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Canonical Administrator's Welcome

Bishop Richard Malone appointed me as Canonical Administrator of DeSales Catholic School for a term of three years effective April 1, 2018. This appointment is one of the most rewarding assignments in my 28 years of Priesthood. I am so very honored to be associated with such a fine educational institution as DeSales School.

I myself am a product of Catholic education as I graduated from Sacred Heart Elementary School and Notre Dame High School in Batavia, NY. I benefited so much from the structure, academic standards and spiritual life in these schools that pointed me towards success in higher education. I achieved a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy from Wadhams Hall Seminary College and a Masters of Divinity Degree from Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora, NY. I also found my education supplemented by work and world experiences of teaching for two years in the Deaf / Blind Department at the NY State School for the Blind in Batavia, one year of teaching at Maryvale Catholic Orphanage in Rosemead, CA and six years of serving with the United States Treasury Office in Los Angeles, CA and Ithaca, NY.

I was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest on July 21, 1990 and ministered as a Parochial Vicar at Immaculate Conception Church in East Aurora and then at SS Peter & Paul Parish in Hamburg, NY. Bishop Henry Mansell appointed me to the faculty of Christ the King Seminary in February 1999 as Co-Director of Formation and teacher of Liturgy. In June of 2006 Bishop Edward Kmiec appointed me as the Diocesan Director of Vocations, a position that I held for nine years until March of 2015 when Bishop Malone appointed me as the Pastor of All Saints Parish in Lockport. I am so very happy to serve with and for the wonderful people of Lockport and the All Saints Parish community. I continue to serve on committees with the Diocese of Buffalo as I am a Board Member of the Diocesan Lay Pension Board, the Diocesan Priest Retirement Board, the Diocesan International Priest Committee and the Catholic Seminary Alumni Association. I am also honored to serve as the Chaplain of the local Holy Name Society, Knights of Columbus, Ancient Order of Hibernians, Lady Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Lockport Fireman. I thoroughly enjoy each one of these ministries.

I was so very happy to be actively involved in Catholic Schools in my previous assignments. I worked very closely with the Principal, staff, parents and students of Saint Amelia School during my one year Deacon assignment and then with the schools of Immaculate Conception in East Aurora and SS Peter and Paul in Hamburg. I loved assisting the teachers in religion classes, planning Masses and liturgies, attending school social and sporting events, as well as being present at school parent and faculty meetings. This connection to Catholic education was a tremendous supplement to my role as parish Priest. My nine years of working in the Diocesan Catholic Center in the Vocation Office also connected me to the fine staff that our Diocese has with the Offices of Catholic Education and Faith Formation. We are blessed to have such dedicated individuals working to promote our Catholic Faith and ideals to our youth.

The strong tradition and history of spirituality, educational excellence and the forming of Catholic morals and values of DeSales High School and now DeSales Catholic School of Lockport are well known throughout the Diocese of Buffalo and Western New York. This is a great tribute to the many Priests, Sisters, lay faculty, administrators, parents, students and alumni who have ever been associated with DeSales education. This torch of excellence is held ever so high and bright by all of those currently involved in any way with the present mission of forming young men and women to serve God, family and community as an example of Jesus Christ. I am so honored and humbled to be involved as Canonical Administrator with this outstanding DeSales tradition.

I look forward to meeting DeSales students, parents and alumni throughout the year. I am always available for consultation or to dialogue on matters of DeSales Catholic School. I can be reached at my All Saints Parish Rectory at 433-3707 and at Be assured of your place in my daily prayers and I humbly ask you to place me and my ministry in your powerful prayers. May God bless you always.

In Christ’s Peace,

Reverend Walter J. Szczesny

Canonical Administrator, DeSales Catholic School