Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the Diocesan Staff?

The Rt. Rev. R. William Franklin – Bishop –

The Rev. Canon Cathy Dempesy-Sims – Canon for Connections –

Ms. Keri Mills – Executive Assistant to the Bishop –

Ms. Maria Manocchio – Financial Assistant –

Mr. Howard Gondree – Financial Consultant –

The Rev. Vicki Zust – Assistant for Ministry Development & Public Relations –

Ms. Liz Brauza-Hughes – Website and Social Media Manager –

The Rev. Canon Jerre Feagin – Assistant for Congregational Support –

The Diocesan website is


Where are the Diocesan offices?

The Diocesan Ministry Center is located at 1064 Brighton Rd, Tonawanda, NY 14150

The phone number at the Ministry Center is 716-881-0660

The Ministry Center houses both the Diocesan Offices and meeting space that is available to Diocesan and other groups.


How does a priest become canonically resident in Western New York?

Write to the office of the Bishop of the Diocese in which you are currently canonically resident.  Ask them to send your letters dimissory to the Rt. Rev. R. William Franklin, Bishop of Western New York, 1064 Brighton Rd, Tonawanda, NY 14150


What should I know about a Bishop’s visit?

You can find the Bishop’s Customary on the Diocesan website. If you have questions contact Keri Mills.


How do I find a supply priest?

The list of clergy available to supply and the current supply clergy rates are available on the Diocesan website or by contacting the diocesan offices.


How do I schedule an event at the Diocesan Ministry Center?

There is a form on the Diocesan web-site for scheduling space at the Ministry Center.


What are the deadlines for Parochial Reports, Audits and Full Share Payments?

Parochial Reports are due at the Diocesan Office by the close of business March 1.  Forms are mailed to the congregations in December or January.  It is preferred that congregations file their parochial reports electronically and send a signed copy of the Diocesan Offices.  Vestry or Bishop’s Committee approval of the report is required.

Audits are due at the Diocesan Office by the close of business on October 1.  The Diocesan Council will inform each congregation whether an internal committee review or an external review is required.

Full Share payments must be up to date by the convening of the Diocesan Convention at the end of October.


Who do I contact with questions about health insurance?

Maria Manocchio –


Who do I contact with questions about my pension?

Contact the Church Pension Fund – their main number is 800-233-6602


Who do I contact with questions about property insurance?

Maria Manocchio –


Can we get property insurance from other providers?

Yes, you must get insurance at least equivalent to the Diocesan umbrella policy and you must file a certificate of insurance annually with the Diocesan Council


Can I get help with stewardship campaigns, capital fund drives etc…?

Yes, you can contact Canon Dempesy-Sims


Is there help for emergency repairs to our buildings?

Yes, currently you can contact Howard Gondree or Maria Manocchio


What are the Diocesan news publications?

Postings is a weekly electronic newsletter. There are occasional electronic newsletters for parish administrators and youth leaders.


How do I subscribe?

Click here to sign up or contact Liz Brauza-Hughes –


If I get a call from the media and am not sure how to handle it, what should I do?

Contact Vicki Zust –


What do I have to do to legally witness marriages in the State of New York?

Outside of New York City – clergy do not need to register or apply for a license to legally witness marriages in the State of New York.


How do I obtain permission to use Enriching our Worship or to transfer a feast day?

Email the Bishop – stating what you are seeking permission for, why and when.


How do I get a parishioner licensed as a Lay Eucharistic Minister or Visitor?

Once you have completed their training to your satisfaction – contact the diocesan office to request the issuing of a license. Licenses are good for three years.


How do I obtain a Godly Judgment to bless a second marriage?

The application form can be found on the Diocesan website.  Send the form and required documentation to the Bishop at the Diocesan Office.  The form should arrive at the Diocesan Office a minimum of four weeks before the proposed wedding.


How do I find someone to lead my vestry retreat?

Contact Canon Dempesy-Sims –