By the Salt and Light Community
June 15, 2023 – The Mass for the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ held a special meaning for the Salt and Light community of St. Michael’s Jesuit parish in Buffalo as they gathered on Sunday evening June 11th. The weekly Mass marked the last time that the intentional faith community would gather for worship inside their historic church.
Founded by the Jesuits in 1851, St. Michael’s parish will be merged into a “Family” of local parishes as part of the Diocese of Buffalo’s Road to Renewal program. While some Jesuits may assist in ministry in the “Family,” direction of the new configuration will be guided by a Diocesan Pastor and his staff.
Fr. Fred Betti, SJ, Associate Pastor, along with a group of faith filled families and many of his Canisius High School Alumni, developed the intentional Mass community in October 2016. Sarah Warner, a founding member, provided the group’s call to be Salt and Light. The weekly 7 PM parish Mass draws people from all parts of WNY, Rochester and beyond. “In the spirit of Vatican Council II our community strives to be inclusive of all and to foster lay leadership in all that we offer,” noted Fr. Betti. While gathering for the Eucharist is central to the community, they have developed Ignatian prayer nights titled, “Ignite,” Advent and Lenten Reflection series, Social Justice campaigns and countless social events including the beloved Iggy Fests. The very popular “River Masses” held throughout the summer on the Buffalo waterfront are beginning their fourth season.
Salt and Light will move forward in the coming months. Their new home will be on the campus of Canisius University at Christ the King Chapel. The Jesuit Community and the Administration of the school have warmly supported this new joint venture.
In his closing reflection, Fr. Betti stated, “At the end of our liturgy I say, ‘ Our Mass is ended. Let us go forth to love and serve the Lord by loving and serving one another.’ Tonight, we are empowered by the Eucharist to fulfill that sending with much hope, love and faith as we journey together.”