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Building to be renamed for Wurtz

The Our Lady of Victory administration building at 780 Ridge Road, Lackawanna, will be renamed for the late Monsignor Robert C. Wurtz, who championed the cause of the institution's founder, Father Nelson Baker, for sainthood.

The announcement was made by Bishop Edward U. Kmiec Friday evening at the Friends of Father Baker reception in the Hyatt Regency Buffalo, following the screening of a 14-minute video about Wurtz.

"We took a break from our typical awards program at this event to pay tribute to his legacy," said Our Lady of Victory spokeswoman Beth Donovan, before the screening.

The building to be renamed in Wurtz's honor is home to the administrative offices on the corner of South Park Avenue and Ridge Road, directly across the street from Our Lady of Victory Basilica. It will be called the Monsignor Robert C. Wurtz Administration Building.

The Friends of Father Baker was established 27 years ago to pay tribute to the founder of Our Lady of Victory and to raise money for the institution's programs, which annually serve more than 3,500 area families.

"This is our annual fundraiser," said Donovan. "This year, we raised over $220,000, and that's through support of corporate sponsors and individual patrons."

Wurtz, who died in December, was a successor of Father Baker. He oversaw all of the Our Lady of Victory institutions for more than 34 years.

More than 600 people attended Friday's event, including Our Lady of Victory employees, parishioners, friends and corporate sponsors.

"They're here because they still believe in the programs that continue in Lackawanna today, and they want to show their support by giving donations and attending [Friday's reception]," Donovan said.

The 14-minute video they viewed before Kmiec's announcement contained interviews with those who were closest to Wurtz, including friends, fellow priests and others who worked at Our Lady of Victory. They talked about his contributions to the institution and those it helped.


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