Priest Jubilee 2003

May 8, 2003
Priest Jubilee 2003
By Connie Cissell/ SUN editor
Bishop James Moynihan extends his deepest gratitude and congratulations to the 14 priests who are celebrating anniversaries of ordination this year. Five priests are marking their 25th anniversary, five are celebrating their 40th anniversary, three priests are celebrating their 50th year of ordination and one is celebrating his 60th anniversary.

Compiled by Connie Cissell/SUN editor-in-chief

& Kristen Fox/SUN staff writer

25 years:

Father David Sambor has spent the past several years in the ministry of teaching and then as a chaplain. Originally from Yorkville, Father Sambor is a native of St. Mary’s Parish in New York Mills. He attended St. Mary’s School and then was graduated from Notre Dame High School in Utica. He attended seminary at St. Mary’s at Orchard Lake and at Ss. Cyril and Methodius. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 13, 1978. Father Sambor served as associate pastor at Blessed Sacrament Church in Syracuse until 1983 when he was associate pastor at St. Paul’s Church in Whitesboro. He also served as chaplain to the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, Court Grimes, from 1978 to 1983. Then, Father Sambor moved on to teach at Bishop Grimes Junior/Senior High School from 1984 to 1998. He has served as a chaplain at St. Joseph’s Nursing Home, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and Faxton Hospital in Utica since 1998. During this time has also served as an associate pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Utica. Coming from a small family, Father Sambor said he plans to celebrate his anniversary quietly with a family gathering this summer. Upon the occasion of his 25th anniversary as a diocesan priest, Father Sambor said that God has sent many people into his life who have supported and nurtured his spiritual life. “God has gifted me with the opportunity to serve in various ministries for which I am most grateful,” Father Sambor said. “It is so fulfilling to share in the joys and sorrows, the successes and struggles with the people of God, whether in parish or classroom, nursing home or hospital.”

Father Timothy Taugher celebrates 25 years as a diocesan priest this year. He has served as a chaplain at Binghamton General and Wilson Memorial Hospital since 1994. He is in residence at Blessed Sacrament Church in Johnson City. Father Taugher is a native of St. Patrick’ s Parish in Binghamton. He attended elementary school at the parish school and graduated from Binghamton Catholic Central High School in 1970. Father Taugher attended Wadhams Hall Seminary in Odgensburg and St. Mary’s in Baltimore. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 13, 1978. He served as an associate pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Syracuse and then moved on to St. Charles Borromeo in Syracuse as an associate pastor in 1983. He spent his sabbatical in 1988 at both Boston College and Regis College at the University of Toronto. Father Taugher was associate pastor at St. John the Evangelist Church in Binghamton beginning in 1989 and then served as pastor of Our Lady of Solace Church in Syracuse in 1993 before moving back to Binghamton to assume chaplain responsibilities at the hospitals. He has been diocesan director of the Office of Social Action Ministry since the fall of 1999. Father Taugher also serves on the national board of JustFaith based in Louisville, Ky. A liturgy of thanksgiving will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 8 at Blessed Sacrament Church in Johnson City and a gathering of food and friendship will follow at St. Christopher’s Pavilion at Chenango Bridge.

Father James D. Tormey has been pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Binghamton since 1995. His home parish is St. Peter’s in Rome. Father Tormey’s years of service include associate pastor of St. Paul’s Church in Oswego, St. Rose of Lima Church in North Syracuse, St. Ann’s Church in Syracuse and temporary associate pastor at St. Cecilla Church in Solvay and St. John the Baptist Church in Syracuse. Father Tormey also served as chaplain of Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton. Father Tormey is a graduate of Rome Catholic High School. He attended Fulton-Montgomery Community College and studied for the priesthood at Wadhams Hall Seminary in Odgensburg and Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora. Father Tormey was ordained on December 8, 1978 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Father Daniel Muscalino has been a teacher at Bishop Ludden Jr./Sr. High School in Syracuse since 1988, where he also serves as school chaplain and Senior Class Moderator. His home parish is Immaculate Conception in Fulton. Father Muscalino’s years of service include associate pastor of St. Anthony of Pauda Church in Endicott. He has taught at Seton Catholic High School in Binghamton and Bishop Grimes School in East Syracuse and served on the National Board of Catholic Engaged Encounter in Syracuse and the Western Region School Board. Father Muscalino has been in residence at St. John the Evangelist Church in Syracuse since 1988 and is currently administrator at St. Patrick’s Church in Truxton and St. Lawrence Mission in Deruyter as well as weekend assistant at St. Mary’s in Cortland. Father Muscalino is a graduate of Oswego Catholic High School. He attended Wadhams Hall Seminary in Odgensburg and St. Bernard’s Seminary in Rochester. He was ordained on May 13, 1978. Father Muscalino said that his 25 years in the priesthood have been an incredible gift. “I am very fortunate to be as happy as I am doing what I do,” he said. “I love being a priest.”

Father Robert S. Stephenson has been pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Oswego since 2001. His home parish is Immaculate Conception Church in Fulton. Father Stephenson’s years of service include pastor of St. John the Evangelist in Syracuse and St. Catherine of Siena in Binghamton and associate pastor at St. Andrew’s Church in Binghamton, Holy Family Church in Fulton, St. Paul’s Church in Oswego. He has also served as chaplain of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Knights of Columbus in Binghamton. Father Stephenson is a graduate of Bishop Cunningham High School. He received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from St. Mary’s College in Kentucky and his master’s degree in administration from Notre Dame University. Father Stephenson attended Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora and was ordained on May 13, 1978. About his life as a priest, Father Stephenson said, “The past 25 years have been a blessing. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve the diocese in many ways.”

40 years:

Father Tony Keeffe, pastor of St. Anne’s Church in Parish and St. Patrick’s Church in Williamstown since 1996, celebrates the 40th anniversary of his priesthood this year. Father Keeffe is a native of Holy Trinity Parish in Syracuse. He attended the parish elementary school and graduated from Assumption High School in 1951. Father Keeffe attended Le Moyne College and then Christ the King Seminary. He was ordained to the priesthood for diocese on May 18, 1963. Father Keeffe served as associate pastor at Our Lady of Solace Church in Syracuse from 1963 until 1970 when he became associate pastor at St. Joseph the Worker Church in Liverpool. Father Keeffe then served at his home parish, Holy Trinity, as an associate from 1974 to 1978 when he went back to Our Lady of Solace. He served as associate pastor at Blessed Sacrament Church in Utica from 1981 to 1983. He then assumed responsibilties as pastor at St. John the Evangelist Church in Pulaski. He became pastor of an additional pairsh, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini in Lacona in 1993. His sabbatical year took place in 1995. Father Keeffe served as director of Unity Acres in 1973 and 1974. He has maintained a connection with the residence for homeless men in Orwell over the past 30 years helping out in various capacities.

Father Frederick Mannara, native of Our Lady of Pompei Parish in Syracuse, celebrates his 40th anniversary in the priesthood this year. He attended Franklin School and Grant Junior High School. He is a graduate of Christian Brothers Academy, class of 1955. Father Mannara then went to seminary at St. Andrew’s and then St. Bernard’s. He was ordained May 18, 1963. He has a master’s degree from Syracuse University. Father Mannara served as associate pastor at St. Bartholomew Church in Norwich from 1963 to 1968, and then served as associate pastor at St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Binghamton from 1968 to 1973. From 1973 to 1976, he served as an associate pastor at Corpus Christi Church in South Onondaga. Father Mannara taught at Bishop Ludden Junior/Senior High School from 1973 to 1976. He continued his ministry with young people as he served as director of the Henninger and Fowler Faith Centers from 1976 to 1983. Father Mannara served on weekends as associate at St. Patrick’s Church in Jordan, St. Brigid and St. Joseph’s in Syracuse, and at St. Mary’s in Baldwinsville while he worked at Bishop Ludden and the faith centers. From 1983 to 1995, Father Mannara served as pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Syracuse. He took a sabbatical from 1995 to 1996, and then served at St. John the Evangelist Church in New Hartford as parochial vicar from 1996 to 1998. He has been pastor of Most Holy Rosary Church in Syracuse since 1998. There will be a special Mass of thanksgiving at noon on Sunday, May 18 at Most Holy Rosary Church. And, Father Mannara said, a party at the park across the street from the church will follow the Mass. “Forty years has gone by so quickly and all those years were so rewarding,” Father Mannara said. “Every parish has been wonderful. The people of God are good people everywhere.”

Father Robert J. Sullivan has been chaplain at SUNY Binghamton’s Newman House for the past 30 years. His home parish is St. John the Evangelist in Binghamton. Father Sullivan’s years of service include associate pastor at St. Patrick’s Church in Truxton. He also taught at Catholic Central High School in Binghamton. Father Sullivan is a graduate of St. Patrick’s School in Binghamton. He received his master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Catholic University and his master’s degree in religious education from Fordham University. He attended St. Bernard’s Seminary in Rochester and was ordained on May 18, 1963.

Father David G. Sears has been administrator of St. Thomas Church in New Hartford since 2002. His home parish is Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Utica. His years of service include associate pastor at Blessed Sacrament Church in Syracuse, St. Francis de Sales Church in Utica, St. John’s in Rome, and Corpus Christi in South Onondaga as well as 31 years as priest in residence at St. Roch’s in Stanton Island while he taught at More Catholic High School. While in New York City, Father Sears also trained at the New York Center for Psychoanalytic Training in Manhattan and set up his own therapy practice that he continued for 25 years. Father Sears is a graduate of Utica Free Academy. He received his master’s degree in religious studies from Syracuse University and his master’s degree in social work from Columbia University. He studied for the priesthood at St. Bernard’s Seminary in Rochester and was ordained on May 18, 1963.

Father Matthew Brown has been priest in residence at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Vestal since 1994. His home parish is Christ the King in Endwell. His years of service include pastor at St. Paul’s Church in Binghamton and St. Rita’s Church in Chenango Forks and assistant pastor at St. Rose of Lima Church in North Syracuse and Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Vestal. Father Brown has also served as chaplain to Southern Tier nursing homes for nearly a decade. Father Brown is a graduate of Union Endicott High School. He studied for the seminary at St. Andrews and St. Bernard’s, both in Rochester and was ordained on May 18, 1963 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Father Brown believes one of his favorite quotes by French Theologian Teilhard deChardin best reflects his years of ministry to the church. “What paralyzes life is the failure to believe and the failure to dare.” A special Mass for Father Brown is planned for noon on June 1 at Our Lady of Sorrows in Church in Vestal with a reception to follow.

50 years:

Father Edmund J. Morelle has been pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Vernon since 1972. His home parish is St. John the Evangelist in Utica. His years of service include associate pastor at St. John’s Church in Utica. St. Mary’s Church in Clinton, St. Mary’s Church in Rome, St. Catherine’s Church in Vernon and Immaculate Conception Church in Fulton as well as St. Leo’s Church in Holland Patent as pastor in residence. As a parish priest at St. John’s, Father Morelle taught religion at Utica Catholic Academy, worked with the Legion of Mary among the Blacks and Hispanics, and ministered to the residents of the County Jail and to patients at Broadacres Sanitarium. His service also includes chaplain in the U.S. Air Force from 1957-1960 and disciplinarian and teacher of physics, geometry, general science and religion at Rome Catholic High School from 1963-1971. Father Morelle is a graduate of Utica Free Academy. He received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Fordham University. He studied for the priesthood at St. Bernard’s Seminary in Rochester and was ordained on May 23, 1953 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. A special Mass for Father Morelle is planned for 2:30 p.m. on May 25 at St. Joseph’s Church in Oneida with a reception to follow.

Father Peter W. Gleba has been rector of Sacred Heart Basilica in Syracuse since 1989. His home parish is Holy Trinity in Utica. His years of service include pastor at St. John’s Church in Bainbridge and its mission St. Agnes in Afton, St. Joseph’s Church in Lee Center and St. Mary’s Church in New York Mills and assistant pastor at St. Stanislaus Church in Utica, St. Stanislaus Church in Binghamton, Transfiguration Church in Syracuse and Sacred Heart Church in Syracuse. Father Gleba also served as chaplain of the Lee Center Fire Department in 1974. About his life as a priest, Father Gleba said, “It has been so full of spiritual and physical activity that I can’t believe 50 years have gone by.” Father Gleba is a graduate of St. Francis de Sales High School in Utica. He studied for the priesthood at St. Mary’s in Orchard Lake and St. Bernard’s in Rochester and was ordained on May 23, 1953 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. A special Mass for Father Gleba is planned for May 18 at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at 4:00 p.m. He will also be honored at a testimonial dinner at the OnCenter, May 18 at 6:30 p.m. with Bishop Thomas J Costello as the main speaker. About his life as a priest, Father Gleba said, “My years in the priesthood have been so full of spiritual and physical activites. I can’t believe that 50 years have gone by.”

Father John J. Costello is a retired priest of the Syracuse Diocese. His home parish is St. Patrick’s Church in Syracuse. He served as pastor of St. Michael’s Church in Central Square, St. Anthony of Padua Church in Syracuse, St. Rose of Lima Church in North Syracuse, Holy Family Church in Fulton, St. John the Baptist Church in Syracuse and St. Helena’s Church in Sherrill. Father Costello was assistant pastor of St. John the Evageslist Church in Pulaski, St. Matthew’s Church in East Syracuse, St. Francis de Sales Church in Utica and St. Paul’s Church in Oswego. His service also includes a chaplaincy in the U.S. Armed Services at Fort Slocum from 1957 to 1961. Father Cotello is a graduate of St. Patrick’s High School in Syracuse. He studied for the priesthood at St. Andrew’s and St. Bernard’s, both in Rochester, and he was a graduate of Theological College in Washington, D.C. He was ordained on May 23, 1953. A special Mass for Father Costello is planned for May 23 at 10:45 a.m. at St. Camillus Nursing Home in Syracuse.

60 years:

Monsignor Adolph Kantor celebrates 60 years of the priesthood this year. He has been retired since 1988, but still performs his healing ministry throughout the diocese and celebrates Mass on a regular basis. He is a native of New York Mills where he attended St. Mary’s elementary school, and then New York Mills High School, class of 1932. Msgr. Kantor attended seminary at St. John Kanty and St. Bernard’s. He was ordained on June 5, 1943. He served as an associate pastor at Sacred Heart Church, now the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, from 1943 to 1948 when he moved to Holy Trinity Church in Utica and served as associate there. He was a temporary associate pastor at Blessed Sacrament Church in Syracuse in 1956 before heading to his home parish, St. Mary’s in New York Mills from 1960 to 1962 as an associate. His first pastorate was at St. Joseph’s Church, Oriskany Falls in 1962 followed by St. Stephen’s Church in Syracuse from 1964 to 1967. Msgr. Kantor served as pastor of Transfiguration Church in Rome from 1967 to 1970 when he began nearly 20 years of service as pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Syracuse until his retirement. Msgr. Kantor was named Honorary Prelate in 1971 by Pope Paul VI. He served a few years as chaplain of Utica College in the mid-1960s. He was chaplain of the Utica Police Department in the 1950s and chaplain of the Knights of Columbus Central New York Chapter beginning in 1979. Msgr. Kantor was also an advisor on the Diocesan Board of Consultors with Bishop Walter Foery, who also ordained him for the Syracuse Diocese. Golf and singing are two activities Msgr. Kantor enjoys, although he gave golf up a few years ago preferring to get his exercise in his garden these days. When asked to reflect on his 60 years as a priest, Msgr. Kantor said, “Joyful — every bit of it. I really enjoy my priesthood. God has blessed me. Wherever I was, I enjoyed the people. Still whenever they ask me for a healing Mass, I try to go.” There will be a Mass of celebration for Msgr. Kantor at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 26 at St. Mary’s Church in New York Mills. A dinner will follow at 5 p.m. at Twin Ponds Country Club.

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