BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Hundreds gathered for a final goodbye to the beloved priest in Buffalo on Friday. Father Joe Moreno left behind many faithful friends and followers.
St. Margaret's Church was filled to capacity 45 minutes before the Mass of Christian Burial began at 10 a.m., with a longtime friend and seminary classmate of Father Moreno serving as the principle celebrant.
Rev. Joseph Porpiglia said, "Wherever there was a need, he was always willing to respond and try to do kindness for other people. And it started out through his priesthood."
Buffalo firefighters flew an enormous American flag as a special tribute. Law enforcement and other first responders turned out in great numbers to say goodbye to a man who brought them comfort in their times of need.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said, "He was there for every officer that needed help, counseling. Whether officer was involved in shooting, whether it was a sickness in the family, Father Joe was there. He was there for everybody."
"He brought hope to people. He brought God to people," said Rev. Porpiglia, who delivered the homily. "His smile, pictures of delivering pizzas to people..."
Seminary classmate Rev. Joe Gullo added, "He always loved people and always reached out and brought the love of Christ to people wherever he met them. In the nursing home or the hospital, people at home that were sick, they needed him, he would be there for them."
Periodically you could hear applause coming from the church, a rare occurrence during a funeral. Attendees celebrated the life of a man they truly loved and his mission on Earth.
Sister of St. Joseph Philip Marie said, "I really believe God coached him into doing so many of the wonderful things that he has accomplished. He's an ideal priest."
Father Moreno's twin sister, Susan, spoke after communion and told his life story. She said he knew he would become a priest, even in grade school.
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