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Andrew in Kenmore credit for inspiring his desire for that vocation. Andrew Elementary School but when the time came for high school, he decided to go to Canisius instead of the Diocesan Preparatory High School. Priests, whose opinions he valued, advised him to broaden his horizons. They knew he was interested in the priesthood and wanted him to explore other learning experiences before entering the seminary.

Never having lost his desire to become a priest, he thereafter entered Christ the King Seminary and was ordained in by Bishop Edward Head. John Kanty Parish on Broadway in Buffalo. He stayed there for two and a half years and then moved on to St.

Gregory the Great Parish in Williamsville for another two and a half years. After that Bishop Head asked Fr. Kopec to return to Catholic University to study for a degree in Canon Law. Two years and one Canon Law Degree later, Fr. He spent four and a half years there full time when the bishop unexpectedly assigned him to St. John Kanty as pastor.

Although it was not an easy task, Fr. Jerry saw the positive side of his work. He felt he learned a lot working with Sr. He discovered that if you have a process where the people are really engaged, they will come to a decision that they can embrace as their own. Although the engaged parishes were sad to leave their church building behind, they understood the need to change so the Church could move forward.

Along with this responsibility he was asked to co-chair the New Visions Program which was a diocesan-wide process of pastoral re-organization. Once again he embraced the challenge and saw the positive side of the mission. He enjoyed working again with Sr. Regina as well as with Kathy Heffern. They would come up with great recommendations. I treasure that experience. If you trust in people and give them the opportunity to study and learn, they develop wonderful creative ideas that you might not otherwise discover.

Jerry was assigned as pastor of St. John de LaSalle in Niagara Falls. While he was there he really enjoyed the close knit community in the LaSalle area. In he was assigned to SS.

Peter and Paul Parish in Williamsville where he currently resides. In the winter Fr. Jerry likes to ski and in the summer he likes to hike.

He loves to travel. After his first few years at SS. Peter and Paul, Fr. Kopec took a three month sabbatical to Rome. He traveled every weekend and visited many places including Austria and France.

One of the highlights of his European experience was going to Poland where he was able to connect with some of his relatives. He learned that one of his cousins was a close confidant of Lech Walesa. His cousin was at the docks when the strikes occurred and was even imprisoned.

Walesa became president, Fr. He had never before told us about the heroic work he was doing. When asked about his favorite part of priesthood, Fr. I so appreciate how I have been opened to experiences I would never have predicted. Jerry finds the administrative side of parish work to be challenging.

Even with such challenges, Fr. I have learned so much since ordination from the lay people that I work with.

The same goes for pastoral associates and other staff who assist him. Get a good education. Keep an open mind. His love of reading and talent for teaching led him on a path which would accommodate both. Ordained to the priesthood in he was first assigned to St. Brendan Church in Almond, NY. John Vianney Major Seminary as well. While he was there he would often put out religious literature at different events. He recalled that one young man, who was raised without religion, began looking over the material.

He then asked Msgr. Lee if he could speak with him about the Catholic Faith and over the course of time Msgr. Lee administered the Sacraments to him bringing that young man into the Catholic Church.

Over the years, they lost touch until recently when a letter arrived in the mail from the man. Lee that he had become a deacon for the Church. It was very edifying to Msgr. Lee that this man would take the time to write and tell him that not only was he still practicing his Catholic Faith but that his Faith was continuing to grow.

While still chaplain at ECC, Msgr. Lee was asked to become Director of Communications for the Diocese as well. He did that for twenty-two years after which he was assigned as pastor of St. He remained there for sixteen years until he retired. As a pastor, he found the work load was sometimes overwhelming but the joy of saying Mass was, and still is, uplifting and energizing. Monsignor Lee assists his brother priests by saying Mass at different parishes and he loves to spend time reading, especially history.

Monsignor Lee advises those considering priesthood to, "Pray! Pray about it and give it lots of time. Allow it to be lifted up to God in prayer and let that be over a good period of time. Also, talk to a priest whom you admire, whose opinion you value and whose example you admire. Get involved in the parish where you are, in whatever way you can help. Dennis grew up on the east side of Buffalo.

He was baptized at St. Stanislaus but not long after, his parents moved and they became parishioners of St. There he celebrated all his Sacraments and eventually his first Mass as a priest. As a young altar server, he felt a call to the priesthood. He made his intentions known concerning his plan to become a priest and visited the Diocesan Preparatory Seminary High School in anticipation of attending.

When the time came to declare his high school choice he chose Bishop Fallon. You choose what you want to do. I think that was the moment I realized that this was real. I was being ordained as a priest! Margaret Parish on Hertel Avenue. It was there that he met Norm Paolini.

Norm would play guitar and sing at Mass as well as when they were together in the evenings. Luke Church where Fr. Norm passed away on April 30, and Fr. Dennis was given the honor of preaching the homily at his funeral.

Father Dennis spent twelve years at St. Dennis applied and was accepted. He was the pastor there for thirteen years and then left in to become the pastor of St. Timothy Parish in Tonawanda where he currently resides.

When he finds time to relax, Fr. Dennis heads for a condominium he purchased as a home away from home. He likes to travel and recently visited Poland with seminarian Patryk Sobczyk and his family. The celebration of the Holy Eucharist brings great joy to Fr. Dennis faces as a priest is attracting young people to be a part of the church community.


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