Fri, Sep 11th 2015 03:50 pm
Rev. Joseph Gatto, President-Rector of
Christ the King Seminary, said students can expect to see a blend of several new
faces and a few familiar ones in expanded roles heading into the 2015-16 academic
year this fall. It's all part of the story of resurgence taking place at the
seminary in East Aurora.
"I am pleased to announce the addition
of Rev. F. Patrick Melfi as a member of the formation faculty and Associate
Director of Formation," said Father Gatto. "Fr. Melfi brings with him a breadth
of pastoral experience and a deep appreciation for parish life and ministry. I
am also very happy to welcome Rev. Andrew Lauricella, a priest who has served
as Parochial Vicar at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Niagara Falls. He was
recently named Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Buffalo and will reside
on our campus as he serves the diocese."
Father Gatto said three new faces can also
be found among recently appointed faculty members.
"Rev. Robert Wozniak brings a profound
appreciation of priesthood and the Church to his new role as Director of
Formation. Eileen Warner's love of teaching and her pastoral experience will
edify her in the role of Director of Mission and Pastoral Outreach, and assist
her as she works to expand our identity and presence in the diocese and at the
parish level. Rev. Michael Monshau, of the Dominican order, brings extensive academic
and preaching experience to his position as Professor of Homiletics.
"Michael Sherry, a familiar face with
a long history at the seminary, has accepted the position of Academic Dean. This move allows Dr. Dennis
Castillo, former dean and current Professor of Church History, to devote more
time to teaching and research. Rev. John Mack, who recently completed his
studies in Sacred Theology, will serve as Director of Pre-Theology, and
continue teaching in the area of Pastoral Theology.
Staak, OMI, who brings teaching and missionary experiences as well as a
background in engineering, has taken on additional responsibilities as Vice
President of Administration and Facilities, while continuing to teach Systematic
Theology. Susan Lankes
has assumed the expanded role as Director of Institutional Advancement.
already talented, devoted and experienced faculty and staff, with an influx of
new priests and qualified lay ministers, was one of my goals when I assumed my
new role in June 2014.
diversity allows us to build upon the momentum we are currently blessed to be
experiencing at the seminary. It will help us represent and address the evolving
needs of Church and ministry which are instrumental to our faith and efforts of
the New Evangelization, which is a priority of our spiritual leader, Bishop
"This is an
extremely exciting chapter for us - a graced time where more and more
individuals are discovering Christ the King to be a place where faith comes
alive and the Lord's calling becomes clear. Incorporating team members with
varied skill sets and different ways of thinking adds to the energy and
progress we are making here as we serve the greater Church of Buffalo and
"I am incredibly
grateful for the outpouring of support, generosity and prayers of so many in
the diocese, in particular the level of commitment from my fellow priests and
parishioners. It has been heartwarming so many want to see us succeed, and want
to support us in animating the life and ministry of our diocese," Father Gatto
Sherry, a 1998
seminary graduate and former law enforcement official who joined Christ the
King as Assistant Academic Dean in 2006, echoes Father Gatto's sentiments. "The Church is incarnate and exists within
history, but it is also subject to change," said Sherry. "While ever faithful
to the Gospel and traditions of our faith, we must evolve in order to provide
instruction in a way that helps our students succeed.
introducing new technologies in the classroom, arranging courses to accommodate
diverse schedules and offering our students the skills necessary to help form
new servants for our Church and community.
tremendous enthusiasm for the seminary exhibited by Bishop Malone - who has
called it the 'beating heart' of the Diocese of Buffalo - and Father Gatto is both
contagious and invigorating. We
understand and embrace this institution's mission and fully realize its continued
success is vital to our diocese. It is exciting to be a part of it.
"The seminary has many new faces in the
classrooms as well. Close to 40 seminarians, more than 20 candidates for the
Permanent Diaconate, 50 lay graduate students and 80 participants in the
continuing education program are enrolled at Christ the King, along with
numerous individuals attending retreats, lectures and other activities.
"We look forward to welcoming more new faces to
the campus and encourage all Western New Yorkers to utilize our nearly
200,000-volume philosophy and theology research library, or simply enjoy the
beautiful natural surroundings of our 132-acre campus adjacent to the Knox Farm
State Park. It's a great place to contemplate and get in touch with God and
one's self," Sherry said.