Fr. Ronald Sams, SJ. RIP. Please pray for him.

Fr.Sams was often my confessor and he was an extraordinarily charitable pastor for my late wife, to whom provided Extreme Unction and who offered the Holy Sacrifice for her funeral.
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I am deeply grieved by his death and appreciate each of your prayers for him.
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I offer the kind, pious prayers of one of our most fervent, devout AQ members.
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O God, Thou didst raise Thy servant, Fr. Sams, to the sacred priesthood of Jesus Christ, according to the Order of Melchisedech, giving him the sublime power to offer the Eternal Sacrifice, to bring the Body and Blood of Thy Son Jesus Christ down upon the altar, and to absolve the sins of men in Thine own holy Name. We beseech Thee to reward his faithfulness and to forget his faults, admitting him speedily into Thy holy presence, there to enjoy forever the recompense of his labors. This we ask through Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord. Amen.

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11 comments on “Fr. Ronald Sams, SJ. RIP. Please pray for him.

  1. Amen. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord.

  2. O Lord please accept the soul of Your Good and Faithful Servant with the wekcome: “Well done good and faithful servantl enter now into the Joy of the Lord.”

  3. Requiescat in pace/May his memory be eternal.

  4. My family is praying for Father. May his reward in Heaven be great.

    Prayers of consolation for you, gpm, and all who grieve Fr. Sams’ passing.

  5. Thank you, dear friends. He was a true, very intelligent and orthodox priest.

  6. Rev. Ronald W. Sams, St. Michael’s priest who was known as ‘Father Gambit’ at Canisius

    By Harold McNeil | Published June 28, 2017 | Updated June 29, 2017

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    Dec. 29, 1928 – June 27, 2017

    The Rev. Ronald W. Sams was 75, an age when most priests are thinking about retirement, when, for the first time in his long religious vocation, he took on duties as a parish priest in 2003.

    Father Sams joined the Jesuits soon after he graduated from Canisius High School in 1946. He had a long career teaching in Catholic high schools, serving a mission in the South Pacific and raising money for various Jesuit missions before serving as pastor of St. Michael’s Catholic Church on Washington Street in downtown Buffalo, where he nurtured varied interests, most especially his devotion to the sacrament of confession.

    Father Sams died Tuesday in Kenmore Mercy Hospital after suffering a stroke on June 18. He was 88.

    Born in Buffalo, Father Sams grew up in the Grider Street neighborhood. He was ordained a priest in 1959 and took his final vows as a Jesuit in 1963. Early in his vocation, Father Sams taught at several Catholic schools, including his alma mater, Canisius High School. He also taught at Regis High School, a Jesuit-run institution in Manhattan, in the early 1950s.

    He was part of the original Jesuit staff that opened McQuaid Jesuit High School in Rochester in 1954, after James E. Kearney, the fifth bishop of Rochester, invited members of the New York Province of the Society of Jesus to form a high school there for boys in his diocese.

    In 1970, Father Sams began a mission which would last nearly four years on the island of Guam in the South Pacific, where he was in charge of the Jesuit pre-novitiate house. When he returned to Buffalo in 1974, he took on duties as director of development at his beloved Canisius High School, where he also helped create the foundation for the school’s fundraising efforts and served as coordinator of GAMBIT, the school’s annual dinner auction. Father Sams became so identified with the charity, he was known as “Father Gambit” to many in the high school community.

    The Rev. Richard Zanoni, a former pastor of St. Michael’s Church, said Father Sams remained active in the fundraiser up until his death.

    “It’s a very good community builder,” Zanoni said of the dinner auction. Father Sams “was involved in the last one at the end of April. It’s a way to fund the various schools and help pay tuition for some students.”

    In 1983, Father Sams returned to the South Pacific, specifically Micronesia, where he served as secretary to the Jesuit bishop there. The Rev. Benjamin Fiore, a friend and current pastor of St. Michael’s Church, described him as patient and self-effacing.

    “He had a nice sense of humor. I mean, he always laughed at himself because he tried to speak in the native languages, of which there were many, many different ones on the islands there. What he thought he was saying often ended up being very different from what he had intended,” Fiore said. “It was sort of embarrassing, but I think they credited him with at least trying.”

    Father Sams returned to Buffalo in 1995 and resumed his work at Canisius before he became pastor of St. Michael’s Church in 2003.

    “He started as pastor there at an age when most pastors would retire. He was 75 when he started. He was a man of tremendous energy and he did the job for 10 years,” said Zanoni, who first met Father Sams in 1969, when the priest was director of the upstate office of the Jesuit Seminary and Missions Bureau.

    “It’s hard to imagine that he’s gone because he was just so upbeat and active and young at heart,” Zanoni said.

    “He just had lots of interests. He was open to everybody. I have not heard anything negative ever come out of him, and I’ve never heard anyone say anything negative about him. He’s just one of those positive people who make you feel good after you’ve been in his company. In the midst of a catastrophe he would say, ‘I wonder what great good God is going to bring out of this tragedy.’ That’s the kind of person he was. It would be very hard to not like Ron. He had no pretensions,” Zanoni added.

  7. Remembering Fr. Sams, S.J. ’46

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    By CHS staff
    JUN 27 2017

    Father Ronald W. Sams, S.J. ’46 died peacefully on the morning of Tuesday, June 27, 2017, in Buffalo. He had recently suffered a stroke.

    Fr. Sams grew up in Buffalo and entered the Jesuits the same year he graduated from Canisius High School. He was ordained in 1959. For ten years, Fr. Sams worked for the Buffalo Province of the Jesuits as a vocation promoter and director of the upstate office of the Jesuit Seminary and Mission Bureau.

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    Ronald Sams’ senior photo at Canisius High School

    In 1970, Fr. Sams began three-and-a-half years on Guam, where he was in charge of the Jesuit pre-novitiate house. In 1974, he returned to Buffalo to serve as director of development at Canisius High School where he created the foundation for the school’s continued fundraising efforts. Nine years later he returned to Micronesia, where he served as secretary to Bishop Martin Neylon, S.J. ’37. In 1995, Fr. Sams once again returned to his hometown, first working at Canisius High School and then moving to St. Michael Church, the Jesuit parish in downtown Buffalo, where he became pastor. He was named pastor emeritus of St. Michael Church in 2013.

    Fr. Sams has been a great friend to Canisius over the years. He influenced or helped create many programs at Canisius, including GAMBIT, the school’s annual dinner auction. He was the first coordinator of GAMBIT and served in that role the first eight years of the event. He returned to direct GAMBIT in 1999 and 2000. He also served as the chaplain to the alumni during that time. Many in the Canisius community affectionately referred to Fr. Sams as “Father Gambit.” He became the GAMBIT Ambassador in 2008 and continued in that role until his death.

    In 2001, Fr. Sams started offering the 7:45 a.m. First Friday Mass at St. Michael Church for the alumni of Canisius High School. He had a great devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus which prompted him and Henry Reiser ’49 to initiate the First Friday devotion at St. Michael’s. The First Friday program continues today, with Friday July 7, 2017 being the 16th anniversary of the program. All are welcome at the 7:45 a.m. Mass.

    Fr. Sams regularly attended the wakes of Canisius alumni and their family members. He was always present to pray with the families in their times of loss. His ministry to the Canisius community, from marriages and baptisms to anointing the sick and funerals, helped to enrich spiritual lives and strengthen the Catholic faith of community members.

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    Fr. Sams with Fr. Mickey Corcoran, S.J. ’76 (right) at the All-Alumni Bash on June 16, 2017

  8. Thank you, Tom.

    I knew him only at the most difficult moments one faces and his advice was solid.

    Personally, he was invariably gracious.

  9. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine on him. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

  10. O God, Thou didst raise Thy servant, Fr. Ronald Sams, to the sacred priesthood of Jesus Christ, according to the Order of Melchisedech, giving him the sublime power to offer the Eternal Sacrifice, to bring the Body and Blood of Thy Son Jesus Christ down upon the altar, and to absolve the sins of men in Thine own Holy Name. We beseech Thee to reward his faithfulness and to forget his faults, admitting him speedily into Thy Holy Presence, there to enjoy forever the recompense of his labors. This we ask through Jesus Christ Thy Son, our Lord.

  11. O God, Thou didst raise Thy servant, Fr. Ronald Sams, to the sacred priesthood of Jesus Christ, according to the Order of Melchisedech, giving him the sublime power to offer the Eternal Sacrifice, to bring the Body and Blood of Thy Son Jesus Christ down upon the altar, and to absolve the sins of men in Thine own Holy Name. We beseech Thee to reward his faithfulness and to forget his faults, admitting him speedily into Thy Holy Presence, there to enjoy forever the recompense of his labors. This we ask through Jesus Christ Thy Son, our Lord.

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