‘Walk to Remember’ to Honor Legacy of Fr. Joe Moreno

Father Joe Moreno ...walk set to honor his legacy

By Tony Farina

Father Joe Moreno
…walk set to honor his legacy

Even as the circumstances surrounding his death remain unsettled in the eyes of his family, the 5th Annual Walk to Remember, dedicated to the memory of Father Joseph Moreno, will be held Aug. 12 this year beginning at Delaware Park across from zoo.

Father Moreno, a Catholic priest for 26 years who was known for helping the poor, the sick, the elderly, and children, was found dead in the rectory of his parish, Saint Lawrence Church on East Delavan Ave., on Oct. 13, 2012.  A police investigation has ruled his death a suicide a death even though there was no note found and his family believes he was not suicidal and may have been the victim of foul play.

His twin sister, Susan, and his father, Joseph, continue to push to have his case re-opened and have hired prominent Buffalo attorney Paul Cambria to lead that effort, claiming an independent autopsy has concluded that Fr. Joe may not have been able to shoot himself behind his left ear because his left hand was partially crippled from an injury.

But despite their frustration, the family has continued to honor his legacy, establishing the Fr. Joe Moreno Memorial Foundation dedicated to serving all of those whom the priest touched in so many ways.

The Foundation, established shortly after his death, has provided assistance to over 100 families and individuals in addition to aiding the St. Philomena Church, the Western New York VA Medical Center, St. Jude’s Catholic Charities, and McAuley Seton of Niagara County.

Hundreds of people turned out at Fr. Joe’s funeral mass at St. Margaret’s Church on Hertel Ave., including many first responders who recalled Fr. Joe’s service in their time of need.  He was a beloved priest who rushed to the 9/11 scene to help com-fort the grieving survivors and also served as the Buffalo Police chaplain.

The Fr. Joe Foundation is a 501-(c)-3 organization (frjoefoundation@hotmail.com) and is tirelessly supported by his twin sister Susan who channeled her grief to found the foundation and continue the good work of her brother.  Christina Moreno Wild is the foundation’s vice president and Michael Wild is treasurer and legal counsel.

We will have follow-up reports on the Fr. Joe Walk to Remember as the date approaches and we will also report any new information on the efforts by the family to re-open the investigation into the death of the priest although at this point the district attorney has said there is no new information that has come to light that would prompt him to re-open the case.

Whatever happens in the family’s effort to have authorities take another look, the walk to honor the legacy of Fr. Joe will be held on Aug. 12 with all proceeds dedicated to continuing his work.

 

  • If the transubstantiation is real, then what blood type is the converted wine? I’m sure hospitals around the world could benefit from that miracle…

  • Jesse Griffis

    That hot dog video is so nasty at the beginning but oh so f***ing tasty by the end!

  • Brian Castner

    1. I had been hoping you’d get to this subject eventually. I think the atheist commentators, who don’t spend a lot of time in pews, are a bit late to the party – Catholicism has been primarily cultural in large parts of the world (western europe, white America) for a couple decades at least, especially in Buffalo, where its about white dresses for girls on their first communion and fish fries on friday and the Broadway Market. Its become much more like American Judaism, a cultural identity first (without the racial and national component, of course). 

    The comparisson I was hoping you were going to draw was between the modern GOP and the Catholic Church. Because in the non-Hispanic parts of this country, the average age of the folks in the pews is rising exponentially. Note the Buffalo News story recently about how the Catholic Church has lost 32% of its followers in the last decade alone. I wonder how much of this phenomenon has similar roots? As the groups shrink, are they becoming more conservative in a reactionary way? Are the progressives leaving, and all that’s left are the hard core individuals who place top priority on cultural backwardness? I think there is a social phenomenon that would be interesting to study and understand (not label and throw mud at and call names, though I no longer consider myself really a member of either group – maybe I took Dawkins’ advice).

  • Brian Castner

    1. I had been hoping you’d get to this subject eventually. I think the atheist commentators, who don’t spend a lot of time in pews, are a bit late to the party – Catholicism has been primarily cultural in large parts of the world (western europe, white America) for a couple decades at least, especially in Buffalo, where its about white dresses for girls on their first communion and fish fries on friday and the Broadway Market. Its become much more like American Judaism, a cultural identity first (without the racial and national component, of course). 

    The comparisson I was hoping you were going to draw was between the modern GOP and the Catholic Church. Because in the non-Hispanic parts of this country, the average age of the folks in the pews is rising exponentially. Note the Buffalo News story recently about how the Catholic Church has lost 32% of its followers in the last decade alone. I wonder how much of this phenomenon has similar roots? As the groups shrink, are they becoming more conservative in a reactionary way? Are the progressives leaving, and all that’s left are the hard core individuals who place top priority on cultural backwardness? I think there is a social phenomenon that would be interesting to study and understand (not label and throw mud at and call names, though I no longer consider myself really a member of either group – maybe I took Dawkins’ advice).

  • Mike_Chmiel

    People like Mark Goldman will never get out of the way and simply allow the waterfront to grow organically for one simple reason – he is certain that he knows better than everyone else.  The lack of business acumen amongst these people is staggering.  They are the same people that truly believe that architectural “tourism” will not only attract thousands of people to the area, but that it will lead to an economic resurgence.  

  • Interesting, I wish I had make the comparison between the Catholic Church and the GOP as it fits neatly.  As the church population ages and membership generally declines, I think the parallels are there, it probably also informs the recent trend of Catholics more closely identifying with the Republican Party.

    I think there is something fascinating about the split in the American Catholic Church from tradition with a greater focus on social justice and service. The leaders are the nuns and sisters who have taken a leadership role on church outreach. Think of Sister Karen or the Sisters of Mercy and their expanded role in ministry and leadership. Very different from the patriarchal attitudes we grew up with in the Church.

    As for Dawkins, I remember having a moment in high school religion class where we discussed transubstantiation and thinking it sounded like bizarre wizardry. If I didn’t believe in that core tenet of the faith, why did I believe at all? Thus began my march towards humanism.

  • Interesting, I wish I had make the comparison between the Catholic Church and the GOP as it fits neatly.  As the church population ages and membership generally declines, I think the parallels are there, it probably also informs the recent trend of Catholics more closely identifying with the Republican Party.

    I think there is something fascinating about the split in the American Catholic Church from tradition with a greater focus on social justice and service. The leaders are the nuns and sisters who have taken a leadership role on church outreach. Think of Sister Karen or the Sisters of Mercy and their expanded role in ministry and leadership. Very different from the patriarchal attitudes we grew up with in the Church.

    As for Dawkins, I remember having a moment in high school religion class where we discussed transubstantiation and thinking it sounded like bizarre wizardry. If I didn’t believe in that core tenet of the faith, why did I believe at all? Thus began my march towards humanism.

  • Brian Castner

    Well, the top two issues for the remaining Catholic Church and remaining GOP appear to be the same: abortion and birth control. That’s emblamatic of the issue if nothing else.

    The Catholic Church has been split between patriarchal soul saving and social justice for the poor for hundreds of years. This split has often been between Rome and the various orders of priests: think the Franciscans or my favorite intellectual agnostics, the Jesuits. They have been fueding with the Vatican since their founding, as they spent more time digging wells in foreign lands than teaching Jesus (and often blatantly adapting the faith for local customs and traditions). I think the difference now is women’s lib is finally publically showing itself with orders of nuns. Having grown up with several nuns in the family, I saw how it was quietly a bastion of free-thinking independent women for a long time. But now the clashes are more public, and it has denigrated into a official male dominated Church hierarchy versus female orders thing. The official male church doesn’t treat orders of priests the same way because they are men? Many would say so.

  • Brian Castner

    Well, the top two issues for the remaining Catholic Church and remaining GOP appear to be the same: abortion and birth control. That’s emblamatic of the issue if nothing else.

    The Catholic Church has been split between patriarchal soul saving and social justice for the poor for hundreds of years. This split has often been between Rome and the various orders of priests: think the Franciscans or my favorite intellectual agnostics, the Jesuits. They have been fueding with the Vatican since their founding, as they spent more time digging wells in foreign lands than teaching Jesus (and often blatantly adapting the faith for local customs and traditions). I think the difference now is women’s lib is finally publically showing itself with orders of nuns. Having grown up with several nuns in the family, I saw how it was quietly a bastion of free-thinking independent women for a long time. But now the clashes are more public, and it has denigrated into a official male dominated Church hierarchy versus female orders thing. The official male church doesn’t treat orders of priests the same way because they are men? Many would say so.