24th Sunday in Ordinary TimeBy Fr. Gary Spencer
In this reading from St. Paul’s first letter to Timothy, the message is unmistakable. God’s mercy is so powerful that no one has to feel unworthy or abandoned. To emphasize this, St. Paul stresses his sinfulness so that he can put the spotlight on God’s mercy.
Saul of Tarsus (St. Paul) persecuted Christians with authority from the High Priest, often going from house to house dragging those who followed “The Way” (Christians) out in chains to be persecuted. Saul was present at and condoned the stoning of St. Stephen, watching the garments of those who killed him.
Saul obtained letters form the High Priest giving him authority to go to Damascus to persecute the Christians there. On his way to Damascus a super bright light enveloped Saul and blinded him. Then he heard a loud voice say to him, “Saul, Saul why do you persecute me?” And Saul said, “Who are you, sir?” The voice responded, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” Jesus told Saul to go to Damascus and wait for further instructions from Him.
In Damascus there was a holy man named Ananius who was instructed by Jesus through a vision to go and lay hands on Saul and cure in of his blindness. Ananius had heard of Saul and hesitated, but Jesus assured him that He would make Saul a disciple who would spread the Good News of Jesus to the gentiles and to kings. Ananius did as Jesus directed him laying his hands on Saul and baptizing him. Immediately the scales that were covering Saul’s eyes fell off. After regaining his sight and strength Saul, who changed his name to Paul, went to the synagogues of Damascus and proclaimed Jesus as the Son of God.
Can you believe that, God forgave Saul; a man who killed, or at least condemned Christians to death. God not only forgives Saul, but makes him a minister of the Faith as well. Why? Because God loves all His children, and wants us with Him in heaven. God, you see, is mercy, and He wants to forgive us more than we want to be forgiven. And God wants to love us more than we want to be loved.
In today’s Gospel reading Jesus tells us about how the shepherd, after finding his lost sheep; the woman, after finding her lost money, and the forgiving father, after finding his lost son, throw parties to celebrate their findings. What these parables are conveying is God not only forgives sinners, but He searches for them, like the shepherd, like the woman, like the father, and can’t wait to forgive them! When we sinners repent, Jesus says that there will be a heavenly party. He says there will be joy in heaven whenever a sinner repents. More joy for that one sinner than for 99 righteous people. And you know God has to be happy over 99 righteous people. The joy in heaven is over the change of heart of the sinner. This change of heart, in theology, is known as the METANOIA.
We Catholics are blessed in that we have the sacrament of Reconciliation, or Penance. By powers given to the apostles by Jesus Christ, we can, through confession and being sorry for our offenses, be cleansed of our sins. And this makes God happy.
The celebration that follows the return of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son is open to all who will attend, but who will they be? Only those who have a change of heart, who experience the metanoia, who admit they are sinners, ask for forgiveness, and repent of their sins will recognize the need to celebrate. Those who envy the celebration or who harbor resentment because of God’s mercy, as the elder son did in the Prodigal Son parable, have no reason to rejoice.
We here today are participating in a celebration, the celebration of the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass. We celebrate because we can join with Jesus in the Eucharist right here on earth, knowing that this Sacrament gives us the sanctifying grace needed to attain the kingdom of heaven.
This week let us all imitate the shepherd, the woman, and the father by seeking out those who are lost and bring them back to Christ.
Solemnity of Brotherly LoveBy Fr. Gary Spencer
If anyone says, “I love God”, but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 1 John 4: 20
Anyone who reads the Gospels, or is even acquainted with them through attending Mass knows that the main and most important thing Jesus teaches us is to love. Love God, and love one another. That’s what Christianity is all about; love. Love is many things. It is many things because there are many kinds of love. There is the love that God shows for us and we are to show to Him. In Greek it is called Agape love. In its purest form this love requires no payment or favor in response. There is love that is shared between loving couples. This is called Eros love. There is bloodline love, I guess you could say, a love shared by family. This is called Storge love. There is love of country. There is love of inanimate things like a car or some other passion. People say they love certain kinds of food. And, there is brotherly love, called Philia, the root of the word Philadelphia, the city of Brotherly Love. This love is the kind of love that allows us to love our neighbors, and our neighbors are, if you recall, is everyone. Love can also be more than an emotion. Love can be expressed in the things that we do, and how we act. A case in point is the Good Samaritan. He helped a total stranger out of brotherly love.
Our actions mean a lot. Believe it or not, if people know you are a Christian, Catholic or Protestant, they watch to see how you act. People do this nowadays because there are certain groups of people who proclaim very publicly, and very loudly, that they are Christians, yet their words and actions are full of hate. People of all walks of life watch to see how we act because the loud, hatful liars who call themselves Christian set a false standard of how Christians should act and speak.
Now this bothers me because some people just clump all Christians together. They assume that because, for example, a somewhat famous Christian church encourages its members to picket fallen service men and women’s funerals, carrying signs with really hatful sayings on them, and the people observing their actions assume that all Christians are like that. Or goofy televangelists espousing crazy theories about how hurricanes and tornados are God’s punishment for certain lifestyles or sins, and, again, people think all Christians think like that. I don’t hate any of these people, but what they do upsets me because there speech and actions certainly are not Christian, and therefore they shouldn’t claim to be followers of Christ.
Now, I am far from being the best Christian that I can be, but I try to show love and compassion for everyone, and I hope and pray that you do too. Very often I pray to God asking Him for help to be a better Christian, a better person, a better husband and father, and a better priest.
So, because, as Jesus said, “They will know you are My disciples by your love” it is our duty to try our best to push all hatred, bigotry, and animosity out of our heads, and in its place put in all the love we can cram in there.
In addition to everything I have just mentioned I need to ask you a question: When you are angry with someone how do you feel? Do you feel calm, relaxed, at ease? Or does your heart pound, and do you find your hands shaking? Are you composed, or upset? In the long run hating makes a person sick, and out of sorts.
When someone is filled with love, however, they usually feel blissful, happy, and ready to share that feeling with others. So, by being true disciples of Jesus Christ, true Christians, we should always try to make the world a better place by loving one another.
On top of all that, in the letter to the Hebrews the author writes, “Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” We can never know when God will test our love we profess to have for one another by sending a person in dire need of our help or love into our lives only for him or her to turn out to be an angel.
So today, when you are in Communion with Jesus, ask Him to help you push aside all negativity, and in its place to fill your heart with love, His love. You will feel better, as will anyone you come in contact with, and you will be showing the world how real Christians act by truly doing God’s will.
22nd Sunday in Ordinary TimeBy Fr. Gary Spencer
For the last few months we have heard about the teachings of Jesus as he travels for the last time to Jerusalem, so the messages He is preaching are very important. One of the messages He is preaching is quite obvious, and between last week’s Gospel and today’s it’s pretty clear what that message is. The humble will be exalted, and the exalted shall be humbled. And, the last will be first, and the first last.
Wow! Isn’t that a major reversal from what we are always told. Just the opposite of what has been drilled into our heads for decades. I mean, look at some of the slogans we’ve been bombarded with over the years, slogans like “We’re number one”; and, look out for number one: Salesmen tell us they’re number one in car sales, or whatever, so buy from them: the best liquor is the stuff on the top shelf: At graduation time the students are exalted according to their grades. Only the best gets to be valedictorian; And, we’re told that nice guys finish last.
Well, if Jesus was walking the earth today, he would say that the last slogan I quoted pretty much hit the nail on the head. Jesus might add to it by saying, “Nice guys finish last – on purpose”. Jesus teaches that it’s a good thing to be a nice guy and finish last.
Jesus, being God the Son, knows things we don’t know. He knows that our time on earth is just a flash in the pan, while our time in the after life is eternal. Jesus wants us to be at the banquet in heaven with Him, and be happy. And who doesn’t want to be eternally happy? Let’s examine for a moment what the alternative would be like. Jesus tells us there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Eternal, unquenchable fire, undying worms, that it’s a fiery place, a place of torment, a fiery lake.
Let’s see now, where would I want to go? A place with fire, torment, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, or to a banquet? I’d go with the banquet, wouldn’t you?
Jesus tells us that we should do things for others without expecting something in return. Did you ever do something for someone who couldn’t pay you back? Yeah? Didn’t it make you feel good inside?
It feels good because you did the right thing. You did what Jesus teaches us to do. You helped someone in need. You took someone who was way back at the end of the line and put them first. By helping that person, you exalted her or him, and Jesus smiled down on you and nodded approvingly. That’s why you felt good inside.
Jesus died for us all, opening the gates of heaven for us, and so He invites everyone to join Him at the heavenly banquet. He even teaches us how to get in. But, not only does Jesus invite us to His heavenly banquet, He also invites us to a banquet on earth – right here in this Cathedral. Jesus gives us the Bread of Life to feast on. A food that strengthens us bodily and spiritually, thereby enabling us to follow through on what He teaches: To do for those in need without expecting repayment, just as our heavenly Father does. Compared to God, we are nothing. Yet, He watches over us and answers our prayers. We can’t repay God – He’s God! Still, He loves us and provides for us. So let us do the same and help those who couldn’t possibly repay us by exalting them and putting them first. By doing so, God will smile on us and nod approvingly. So by humbling ourselves and taking the lowest place, just maybe, we will be asked to move up closer to the head table at the banquet of the Lord in Heaven.
Yeah know, nice guys do finish last, and that’s a good thing.
21st Sundy In Ordinary TimeBy Fr. Gary Spencer
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Fair weather friends?” I think most of us have. These are people who stand by you when all is well, but when the weather gets rough, when your ship starts getting tossed around in a storm and you can use all hands on deck to help you through the tempest, your friends are nowhere to be found. They have abandoned ship, and you’re left trying to keep your ship afloat by yourself.
These folks always seemed to be your friends. They are happy to party with you, to go out to dinner with you, and things like that, but, truly, they are just acquaintances, not friends.
The distinction between friend and acquaintance is even greater when you, being the true friend you are, help these people through their times of need, yet they don’t reciprocate.
This is the type of person Jesus is referring to when he talks about the master of the house locking the door on people who say they know Him.
The Master of the house, of course, is God. And the door that is locked is the door to heaven. Now, you may be thinking, “I thought God wanted all of us to be with Him in heaven?” Well, you’re right. He does. But there are conditions. The conditions are that we must believe in Him, keep His commandments, and most importantly, by love and through love, do the right things in life.
What Jesus is doing here is warning us that God is not interested in fair weather friends. People who hear what He has to say, but don’t truly believe. People who say they believe, but don’t act it. These are the folks who will be knocking on that locked door to heaven.
Jesus isn’t interested in us just knowing about Him, who He is, what He did and where He lived when He walked the earth. Jesus wants us to try our best to live according to His teachings. He wants us to feed the hungry; give drink to the thirsty; clothe the naked; give shelter to the homeless; visit the sick; visit those in prison; and bury the dead. He also wants us to care for the widows and orphans, and to be intimate with Him. Being intimate with Jesus is where you, one person in a world of billions, get to be with Him: Just you and Jesus.
In order to do these things that Jesus wants us to do we cannot be selfish. Ah, but that’s a hard thing to do – not be selfish. But think of how much better a person we could all be if we thought a little less about ourselves, and a little more about our neighbor (our neighbor being anyone we come into contact with – from loved ones to strangers).
I know, sometimes we’re busy with a million other things, and it seems as if we just don’t have enough time in the day. How often do we think to ourselves, “As soon as I’m done here, I’ll help.” But some things are never done. Therefore, we must make time to put others first. Jesus tells us that some who are last will be first, and some are first who will be last. This is something we should all keep in mind when we are too busy to help right now.
So by putting others first we are doing good works, and we become closer to God. But remember, Jesus wants us to be intimate with Him, and one way to be intimate with Jesus is through the Eucharist. When we receive Jesus in this most intimate communion, we should never forget to tell Him how much we love Him, and ask Him to strengthen us by the power of the Holy Spirit, so that we can strive to do what is right in His eyes, to grow in love of God and neighbor, and to have the strength to enter by the narrow gate.
The prophet Isaiah tells us that God will gather people from all nations to be with Him, but even though billions will be gathered we still have to enter through a narrow gate. A gate meant for one person at a time.
So this week our task is to re-enforce, or rejuvenate, our intimate relationship with Jesus. We can do this through prayer, reading the Sacred Scriptures, and especially, through receiving the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Jesus was no fair weather friend when He died on the Cross for us, and we must show Him the same love, devotion, and friendship in order for us to squeeze through that narrow gate.
Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time CBy Fr. Gary Spencer
Jesus said to his disciples, “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! Do you think I have come to establish peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.” Luke 49-51
That Jesus! What a troublemaker. Tipping over tables at the Temple. Healing on the Sabbath. Hanging out with prostitutes, tax collectors, and other assorted riff-raff. Referring to himself as God. Looks like he did come to divide rather than establish peace on earth. Not only did he divide families, as noted in the Gospel reading, but he was the line of demarcation between the Old Covenant and the New, so of course it wasn’t going to be smooth sailing.
And, undoubtedly, families were divided over this new ‘Way’ of Jesus Christ. As a matter of fact, that’s how Jesus’ followers referred to this New Covenant religion – as “The Way.” So, some family members stuck with the Old Covenant, not believing Jesus to be the Messiah, and some believed in Him and followed His Way. Being fully God, as well as being fully human, Jesus knew how his life, death, and resurrection would impact the world, and he knew there would indeed be division.
This same sort of thing happened in our church, but on a smaller scale, when it was formed. There were family members who didn’t like the idea that the property they purchased with their hard earned money, and the church they built with their sweat and hard labor, should be handed over to the local Bishop. A Bishop who couldn’t care less if some Polish immigrants wanted to control the property they bought, or that they wanted a say as to who their priest would be, or that they wanted a Polish Bishop who would understand their customs and language. Other family members believed that they had no choice but to follow the policies set forth by their church. Thus, families became divided, some of them so much so that there were close relatives who refused to speak to one another for years.
There are countless incidents in the Gospels where Jesus initiated change, mostly by defying Mosaic Law, thereby creating as many detractors and he did followers. Jesus changed the way people were to socialize, eat, pray, and treat one another; and change can cause people to resist. Instead of examining the changes with an open mind and critical thinking, many people became stubborn and defiant. So, you can see how this notion of Jesus being a divider happened.
Today, the world is still divided. Remember back right after September 11, 2001, it seemed like the whole world was with the United States in fighting terrorists. But that unity appears as though it has fallen apart. That seems to be the nature of humankind though; to always take sides, not trusting those who are different in some way. It always seems to be some “us” against some “them.” But who knows, maybe some day the world will be united. One planet working for the betterment of all. No more us against them, but we, one world, under God, working for the betterment of all. Right now, however, countries and people are too egotistical to become united. When people, and nations, are full of themselves, there is no room for God.
The Gospel states that Jesus also tells his disciples that he came to set the world on fire, and he did. In less than three hundred years Christianity, the Way, after being an underground religion for 99% of its existence, became the state religion of Rome, and, therefore, the civilized world. Prior to 325 AD Christians were being martyred left and right.
The baptism Jesus speaks of today is his crucifixion. He knew what was in store for him and it caused him great anguish. Yet, because Christ loves us so much he went through with it – the humiliation, the torture, the excruciating death on a cross. A death that opened the gates of heaven for us, should we choose to go through them.
Yes, Jesus was, and still is, a divider. But, he’s also a uniter. Each one of us can be united with Christ in a most intimate way: through Holy Communion. When we eat the Body and drink the Blood of Jesus, he becomes part of us, and we become part of him. What a wonderful gift God gave us in the Eucharist. Just contemplate this for a moment. God, who created everything out of nothing, who is so powerful that it is incomprehensible to the human mind, would allow us mere humans to join with him in this very special way.
You know, God touches all of our lives and makes them better in one way or another. Just think about all the times you have used the phrase, “Thank God.” This week, let us set our own immediate world on fire. Tell family, friends, and everyone you meet how God changed your life – all those thank God moments. And if you know someone who has been away from church for awhile, away from Jesus, do all you can to bring them back to the Eucharist so they too can be on fire once again for God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
19th Sunday in Ordinary TimeBy Fr. Gary Spencer
In today’s Gospel reading Jesus tells his disciples not to be afraid because God is pleased to give them the kingdom. The reason he tells them this is because the disciples have progressed in their faith to the point where they understand that they, and everyone, can be saved. They not only learned the two great commandments of love, they lived them. And, if we do likewise, we can get to the kingdom of God as Jesus promised.
How often have you heard TV or street corner preachers warn everyone about the fire pit of hell. Of damnation, and all the bad things that can happen to us should we stray from the path of righteousness. Far too infrequently are we told about the generosity of Our Father in Heaven. And God is generous if we do what we’re supposed to do, and that is to LOVE. Love God and love our neighbor. No one can deny that there are many obstacles blocking our efforts to obey Jesus. Some are everyday things like the responsibility of caring for our families or ourselves, work responsibilities, or because of the many negative things happening in the world today many people don’t want to hear about fire and brimstone and the threats of eternal damnation. Because of our focus on these things we don’t give enough thought to ways in which we can grow our love for God and neighbor.
Being active, involved members of society we should all be thoughtful of everything in life, including our religious life. One way of not being thoughtful is by just taking someone’s word at face value. By that I mean we should all be fact checkers. If someone emphatically states something, me included, whether it be something in the secular world or spiritual world, check it out for yourself. Find the truth.
We need to study sacred scripture, and the teachings of the Apostles and Early Church Fathers. In doing so we will discover that God’s Word is true, and therefore Jesus, being the incarnate Word of God, is true. He is the truth. Jesus died to save us from our sins, and rose from the dead to show us the Glorious Resurrection that we, God’s flock, will experience.
Now that was a pretty emphatic statement, wasn’t it? That Jesus died on a Cross and rose from the dead. So hopefully, you will do a little research on your own to see if what I stated has any validity. If you do decide to research what I stated you will find that all the Apostles, except for John, and many of the Early Church Fathers (many of whom were direct disciples of the Apostles) died terrible, painful deaths because they would not denounce the Resurrection. They were tortured and murdered rather than denying that Christ died and rose again. Think about that. Would you accept death by torture for a made up story – a lie? No, you wouldn’t, and neither did they. But, as I said, don’t take my word for it. Examine the lives and writings of the Apostles and Early Church Fathers.
So all we need do is believe in Jesus Christ, follow His teachings, and obey his commandments of love, and we will inherit the kingdom. Jesus showed his love for all those he cured and fed, and loves us so much that he accepted death on a Cross so we could live. As a matter of fact, Jesus loves us so much that He is with us every time we celebrate Mass. He is with us spiritually in His Word, and He is with us physically in the Eucharist. When we receive the Eucharist we open ourselves up to Jesus’ love, and His love radiates throughout our bodies. By opening ourselves to Jesus’ love people will see Jesus in us, and through love, we will see Jesus in them.
This week we must allow love to guide us in all that we do. Help everyone we can, be it a family member, friend, homeless person, or even an enemy. In this way we will become part of God’s little flock, and He will be pleased to give us the Kingdom.
"Joyfully Remembered, Already Missed!"Bishop Thaddeus Peplowski 1936 - 2018
The Right Rev. Thaddeus S. Peplowski, Bishop Emeritus of the Buffalo-Pittsburgh Diocese of the Polish National Catholic Church, died Friday in the Macauley Residence, Town of Tonawanda, after nine months of declining health. He was 81
Bishop Peplowski was born on Nov. 4, 1936, in Albany, the son of Joseph and Sophia (Zalenski) Peplowski, and baptized in the Polish National Catholic Church. As a youth, he received his Catholic education at Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish in Albany and his formal education in the Albany public education system.
He entered the Savonarola Theological Seminary, in Scranton, PA, in September 1954, and completed a four year course of study. He was ordained to priesthood on May 15, 1958 by Most Rev. Leon Grochowski. His first assignment was, ironically, at the parish he is serving presently, the Holy Mother of the Rosary Cathedral, which he served for nine years. Of his first assignment in Buffalo he stressed involvement with the youth of the parish, and organized a strong Youth Club of whom members are still very active in the parish.
After leaving Buffalo he was assigned to All Saints Parish in Rome, New York and St. Joseph Parish in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, until 1971. After those assignments he organized the St. Barbara Parish in Houtzdale, PA, and stayed there until 1990 when he was assigned to the Holy Mother of the Rosary Cathedral in Buffalo which he served until his retirement in 2012.
He was elevated to the office of Monsignor (Senior Priest) in July 1982 by Most Rev. John Swantek and served as the dean of the Central Deanery of the Buffalo-Pittsburgh Diocese. He was elected a bishop of the Polish National Catholic Church at the 19th General Synod of the Polish National Catholic Church in Toronto, Canada. On Nov. 30, 1995 he was consecrated bishop by Most Rev. John Swantek, and installed as Ordinary of the Buffalo-Pittsburgh diocese on the same day at Holy Mother of the Rosary Cathedral.
During his time as priest and bishop, he was responsible in organizing several parishes that include St. Stephen the Martyr Parish in Canada in 1969, St. Barbara Parish in Houtzdale in 1970, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Lilly, PA, in 1995. Later he organized St. Martin & Rose Parish and Annunciation Parish, both in San Antonio, TX, St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Mesa, AZ, Transfiguration Parish in Mt. Pleasant, PA, in 2003, Our Lady of Good Health in Dallas, TX, and St. Anne Parish in New Millport, PA, with the last two in 2008.
He has performed mission work at St. Thomas Mission in Tyrone, PA, Blessed Sacrament Mission in Fayetteville, NC, St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Denver, CO, and Holy Cross Mission in Pe Ell, WA. Mission work was also performed in North and South Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Canada. Mission work over ten years was done with the Nordic Catholic Church which had eight parishes in Norway where he served as its Missionary Bishop.
He instituted many items of importance, that exist to this day, such as the National Youth Convocations, first held in Buffalo in 1964, Altar Boy Retreats, Diocesan Basketball Tournaments, Youth Tours to Poland where he served four times as Youth Chaplain, the Diocesan Holy Mount Retreat Program, and helped to establish the bi-annual Music Workshop of the United Choirs of the PNCC.
His other activities in the Polish National Catholic Church are: representative in the Old/Orthodox Dialogue Commission, which produced the book, “Road to Unity,” served for six years on the Dialogue Commission with the Roman Catholic Church, which produced “Journeying Together in Christ,” signed a Convenant agreement between the Buffalo Roman Catholic Diocese and the PNCC Buffalo-Pittsburgh Diocese with Bishop Edward Head, taught Liturgy for five years at the Savonarola Seminary, and authored a “Handbook on Liturgy” in 1981, for students and priests of the Polish National Catholic Church. He then was appointed to chair the PNCC/Orthodox Dialogue Commission.
He directed a Polish Cultural Program in Houtzdale which included weekly Polish language and pisanki classes. He directed Polish dance groups that performed in Buffalo, Cheektowaga, in Poland, in the State Education Building in Harrisburg, PA, and many other performances in New York State, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and at the rededication ceremony of the Statue of Liberty. While serving on the board of directors of the Polish National Union for eight years the Bishop Hodur Center was built, and a new office was constructed.
However his biggest achievement, as far as his present parishioners are concerned, was the building of the multi-million dollar cathedral complex, located on Broadway in Lancaster. His foresight, courage, guidance, and inspiration were essential to the successful completion of this project.
During his 50 years in the priesthood he has traveled extensively, and has visited Poland fourteen times, Holland, Germany, Italy on several occasions, Switzerland, England, Greece, Turkey, Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. He has had an audience with Pope John Paul II in 1992 and met with the Patriarch, Bartholomew II in Istanbul, Turkey. At one time Bishop Peplowski had a private pilot’s license, and wishes he still had it to help him in his journeys.
His many recent awards include the General Pulaski Association of the Niagara Frontier Recognition of his spiritual guidance to Polonia in 2002, the Polish National Union of America award in recognition of many years of dedicated service in 1999, the Diocesan Union of Holy Name Societies (Roman Catholic) Ecumenical Award for outstanding work for God, church and community in 1993, the 1991 Am-Pol Eagle Citizen of the Year Award in the religion category, the 2005 Am-Pol Eagle Citizen Award in the heritage category, and the Buffalo Bisons and the Polish Community of WNY award of Polish American Citizen of the Year award in 2006. He is listed in Strathmore’s Who’s Who in 2006-2007.
On June 7, 2008 Bishop Peplowski was honored at the Holy Mother of the Rosary Cathedral, in Lancaster, the See of the Buffalo-Pittsburgh Diocese, bishop, pastor, and spiritual leader on his 50th anniversary of priesthood. He retired in 2012.
The parishioners of Holy Mother of the Rosary Cathedral know how blessed we were to have Bishop Peplowski as our pastor and spiritual leader. While our hearts are deeply saddened in his passing, it was our greatest honor to know and love him.
God bless you Bishop Peplowski or Bishop Pep as we fondly referred to him, you will remain forever in our hearts!