Grateful for priests' service - Catholic Courier

Grateful for priests’ service

To the editor:

Those of us that reside in the Hornell area are very fortunate to have the outstanding priests and ministers that serve our churches. Recently the parishioners of Our Lady of the Valley Parish bid farewell to a wonderful priest, Father Robert Kanka. He came to Hornell after retiring as pastor of St. James’ Church in Trumansburg. For the past 16 years or so he has dedicated his time and talent to the communicants of St. Ann’s Church and St. Mary’s Church in Rexville, as well as the former St. Ignatius Loyola Church in Hornell and St. Joachim’s Church in Canisteo. Even though he was supposedly retired, he still had a full and active schedule of celebrating daily and weekend Masses, hearing confessions and officiating at weddings and funerals. Father Kanka also spent time visiting shut ins and the sick either in their own homes or those that resided in area nursing homes, where he also celebrated Mass for the residents on a regular basis. Now that he leaves Hornell to reside in Rochester, we will miss him and his ever-present smile and amazing wit.

Several months ago the parishioners of Our Lady of the Valley Parish also loss the caring services of another wonderful priest, Father Paul Schnacky. After retiring as the long time pastor of St. Joseph’s Church in Wayland he came to Hornell where he has selflessly and devoutly served the members of the Catholic church, both past and present, in Hornell and several in Allegany county. Even though Father Schnacky is still present in the community, we miss his presence at church as well as his tremendous spiritual guidance.

Now, we who worship at St. Ann’s Church and St. Mary’s Church, should pray that the good Lord will allow our pastor, Father Peter Anglaaere, our parochial vicar, Father Paulinus Okpala, and Deacon Robert McCormick to have the ability, patience and strength to continue to care for their faithful communicants without the assistance of these two fine priest.

Bill Bishop

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