Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the Diocesan Staff?

The Rt. Rev. Sean Rowe – Bishop – 

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

Mr. Michael Brown – Administrative Secretary –

Ms. Maria Manocchio – Director of Finance –

Mr. Howard Gondree – Financial Consultant –

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

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. Sean Rowe, Bishop of Western New York, 1064 Brighton Rd, Tonawanda, NY 14150

What should I know about a Bishop’s visit?

You can find a guide to what to expect on the Diocesan website

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 Michael Brown.

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 Canon Cathy Dempesy-Sims –

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 –

Who do I contact if I need help with an issue in my congregation?

Contact Canon Dempesy-Sims –

What are the expectations for clergy to attend certain events?

Clergy are expected to attend:

  • Diocesan Convention
  • The annual Renewal of Vows service on the Tuesday of Holy Week
  • The annual clergy retreat in June

Clergy are expected to make every effort to attend ordinations, clergy collegiality events, celebrations of new ministry and clergy funerals.

Who must have Safe Church Training?

All clergy, all employees of congregations and anyone who regularly works with youth, whether paid or volunteer.

What meets the Safe Church requirement?

The Safeguarding God’s Children training provided by Diocesan trainers or on-line.

When are the training sessions scheduled?

Training sessions are listed on the Diocesan website.  To register members of your congregation for on-line training contact Liz Brauza-Hughes –

How should I report suspicion of sexual misconduct or child abuse?

Reasonable suspicion of child abuse, sexual misconduct involving children or child neglect should be immediately reported to the New York State Register – 1-800-342-3720.

Reasonable suspicion of sexual misconduct perpetrated by clergy should be reported to the Diocesan Intake Officer – the Rev. Martha Ishman – 814-456-4203

How does someone enter the ordination process?

Contact Catherine Way –

What does the ordination process look like?

The ordination process is outlined on the Diocesan website or

Contact Catherine Way –

Who do I contact with questions about youth ministry in the Diocese?

Contact Canon Dempesy-Sims-