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Cathedral Torn Over Paper Issue


Buzz was corresponding with St. Paul's Cathedral and found ourself cc'd on a chain of emails, from a few different cathedral folks, all of them working to fill The Buffalo News in on what music an organist would be playing in an upcoming recital.

One email bore this preachy postscript we are used to seeing: 

Help the environment and don't print this email unless you really need to!

But another email goes on a different tear:

Notice: It's OK to print this email if you need to. Paper is a biodegradable, renewable, sustainable product made from trees. Growing and harvesting trees provides jobs for millions of Americans. Working forests are good for the environment and provide clean air and water, wildlife habitat and carbon storage. Thanks to improved forest management, we have more trees in America today than we had 100 years ago.
The Value of Print -- Renewable, Recyclable, Effective
Paper consumption also keeps printing and bindery companies in business and employs over 65,000 in NYS alone!
Keep jobs in NYS!


Buzz swiftly printed out the chain of emails. As a newspaper gal, we know whose side of this issue we are on.

Feel free to print out the Buzz Blog!

Rosary Mob Gives Us the Latest on St. Ann's Church

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The Buffalo Mass Mob, which has become famous nationally and is being copied in other cities, branched out this morning with a Rosary Mob. The Rosary Mob mobbed St. Ann's Church, at the corner of Broadway and Emslie on Buffalo's East Side.

The Mobsters met on the street corner because the church is shuttered. Earlier this year, the Vatican, in answer to a petition from St. Ann's parishioners, ruled that the 19th century building could not be demolished and must remain open as a Catholic church. But the wheels turn slowly and they are still waiting for the Buffalo diocese to allow them access to the building so they can begin making repairs.

The recent saga surrounding St. Ann's, closed in 2012 by Bishop Kmiec, has all the ingredients of a fine historical drama. As The News reported in February, the diocese has estimated repairs at $12 million while the parishioners, citing an estimate from International Chimney Corporation, say that fixing the church would cost only between $500,000 and $1 million.

What's next? Buzz is hoping for bake sales, like the one we went to yesterday

The St. Ann's folks, who happily share our enthusiasm for that idea, hope that Bishop Malone will give them his blessing to begin repairing the church.

As one of them said: "He would be a hero."

Mark Poloncarz Plays Pontius Pilate in Broadway Market Drama


County Executive Mark Poloncarz will be pardoning a butter lamb today at 2:30 p.m. at the Broadway Market. The gesture does not melt the heart of one Polish Catholic gentleman.

The ceremony appears to be a kind of mash-up of Easter with Thanksgiving, when a turkey is pardoned by the White House. The butter lamb, though, represents a more complicated situation. According to Polish tradition it is supposed to represent Christ, the Lamb of God. And in the Bible, when the mob was calling for Christ's crucifixion, it was Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, who could have said no but instead reluctantly agreed.

Hence our friend's righteous objection to today's ceremony starring Poloncarz.

He says: "I didn't know he had the powers of Pilate."

Church Is Satisfied With Its Lot

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Buzz had to smile seeing a Dyngus Day party announcement from St. Gabriel's Of The Parking Lot.

Oops, we meant to write St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows because that is the actual saint the church is named for. But the church is fronted by a magnificent parking lot, a gleaming expanse that glistens in the winter and bakes in the summer and has room for a million cars. The lot is clearly visible in the picture above.

It is more than a parking lot. It is a focal point! The church as good as admitted to that in its Dyngus Day ad, which appears in the Original Dyngus Day Guide 2014, on page 3.

God love St. Gabriel's, it advertises, as one of its Easter highlights, along with its 11:30 a.m. polka mass and 12 p.m. Polish buffet:

"Ample Parking in Large Lighted Parking Lot."

Buffalo Mass Mob is Massive

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Buzz threw in our lot with the Buffalo Mass Mob this morning at St. John Kanty, a church we have passed millions of times but have never gone in.

We liked the painting of a dark-skinned, Eastern-looking Jesus in the front of the church, sort of visible in the picture above over the heads of the Mass Mobsters.

There were also, we have to say this, a few funny moments. There were a few priests and deacons on hand. And one of them got up to welcome the big crowd of 800 people (we are estimating). He said he was moved to see so many people from out of town, "from California, Illinois, Texas, Georgia, Hamburg and Williamsville."

The best jokes are the ones with a grain of truth, and that got a big laugh. The fun continued during the sermon.

"I really feel I am preaching to the choir," the priest said, looking out at the faithful. He added: "But I will go on."

Ha, ha! Meanwhile we see our brethren at the Cleveland Plain Dealer are having fun covering their local Mass Mob, one of the Mass Mobs our Buffalo Mass Mob has spawned. Cleveland also had a Mass Mob scheduled for today. The story says too that Philadelphia also held its first Mass Mob today. 

But back to Cleveland. Bless this reporter for his bad pun.

He writes: "Many are called and pews are chosen."

The Lighter Side Of Lent


A funny Twitter trend, still going on, has people posting pictures of themselves getting their ashes, with the hashtag #Ashtag. Above is ours! That is Buzz in the lower right-hand corner, kneeling and awaiting our ashes.

Solemn as we look in the picture, we got some laughs, too, with our ashes. We went to Ash Wednesday Mass at St. Michael's Church downtown. This being Buffalo, after Mass ended, the stranger in the pew in front of us turned around and said hello.

"Don't you write for The News?" he asked.

And Buzz said yes, and introduced ourself, and said something silly like, "Happy Ash Wednesday."

And the guy gestures toward his forehead. And he says to us: "You've got something on your face."

Hahahahaha! An obvious joke, and yet we have never heard it before.

Happy Lent!

Diary of a Doughnut Judge


Buzz judged Paczki today at the Broadway Market. Above is a picture of us, second from the left, looking judgmental (as the friend said who snapped the picture). 

We sat in supreme judgment! And visible to the left of us is our friend and colleague Samantha Maziarz Christmann, the Discount Diva.

We tasted and discussed and tasted and discussed and tasted some more and wished there were more. The texture of these doughnuts were unbelievable. Coated with sugar, they oozed deep, thick jam. It got to the point where all you could think about was having more.

And our friends are all on board!

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Many more of them live next door.

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And the band begins to play.

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(They are the magnificent Bison City Stompers, jamming as we ate jam.)

And the Pączki winners were ...

Continue reading "Diary of a Doughnut Judge" »

Prestigious Buffalo Church Auction Yields a Fine Forgery

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By Mary Kunz Goldman

Tragically, we don't have the Trinity Episcopal Church White Elephant Sale any more. We do, however, have the church's annual Snowflakes and Starlight Auction, which was Wednesday.

There was, to quote one friend of ours, "prodigious spending." She herself, coming to her senses the next afternoon, had to sit down and make a list of the "unnecessary objects" that had followed her home:

-- Five wallets with two micro coin purses (they were all in one lot)

-- An American Kestral wind chime, (that looked artisan made until we hung it up by the kitchen window and noticed the coin-sized made-in-China sticker)

-- a black and white photo of the yacht club that neither one of us has any affiliation with

 -- And the coup de grace ....

Continue reading "Prestigious Buffalo Church Auction Yields a Fine Forgery" »

Question is Buried in Buffalo News Snow Photo


News photographer Mark Mulville's photo of the sign in front of Fourteen Holy Helpers in West Seneca is going viral. Which begs the question:

Which of the Fourteen Holy Helpers do you pray to about snow, anyway?

The Fourteen Holy Helpers are a band of saints invoked in the Middle Ages against various practical difficulties such as sickness (particularly the Black Plague) and temptation. St. Blaise for the throat,  St. George for the protection of your domestic animals, St. Cyriacus against temptation on the deathbed, etc. (That last one cracks Buzz up. If you are still subject to temptation on your deathbed, then God love you.)

Surely one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers is in charge of snow.

And lo!

St. Vitus is the saint who is our help against storms.

And the second Fourteen Holy Helper would be St. Christopher.  He is in charge of getting us home in one piece.

Anyway, good on the Fourteen Holy Helpers Church for getting its practical message out.

But they should have been more specific!

A Strange Sight in Kaisertown


Why are we worrying about the Buffalo Athletic Club when it is Christmas Eve? 

Today's Buzz column tells the tale of a group of carolers' adventures in Black Rock. The adventure continued last night in Kaisertown. Above is a pic taken last night on a Kaisertown street corner of attorney Patrick Krey, his wife Jennifer and their two proper Victorian sons, Harry and Frank.

The carolers, who also included jazz singer Mari McNeil and Forgotten Buffalo's Airborne Eddy, sang in the Kaisertown branch library, in front of a house that looked as if it belonged to the Griswolds (nobody came out, even after three vigorous verses of "Joy To the World"), and at Wiechec's Lounge, where half the crowd filmed the singers on their iPhones and the other half looked the other way. 

Most memorable was "Adeste Fideles" in Latin at a Pakistani deli, after which the proprietor, laughing, generously offered water and pop.

God rest ye merry, gentlemen!

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