NEW YORK MILLS, N.Y. – The Rev. Walter Madej is retiring from Sacred Heart of Jesus-Holy Cross in New York Mills after 22 years at the church.
Madej, born and raised in Poland, has been a priest for 52 years.
Ben Vahey // WKTV
He was ordained in 1968 and worked at the Catholic diocese in Poland for 10 years before moving to the United States.
Madej says he’ll miss the people and sense of community at the church.
"The church, the community, and children when they come and they embrace the altar and the service and praying together, it is something and it is something that vibrates and I feel very blessed to be part of that," said Madej.
Many in the community know Madej for his woodworking skills. He’s sculpted pieces for churches in Syracuse, Rome and other areas.
The church unveiled an altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary, carved by Madej, in May.
His last Mass will be celebrated this Sunday at 9 a.m.