st_leosSt. Leo the Great Parish is a special family. We are a faith based community built with care and love by our parishioners. Throughout the 55 years our parish has been in existence, we have continually received the Lord’s many blessings as we grow in faith and serve our community.

Over the last 2 years, every parish in the Buffalo Diocese has gone through a process called Journey in Faith and Grace. Each parish completed a self assessment of its programs, finances and facilities. For some parishes it meant a merger, for other parishes, a reaffirmation of their mission and goals. I am pleased to announce that St. Leo the Great Parish, along with the other four parishes in the Amherst area, has been identified as vibrant and sustainable, remaining an independent parish. We will look for ways to continue to collaborate with the other parishes for the benefit of all. With the conclusion of Journey in Faith and Grace, our parish is now able to grow and build upon our solid foundation.

Our parish family is nourished by our prayer and liturgies. We serve one another and the community through the over 3 dozen ministries and service organizations, involving all generations from children to senior citizens. Our religious education classes, parish school, and youth programs prepare future generations of Catholics and good citizens. Our church is not only a center for daily and weekend liturgy, but also a religious setting where our children are married, our children receive their First Communion and where our family funerals take place.

Our parish also has a serious responsibility to be good stewards of the treasures that you entrust to us. We are very careful to spend this money appropriately to support the needs of our parish family and provide safe and attractive facilities. Audited financial controls are securely in place to account for and protect your financial contributions.

After consultation with the Trustees and the Finance Committee of our parish, it is time to renew the stewardship of treasure commitment process. The campaign will be called “Responsible Stewardship.” Stewardship is scripture based and is a sign of gratitude for the many blessings received. The teaching of the church emphasizes the responsibility each of us has for helping others and sharing in Christ’s work by our contributions. Please remember: God will not be outdone in generosity. The Lord will find a way to bless you and your family for your financial commitment to our parish.

We understand that our community is currently going through difficult economic times. The parish also has necessary expenses that continue to increase. Over the next several weeks, as part of Responsible Stewardship, we will be asking each family to make a financial commitment to the parish that is greater than the previous year. As the founding members of the parish embraced a responsibility many years ago, we need to continue to provide a solid foundation for the future families of the parish.

Thank you for your past parish financial support and the prayerful consideration I hope you will give to this important effort. Over the next several weeks you will hear several presentations at weekend liturgies and receive other communication to encourage responsible stewardship among all members of our parish family. Please know of my prayers for you and your family.

Rev. Msgr. Robert E. Zapfel