(by Gregory Witul) This year St. John Kanty Parish in Buffalo is marking its 125th anniversary and the church is running a whole host of events. On Sun., June 4 they are holding a Summerfest with Rare Vintage playing the polka Mass followed by a barbecue chicken feast, basket raffle and more, while on July 16 there will be a 250th anniversary celebration of the canonization of St. John Kanty. The festivities will conclude Nov. 19, 2017 with Bishop Malone celebrating the anniversary year closing Mass.
A quarter century ago the parish celebrated its centennial in part with a large mural painted by artist David Smith. Located in the vestibule of the church The Centennial Mural was unveiled Nov. 13, 1991. According to the artist’s statement the painting depicts the charity of St. John Kanty, shown at the top of the image giving a blanket to a blind beggar.
The lower half of the image illustrates the wide breadth of Kanty’s worshipers partaking in some post-Mass fellowship, including my own babcia Florence Witul. She’s in the center with the blue dress, watch, glasses, and holding hands with the young woman in the saddle shoes.