Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


Pastoral Shakeups

January 7th, 2013, Promulgated by Dr. K

There have been several pastoral changes in the Diocese of Rochester that we’re currently looking into, but here is what we know right now:

  • Fr. Adam Ogorzaly placed on leave of absence from Pastor of Mother of Sorrows in Greece. Unknown who will administer the parish at this moment.
  • Fr. Frederick Helfrich relieved of duties as Pastor at Holy Spirit in Penfield. He will remain on staff to provide sacramental assistance.
  • Fr. James Schwartz named Parochial Administrator of Holy Spirit in Penfield concurrent with duties as Pastor of St. Joseph in Penfield. He will remain in the position for six months to get the parish’s finances in order.
  • Fr. Lee Chase from leave of absence to Parochial Vicar at St. Lawrence in Greece. I have no idea what this is about. Fr. Chase made some nasty comments about the Pope, conservatives, and those who attend the Extraordinary Form in his former blog. More on this in a later post.
  • Fr. Vic Bartolotta from assignment in Dallas at Bp. Lynch High School and St. Thomas Aquinas parish to assisting priest/part-time parochial vicar at St. Lawrence in Greece. Fr. Bartolotta is teaching religion at Bishop Kearney high school. [addendum:] Well that was short-lived! Fr. Bartolotta has  left St. Lawrence and Rochester. As of January 6th, he is no longer listed in the parish bulletin.

Feel free to comment.

If you have any information about further pastoral appointments, or have additional details about those listed above, please contact us at:

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20 Responses to “Pastoral Shakeups”

  1. avatar yankeegirl says:

    Fr. Bartolotta was at St Lawrence and Bishop Kearney, but for personal family reasons has left those posts and already returned to Texas. Deacon Dan Callan will be filling in for Fr Bartolotta at Bishop Kearney.

  2. avatar militia says:

    I hope this is all because the Apostolic Administrator is on top of things and taking action. In making your full compilation don’t forget the departure of Fr. Kawiak, mentioned elsewhere on this blog. May the AA also include Buffalo Rd. and St. Bernards in his work.

  3. avatar Dr. K says:

    Fr. Kawiak left before Bp. Clark retired.

  4. avatar militia says:

    Oh, good point! How long is Sr. Binsack going to keep trailing along after Bishop Clark to hold his hat and open the book? Does Bishop Cunningham have groupies like this too?

  5. avatar Choir says:

    Isn’t the pastor first name at Holy Spirit, Frederick or Fred and his brother is Peter, who is a retired priest from the Ogdensburg diocese? I believe Peter helps out at Holy Spirit. Peter lives not far from Holy Spirit.

  6. avatar Interstate Catholic says:

    I guess it’s never too early to ask. How many priest retirements will we see in the DoR this year? I believe three are scheduled to be ordained.

  7. avatar Dr. K says:

    His name is often listed as “P. Frederick Helfrich.” Since it appears he prefers to use the name Fred, I’ll revise the post.

  8. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    I like him. He ws the spiritual moderator of the Catholic physician’s guild.

    Will they push back retirement to age 75

  9. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    I like Fr. Helfrich. He was the spiritual moderator……

  10. avatar DanielKane says:

    The renewal of the DoR will likely entail more pain than has been experienced to date. The “Atlanta Experiment” demonstrates that fidelity to the Church’s teaching, priestly formation, priestly esteem, energized laity directed to their proper place (which is not outside of the pews) – great things happen.

    At my former parish, St. Peter Chanel as a condition of doing ANY apostolate you had to be on the “Adoration List” because you can not give what you do not have and the first duty is to worship. The fruit of this strategy is (1) Pure Fashion (2) Catholics Come Home (3) Atlanta Catholic Business Association (4) the award winning website (5) two priestly vocations, 7 deacons and one religious sister – all from ONE PARISH in under 10 or 15 years.

    This can happen here. The ecclesiastical renewal is vertex to base and out of our hands.

    The personal one begins on our knees.

  11. avatar eyeondor says:

    Our parish was told Fr. Adam Ogorzaly left for “personal reasons.” I hear that Sr. Leandra will be in charge in the interim, but they are trying to get Our Mother of Sorrows a pastor very soon.

    I don’t think that it has much to do with his opinions on the gay marriage bulletin article. It could be that he did general absolution this year in his penance service at the church. It was not publicized, so I unknowingly went thinking it was a regular penance service and found general absolution.

    I did hear from another parishioner that Sister Leandra did explain that he was not removed. He is not on administrative leave, but that he is on “leave of absence by choice.”

    I was at a funeral mass today and Fr. Alex Bradshaw did the mass, I wonder if they’ll temporarily move him to cover? It would be great, he is a nice, holy man who unfortunately couldn’t work past 70 years old.

    It would seem to me that Bp. Cunningham should send a priest to cover and act as administrator until an assignment is made.

    I would also be interested to know the number of retirements we should expect this year.

  12. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    amen, Dan. Sometimes I think we should have a standard header (or footer) on every one of our posts that report unorthodox happenings in the diocese so as not to lead anyone into despair, to not keep anyone from their personal devotions, and to prevent the sins of the pharisees. The devil is smart and will get us however he can.

    Thank you for highlighting these things:

    you have to be on the “Adoration List” because you can not give what you do not have and the first duty is to worship.

    The ecclesiastical renewal is vertex to base and out of our hands.

    The personal one begins on our knees.

  13. avatar Interstate Catholic says:

    The diocese projected 79 diocesan priests would be active in 2014.
    This does not include externs or priests who are eligible to retire but stay on longer.

    This is old data so the numbers may have changed.

  14. avatar Monk says:

    Does Bishop Cunningham have groupies like this too?

    +Cunningham recently presided at one of the DoR Cathedral Confirmation ceremonies. His secretary was a young priest or
    seminarian who wore a black cassock and white surplus and collar. He was very reverent in attending to the Bishop. Also, all the altar servers were boys – very unusual for the Cathedral. He instructed the altar servers throughout the Mass. +Cunningham was very reverent and gave an excellent homily. A pleasure to behold!

  15. avatar raymondfrice says:

    “He will remain in the position for six months to get the parish’s finances in order.”

    A very wise use of a priest’s time!(sarcasm) If he has to take him 6 months to do this it probably demands a sharp eyed accountant rather than a priest.
    If the problem was caused by Fred,if there is a problem, no harm was intended. Fred’s forte’ is not finance but administration of the sacraments and spiritual guidance.

  16. avatar eyeondor says:

    Our Mother of Sorrows bulletin does not have Fr. Adam Ogorzaly listed as pastor any longer:

    A question that has come up with my circle of friends over and over though is, can a pastor be appointed without a bishop in place? We are being told that Sister Leandra Kosmoski, SSJ is our “administrator” which means I won’t be going there, but isn’t an active bishop required for appointments? I was shocked to hear that Bp. Cunningham would assign a woman as the administrator even temporarily.

  17. avatar annonymouse says:

    eyeondor –

    I believe can. 525, par. 2 allows a diocesan administrator the power to appoint pastors ONLY if the see has been vacant for a year. So, unless I’m misreading the canon, Bp. Cunningham does not have the power to name pastors in the DoR until next fall.

  18. avatar Interstate Catholic says:

    Fr. Fred plans on staying at Holy Spirit til 2015 (past the 12 year max) which is good news.

  19. avatar Interstate Catholic says:

    It appears that Fr. Ogorzaly has been incardinated in the Polish National Catholic Church and is now parochial vicar at St Stanislaus Cathedral in Scranton. That would make two DoR priests that went to the PNNC within the last two years.

  20. avatar christian says:

    According to an Internet posting, – 12-22-2013 – which includes a PDF of the PNCC bulletin:

    “NOTICE – It was discovered that Fr. Adam Ogorzaly abandoned his Cathedral post as associate pastor with no prior notification, and has since refused episcopal directives to return to his assigned placement here. Fr. Ogorzaly has been suspended for his conduct and is no longer an active priest of the Polish National Catholic Church.”

    Fr. Adam is such a good priest and person. How very, very sad all this has happened.

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