Year in review


•  A 12-month celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s appearance at Lourdes, which began Dec. 7, continued through 2008 at the famous pilgrimage destination.
•  After their appointments in December new diocesan administrators Nuala Collins, coordinator of the Diocesan Office of Victim Assistance, and Jackie Schiano, administrator of the Diocesan Safe Environment Program, began to assume their respective roles in earnest.
•  On Jan. 3, a funeral liturgy was held for Sister Joan Blanch, CSJ, who died Dec. 29 at St. Joseph’s Provincial House in Latham. A Syracuse native, Sister Joan graduated from St. John the Evangelist High School. She served in schools throughout the Syracuse and Albany Diocese and also  as a religious educator and parish minister in Norwich, Clinton, Utica, New Hartford and Dearborn, Mich.
•  Sister Mary Louis, SSCM, died Jan. 7 at Maria Hall, Danville, Pa. Sister Mary Louis was born in Binghamton where she attended Ss. Cyril and Methodius School and St. Patrick Academy. Late in her vocation she served at Holy Trinity Parish in Binghamton.
•  Sister Yvonne St. Hilaire, CSJ, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 9, at St. Joseph Provincial House in Latham. Sister Yvonne taught French and English in schools throughout the Syracuse and Albany Dioceses and also served at St. Mary’s Home, Binghamton.
•  Jan. 19, pro-life activists from the Syracuse Diocese joined thousands in Washington, D.C., to protest abortion.
•  On Jan. 26, St. Joseph/St. Patrick Church in Utica celebrated its centennial.
•  The occupation of long–closed St. Mary’s Mission in Jamesville finally ended on Jan. 30. The parish had been closed July 1 and merged with Holy Cross Church in DeWitt.


•  Sister Marie Rooney, IHM, died Feb. 28 at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, Pa. She taught at St. Patrick Elementary in Oneida from 1939 to 1941.
•  On Feb. 5, the Vatican published a document detailing Pope Benedict XVI’s reformulation of the Good Friday prayer for the Jews. The new language for the Tridentine Rite eliminated references to “blindness” but retained its call for conversion.
•  A total of 89 catechumens and 199 candidates celebrated the Rite of Election and the Call to Continuing Conversion at parishes throughout the Syracuse Diocese Feb. 9 through Feb. 10.
•  On Feb. 27, suspended Syracuse Diocesan priest Father John Broderick was arrested in Massena and charged with four counts of sexual abuse in Montgomery County.


•  Sister Catherine Marie Giglio, CSJ, died March 3 at St. John the Evangelist Convent, New Hartford. Born in Utica, she attended St. Francis de Sales High School. She taught for nearly 50 years at schools throughout the Syracuse and Albany Dioceses. At the time of her death, Sister Catherine Marie was on the staff of Our Lady of Lourdes School in Utica.
•  Between 130 and 140 representatives joined nearly 1000 fellow Catholics at the New York State Catholic Conference’s annual Public Policy Forum in Albany on March 11.
•  Also on March 11, a special Mass of dedication for a statue of St. Ignatius of Loyola was held at the Panasci Chapel on the Le Moyne College campus.
•  Sister Dolores Stack, CSJ, died March 12 at Francis House in Syracuse.  A native of Syracuse, Sister Dolores served in Endicott and Oswego. She would later minister at St. Lucy’s Parish in Syracuse and then Loretto Geriatric Center.


•  Le Moyne College introduced its first lay president, Fred Pestello, at an April 1 press conference in the Jesuit institution’s Panasci Chapel.
•  Also on April 1, Sen. John DeFrancisco announced that a portion of Route 174 would be named in honor of the late Father Joseph Champlin.
•  Sister Dorothy Anne Flood, CSJ,w died April 2 at St. Peter’s Hospital, Albany. Sister Dorothy was born in Syracuse and she graduated from St. Vincent de Paul High School. She taught music in schools throughout the Syracuse and Albany Dioceses.
•  Sister Anne Pickard, IHM, died April 6 at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, Pa. Sister Anne served as a director of religious education at St. John the Evangelist in Binghamton and Our Lady of Sorrows in Vestal.
•  Sister M. Pancratia Zoller, OSF, died April 4 at Jolenta Convent in Syracuse. She was 104 years old. Sister Pancratia ministered to her sisters in New Jersey, Syracuse and Oswego.


•  Sister Mary Eugene Monaldo, DC, died May 5 at Villa St. Michael in Emmitsburg, Pa. She taught at St. James School in Johnson City from 1952 to 1960 and at Seton Catholic High School in Endicott from 1963 to 1969.
•  On May 17, Bishop Thomas Costello ordained Deacons Tim Downes, Mike Guadaitis, David Kirsch, Anthony Paparella, Steve Blabac, Tim McNerney, Garrett Kearney and Robert Talomie.
•  Catholic Charities of Onondaga County held a special event honoring its employees May 21. Among those honored was Brian Walton, who was presented with the President’s Medallion for his 37 years of service to the agency.
•  On May 25, Father Bernard Walsh died at his residence in Binghamton. Father Walsh served Blessed Sacrament Church in Johnson City, Our Lady of Lourdes, Utica; St. Leo’s, Tully; St. Joseph’s, LaFayette; St. Paul’s, Endwell; St. Ann’s, Manlius; St. Patrick’s, Forestport; and Corpus Christi, Nedrow. In 1994, he retired to his home parish of St. John the Evangelist in Binghamton, where he continued to serve until the time of his passing.
•  Father Francis J. Matthews, OFM, died suddenly at age 48 on May 29 in Liverpool. A professed Franciscan Friar for 25 years and a priest for 17, Father Matthews was a native of Syracuse who returned to his hometown in 2006 to provide legal council to the diocese and to assist at its parishes.
•  Bishop Grimes Junior/Senior High School held a celebration to open its new gymnasium May 29. Former Principal Msgr. George Sheehan blessed the new facility.
•  Sister Harriet Hamilton, OSF, announced her retirement as the principal of St. Mary’s School in Cortland.


•  Father Christopher Celentano was ordained a priest of the Syracuse Diocese on June 7 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Syracuse. Bishop James Moynihan was still recovering from complications sustained during knee surgery so Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Costello celebrated the rite.
•  At a June 25 press conference, Rome Catholic School announced the largest donation in the institution’s history, $250,000. Then Principal Chris Mominey said that the donation would be committed to an endowment and the interest would be used to address the school’s various needs. At the same press conference, Moniney announced that ANDRO Computational Solutions had presented Rome Catholic with a $20,000 donation to support its cyber security program.
•  Father Joseph Champlin died Jan. 17 after a long battle with Waldenstrom’s Disease, a rare form of bone cancer. A national figure, Father Champlin served the Syracuse Diocese for 50 years.
A native of Cleveland, Father Champlin served at Holy Family Church in Fulton and St. Joseph’s Church in Camillus before his appointment as rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Syracuse in 1995. The popular priest retired in 2005 and was assigned to Our Lady of Good Counsel in Warners.
In addition to his pastorate, Father Champlin served as Associate Director of the Liturgy Secretariat for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops from 1968 to 1971. He also wrote over 50 books, with more than 20 million in circulation at the time of his death.
Father Champlin also founded and directed the Guardian Angel Society, which helped finance scholarships for students who attended Cathedral School and wished to continue with their Catholic education at either Christian Brothers Academy, Bishop Ludden or Bishop Grimes.
•  From April 15 to April 20, Pope Benedict XVI visited the U.S. for the first time in his pontificate. The pope first visited Washington, D.C. Syracuse Diocese seminarian Christopher Seibt, who placed second in an essay contest for his piece entitled “Let the Children Come to me,” was allowed to participate in an evening prayer service attended by the pope and was also formally introduced to the head of the Catholic Church. In addition, several educators from the diocesan school district had an opportunity to listen to the pope discuss Catholic education at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.
More Catholics from the Syracuse Diocese had an opportunity to witness Pope Benedict XVI’s visit when he arrived in New York City. Several clerics from the diocese participated in the pope’s Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, while many young people attended his Youth Rally in Yonkers. Several more members of the diocese attended the pope’s Mass at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.


•  Edward Cardinal Egan, Archbishop of New York, defined marriage as a permanent, exclusive relationship of a man and a woman who seek fulfillment in acts of love, and especially in that act of love which in the ordinary course of events leads to the procreation of offspring.
•  Syracuse Diocese Bishop James Moynihan announced three new pastoral appointments, effective Aug. 20. Father Andrew Baranski was appointed pastor of St. Joseph and St. Stephen Church in Oswego, Father Charles Opondo-Owora was appointed pastor of St. Joseph Church in Endicott and Father Lucian Urbaniak was appointed administrator of Transfiguration Church in Rome.
•  The Diocese of Syracuse appointed Patricia McMahon as the new director of human resources. Previously, McMahon served as the director of Cathedral Emergency Services and ran her own human resource consulting business.
•  Syracuse Diocese Bishop James Moynihan announced two new parochial vicar appointments. Father James Tormey was appointed parochial vicar of St. John the Baptist Church in Rome and Father Mariusz Wirkowski was appointed parochial vicar of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse.
•  Sister Margaret Mary Grewen, CSJ, died July 1 at St. Joseph’s Provincial House in Latham. She taught French in various schools in both the Syracuse and Albany Dioceses. In additon, she served as parish minister in Syracuse, Utica and Amsterdam.
•  Parishioners throughout the Syracuse Diocese visited grottos to honor Our Lady of Lourdes during the 150th anniversary of the apparitions.
•  On a July 12-21 trip to Sydney, Australia, Pope Benedict XVI spoke to Australians and young people from around the world attending World Youth Day about God’s plan for all creation. The pope also celebrated a private Mass with Australian clergy sex abuse victims.
•   The Diocese of Syracuse announced the appointments of four new Catholic school principals. Susanne M. Donze was named principal of St. Margaret School in Mattydale, Melanie Carroll was named principal of Most Holy Rosary School in Syracuse, Susan McInvale was named principal at St. Mary School in Cortland and Bertye Martino was named principal of St. Mary School in Clinton.
•  Deacon Peter F. Benz passed away July 10 at Loretto in Syracuse.  After serving as a missionary in Africa for three years, he was ordained a permanent deacon in 1978.
•  Amaus Health Services, a free clinic which provides interim primary care to those who have no access to fee-for-service and insurance-based health care, celebrated its first anniversary July 8.
•   Le Moyne College welcomed its new president, Fred Pestello, at a special Mass on July 1.
•   July 4, Lomez Lomong, a parishioner at St. Leo’s Church in Tully, qualified to compete in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing after finishing third at a competition in Eugene, Ore.
•   Brother Marcellus de Paul, OSF (Bill Spurrier), died July 17. He served the homeless men at Unity Acres, a Catholic Worker residence in Orwell, from 1979  until the time of his death.
•   At a July 11-13 conference on faith, politics and the quest for the common good, 800 Catholics from around the nation ratified a platform based on Catholic social teachings. The “Platform for the Common Good” emphasized love of neighbor and caring for others and was aimed at capturing the attention of both political parties during the election season.
•  The Vatican gave its approval to a new English-language translation of the main constant parts of the Mass. The approved text involves translation of the penitential rite, gloria, creed, Eucharistic prayers, Eucharistic acclamations, Our Father and other prayers and responses used daily.


•  Annunciation Church in Clark Mills, St. Stephen Church in Oswego, St. Margaret Church in Homer and St. Ambrose Church in Endicott all celebrated their centennial anniversaries.
•  Sister Marie Marce Valentine, CSJ, died Aug. 1 at St. Joseph’s Provincial House in Latham. Sister Marie taught music in schools in the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses for 54 years and also served as a cook and staff member of St. Joseph’s Monastery in Peterborough, N.H.
•  Father Herman Siebert, OFM Conv., died Aug. 2. Father Siebert was ordained in 1945 and then served as a missionary in Brazil and as pastor at several parishes in Ontario, Canada.
•  A docmentary, entitled Watch With Me was shown Aug. 12 at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in Utica. The presentation featured the Perpetual Adoration Chapel located at the rear of St. Joseph-St. Patrick’s Rectory in Utica and how it is attracting worshipers from 30 parishes in the Syracuse Diocese. The chapel is staffed 24 hours a day by volunteers who take turns praying before the exposed Blessed Sacrament.
•  Immaculate Conception School in Fayetteville piloted new Fiddlehead computer software.
•  Ten recently-graduated college students were commissioned as FrancisCorps volunteers Aug. 24 at the Franciscan Church of the Assumption in Syracuse.   
•  Sister Yvonne LaRoque, PVMI, died Aug. 19 at Marycrest Convent in Monroe, N.Y. Sister Yvonne served at St. John the Baptist in Rome and also assisted in the care of infirm sisters at the convent.
•  By the end of August, 11 diocesan schools had adopted the SchoolReach phone system, a program that facilitates communication between administrators and students’ families.
•  Aug. 16, five Jesuit novices from the common novitiate of the Maryland, New England and New York Provinces professed their perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience at a Vow Mass held at Holy Cross Church in DeWitt. The novices included Eric M. Studt, SJ; Matthew J. Prochilo, SJ; Brett B. Mc Laughlin, SJ; Luis C. Infante, SJ, and Rodolfo Casals, SJ. 
•  The chairman of the U.S. bishop’s pro-life and doctrine committees criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Aug. 24 statement on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that church leaders for centuries had not been able to agree on when life begins.


•  Le Moyne College initiated new pastoral ministry program in partnership with the Syracuse Diocese. The program offers three categories of study for potential lay ministers: pastoral associate, parish business administrator and catechetical leader.
•  The Diocesan Religious Education Office sponsored the 14th annual Journey of Faith Conference in Syracuse on Sept. 27. The theme of the conference was “The Word of God in the Life of the Church” and featured keynote speaker, accomplished musician and songwriter Dan Schutte.
•  The Diocese of Syracuse announced it would close and merge additional parishes due to a declining number of clergy and declining church attendance.
•  The beginning of the 2008-09 school year was marked with a special Mass on Sept. 2 at Holy Cross Church in DeWitt.
•  The annual Mass for Persons with Disabilities was held Sept. 7 at St. Joseph the Worker Church in Liverpool.
•  The Spiritual Renewal Center in Syracuse celebrated its 30th anniversary Sept. 21.
•  Sister Rose Marie Chamberland, CSJ, died Sept. 15 at St. Joseph’s Provincial House in Latham. For over 50 years, Sister Rose taught in elementary schools in the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses.
•  Father Vincent J. Kilpatrick passed away Sept. 17 at Van Duyn Home & Hospital in Syracuse. After serving at a number of parishes in the Syracuse Diocese, Father Kilpatrick retired from Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Warners in 1997. He was ordained in 1950.
•  More than 10,000 Catholics attended St. Anthony of Padua’s in Utica annual Italian festival honoring Ss. Cosmas and Damian Sept. 24 through 30.   
•  Sept. 19, Christian Brothers Academy announced the receipt of a $1 million pledge from an anonymous donor to support the school’s endowment fund.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
•  Sister Rose Finnerty, CSJ, (Sister John Patrick), died Sept. 22 in Oneonta. Sister Rose taught in elementary schools in the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses.
•  Deacon Charles O’Connor died Sept. 27 at his home in Camillus. Deacon O’Connor served at St. Ann’s Church in Syracuse as well as his community.
•  Sister M. Karen Burns, OSF, died Sept. 26 at St. Elizabeth Motherhouse in Allegany. Sister Karen retired from active ministry in St. Petersburgh, Fla. in 2007 and joined the community at St. Elizabeth Motherhouse in Allegany in 2008. 


•  Oct. 1, Catholic Charities honored five individuals as well as a local parish at the 36th annual Brady Awards Reception at the Empire Room at the New York State Fairgrounds. Holy Family Parish in Syracuse was honored, as well as Msgr. Neal Quartier, Dr. Lynn-Beth Satterly, Dr. Cynthia Morrow, Mary O’Neil and Kirby Dar Dar.
•  FrancisCorps celebrated its 10th anniversary on Oct. 4 at the Franciscan Church of the Assumption in Syracuse with a special Mass.
•  The Brady Center’s Awards ceremony was held Oct. 12. The event began with a Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse and was followed by a breakfast at the Oncenter in Syracuse. The honorees included several priests that worked alongside Msgr. Charles Brady, including Bishop Thomas Costello, Msgr. Charles Davern, Father Edward Hayes, Msgr. Charles Fahey and Msgr. John McGraw. Father Joseph  Champlin’s Guardian Angel Society was also honored.
•  Dr. Paul King, assistant superintendent for schools in the Southern Region of the Syracuse Diocese, announced his retirement, citing personal reasons. King successfully served the Southern Tier Catholic School system for seven years.
•  The Guardian Angel Society celebrated its Ninth Annual Update and Lecture Luncheon on Oct. 29 at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel. The event featured legendary Syracuse University and Detroit Pistons basketball player David Bing.
•  St. Paul’s Parish in Whitesboro celebrated its 125th anniversary on Oct. 26 with a celebratory liturgy. Following Mass, parishioners and former pastors joined Father Abraham Esper for dinner at Hart’s Hill Inn in Whitesboro.
•  Father Francis Joseph Case, 67, died Oct. 8. At the time of his passing, Father Case was administrator of St. Theresa of the Infant Jesus Church in New Berlin. He was ordained in 1966. 
•  In an Oct. 21 statement, the chairmen of two committees of the the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said that Catholics are required to oppose abortion on demand and to provide help to mothers facing challenging pregnancies.
•  The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Syracuse held a three-day Triduum to honor St. Jude Thaddeus Oct. 27 through 29.
•  Hundreds of people participated in the diocese’s annual pro-life march Mass and procession along State Street in Syracuse headed toward Planned Parenthood on East Genesee Street on Oct. 29.
•  Sister Marion Adele Mitchell, PVMI, passed away on Oct. 28 at Manhattan Convent. Sister Marion served at St. John the Baptist Parish in Rome.
•  Sister Veronica Marie Lonergan, OSF, died Oct. 30 at St. Elizabeth Motherhouse in Allegany. Sister Veronica taught at Blessed Sacrament School in Utica.


•  Nov. 3, Church of All Saints in Syracuse (a parish which was recently forged from Syracuse churches St. Therese the Little Flower of Jesus and Our Lady of Solace) hosted a special Mass which capped off a week of special events. 
•  Sister M. Teresa Clare McAuliffe, IHM, died Nov. 10 at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, Pa. Sister Teresa taught at St. John Elementary School in Binghamton.
•  Nov. 13, InterFaith Works and Women Transcending Boundaries presented a program of conversations on faith, understanding and respect throughout the Syracuse area. Participants gathered in groups of eight to 10 at individual homes. They shared an evening meal and explored their faith traditions, spirituality and shared values.
•  The Peace Action of Central New York organization held its annual Peace Award dinner on Nov. 16 at Pensabene’s Casa Grande. Jerry Berrigan was presented with the Lifetime Peace Activist Award. Dr. Stephen Blatt, Bonnie Adams and Frida Berrigan also received peace awards.
•  International Irish tenor Mark Forrest sang at an inspirational concert at Holy Family Church in Fairmount on Nov. 15.
•  On Nov. 8, Friends for Life, Inc., hosted its annual breakfast at Barbagallo’s Restaurant in East Syracuse. Guest speaker Joan Nolan, a Natural Family Planning educator discussed “Promoting a Culture of Life One couple at a Time.”
•  On Nov. 11, Dr. Bill Cross, a clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, spoke at the final presentation of Le Moyne College’s Wounds of War Lecture Series. He spoke of the needs of wounded U.S. military men and women.
•  Le Moyne College and the Syracuse International Film Festival hosted a screening of a new, critically acclaimed documentary Johnny at Folsom Prison Nov. 14 at the Palace Theater in Syracuse. Michael Streissguth, assistant professor of English at Le Moyne, wrote the documentary.
•  Le Moyne College in Syracuse honored Bishop Thomas Costello by presenting him with the Simon Le Moyne Medal of Honor on Nov. 21 during its Founders’ Day Gala. The medal recognized Bishop Costello’s dedication to counseling, education and guidance.
•  Franciscan Collaborative Ministries celebrated its 10th anniversary on Nov. 23 with a Thanksgiving Vesper Service at Franciscan Church of the Assumption in Syracuse. 
•  Msgr. Michael Minehan died Nov. 26, after a brief illness. His last parish appointmentment was as pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Cortland. Msgr. Minehan was ordained in 1980.


•  Father Richard Giblin, pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Church in Vestal, died Dec. 4, at his residence. He was ordained in 1966.
•  On Dec. 6 at the Oncenter in Syracuse, Immaculee Ilibagiza , a survivor of the 1994 Rwanda genocide, spoke about her life during the ordeal and how she learned how to forgive.
•  Mike Malara was named the new executive director of Catholic Charities of Onondaga County. He replaced Brian Walton.
•  The Syracuse Diocese announced Dec. 8 that a gift of $30 million from Robert and Catherine McDevitt of Binghamton had been bequeathed to the diocese.
•  Immaculate Conception Church in Fayetteville received the Cathedral Service Award 2008 during the Christmas Music at the Cathedral event on Dec. 14.

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