May 18-24, 2006
Service and Sacrifice
By Claudia Mathis/ SUN staff writer
SUN photo(s) submitted / file photos
Priests Celebrate Anniversaries of their Ordinations
Father David Jutton is celebrating 40 years of priesthood. His home parish is St. Brigid/St. Joseph in Syracuse. After graduating from St. Patrick’s High School in 1954, Father Jutton studied at St. Jerome’s in Kitchener, Ontario, and completed his seminary work at Christ the King in Olean. He was ordained on May 21, 1966 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
Father Jutton began his ministry in June 1966, serving as an associate pastor at St. John’s in North Bay. He continued in the same capacity at Our Lady of the Rosary in New Hartford, St. John the Evangelist in Syracuse and Our Lady of Sorrows in Vestal. From 1971-1993, he served as chaplain at Marcy Psychiatric Center. Father Jutton also served as parochial vicar at Sacred Heart in Cicero until 2005, when he retired.
Additional duties included serving as chaplain with the Syracuse Police Department and the Syracuse Developmental Center.
Father Jutton said he enjoyed the variety of experiences he has had while working as a priest.
Father Richard Giblin, pastor at St. Vincent de Paul’s in Vestal since 2001, is celebrating 40 years of priesthood. His home parish is St. John the Evangelist in Binghamton. He graduated from Binghamton Central High School in 1958. After attending Our Lady of Angels and Niagara University, he completed his seminary studies at Christ the King in Olean. Father Giblin was ordained on May 21, 1966.
Father Giblin began his ministry as associate pastor at St. Paul’s in Norwich and St. John the Evangelist in Syracuse. He also served as chaplain at Binghamton Psychiatric Center from 1990-1994. Father Giblin then went on to serve as pastor at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Endicott and St. Vincent de Paul in Vestal. Father Giblin’s other duties include serving as chaplain at Crouse-Irving Memorial Hospital, Hutchings Psychiatric Center and James Square Nursing Home.
Father Stanislaw Matula, associate pastor at Sacred Heart Basilica in Syracuse since 1993, celebrates his 40th year in the priesthood. A native of Poland, Father Matula was ordained on May 10, 1956, within the Archdiocese of Przemysl, Poland. He served in Poland for 26 years, Sweden for seven years, Cleveland, Ohio for one year and Canada for three years.
Father John Comeskey, chaplain at St. Elizabeth Medical Center since 1997, is celebrating 50 years in the priesthood. A native of Utica, his home parish is Our Lady of Lourdes. He attended Our Lady of Lourdes School and graduated from St. Francis de Sales High School in 1948. After attending St. Andrew’s in Rochester, he completed his seminary studies at St. Bernard’s in Rochester. Father Comeskey was ordained on Feb. 2, 1956 at the Cathedral.
Father Comeskey’s first assignment in his ministry was to serve as assistant pastor at St. John’s in Oswego, at St. Francis de Sales in Utica and at St. Paul’s in Rome. From 1970-1971, Father Comeskey served as chaplain at Oneida County Home in Rome. After that, he served as pastor at St. Stephen’s in Marathon, St. Joseph’s in Oxford, St. Patrick’s in Oneida and St. Mary’s in Clinton.
Father Comeskey’s ministry also included serving on the faculty at Oswego Catholic High School and as chaplain at St. Luke’s Hospital, the Utica Police Department and the New York State Veteran’s Home in Oxford.
A Mass of Thanksgiving was held at Our Lady of Lourdes in Utica last February to commemorate Father Comeskey’s 50th year of priesthood. A reception was held afterwards at the Radisson Hotel in Utica. Looking back on his many years of priesthood, Father Comeskey remarked that there had been a lot of changes that had taken place. “It’s been a joyful experience to see the people strive to do what God’s wants them to do,” he said.
Father John Roark is also celebrating 50 years of priesthood. Father Roark retired in 2001, after having served as pastor at St. Ann’s in Syracuse since 1995. Father Roark’s home parish is St. Mary’s in Binghamton. He graduated from St. Paul’s High School in Binghamton in 1948. Father Roark continued studying at St. Michael’s College of the University of Toronto from 1948-1950. He received a bachelor’s degree in 1952 and a master’s of Divinity degree in 1975 from St. Bernard’s Seminary in Rochester. Father Roark also earned a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Counseling from Syracuse University in 1977. In 1983, Father Roark participated in a sabbatical update program at North American College in Rome, Italy. In 1994, he attended the Vatican II Institute for Clergy Formation at St. Patrick’s Seminary in California. Father Roark was ordained on Feb. 2, 1956 at the Cathedral.
Father Roark served as parochial vicar at Our Lady of Sorrows in Vestal, Our Lady of Solace in Syracuse and St. John the Baptist in Syracuse until 1971. He then served as pastor at St. Patrick’s in Jordan and St. Margaret’s in Mattydale. He served as Episcopal Vicar for suburban parishes of Onondaga County from 1977-1978. From 1979-1983, Father Roark served as Episcopal Vicar for the Western Region of the Syracuse Diocese. He then served as pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary in Liverpool and St. Ann’s in Syracuse. In 2001, Father Roark was named Pastor Emeritus at St. Ann’s, and continues in that position today.
Father Roark’s special assignments are extensive. He served on the diocesan ecumenical, liturgical and building commissions and served as defender of the bond and judge at the diocesan marriage tribunal. Father Roark also served as chairman for the Priest’s Personnel Committee. He served on the board of directors of Lourdes Camp and St. Mary’s/St. Agnes Cemetery. Father Roark was a member of the Diocesan Cabinet and “ex-officio” member and “de facto” executive secretary of the Diocesan Pastoral Council. Father Roark served as chairman of the Diocesan Centennial Committee.
Father Roark was the founding member of the Northside Churches Community Concerns Council and also served on the committee that worked with Catholic Charities to establish the Salina Civic Center. He was the founding member of the Jordan-Elbridge Area Church Board and chairman of the Town of Elbridge Narcotics Guidance Council. Father Roark served the United Way of Central New York as a member of the admissions committee, as a corporate member and served on Panel IV of the planning-allocations department. Additionally, he served on the Le Moyne College Board of Trustees and as chaplain of the Liverpool Fire Department. Father Roark currently serves on the Retirement Trust Board of the Sisters of St. Francis.
On May 21, a special Mass and reception in honor of Father Roark’s 50th year of priesthood will be held at St. Ann’s Church in Syracuse.
Reflecting on his last 50 years as a priest, Father Roark said, “I consider myself blessed by God to be called to the priesthood. I’ve enjoyed my pastoral ministry tremendously.”