Priest in Holley and Kendall parish is thankful for time in Orleans County
I first came to Orleans County as a seminarian for 10 weeks in 2006 to serve at St. Joseph’s and St. Mary’s Catholic Churches in Albion. I experienced many wonderful things that summer and left hoping maybe I would one day return to Orleans County as a priest. But, with only three priests living in the County, I knew that was a long shot. Yet, in 2010, Bishop Edward Kmiec assigned me as Pastor of St. Mary’s & St. Mark’s Parish in Holley and Kendall, where I have lived and served for nearly eight years. I arrived with a desire to try and make each person here feel like they were the most important person to the Catholic Church.
Recently, Bishop Richard Malone, the current Bishop of Buffalo, asked me to take a new assignment serving at the Catholic Center in Buffalo. I accepted this assignment and will complete my service as a pastor in Orleans County on Sunday, April 15th.
I want everyone in Orleans County to know how grateful I am for the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful community. I feel so much a part of this place, which has massively affected my life. Since I left law school in 1999 to become a Catholic priest I have lived, studied, and served in multiple countries. Yet, no place is as special to me as Orleans County. I have been blessed to meet so many of you, to celebrate funerals and weddings for your loved ones, to accompany you on your spiritual journey, to pray for you and with you, and simply to be a part this community which will forever be a home to me.
I love Orleans County! I’ve marveled at the beauty of the farms and country roads, the canal and the lake, and the villages on sunny days and snow days. I’ve loved being part of a community where most everyone knows one another. It always brought me joy when people would come to my door if they needed material help. It has been an awesome experience to celebrate Memorial Day and Independence Day, and especially Christmas and Easter, in a small town. What a privilege and blessing it’s been to serve the people of this community!
I hope all the people of this County will continue to grow in goodness, friendship and faith. I hope that kindness, honesty, and decency will imbue all political, institutional, and business endeavors. I pray that violence on the streets and domestic violence in homes will end, drug use will cease, and the children of this County will grow up safe from all harm. I hope that the people of this County continue to build a community of goodwill and family welfare upon the foundations laid by the generations who went before us.
Thank you for your goodness to me these many years. Be assured of my prayers for each of you!
Fr. Mark Noonan
St. Mary’s, Holley & St. Mark’s, Kendall