Photo by Rochester Churches

Fr. William G. Coffas

Pastor of Mother of Sorrows + Holy Cross, Vocations Director and Dean

Father. William G. Coffas, the son of William and Carol Coffas, grew up in Irondequoit and was a member of St. Ambrose Parish, now Peace of Christ. He has three sisters.  As a young person, he graduated from Eastridge High School in 1990 and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Communications with a minor in Marketing from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1994.

In 1996, when his Dad passed away, Bill began to feel that he might have a vocation to the priesthood. In the fall of 1999, he began his formal studies and formation for the priesthood at the Theological College of the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.  Upon completion of his formation and studies, he earned a Master of Divinity from Catholic University.  On June 12, 2004, The Most Rev. Matthew Clark ordained Bill a priest in his home parish of St. Ambrose.  Father Coffas served three years as parochial vicar at the Blessed Trinity/St. Patrick Parish in Tioga County.  In this assignment he served the needs of six churches in two counties in the southern tier of the Diocese of Rochester.   Father Coffas was then assigned to Our Lady of Peace in Geneva, New York for three years.  In May of 2010, he was named the Rector of Becket Hall, a house of discernment for men considering joining the seminary.  During this time, Father Coffas served as a priest for St. Thomas More and Our Lady Queen of Peace in Brighton, New York. He was also elected to the Priest Personnel Board and appointed by The Most Rev. Salvatore R. Matano to the Presbyter Council for the Diocese of Rochester.

Father Coffas is now the pastor of the parish community of Our Mother of Sorrows and Holy Cross in Rochester.  He has also fostered community outreach in the parish including establishing the St. Francis of Assisi Food Cupboard and Backpack Program, which is a partnership between FoodLink and two local public schools in the parish to address childhood hunger.

In August of 2016, Father Coffas was made a member of the College of Consultors for the Diocese of Rochester.  On December 20, 2017, he was named Dean of the Monroe Central Deanery.  In fall of 2022, he was elected by the priests of the diocese to serve as chair of the Presbyter Council in Rochester.  For several years, Father Coffas has been a member of the diocesan vocational council that assists with the recruitment of candidates for the seminary.  Father Coffas is a member of the Board of Directors for Holy Sepulcher Cemetery and Ascension Garden.

In 2022, Father Coffas was named as a Vocations Director for the Diocese of Rochester and enjoys encouraging people to discover and live their God given call. Especially, he is proud of the seminarians and priests he has mentored over the years who are now in formation or serving the Diocese of Rochester.

Father Coffas enjoys cooking, going on hikes and spending time with family and friends.  Father also enjoys learning about sacred art, especially watercolor painting.  He particularly enjoys studying the works of Caravaggio. In his down time, he also enjoys exercising and taking long walks along Lake Ontario and fishing in the beautiful Finger Lakes in the heart of the Diocese of Rochester.