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6:20 PM: Priest Who Served At Jamestown Church, WCA Placed On Leave Amid Investigation

The Rev. Robert Stolinski

A retired priest who served in the Jamestown area, including as chaplain at then-WCA Hospital, was put on leave due to sexual abuse complaints, Bishop Richard J. Malone of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo announced. The priest — the Rev. Robert Stolinski — was one of four to be placed on leave amid an investigation by the diocese.

In November 2003, Stolinski was named pastor at St. James Church in Jamestown and later at Our Lady of Victory Church in Frewsburg. He also served as Catholic chaplain at WCA.

Stolinski graduated from St. Hyacinth’s Parochial School and Cardinal Mindszenty High School. He attended Fredonia State College and the Diocesan Preparatory Seminary College. He received a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in theology from the former St. John Vianney Seminary in East Aurora.

A native of Dunkirk, Stolinski was ordained a priest on May 23, 1970, and served briefly at St. John of the Cross in Whitesville and St. Mary of Sorrows in Buffalo, according to archives in The Post-Journal. In December 1970, he was assigned to the St. Jude Center, the Catholic Chaplaincy of Buffalo General Hospital and Roswell Park Memorial Institute, where he served until 1978.

He was then assigned as chaplain at Edward J. Meyer Memorial Hospital, now ECMC, until 1996.

In 1997, he was made pastor of St. Stephen’s Parish in Buffalo, where he served for six years. After a year of sabbatical leave, he began serving the Jamestown area Nov. 7, 2003. At the time, his ministry included service to Catholic patients at Heritage Park Nursing Home and the Frewsburg Rest Home.

An ice cream social and open house was held at St. James Church in 2005 to mark the 35th anniversary of Stolinski’s ordination.

Also placed on leave due to complaints of sexual abuse, according to the Buffalo Diocese, were the Rev. Pascal D. Ipolito, the Rev. Daniel J. Palys and the Rev. Roy Herberger.

In a statement, the diocese said the administrative leave for the retired priests were for the “purpose of investigation and does not imply that any determination has been made as to the truth or falsity of the complaint.”

The Buffalo Diocese in March named 42 priests who were removed retired or left the ministry after allegations of sexual abuse were reported since 1950. Included in the list are priests with more than one allegation; more than half on the list have since died after being accused.

Of those named in March, more than 10 served in Chautauqua County churches.

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