Come Join us at St. Amelia Parish
We, the members of St. Amelia Church are an open and inviting community of believers who seek to:
Help one another to follow Christ with deeper commitment;
Encourage one another to respond to the call of the Holy Spirit to fulfill the Gospel by living lives in imitation of our Lord, Jesus Christ;
Practice, teach and share the idea that our Parish is a family in the very real sense. And just as members of a traditional family all look out for one another’s joys and sorrow,
We likewise are concerned for the spiritual growth, development and well-being of all our brothers and sisters who make up our parish community;
Through the intercession of St. Amelia, Patroness of our parish, we dedicate all our words, deeds and actions for the glory and honor of God, our Father.
Join Our Parish Family
Or contact the Rectory Office at 716-836-0011 to set up an appoint to register and receive an introductory packet.
In the years following World War II, the Buffalo suburbs expanded rapidly. In 1953, the Bishop of Buffalo, Joseph A. Burke, formulated plans for a new parish in the Town of Tonawanda, to serve the hundreds of new families pouring into that area. He named the new parish in honor of Saint Amelia, in recognition of the patron saint of his mother, Amelia Burke, and to head the new parish, he selected his own secretary, Monsignor John Lodge McHugh.
Monsignor McHugh grew up in Buffalo’s Cathedral Parish, where he was an altar server for Bishop Charles Turner. He attended Canisius High School and College, and completed his priestly formation at Niagara University. He was ordained Sept. 19, 1931, and served for the next 22 years as associate pastor at the Cathedral Parish, as well as secretary to several bishops.
The first Sunday Mass in the new parish was celebrated on Sept. 13, 1953, outdoors on the grounds of the Brighton Fire Department on Jamaica Road. Subsequently Masses were held at Mount Saint Mary Academy on Delaware Avenue. Two years later, a school and church had been built. Saint Amelia School was opened in September of 1955 by the Felician Sisters, who served until 1995, when the leadership was passed to a lay principal. Several additions to the school were necessary after it opened, since the school had become the largest in the diocese, enrolling over 1600 pupils. A convent and a rectory were built on Saint Amelia Drive.
In the fall of 1970 the new church was opened. Designed by architect Ed Egan, a parishioner, the church has the largest seating capacity in the diocese, accommodating 1500 worshipers. The old church was transformed into a gymnasium. The parish hall was named Don Miller Hall, to honor the memory of long-time trustee Donald A. Miller.
Monsignor McHugh retired in 1982, and lived in the rectory until his death on August 1999. Monsignor Rupert A. Wright succeeded him, and served as pastor until 1994. In 1994 and 1995, our pastor was the Reverend William R. Bigelow. Following Rev. William Bigelow as pastor was Monsignor Thomas F. Maloney, came in August of 1995. Monsignor Thomas F. Maloney served St. Amelia’s for 22 years. He had previously been pastor at Annunciation Church in Elma, and St. Joseph’s Church in University Heights. The parish marked its Golden Jubilee on Sept. 13, 2003, with a Mass concelebrated by our Bishop, Most Rev. Henry J. Mansell, and two dozen priests who had served the parish, followed by a banquet at Samuel’s Grande Manor.
The parish marked its Sixtieth Anniversary on September 13, 2013 with a Mass celebrated by son of the parish, Bishop Gregory Hartmayer of Savannah, and concelebrated by three bishops and twelve priests.
On September 1, 2017, Bishop Malone appointed Rev. Sebastian C. Pierro as Pastor. He has previously served at Nativity of Our Lord, Saint Peter and Paul-Hamburg, Christ the King, and Saint Gregory the Great as Parochial Vicar. Father Pierro has served as Pastor at Holy Trinity-Dunkirk and Saint Peter’s in Lewiston.
Who is St. Amelia?
St. Amelia was born in 741, in the Ardennes region, bordering present-day Belgium and Luxembourg. Raised in a deeply religious home, Amelia and her brother Roden were know for their sterling character and devotion to Christ.
Amelia was preparing to become a religious sister in the Benedictine Abbey at Munsterbilsen, when her beauty and virtue caught the attention of Pepin, king of the Franks, and his son Charles, later known as Charlemagne. Charles pursued her for several years, and at one point broke Amelia’s arm in a struggle. The arm was miraculously healed and Charles resigned himself to Amelia’s religious vocation. Amelia journeyed to Temsche, on the River Schelde, about 15 miles southwest of Antwerp, where she built a church dedicated to Mary.
Many miracles are attributed to her, before and after her death 772. She is often depicted holding the Bible or venerating the crucifix, sometimes with a fish at her feet, owing to the legend that she arrived in Temsche by crossing the Schelde on the back of a fish. She is officially a patron of farmers and fishermen and is often invoked by young people struggling to remain faithful to Jesus and for healing of injuries of the arms and shoulders. Her feast day is July 10.