Bishop to lead service at Dunkirk church

On Sunday, St. John the Baptist (Episcopal) Church will celebrate the nativity of St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of the parish. The Rt. Rev. R. William Franklin will be the celebrant of the 10 a.m. service. There will only be one service on this special day.

As well as confirmation, the service will include the thanksgiving for the birth of a child, with Bishop Franklin recognizing the birth of Kaleb Michael Seyler. The sacristy has been renovated and will be dedicated to the memory of Sarah Guzzetta. The original renovation of the sacristy had been dedicated to the memory of Nathaniel Ludlum.

Bishop Franklin was installed as the 11th Episcopal Bishop of Western New York in 2011. He holds a doctoral degree in church history from Harvard. Bishop Franklin has served for years on the faculty of St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn. and General Theological Seminary in New York City. He has also served as dean and president of Berkley Divinity School at Yale University.

Bishop Franklin has also served as assistant director at the American Academy at Rome. Prior to his election o the Episcopal Diocese, he was senior associate priest at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Philadelphia.

Among Bishop Franklin’s lighter accomplishments is his starring role in a video entitled “Stair Dance,” which he entered in a competition to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the main staircase at the American Academy. The video won first place in the competition.

St. John’s parish will host a reception following the service. The church is located at the corner of West Fourth and Lark streets in Dunkirk. The public is invited to attend.