REV. MSGR. ANTOINE ATTEA
CLASS OF 1959
Office of Communications, Diocese of Buffalo 1/8/07
Msgr. Antoine P. Attea, pastor of St. James Parish inJamestownand Our Lady of Victory Parish in Frewsburg, was killed Monday morning (Jan. 8) when the plane he was piloting crashed shortly after takeoff fromChautauquaCountyJamestownAirportin the Town ofEllicott. Chief William Ohnmeiss of the Ellicott Police Department said the twin-engine aircraft went down about 100 yards from the end of the runway. The first emergency call came in at 9:48 a.m. Msgr. Attea, 73, was flying toBuffaloto pick up friends. They then planned to fly toFloridafor a vacation. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Father Robert Stolinski, parochial vicar at St. James, was taken to the crash site Monday morning where he blessed Msgr. Attea’s body. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the cause of the accident. First responders that were called to the scene included the Ellicott Police Department, Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Department, New York State Police and the Fluvanna Volunteer Fire Department.
Bishop Edward U. Kmiec, bishop ofBuffalosaid, “This is a tragic loss for St. James (Jamestown) and Our Lady of Victory (Frewsburg) parishes and the entire diocese. I first met Msgr. Attea while we were studying at the North American College inRome. He was dedicated to the priesthood and the people he served. His untimely passing leaves a void inJamestown, and he will be difficult to replace. As my personal representative in southern Chautauqua, Msgr. Attea provided me with invaluable counsel, and I will miss his friendship and advice. My prayers go out to his family, parishioners and friends. May God grant him eternal rest.”
Named the pastor of St. James in 1978, Msgr. Attea took on the additional responsibilities of pastor of Our Lady of Victory Parish in 2003. He also was the Episcopal Vicar for the vicariate of Southern Chautauqua, serving as Bishop Kmiec’s personal representative in the region. His prior assignments included St. Francis Cabrini Parish in Collins Center, St. John the Evangelist and Immaculate Conception parishes inBuffalo, and was a faculty member at Cardinal Mindszenty High School in Dunkirk. At one time he was spiritual director and diocesan liaison to the Chautauqua Catholic community at Chautauqua Institution.
Born in Williamsville on Nov. 11, 1933, he was the son of the late Madeline (Bittar) and George H. Attea. He is survived by Joseph of Lima, Peru, Martin of Williamsville and William of Glenview, Illinois, and a sister, Sister George Marie Attea, SSJ, of Clarence. He was predeceased by his sister Mary (Spahn). He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, grand nieces, grand nephews and cousins.
Msgr. Attea attended the Diocesan Preparatory Seminary in Buffalo, Our Lady of the Angels Seminary at Niagara University where he graduated in 1955, and he received a License in Sacred Theology (STL) from Gregorian University in Rome. He was ordained to the priesthood on Dec. 20, 1958 by Archbishop Martin O’Connor at the North American College in Rome.
Msgr. Attea was a member of the Holy Name Society, St. Vincent DePaul Society; he served as a chaplain to the Catholic Daughters of theAmericasand was a member of the Jamestown Area Ministerial Association. An avid pilot, he was a member of the Civil Air Patrol and co-founded St. Susan’s Kitchen. His hobbies included photography and model railroading.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete, and will be announced at a later date. Msgr. Attea is the third sitting pastor from the Diocese of Buffalo to pass away in the last two months.