The 100 Club of Buffalo would like to express our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, and parishioners of Father Joe Bayne, who sadly passed away at the age of 66 on Friday, June 23, 2023, in Chicago.
Father Joe Bayne was extensively involved in the Western New York community, dedicating a significant portion of his life to assisting and helping others. For thirteen years, he served as the Chaplain of Erie County Emergency Services and the Buffalo Fire Department. Additionally, he was widely recognized for his outstanding work as the director of South Buffalo’s Franciscan Center, a nurturing and caring environment for troubled youth.
Father Joe was a friend to many, understood the importance of sacrifice, and had a profound impact on the lives of countless individuals who were facing challenges. Through his guidance and support, he helped them find a path towards a brighter future. Father Joe Bayne’s enduring commitment to serving others throughout his life is a testament to his exceptional character, exemplifying the qualities of selflessness, compassion, and heroism that defined him as a person. His remarkable legacy will continue to inspire and uplift all those who were fortunate enough to know him.
Born in Baltimore, Md., on March 15, 1957, he was a son of the late + Joseph William Sr. (1977) and Jean (nee Gorman) Bayne. He is survived by his mother and younger brother, George. After completing his education, Fr. Joe began his priestly ministry in Shamokin, Penn., where he served as Parochial Vicar of St. Stephen Parish and then St. Stanislaus Parish from 1985-1989.
In 1989, Fr. Joe moved to Buffalo, where he began a 29-year ministry at The Franciscan Center, a transitional housing program for runaway and homeless young men from Western New York. The Center served more than 4,000 young men before closing its doors in 2018. For thirteen of his years in Buffalo, Fr. Joe served as Chaplain of Erie County Emergency Services and the Buffalo Fire Department, often known by his call number, ES-11.
In 2018, Fr. Joseph was reassigned to Chicopee, Mass., where he served briefly as Pastor of St. Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr Parish and Chaplain of the city fire department, before accepting the responsibility of becoming the Associate Director of Formation at the Conventual Franciscans’ Postulancy house in Chicago. This ministry to young men in their first year of formation as friars was very much a reprisal of his years at The Franciscan Center.
The bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo, Bishop Michael Fisher, issued a statement following Father Bayne’s death,
“It was with a heavy heart that I learned today of the sudden passing of Father Joseph Bayne, OFM Conv. Fr. Joe, as he was known, ministered in the Diocese of Buffalo serving as the executive director of the Franciscan Center in South Buffalo that cared for more than 4,000 men in need in its 38 years in service. Fr. Joe also served as chaplain for the Erie County Department of Emergency Services and the Buffalo Fire Department.
“He was a true friend and servant to so many in Western New York. He was on scene for the crash of Flight 3407 in Clarence and ministered with compassion to the first responders at that tragic event. His most recent assignment was the associate director of Formation for the Franciscan Friars Conventual Postulancy Program in Chicago.
“Our deepest condolences are extended to the Our Lady of the Angels Province of the Conventual Franciscans of which Fr. Joe was a member. May our Lord greet Fr. Joe with a warm embrace as he has served so faithfully on his time here on earth.”
A Memorial Mass will be held in Buffalo on Saturday, July 15 at 10 a.m. in St. Joseph Cathedral on 50 Franklin Street.