St. Martha Parish Opens Sunday in Depew | Community Spirit
Members of St. Barnabas and Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament parishes in Depew will come together Sunday morning at 11:30 for the first time to celebrate Mass as members of the newly formed St. Martha Parish Community.
The process of merging the two parishes began in 2007 as a follow-up to the Diocese of Buffalo’s Journey in Faith & Grace, the parish revitalization and reorganization program. At that time representatives from both parishes began a study to explore the viability of maintaining two separate parishes located one mile down the road from one another. The study which took into consideration the shortage of priests, the decline in number of practicing Catholics, and economic challenges, resulted in the recommendation that the merger of St. Barnabas and Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament parishes into a single worship site would result in a stable, stronger, and more vibrant catholic presence in the Depew-Lancaster area. After prayerful consideration, the OLBS campus, located at 20 French Rd. Depew, was chosen to be the worship site because of its location to the growing eastern suburbs and its ability to accommodate a growing parish community while maintaining its school campus.
Father Bart W. Lipiec, who was appointed by Bishop Edward U. Kmiec to be the first pastor of St. Martha Parish, said, “There could not be a more appropriate day on the Church calendar to celebrate the merger. Pentecost commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles and the birth of the Church; the celebration imparts faith, hope, a sharing of community among Catholics, and that is what we are celebrating as we come together as a newly unified parish - St. Martha.”
Bishop Edward U. Kmiec, bishop of Buffalo, selected the new parish name from a list submitted by parishioners. “St. Martha has always been for me the personification of the hospitality that should characterize every Christian household and every Christian parish. It is my prayer that the new parish of St. Martha will become a model of hospitality for our diocese, where all will be welcomed, comforted, and refreshed,” he said.
Following the celebratory Mass, parishioners are invited to participate in a reception.