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Deacon with business background named new leader of Catholic Charities

Photo courtesy of Catholic Charities of Buffalo

A South Buffalo deacon with a business background has been named the new head of Catholic Charities of Buffalo.Deacon Steve Schumer's appointment as president and CEO of the organization was announced Monday by board chairman Bishop Edward Scharfenberger, the apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Buffalo, following a five-month search. Schumer succeeds the retiring Dennis Walczyk, who has been CEO since 2003 and president since 2018.

"His deep commitment to ministry and service reflect the core mission and purpose of Catholic Charities, namely, to lift and enable those most vulnerable in our communities and provide essential wrap-around services so that their lives are not solely defined by their struggles and challenges," said Scharfenberger, in a statement.

Schumer, a graduate of St. Francis High School, currently serves at Our Lady of Charity Parish in South Buffalo. He is a graduate of Christ The King Seminary and has a master's degree in pastoral ministry and an MBA from the University at Buffalo. He worked for M&T Bank for more than three decades, most recently as head of its correspondent banking division.

Schumer will be responsible for all programs, services, fiscal and infrastructure operations at Catholic Charities including the annual Appeal, which has seen fewer donations since revelations of decades of clergy sexual abuse have become publicly known. The agency provides programs and services to more than 150,000 people in need in the eight counties of Western New York. It has a staff of 470 employees.

Among Walczyk's achievements, according to the organization, was impacting revenue growth from $20 million to $40 million and bringing collaborative programs to the agency through his work within the community. 

Schumer's appointment is effective Jan. 6.

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