Monday, August 1, 2011 marks the kick-off of “Operation Buffalo,” a 13-day project of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey aimed at revitalizing Saints Peter and Paul Church here.
“Because of declining membership, an aged population, and limited funds over the past few years, much of the parish complex has fallen into disrepair,” said His Grace, Bishop Michael of New York and New Jersey. “Our diocesan-wide appeal for willing and able workers to help restore whatever they can will go a long way in ensuring the future viability of the parish community.”
An “army” of volunteers from across the diocese will work in shifts ranging from one day to an entire week, while Bishop Michael will visit the parish to “lend a hand.”
As evident by its elegant and spacious early 20th century neo-Byzantine temple, the parish once served a thriving community. But like many other “rust belt” cities and towns, Buffalo has been hard hit in recent years with major demographic changes, population loss, and spiraling economy, Over the years, parish membership dwindled, and maintenance of the stone and brick edifice became increasingly difficult.
Operation Buffalo’s website which features a gallery of photos highlighting the parish’s church and properties—notes that work will continue daily through Saturday, August 13. The revitalization effort includes development of an action plan by a professional building contractor. Materials will be obtained and pre-positioned on-site, so volunteers will have everything they need to “get the job done.” Supervision will ensure that the talents of volunteers are put to best use and their time is productive.
Once the “operation” is finished, the parish will welcome its new pastor, thereby initiating a new chapter in its spiritual life of service to Christ and His Holy Church.”