Niagara Gazette


February 24, 2014

HIGGS: St. Mary's former spiritual leaders and its complex

Niagara Gazette — A few comments follow about some of the more recent religious leaders of St. Mary of the Cataract that I had the pleasure of meeting over the years: The Rev. John P. Duggan came back to St. Mary’s in 1962 following his discharge from military service in 1961 where he served as a chaplain during World War II. He was an assistant pastor prior to his Air Force assignment. I knew him slightly as a very tall and erect figure who was extremely Irish and a real warm person when you got to know him. Renovations were completed under his watch also including major interior renovation including the altar and the roof repair of the two steeples that were erected in 1873.

Father William J. Stillwell served from 1984 to 1996. We became close friends as I volunteered at the church bingo games held on Sundays just to help out my Catholic friends and active parish members, the Art McGill family. Father Stillwell always attended these nights and one Sunday during Mass he asked for volunteers for bingo as “it was somewhat awkward having to depend on a Lutheran to work the games.” I heard about it that night and noticed it must have worked as some new workers showed up. He was very innovative and many of the outside shrines and monuments on the church grounds were his doing. The Shrine of Peace was his pride and joy and he later became involved in the placement of a monument dedicated to Mother Teresa of Calcutta who visited St. Mary’s on May 30, 1982, following her Commencement Address to Niagara University graduates at the Niagara Falls Convention and Civic Center. He retired as Monsignor Stillwell around 1996.

The Rev. Michael H. Burzynski who I mentioned earlier displayed his collection of religious relics to the public during November 2000 while serving as pastor. They remained in the Shrine of Holy Relics until he was transferred in 2012. He was interested in the history of the church and opened the doors for concerts as well. It is well known as a “tourist attraction” and was included on many local tour operators stops. Currently serving the congregation is Father Jacek Mazur, a native of Poland, who studied at the seminary of Sts. Cyril and Methodius in Michigan. His first local assignment was at St. Theresa and then he accepted an assignment at Divine Mercy (formerly St. Stan’s). Then Divine Mercy was twinned with St. Mary’s which he where he now resides. He is very involved with the international Divine Mercy apostolate.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: Popeye's '7-Minute' guide to educating southerners -- and me! Writer Mark Twain said that when he 14, his father was so ignorant that he could hardly stand to have the old man around. But upon turning 21, Twain said that he was astonished by how much his father had learned in just seven years.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bianco mug 072514 GUESTVIEW: Business First ranking casts Falls in a new light There are those in the community who like to cite Business First's annual rankings of school districts and speak unfavorably about Niagara Falls' low standing.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • CHEERS AND JEERS: The best --Â and worst -- of the week of July 25 It sure sounds like the Buffalo Bills really will be "Living on a Prayer" as far as Western New York is concerned if the team is purchased by the prospective ownership group that includes rocker Jon Bon Jovi.

    July 25, 2014

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Wegmans call warns of bad fruit I was humming to myself the other day, getting ready for work on a lovely summer morning, when I decided to check my messages on the house phone. I hit the play button and heard a message from Wegmans warning me about some fruit that I had bought at their store. As quick as that, a message with the scary potential to change my life or the life of someone I love.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Ortt jumps on drive to repeal the SAFE Act It was a no-brainer for North Tonawanda Mayor Rob Ortt, a Republican candidate for the 62nd Senate District seat, to join the forces to repeal the state's SAFE Act.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • EDITORIAL: Delaying refuse law really just makes situation worse It's obvious the rollout of the city's new refuse and recyclables collection program has caused confusion and consternation among some city residents and business owners.

    July 24, 2014

  • NIA Giannetti, Robert mug 072414 GUEST VIEW: Village of Lewiston parking issues related to Artpark need to be addressed On Artpark nights, the South Fourth Street area and many other parts of the Village of Lewiston are covered with pop-up parking lots on residential lawns that operate in spite of existing zoning laws prohibiting commercial activity.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: Tourists attracted here by history, beauty, politics As my friend and colleague, writer Don Glynn has so artfully portrayed over the decades, "For many years after the dawn of aviation, U.S. presidents visiting Western New York started at the Niagara Falls Airport. The reason: The main runway here was longer than that of the Buffalo airport and could easily accommodate Air Force One, the presidential aircraft."

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • EDITORIAL: Experience Center vital to tourism here From time immemorial, Niagara tourism leaders have expounded on the need for a first-class orientation center to showcase our assets for the millions of annual visitors here.

    July 23, 2014

  • NIA Confer, Bob mug CONFER: A constitutional convention is not the answer For the past few years it has been popular for folks of the right persuasion (Republicans and neoconservatives) to call for a constitutional convention ("Con-Con") in hopes of passing a balanced budget amendment (BBA.) A lot of people have jumped on that bandwagon; no doubt your email inbox or Facebook news feeds have shown that.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page