The official sod turning for Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Elementary School took place on March 8th, 1953. Six months later, the four-room Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Elementary School opened its doors to students. At Father Puchniak's request, Felician Sisters, honoured with a Niagara Catholic Education Award of Distinction in 2004, came from Toronto to teach at the new school.
To provide the sisters with a place to live, Father Puchniak constructed a 13-room convent adjacent to the school. The convent was completed in 1954.
Father Puchniak left Welland in 1958 to take up his duties as Superior of the Oblates, working in St. Casmir's Parish. In 1960, Father became pastor of Holy Angels in Toronto and three years later he began working on the history of the Oblate Fathers in western Canada. Father Puchniak celebrated his Golden Jubilee in 1975 at St. Stanislaus Church. He retired a short time later.
In recognition of his many years of service to the Church, Father Puchniak was presented with the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal following his retirement. Father Puchniak died on August 18th, 1989.
Father Puchniak dedicated his life as a priest of the Oblate Fathers of Mary Immaculate for the sake of Polish communities in Niagara and Toronto. In addition to dedicating his spiritual gifts to those he served, Father Puchniak devoted his time, energy, and passion for the advancement of Catholic education to the communities where he lived. For his dedication to Catholic education we recognize Father Puchniak with the Niagara Catholic Education Award of Distinction 2011.
In 1947, after a short period at St. Mary's Parish in West Toronto, Bishop McGuigan called upon Father Puchniak to rebuild the parish of Saints Peter and Paul in Welland, which was in need of both material and spiritual repair.