By DON GLYNN
Niagara Gazette — LEWISTON — Monsignor David G. LiPuma, who has served more than two decades at the Buffalo Catholic Diocese headquarters, has been appointed as the new pastor of St. Peter's parish in this village.
Msgr. LiPuma has been vice chancellor of the eight-county diocese and secretary to Bishop Richard J. Mallone.
In addition he served as the top assistant to two former bishops in Buffalo. He will replace the Rev. Michael P. Zuffoletto, the current pastor of St. Peter's, who had requested to retire. The changes are effective Aug. 24.
A Lancaster native, LiPuma was ordained to the priesthood in 1987 by the late Bishop Edward D. Head. He served as parochial vicar at St. Leo the Great Parish, Amherst, and later at St. Philip the Apostle, Cheektowaga. In 1993, he was named acting director of the Office of Worship, a post he held until Bishop Henry J. Mansell appointed him as his priest secretary. LiPuma continued in that role under former Bishop Edward Kmiec, who retired in 2012, and his successor, Bishop Malone.
"As I prepare to become the pastor of St. Peter's, I reflect over the past 26 years of my priesthood and especially the 20 years at the Catholic Center," LiPuma said, "I am overwhelmed by the graciousness of God in calling me to serve the church as a priest. By God's grace and the exemplary bishops I have served under, I have been blessed with many magnificent opportunities to meet all the wonderful people in our diocese." Earlier, when asked if he was interested in returning to parish work, LiPuma gladly accepted the challenge, according to a diocesan spokesman.
One of the first projects he will oversee in his new assignment is the 60th anniversary of St. Peter's parish school. "I'm excited to be part of this special celebration as we honor six decades of quality Catholic education," LiPuma said.
Named to succeed LiPuma at the diocesan headquarters is the Rev. Ryszard S. Biernat, a native of Poland, who completed his studies at Christ the King Seminary, East Aurora, and was ordained in 2009.