Co-workers in ministry

Two priests ordained for the Diocese of Syracuse

By connie cissell / sun editor

The two men ordained for the Diocese of Syracuse June 2 are ready to live their vocation. In fact, they’ve been ready for a very long time.

When Father Gregory Kreinheder was a preschooler, he practiced the words he will now use to celebrate Mass. Father Michael Galuppi convinced his parents to put up a shrine in the backyard before his age reached double digits. Both men are fulfilling a life’s dream to serve the church and the people of the diocese.

“I really look forward to becoming part of a parish family and helping that family grow closer to God through all the twists and turns of life, just as I expect that whatever community I am sent to, they will help expand my faith and teach me something about God,” Father Galuppi said.

Father Kreinheder said he has wanted to be a priest for as long as he can remember. There were times, especially during high school, when he pushed aside the thought to make room for more ordinary pursuits, like dating and hanging out with friends. “I tried to ignore it, but it just didn’t work,” Father Kreinheder said. “I really feel God has been so good, the least I can do is serve His people. I can’t wait to see the adventure. Everywhere I’ve worked, the people have been so good.”

According to Father Kreinheder’s loved ones, adventure has always been a part of his constitution.

“He got in at least as much trouble, if not more, than the other kids,” his mother Kathy Kreinheder explained. “He’s very fun-loving. There were lots of pranks like putting the cat in his bottom dresser drawer because he didn’t want it to leave his room.”

The Kreinheders have been parishioners of Immaculate Conception Church in Fulton since before Father Kreinheder was born 26 years ago. The parish has a tradition of promoting vocations. Father William Brown was pastor when Father Kreinheder was growing up and he often took the time to talk to the boys of the parish about the possibility of entering the priesthood.

“He [Father Brown] did things the way you were supposed to,” Father Kreinheder’s father, Gary, said. “There was structure and I think that attracts people. He [Father Brown] was always there for the boys.”

Growing up in Fulton, Father Kreinheder played in the woods and was always up for trying new things. He loved camping, roller blading and water skiing, according to good friend Buster Pruett.

“Am I surprised that he’s going to be a priest? Not really. It wasn’t out of the question. He was always pretty devoted to church,” Pruett said. Having been friends since they were grade school age, Pruett said that Father Kreinheder was always the “go to guy” in their group of friends. “Everyone loved him. He didn’t hold grudges and he always had the right advice while we were going through everything. He would help people out of a jam,” Pruett said.

Father Galuppi’s best friend, Andrew Corbin, said something similar about his friendship. “I feel secure around him [Father Galuppi]. I can talk to him about anything. He’s a great listener and you know you can count on him,” Corbin said.

The adventurer in Father Kreinheder took the backseat to the devoted young man as he took part in his ordination on Saturday. As he walked into the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception as a transitional deacon, his face appeared full of wonder and seriousness. After the ordination, however, he was all smiles.

As Father Kreinheder explained before his ordination, the fantasy from when he was a little boy and pretending to be a priest was all over and he was ready to celebrate Mass and serve the people.

In contrast, Father Galuppi’s face as he entered the Cathedral was lit up as if he was experiencing his first Christmas. The joy of the day was reflected in his huge grin which was still present long after the ceremony was over.

Father Galuppi grew up in Syracuse attending St. Vincent de Paul Church with his parents, Kenneth and the late Lucille, and his brother Donald. Vesting chaplains from the parish, Father Alfred Nortz and Father Wilbur Votraw, were on the altar to put on Father Galuppi’s stole and chasuble. After ordination, Father Galuppi’s father waited outdoors until the end of a long line of people were blessed by the new priest before he received his own blessing from his son. The proud father bowed his head as he received his blessing.

Father Galuppi’s godmother and aunt, Marilyn Ryan, said she had a feeling he would become a priest from the time he was a little boy. “He’s a wonderful speaker,” Ryan said. “He really captures your attention. The Lord gave him this wonderful gift to share.”

At the beginning of  the ordination Mass, Bishop Moynihan thanked the families of both priests. “Thank you for sharing your sons and brothers with us so that the people of God might be served,” the bishop said.

The packed Cathedral burst into applause as the two candidates were presented by Father Neal Quartier, rector of the Cathedral and director of seminarian formation. After their promise of obedience, the two candidates prostrated themselves while the rest of the people knelt invoking the prayers and help of the Communion of Saints through the Litany of the Saints. Over 75 priests then came forward to lay their hands on the heads of the candidates, a gesture carried down from the Apostles. After the new priests received their vestments, (Father Kreinheder was vested by Father Stephen Wirkes, pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Fulton, and Father Albert Hauser, Father Kreinheder’s spiritual director from his Wadhams Hall Seminary days) Bishop Moynihan anointed their hands with sacred chrism. Their parents presented the gifts and the clergy extended the kiss of peace to the newly ordained priests, welcoming them as co-workers in ministry.

Bishop Moynihan’s homily defined a priest as was written by Pope John Paul II on the occasion of his 50th anniversary of ordination — “It means above all to be a steward of the mystery of God.”

Father Galuppi will extend his stewardship to the people of St. Joseph’s Church in Camillus and Father Kreinheder will begin his service to God’s people at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Utica.

[SUN staff writer Claudia Mathis contributed
research for this article.]

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