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Catholic Charities Director Msgr. Henry Gugino Dies

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – Catholic Charities Director Msgr. Henry Gugino died early Tuesday morning from cancer. He was 59.

Gugino headed the area's largest human services agency since 1995. Prior to that, he had served as assistant director for 20 years.

"We were blessed in this dioecese to have him as executive director of Catholic Charities," Bishop Henry Mansell said. "In the field of social services, both locally and nationally, he was a leader without peer. We're so grateful for his distinguished service to charity, to social services, to the corporal and spiritual works of mercy."

Gugino's final Catholic Charities appeal held last month raised a record $10 million.

At a news conference announcing the goal had been reached, he said, "I'm always overwhelmed by the hard work that goes into this and to think that I have the great opportunity and great privilege of being the director of Catholic Charities that reaches out into the eight counties and the services that we provide to upwards of 200,000 individuals."

Gugino is credited with implementing a number of innovative programs during his tenure, including an intensive intervention program for teenagers at risk. He promoted special needs adoptions for hard to place children, including those with mental or physical disabilities. Gugino also helped establish a domestic violence offenders program.

A wake for Msgr. Gugino will be held Thursday and Friday from 2 to 8pm each day at Amigone Funeral Home, 1132 Delaware Ave., Buffalo. A Mass a Christian Burial will be celebrated by Bishop Mansell Saturday at 10:30am at St. Joseph's Cathedral, where Msgr. Gugino's body will lie in state starting at 9am. Entombment will be at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Cheektowaga.