St. Agatha's Church on Abbott Rd. in South Buffalo closed it's doors without much fanfare a few Sundays ago. A victim of the economy and the priest shortage, the church merged with the Holy Family and St. Ambrose parishes. The last mass was offered for my father.
With Mark Rogowski's great help, I wanted to mention the names of several active parishioners that have kept the church going all these years. Kay Drilling, Pete Gugliuzza, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Enright, John Simpson, Janie Lyons, and my mother (Mary Blake) were names that came up right away. Rogo mentioned that Janie Lyons ran the church Bazaar and lawn fete for almost 20 years. Rogo himself has seemingly been involved with almost every church fundraiser I can remember, as well as coaching the school baseball and girls basketball teams for what seemed like an eternity. Other longtime parishioners that gave a great amount of their time and talents are Dave Brucz, Skip Kessler, Larry Wolf and Tim Green. As somebody already noted, you can't talk about St. Agatha's without mentioning longtime organist Chuck Myers. Whether it was fundraisers, bingo, or the school, these people dedicated a good part of their lives to serve the church.
My mother mentioned deceased members Joseph Dwayne, Mr. and Mrs. Mudd, Mike O'Keefe, and many others too numerous to mention. She also made a point to acknowledge Steven Boling. Boling was a young, active member of the parish who died tragically at age 19. She felt he would have gone on to become a parish leader. Fr. Robert Yetter and Fr. Adolph Kowalczyk were also mentioned as great leaders. My mother also felt it was important to recognize the work Father David Glassmire has done not only at the church, but also as a military chaplain. Fr. Dave has been overseas to Iraq numerous times to counsel soldiers.
I know there are many names left out. The fact that there are so many shows why the church survived for so many years without the financial resources that other parishes sometimes take for granted. Please comment on anyone I may have neglected to mention. St. Agatha's has been a part of many of the lives of countless South Buffalo Catholics. The memories created there will last longer than the timespan of the parish itself.