Priest set to resume service
Buccicone on leave since October after AG opened investigation; no action to be taken
The state Attorney General’s Office has closed its investigation of a Cambria County priest, according to the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.
Tony DeGol, secretary for communications for the diocese, said that no further action will be taken about a complaint concerning the Rev. Ananias Buccicone, OSB, who will resume his assignment as pastor of Queen of Peace Parish in Patton effective today.
“I think just about everyone is happy to have him back,” Patton resident and Queen of Peace Church member Barbara Barnosky said. “He really holds us all together, and he was very missed.”
Buccicone had been on leave since October after an accusation of inappropriate conduct involving minors.
“He was wrongly-accused, and it is so sad that he was taken away from us,” Queen of Peace Church Secretary Sally Kirk said. “We are all anticipating having him back. He would go above and beyond for anyone.”
Buccicone, 58, was ordained a priest in the Benedictine Community of St. Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe in 1993. A native of Tarentum, he served in various roles outside of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown before being appointed pastor of Queen of Peace in 2002.
“He’s a leader, a spiritual adviser and a friend,” Kirk said. “He has brought a lot of people together, and we are thrilled that he is returning.”
Barnosky said due to COVID-19 and Buccicone’s absence, the Queen of Peace Church struggled with its holiday bake sales and Lenten fish dinners.
The return of Buccicone will help the church gain a sense of normalcy, Barnosky said.
“He’s a very holy man,” Barnosky said. “He’s such a hard worker, and he works for the good of the parish.”
The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown said it remains committed to maintaining safe environments for children and young people in all of its parishes, schools and programs.