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May 15, 2022 - 11:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Resurrection Parish, batavia, news, religion.


Eight children had their first communion today at Resurrection Parish.

Photo submitted by Jason Smith.

April 27, 2022 - 5:18pm
posted by Press Release in Northgate Free Methodist Church, batavia, religion, news.


Press release:

Northgate Church is hosting a Rummage Sale at its South Campus, 350 Bank Street, Batavia, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, May 6, and 8 a.m. to 12 noon on Saturday, May 7. All proceeds will be donated to Northgate's "Connected Community" in Gahanda, Rwanda, Africa, and its school serving 1,200 children. Last year, this event raised $3,000 toward the needs of the Gahanda school.

"A core value of Northgate is for people to reach out and fulfill a purpose in the community, alongside other people – people within a church family, in small groups, and in the world around us," said Allison Lang, director of communication for the Northgate congregation. "The volunteers organizing and facilitating this sale are responding to that call."

This year, donations are being collected, sorted, and priced with the goal of helping the people of Gahanda, Rwanda, create and maintain a self-sustaining farm and co-op, which will provide their local families with food and a source of income. The Genesee and Orleans communities are invited to participate in the Rummage Sale to benefit our global neighbors. For more information, please contact the Northgate office at (585) 343-4011 or email [email protected].

Submitted photos.


April 15, 2022 - 4:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, First Responders, religion, news.


In a service conducted by pastors Roula Alkhouri, Batavia First Presbyterian Church, and Jim Renfrew, Byron Presbyterian Church, first responders, and health care workers received a Good Friday blessing outside City Hall.

There were representatives from Batavia PD, City Fire, UMMC, and the Genesee County Health Department at the service.

Both Alkhouri and Renfrew reminded those in attendance of the example set by serving others first.

As part of the service, the agencies received certificates of appreciation as well as a basket of sweets.





March 6, 2022 - 11:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in catholic church, Resurrection Parish, St. Mary's, religion, news.


Resurrection Parish hosted a confirmation retreat this morning at St. Mary's Church.

Candidates made coats of arms, studies in the Corporal Works of Mercy, made church collages, and presented their saint research projects via role-play style interviews among other faith-based enrichment exercises. 

Jason Smith and Ron Chrzanowski facilitated the retreat.

Candidates will be confirmed on Pentecost Sunday, June 5 at St Joseph’s Cathedral in Buffalo by Bishop Michael Fisher.

Photos and information submitted by Jason Smith.






December 10, 2021 - 10:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Catholic Charities, news, religion.

Press release:

Catholic Charities needs volunteers for its Friendly Phones and Home Visitation Programs in Genesee and Orleans counties. Both programs depend on dedicated volunteers to provide weekly visits or phone calls to isolated seniors 60+ who live independently, or with family. Volunteers engage in friendly conversation, partake in hobbies, crafts, and special interests such as reading, puzzles, baking or card games.

“During this giving season, consider giving the gift of your time this year by volunteering to provide friendship to isolated seniors within our community,” said Linda Chadderdon, program manager for Home Visitation Program in Genesee & Orleans counties, Catholic Charities. “These interactions bring a sense of connectivity and friendship to our program members. In addition to brightening our seniors’ days, volunteers often find a rich sense of fulfillment too in just volunteering one hour per week.”

Visitation schedule is flexible. Interested volunteers much be at least 21 years old. An interview, background check and proof of COVID-19 vaccination are required. Training will also be provided upon acceptance into the volunteer program. For more information on becoming a volunteer, please call Catholic Charities at 585-343-0614, ext. 3801.

October 6, 2021 - 9:54am
posted by Joanne Beck in batavia, cornerstone church, Mario Murillo, news, religion.


If you happened to drive along Bank Street Road near Saile Drive Sunday, Monday or Tuesday night, you may have gotten stuck in a line of traffic or behind motorists trying to find a parking spot.

There was no sporting match or major concert. Rather, it was something much more divine, Pastor Paul Doyle says. Cornerstone Church featured guest speaker Mario Murillo in a big yellow tent on the Bank Street grounds. 

“I think COVID has had a big effect on people, people’s lifestyle has changed. Some people are weary with politics and government, are you vaccinated or unvaccinated, was the election rigged or not rigged,” he said while preparing for Tuesday’s event. “Who do you trust? I think people are running to God for that.”

Doyle, who has been the leader of the church the last four years, had known of Murillo and even offered to loan the big tent for the evangelist’s appearances in California. That was in January when Cornerstone’s congregation was 30 people. Zoom ahead several months later, and the Murillo speaking engagements have “put our church on the map,” Doyle said.  

“He decided to come out here … it just seems that New Yorkers are hungry for an answer,” Doyle said. “He is simply addressing issues that affect Christians.”

Murillo had his doubts that the small city of Batavia would attract many people, and was going to be content with a half-filled tent, Doyle said. Both men were shocked at the turnout of more than 3,000 attendees per night on Sunday and Monday, and they sat in the rain to boot.

People were from different locales — at least 16 states represented — and denominations, including those from Amish and Mennonite communities, Doyle said.  Although Murillo has expressed opinions about the White House administration and his beliefs regarding who is president, this event is not about that, Doyle said. 

“People are not being converted to a political party,” he said. “(Murillo) is talking about Jesus Christ. Families are bringing their loved ones. There’s a fresh set of people each night.”

Visitors from Kentucky and North Carolina to Florida and beyond not only traveled to attend but also to pitch in and help. Doyle said a core of 400 volunteers have been functioning as ushers, parking attendants, security, and first-aid responders. Two smaller tents have been added to the main one to accommodate overflow, and people are also welcome to plant a seat elsewhere on the property, he said. 

As for any potential COVID concerns, masks were provided for those who wanted one, he said, even though it’s an outdoor event and people can distance themselves if they want. 

Doyle cited a scripture from the Old Testament (2 Chronicles 7:14) that serves as a guide for the church: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

He believes society is yearning for that healing. 

“I promote the love of Jesus,” he said. “The only thing that interests me is the new people coming to the Lord.” 

There is one more gathering tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the church, 8020 Bank Street Rd., Batavia. Admission is free. 



September 3, 2021 - 9:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Faith Community Chapel, batavia, news, religion.


Rev. Eugene DeMay, founder and now semi-retired pastor of Faith Community Chapel on Rose Road, Batavia, turns 90 tomorrow.  His family gathered at T.F. Brown's this past Sunday for a surprise birthday party.

His son-in-law, who supplied the info and photos, Craig Wilkins, said DeMay is still active in the church and continues to preach on occasion.  He will be with his congregation at 11 a.m., Sunday, when Wilkins plays a concert at Labor Daze in Oakfield.

Top photo: From left to right Sandra Jo DeMay Wilkins,  Kathy Hameister, Sheila DeMay Groh, Rena Sanderson DeMay (wife), Gene DeMay, Sharon Price, Susan DeMay Wheeler.



October 2, 2020 - 5:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Resurrection Parish, news, batavia, religion.


Resurrection Parish held Confirmation on Thursday evening with Father Ivan Trujillo.

The confirmation service had been delayed from the spring.

The 2020-21 faith formation program begins Oct. 25 at Resurrection Parish and Jason Smith can be reached at [email protected].

Smith is the teacher for confirmation and director of Religious Education at the parish.

Top photo: Sam Chmielowiec, Maxwell Tenney, Evan Preston and Elizabeth Kingston.

Photos and information submitted by Jason Smith.


Ariana deSae Frias is kneeling, anointed with holy chrism oil, signifying receiving the Holy Spirit.


May 31, 2020 - 11:46am

Message from Pastor Roula Alkhouri, "What is Saving Your Life Right Now?"

May 24, 2020 - 11:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia First Presbyterian, religion, church, batavia.

Message from Pastor Roula Alkhouri, Batavia First Presbyterian Church.

May 17, 2020 - 8:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia First Presbyterian, religion, COVID-19.

Weekly Sunday message from Pastor Roula Alkhouri, Batavia First Presbyterian Church.

April 26, 2020 - 1:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia First Presbyterian, batavia, news, religion, COVID-19.

Message from Pastor Roula Alkhouri, Batavia First Presbyterian Church: April 26th -- "What is Saving Your Life Right Now?"

April 5, 2020 - 12:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in COVID-19, Batavia First Presbyterian, religion, batavia, news.

Video: Palm Sunday message from Pastor Roula Alkhouri, Batavia First Presbyterian Church.

March 29, 2020 - 4:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia First Presbyterian, religion, batavia.

Video: Sunday message from Pastor Roula Alkhouri, Batavia First Presbyterian Church.

March 22, 2020 - 11:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Church, batavia, church, religion.

City Church streamed its service this morning live on social media. Here is the recording of that service.

March 4, 2019 - 11:00am
posted by Lisa Ace in Making Crosses, lent, art, religion.
Event Date and Time: 
April 11, 2019 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm

Making Crosses During Lent

We are invited to a journey of exploration and prayer during Lent using Ellen Morris Prewitt’s book Making Crosses: A Creative Connection to God. Lent is an intentional time to journey with Jesus to the cross by adding intentional prayer practices to our daily lives. Making crosses out of discarded items will be a great way to add spiritual awareness to your life. This active prayer form will help you open your life to God’s healing, love, and challenge in a new way.

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