Father Joe Wolf, pastor of Holy Spirit Parish, with one of his parishioners
"I would attribute it to the Holy Spirit Himself," said Father Wolf
, when asked what procured the longevity of the parish.
"There's a spirit to the church.
On Oct. 30, 1910, Bishop Charles Colton celebrated the Mass of dedication, and 100 years later to the day, Bishop Edward U. Kmiec gathered with the parish in prayer to celebrate its first century. Bishop Colton predicted in the beginning that it would be a successful parish, and Father Wolf, a century later, attributes the thriving life of the parish partially to the North Buffalo community.
"North Buffalo has a feeling of neighborhood and viability," said Father Wolf
Michael Cheman, a parishioner at Holy Spirit, attributes much of the success of Holy Spirit Parish
to Father Wolf
"I like having babies cry during Mass. It's a sign that the parish is growing," said Father Wolf
"Younger people enjoy coming because they feel part of it.
We have more young people now than when the school was open.
is loved by parishioners of all generations.
Having studied in Italy for five years, he
occasionally says Mass in Italian and can frequently be heard speaking Italian with the Italian parishioners.
"Involvement is key," said Father Wolf
of how he
cultivates the family atmosphere at Holy Spirit.
"We are really one of the only Catholic churches in this area, and the parish serves the needs of the community.
We're just reading the signs of the times.
Two ways that Father Wolf
has reached out to the community during his
ministry are with a door-to-door evangelization and a food pantry for those in two North Buffalo zip codes.
Several years ago Father Wolf
asked parishioners to go door-to-door in the neighborhood to see how the parish could fulfill the needs of the people.
"This is a marvelous thing for our young people," said Father Wolf
"We celebrated that we are under the patronage of the Holy Spirit by celebrating the giving of the Holy Spirit.
It was very special to witness giving the Holy Spirit in our beginning of the second century." For the beginning of the next century, Father Wolf
chose a new quote to inspire his