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Rev. Richard A. Jesionowski, 84, retired pastor of Our Lady Help of Christians Church

Nov. 16, 1933 – Oct. 27, 2018

Rev. Richard A. Jesionowski, pastor of Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church in Cheektowaga for 20 years, died Saturday in Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. He was 84.

Born in Dunkirk, he attended St. Hedwig's Elementary School and was a graduate of Dunkirk High School. He served for four years in the Air Force, then worked for United Airlines until entering St. John Vianney Seminary in East Aurora in 1962.

He was ordained May 25, 1968, in Our Lady of Victory Basilica in Lackawanna, by Bishop Stanislaus J. Brzana, auxiliary bishop of Buffalo.

Father Jesionowski spent his 50-year career at parishes in the Diocese of Buffalo, beginning as a missionary apostolate at St. Helen’s Church in Hinsdale.

He went on to serve as assistant pastor at Our Lady of Czestochowa in Cheektowaga, St. Barbara in Lackawanna, St. James in Depew, and St. Luke, Assumption, St. Agatha and Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, all in Buffalo.

In 1984, he became pastor of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Niagara Falls and in 1990 was given an additional assignment as pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Niagara Falls. He hosted a visit by Cardinal Josef Glemp, leader of the Catholic Church in Poland, in 1991.

He served both churches as pastor until 1997, when he was named temporary administrator at St. Jude’s Church in Sardinia.

During his ministry at Our Lady Help of Christians, which began in 1998, he oversaw efforts by parishioners which led to restoration of the church’s historic chapel.

He retired in September.

Survivors include two sisters, Dorothy Schrantz and Barbara McCormick, and nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered by Bishop Edward M. Grosz, auxiliary bishop of Buffalo, at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 2, in Our Lady Help of Christians Church, 4125 Union Road, Cheektowaga.

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