon this Rock Chair Couples: Judy † & Tom Beecher, Barbara & Jerry † Castiglia, Betsy & John Sullivan The Montante Family & the Uniland Development Co.

Rev. Mark J. Wolski

Rev. Jim Joyce, SJ & Rev. Edward Durkin, SJ of

NativityMiguel Middle School of Buffalo

2007

Robert T. Scott Buffalo Museum of Science M&T Bank M&T Charitable Foundation

Paul D. Bauer Daniel R. Gernatt, Sr. Rev. Msgr. Francis Weldgen Trocaire College

2006

2016

The Habib Family Judith Nolan Powell

James V. & Mary G. Glynn Rev. Msgr. Rupert A. Wright Villa Maria College

2005

2015

Sr. Gail Glenn, SSJ of Catholic

Robert M. Greene Hilbert College

2004

Karen & Richard Penfold D’Youville College

2017

Academy of West Buffalo

The Catholic Colleges and Universities of WNY, including

Canisius College, Christ the King Seminary, D’Youville College, Hilbert College, Niagara University, St. Bonaventure University, Trocaire College, Villa Maria College

2003

2014

Most. Rev. Edward U. Kmiec Robert M. Bennett

John R. Oishei Foundation Niagara University

2002

2013

The Women Religious of WNY Past & Present The Joy Family Foundation

J. Walter & Kenneth Koessler Families Canisius College

2001

The BISON Scholarship Fund Move of Faith St. Bonaventure

PAST BISHOP MEDAL HONOREES OF BISHOP MANSELL

† Posthumously

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I T I S I N G I VI NG TH AT W E RE CE IV E Serving together, with an eye toward the community; we can sow the seed that grows with strength and hope.

T H A N K YO U & C O N G R AT ULATI O N S Rev. Robert Wardenski Champion of Catholic Education

Rev. Msgr. Francis Weldgen, Rev. Msgr. Thomas Maloney and Nancy Zoricak

We’re proud to support the Cocktails for Catholic Education event and the dedicated teachers, support staff and families who work together to better our community through education and inspiration. Albany + Buffalo + Hackensack + New York Palm Beach + Rochester + Saratoga Springs + Toronto AT TO R N E Y S

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LLP

www.hodgsonruss.com

www.hodgsonruss.ca

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THE 2022

FOUNDATION OF THE R.C. DIOCESE OF BUFFALO SPOTLIGHT AWARD RECIPIENT

Rev. Msgr. Francis Weldgen RETIRED, ST. CHRISTOPHER PARISH (1985-2006)

The Diocese of Buffalo has been blessed with Rev. Msgr. Francis Weldgen’s leadership, friendship and godly wisdom for many decades. He is a dedicated supporter of our youth and young adults in WNY. Fr. Fran is recognized for having worked with the Diocesan Youth Department and as the Director at Camp Turner from 1964-1985. When not spending time at Camp Turner, Fr. Fran served as pastor at St. Christopher Parish for 21 years. Soon after he was appointed pastor, the parish began a new period of growth. The Parish Council was recreated and spurred the development of numerous organizations and committees. In the spring of 1988, a committee was organized to consider renovation and expansion of the church under Fr. Fran’s leadership. Unexpectedly in September 1988, the church was consumed by a fire. The next evening, the Parish Council and parish committees met to chart a course of action. The result was a 4-year process which led to construction of a new church and conversion of the old church into a parish center and offices - all accomplished without incurring debt. Through the active involvement of the parishioners in the process, they came to understand that the word “Church” really means “People of God” - not a physical building. Shortly after Fr. Fran’s retirement, he created an endowment with the Foundation to provide tuition for an 8th grade boy and girl attending St. Christopher School who demonstrates solid Christian values in and out of the classroom. Fr. Fran, we are extremely grateful for your dedication and continued commitment to Catholic education and our Diocese of Buffalo.

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Cheers to the Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo

for promoting Catholic Education!

Where there is

charity and wisdom , there is neither fear nor ignorance. ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI

Serving where needed in North America since 1874

FelicianSistersNA.org

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THE 2022

FOUNDATION OF THE R.C. DIOCESE OF BUFFALO SPOTLIGHT AWARD RECIPIENT

Rev. Msgr. Thomas Maloney ST. GREGORY THE GREAT

Monsignor Thomas F. Maloney is being recognized for more than 54 years of dedicated service and ministry in the Diocese of Buffalo, including 22 years as Pastor of St. Amelia Parish. Since retirement, Fr. Tom has enjoyed serving as Parochial Vicar at St. Gregory the Great Church in Williamsville. Born in Buffalo, Fr. Tom attended the former Holy Family School. When he was in 6th grade, his older sister Sally entered religious life and his oldest brother Michael entered the seminary. These two events had a profound impact on his decision to become a priest. Many priests are ordained in cathedrals or churches, but Fr. Tom was ordained in a hospital chapel in Belgium. He celebrated his first Mass at an orphanage there and says he wouldn’t have it any other way. Fr. Tom has demonstrated a particular devotion to education and ministering to young people, beginning with his early volunteer time at the orphanage in Belgium and leadership in the CYO program at Holy Family in Buffalo. He is a past recipient of the Bishop James A. McNulty Award for outstanding service to youth in our diocese, was honored by the National Catholic Education Association in 2013 with the Distinguished Pastor Award, and was recognized by the National School of Excellence after teaching 5th grade Latin for 15 years. With great gratitude for his years of dedicated, priestly service and commitment to Catholic education, the Foundation of the R.C. Diocese of Buffalo honors Fr. Tom with the Spotlight Award. Cocktails for Catholic Education 2022

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Congratulations

&bestwishes Rev. Robert Wardenski Rev. Msgr. Francis Weldgen Rev. Msgr. Thomas Maloney and Ms. Nancy Zoricak

K

The Kenneth L. & Kathleen G.

Koessler Family Foundation

Congratulations to the Foundation, its hard-working staff,

dedicated Committee and all the honorees, especially

Fr. Bob Wardenski Immaculate Conception East Aurora CHAMPION OF CATHOLIC EDUCATION

Ms. Nancy Zoricak St. Benedict School

SR. LUCILLE SOCCIARELLI / FR. JOHN STURM MAKING A DIFFERENCE AWARD RECIPIENT

E llen Koessler

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THE 2022 TIM RUSSERT

SR. LUCILLE SOCCARELLI & FR. JOHN STURM MAKING A DIFFERENCE AWARD RECIPIENT

Nancy Zoricak

ST. BENEDICT SCHOOL, AMHERST Forty-five years ago Nancy Zoricak began her teaching career at the Diocesan Educational Campus as a 1st grade teacher. Her career then led her to St. Aloysius in Cheektowaga, Immaculate Conception in Wellsville, arriving at St. Benedict’s in 1993. In her 28 years at St. Ben’s, Ms. Zoricak has been described as the “heartbeat” of the school. Currently teaching 5th grade as well as serving as the Academic Intervention Specialist, she coordinates both in-person and distance-learning for her students with varied instruction to challenge the different academic levels represented in her students. “One of the many outstanding qualities that Ms. Zoricak demonstrates is her ability

to connect with her students. Students trust her and feel safe in the environment that she provides. She is a compassionate person and is sensitive to student’s differences and learning styles. During her tenure she consistently provides her students with a secure learning environment where they can focus on their social and emotional development,” said principal MaryAlice Bagwell.

As with most Catholic school teachers, Ms. Zoricak wears many hats. From Faith Formation, to coordinating Spelling Bees and Red Ribbon Week, to tutoring students in all grades and cheering on her student athletes, Ms. Zoricak remains tirelessly committed to St. Ben’s. She continues to share her talents with younger staff, serving as a mentor to new faculty. Also active in St. Ben’s parish life, Nancy has worked on coat drives, meat raffles, picnics, summer vacation Bible school, Back to School Picnics, and HSA fundraisers. In her 45 years in Catholic education, Nancy has impacted thousands of students to challenge them to live their faith, learn to the best of their ability, and understand they are loved and can forever come back to visit. She continues to be an exceptional role model to students, co-workers and parents alike demonstrating tolerance, fairness, and honesty in all her actions. For these reasons and so many others, it is our honor to present Ms. Nancy Zoricak from St. Benedict School with the 2022 Tim Russert Sr. Socciarelli - Fr. John Sturm Making a Difference Award.

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Congratulations to the 2022 Champion of Catholic Education Recipient

Fr. Bob Wardenski and to Nancy

Zoricak

for Making a Difference at St. Benedict School Richard & Karen Penfold

St. Francis High School Experience the Brotherhood 4129 Lake Shore Road Hamburg, NY 14075 www.stfrancishigh.org

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Previous Honorees

TIM RUSSERT’S SR. LUCILLE SOCCARELLI & FR. JOHN STURM MAKING A DIFFERENCE AWARD 2021 - Paula Eastmer,

SS. Peter & Paul, Williamsville

2020 - Elaine Nuwer, St. John the Baptist, Alden 2019 - Colleen Milette, St. Amelia School, Tonawanda 2018 - Mary McIntyre, SS. Peter & Paul, Williamsville 2017 - Polly Lougen, St. Mary, Swormville 2016 - Judith M. MacDonald, Southtowns Catholic School 2015 - Linda P. Calandrelli, St. Peter School 2014 - Mike Wojcicki, Mary Queen of Angels School 2013 - Mary Jane Liszewski, Immaculate Conception School 2012 - Patty Page, Holy Family 2011 - John & Margaret Volpe, St. Joseph School, Batavia 2010 - Denise Amato, SS. Peter & Paul, Williamsville 2009 - Lyn Rezabek, St. Ambrose Academy 2008 - Mary L. Posch, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Niagara Falls 2007 - Cheryl A. Schmelzer, St. Barnabas School 2006 - Sr. Timothy Howard, OSP, Catholic Central

2005 - Jeanne Kielbasa, Our Lady of Czestochowa

2004 - Amelia Czerwinski, St. John Vianney 2003 - Francis Hill, Queen of Martyrs 2002 - John Curtin, St. Josaphat

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St. Joe’s operates under a rolling Admissions Policy, meaning we evaluate applicants throughout the year. Visit sjci.com/admissions for more information.

845 Kenmore Avenue, Buffalo 14223 716.874.4953

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THE 2022

NATALIE MATTIMORE LEWIS KINDNESS COUNTS CHARACTER AWARD RECIPIENT

Lena Hurley ST. BENEDICT SCHOOL

The Natalie Mattimore Lewis Kindness Counts Character Award is presented to a seventh grade student who exhibits conscious commitment to random acts of compassion, love and benevolence. Lena Hurley has been nominated by her teacher, Kara Stein at St. Benedict School, and selected by the Lewis family for being positive, bubbly and a radiant student who is always willing to help others. When Lena grows up she wants to be a doctor, specifically a neurosurgeon, cardiologist or plastic surgeon. She plays hockey, soccer, tennis and golf in her free time. When Lena is not playing sports or studying for her future, she loves to take care of her fourteen pets - two guinea pigs, two gerbils, two dogs, a bearded dragon, and fish! Congratulations Lena, on your recognition! May you continue your kind spirit with everyone you encounter. We wish you continued success at school!

PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS 2021 2020 2019 2018 2018 2017

Olivia Cole, Northern Chautauqua Catholic School Madelyn Muurisepp, Immaculate Conception School, Wellsville Gabrielle Adamczyk, SS. Peter & Paul, Williamsville Jack Byrnes, Immaculate Conception School, Wellsville Nial Rigas, Immaculate Conception School, Wellsville Colleen Hennesey, Immaculate Conception School, Wellsville

SCAN TO DONATE NOW Help our Catholic students stay in Catholic schools. Donate now! Cocktails for Catholic Education 2022

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“Education is the most powerful weapon which we can - Nelson Mandela use to change the world.

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JOIN US AT OUR OTHER EVENTS IN 2022: Bednar Golf Tournament held at Niagara Falls Country Club on Monday, May 23, 2022. Curé of Ars to benefit the formation of lay and ecclesiastic ministers, held at Salvatore’s Hospitality on Thursday, September 15, 2022. For more information, please visit our website at FRCDB.org or contact Laura, Special Events Coordinator, at LDeMizio@buffalodiocese.org. 795 MAIN STREET • BUFFALO, NY 14203 • FRCDB.ORG

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THE 2022

TIM RUSSERT SCHOLARSHIP FOR CREATIVE WRITING AWARD RECIPIENT

Ryann Morris

DeSALES CATHOLIC SCHOOL, LOCKPORT The Tim Russert Scholarship for Writing is presented to a faculty-nominated eighth grade Catholic school student who exemplifies strong writing skills, classroom leadership, critical thinking, and who embodies the charism of Tim Russert. Ryann Morris has been nominated by her teacher, Amanda Souliske, who describes her gift for writing to be way beyond her years. In addition to Ryann’s writing skills, she likes to dance, listen to music and act. The theatre is her happy place! Ryann will be attending high school at Mount St. Mary Academy. When she grows up, her dream occupation would be to become a Broadway actress but she is also interested in being an English teacher. Ryann is a member of National Junior Honor Society, St. Francis Society, Cantors for Christ (school mass choir), and Girls Running Club. She has also enjoyed participating in the school musical each year. Our sincere congratulations to Ryann Miller, for her Tim Russert Scholarship for Writing award. Best of luck next year at Mount St. Mary’s!

PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS

2021 - Michael Stadler, Southtowns Catholic 2020 - Maria Rickert, Southern Tier Catholic

SCAN TO DONATE NOW Help our Catholic students stay in Catholic schools. Donate now! Cocktails for Catholic Education 2022

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Queen of Martyrs

R.C. Church

Queen of Martys Church supports

CATHOLIC EDUCATION: Students, Teachers, Parents, Principals, Pastors & All Staff

GOD BLESS YOU ALL Father Lou Klein Pastor

All Are Welcome... Queen of Martyrs R.C. Church 180 George Urban Boulevard Cheektowaga, New York 14225 www.QueenofMartyrsBuffalo.com

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SUNDAY MASSES 8 AM & 11 AM SATURDAY EVENING 4 PM & 6 PM

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THOSE WHO SERVE ON THE

FOUNDATION of the ROMAN CATHOLIC DIOCESE of BUFFALO BOARD of TRUSTEES CHAIRMAN MOST REVEREND MICHAEL W. FISHER 15th Bishop of Buffalo VICE CHAIR

HOWARD (SANDY) CURLETT III

TRUSTEES Kristin Bauer

David Gaulin

Clara Moran

Thomas Beecher, Jr.

James Goede

Bonnie Philipps, CPA

Daniel Blake

Richard Heist

Peter Spira, CFP®

Kevin Brayer

JoAnne Hudecki

Laureen Syta

Donna Collins

Joseph Ieraci

Nicole Tzetzo, Esq.

William Collins II

Gary Kajtoch

Robert Wunsch

James Contino

Deborah Keenan

Domenic Cortese

Jeanne Magavern

EX-OFFICIO TRUSTEES Fr. Peter Karalus

Sr. Regina Murphy, SSMN

Deacon Steve Schumer

FOUNDATION STAFF Kate Boswell

Nancy Gugino

Kristyn Million

Laura DeMizio

Rhonda Hess

Joseph Stoeckl

Laura Genco

Chuck Mendolera

Alisa Tiburzi

SCAN TO DONATE NOW Help our Catholic students stay in Catholic schools. Donate now!

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GE R N AT T.CO M

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is a proud supporter of

CATHOLIC EDUCATION IN WNY

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100 YEARS OF CATHOLIC EDUCATION

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Giving every kid in WNY a chance at a good education regardless of their income or zip code.

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www.bisonfund.com

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Congratulations to this year’s honorees Fr. Bob Wardenski

CHAMPION OF CATHOLIC EDUCATION

Nancy Zoricak

SR. LUCILLE SOCCIARELLI / FR. JOHN STURM MAKING A DIFFERENCE AWARD RECIPIENT

Fr. Thomas Maloney Fr. Francis Weldgen

FRCDB SPOTLIGHT AWARD RECIPIENTS

Howard (Sandy) Curlett III

Congratulations to Fr. Bob Wardenski,

Champion of Catholic Education

Joyce E. Fink Cocktails for Catholic Education 2022

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Kudos to tonight’s honorees Fr. Bob Wardenski

CHAMPION OF CATHOLIC EDUCATION

Nancy Zoricak

SR. LUCILLE SOCCIARELLI / FR. JOHN STURM MAKING A DIFFERENCE AWARD RECIPIENT

Fr. Thomas Maloney Fr. Francis Weldgen

FRCDB SPOTLIGHT AWARD RECIPIENTS

Adele Kraus

Congratulates all of the Foundation’s honorees for their commitment to Catholic Education.

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INSURANCE EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

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Thank you for all that you do to support Catholic education access for the familes of Buffalo and Western New York

CATHOLIC EDUCATION

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Faith, Character, Academic Excellence and Service since 1857. Nardin Academy An independent, Catholic school since 1857

MONTESSORI • ELEMENTARY • HIGH SCHOOL 135 Cleveland Avenue & 700 West Ferry, Buffalo 716-881-6262 • nardin.org

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Fostering Miracles...

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Congratulations to this year’s Honorees Thank you for Making a Difference in Catholic Education! Mr. & Mrs. George Eberl

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Phillips Lytle is pleased to support the inaugural Cocktails for Catholic Education. We applaud The Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo on its dedication to our WNY youth who wish to embark on the path of community and faith-based education.

ONE CANALSIDE, 125 MAIN STREET | BUFFALO, NY 14203 (716) 847-8400 | PHILLIPSLYTLE.COM © 2022 Phillips Lytle LLP

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QUEEN of ANGELS

CHURCH

On behalf of the grammar school graduates of: St. Barbara’s Elementary School St. Hyacinth’s Elementary School St. Michael’s Elementary School Our Lady of Grace Parish

We thank you for our Catholic faith formation and education, now all members of Queen of Angels Parish, Lackawanna, NY Fr. John Kasprzak, Pastor Emeritus

Deacon Dave Velasquez, Pastoral Administrator

Celebrate with us Monday - Friday 9 AM • Saturdays 4 PM • Sundays 10 AM 1 4 4 Wa r s aw S t r e e t • L a c k aw a n n a , N e w Yo r k 1 4 2 1 8

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Kindergarten - Grade 8 and Montessori Children’s House Pre-School Featuring... Pre-School - Gr. 8 Music, Spanish & P.E. K - 8 Interscholastic Sports Exceptional Visual Arts Program

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Congratulations

to the 2022 Champion of Catholic Education Recipient

Fr. BOB WARDENSKI of Immaculate Conception Parish in East Aurora and NANCY ZORICAK, who is Making a Difference at St. Benedict School

Betsy & John Sullivan University of Notre Dame • St. Joseph’s University • Villanova University • Sacred Heart Academy • Canisius High School • SS Peter & Paul School Hamburg • St. Bernadette School - Orchard Park

Proud to support Catholic Education!

Blue Ox

Educating young women in the Franciscan tradition since 1877

Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart

www.sacredheartacademy.org

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CATHOLIC CHILDREN’S LEARNING CORPORATION 110 Wayne Ave | Amherst, NY 14228

www.CCLCbuffalo.org cclcbuffalo@gmail.com Dedicated to the Vitality and Sustainability of Catholic Education

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Y Congratulations to Fr. Bob Wardenski Champion of Catholic Education Rick & Mary Heist

The Sisters of St. Francis

of Penance and Christian Charity 4421 Lower River Road Stella Niagara, NY 14144-1001 716-754-4311 www.stellaosf.org

The Sisters of St. Francis have been educators in Western New York since 1874. Catholic education continues to provide intellectual preparedness, spiritual grounding, commitment to service, as well as the leadership skills necessary to have a positive impact in our world. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Rev. Robert W. Wardenski, 2022 Champion of Catholic Education, and all our educational partners.

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ST. RAPHAEL R.C. PARISH

Congratulations to the 2022 Tim Russert Creative Writing Scholarship Winner

MASSES: Saturdays 4 PM Sundays 9 & 11 AM

Ryann Morris

3840 Macklem Avenue Niagara Falls, NY 14305

SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION: Saturdays 3:15 PM

as you continue your Catholic Education at Mount St. Mary’s High School next year! We wish you great success!

SCAN TO DONATE NOW Congratulations to the 2022 Natalie Mattimore Lewis Kindness Counts Awardee

Lena Hurley Help our Catholic students stay in Catholic schools. Donate now!

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May your kind heart bring you many rewards. We wish you great success as you continue your Catholic education!

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ROLLING! Congratulations to Lena and all previous ‘Kindness Counts’ award recipients! Thank you for keeping Natalie’s spirit alive! Love, The Lewis Family

Lena Hurley

Natalie Lewis

Nial Rigas 2018

2022

Madelyn Muurisepp Gabrielle Adamczyk

2020

Colleen Hennesey 2017

Olivia Cole 2021

2019

Jack Byrnes 2018

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716.884.5391

Thank you Russell J. Salvatore for donating 75" TVs to all of our elementary and high schools within the Diocese of Buffalo.

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INSIDE FRONT COVER

INSIDE BACK COVER

Saluting Catholic Schools for embracing the faith, teaching minds, and transforming lives. Faith. Academic Excellence. Service to Others.

CCE22 Program Cover 8.5 x 11 4c 22-FINAL_UPD.indd 2

3/21/22 10:50 PM


BACK COVER

FRONT COVER

COCKTAILS

Catholic Education FOR

Verdict is in: It’s unanimous. Catholic schools win!

APRIL 3, 2022

WBBZ-TV • Buffalo • 7 - 8 PM CCE22 Program Cover 8.5 x 11 4c 22-FINAL_UPD.indd 1

3/21/22 10:50 PM