2010 Year in Review

By Claudia Mathis
Staff writer


  1. Sister Jean Therese Owens, CSJ, died Jan. 10 at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham, N.Y.
  2. On Jan. 12, a magnitude seven earthquake devastated Haiti.
  3. The annual March for Life was held Jan. 16 in downtown Syracuse.
  4. The fourth annual Catholic Schools “Light the Way” dinner honored Sue Castilla, Sister Elizabeth John Timson, OSF, Sister Alvera O’Grady, OSF, and Sister Agnes Shaw, IHM.
  5. On Jan. 6, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced steps to push for the enactment of immigration reform legislation in 2010.
  6. Jan. 22 marked the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
  7. The diocese announced that St. Daniel-St. Matthew Academy in Syracuse would close at the end of the school year.
  8. Bishop Robert Cunningham delivered the homily at the Respect Life Mass held at the Cathedral on Jan. 22.
  9. The Sisters of St. Francis began a year of celebration of 150 years of service in Syracuse with Bishop Thomas Costello presiding at a Mass at the St. Anthony’s Convent Chapel in Syracuse on Jan. 9.
  10. The Diocesan Office of Youth & Young Adult Ministry took over 100 youth and their chaperones on a three-day pilgrimage to Washington, D. C. to pray for the end of abortion.
  11. Blessed Mother Marianne Cope’s feast day was celebrated Jan. 23 at the chapel of the St. Anthony Motherhouse in Syracuse.
  12. A special Mass recognizing all religious across the diocese was held Jan. 30 at St. Cecilia’s Church in Solvay.


  1. Sister Timothy Blatler, OSF, died Feb. 1 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse.
  2. Fidelis Care presented Joe Slavik, director of Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Syracuse, with $148,000 in grant money for Catholic Charities programs.
  3. Father Kevin Hannon, pastor of St. Ann’s Parish, Manlius, died Feb. 9 at Francis House.
  4. Holy Trinity Church in Syracuse closed and merged with St. John the Baptist, celebrating its final Mass on Feb. 14.
  5. The Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion was celebrated at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse on Feb. 20 and 21.
  6. The Holy See announced on Feb. 23 that Pope Benedict XVI had appointed Rev. Terry La Valley as the 14th Bishop of the Diocese of Ogdensburg to succeed the Most Rev. Robert J. Cunningham, Bishop of Syracuse.
  7. Nearly 1,000 men attended the second annual IGNITE Catholic Men’s Conference on Feb. 27 in Syracuse’s OnCenter.
  8. Sister Maureen Francis Rowe, OSF, died Feb. 27 at St. Elizabeth Motherhouse in Allegany, N.Y.
  9. Sister William Agnes Nelson, CSJ, died Feb. 28 at St. Joseph’s Provincial House in Latham, N.Y.


  1. Bishop Robert Cunningham announced
  2. that John Barsanti, CEO of the Barsanti Group and partner of the Torridon Companies, had been named the chief operating officer of the diocese, effective March 8.
  3. Christopher Mominey, Superintendent of Catholic Schools, announced the appointment of Michael P. Powers as principal of Rome Catholic School, effective July, 1, 2010.
  4. Students from diocesan high schools and parishioners from the Syracuse Diocese traveled to Albany to participate in Public Policy Day on March 9.
  5. Almost 100 traditionalist Anglican parishes in the U.S. decided to join the Catholic Church as a group.
  6. Sister Bernarda Jaques, CSJ, died March 12 at St. Joseph’s Provincial House in Latham, N.Y.
  7. On March 19, Bishop Robert Cunningham and Joe Slavik, diocesan director of Catholic Charities, presented money donated by the people of the diocese in the amount of $617,877.31 to Catholic Relief Services to provide help for people in Haiti.
  8. Nick Kurpita, pastoral care minister at St. Augustine’s Church in Baldwinsville, was presented with the Sister Pat Geary Award on March 21.
  9. The House of Representatives passed the health care reform bill on March 21 after more than a year of partisan debate.
  10. Msgr. Casimir Krzysiak passed away on March 30 at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Utica.


  1. Sister Patricia Nicholson, CSJ, (Sister Francis Mary) died April 1 at Via Christi-St. Francis Hospital in Wichita, Kan.
  2. Bishop Cunningham announced new priest appointments. Father Clifford Auth was named pastor at St. Ann’s Church in Manlius, Father Darr Schoenhofen was named pastor of St. Mary of the Lake Church in Skaneateles and Father James Tormey was named pastor of St. Joseph Church in Lee Center.
  3. Sister Donna Driscoll, MFIC, from St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Syracuse and Sister Carla Thomas, MFIC, from St. Anthony’s Parish in Cortland, were elected to the leadership team of the Missionary Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception.
  4. The U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops welcomed the signing of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty between the U.S. and the Russian Federation.
  5. On April 19 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Bishop Robert Cunningham celebrated a Mass to mark the five-year anniversary of the election of Pope Benedict XVI.
  6. Four candidates, Suzanna Beaupre, Gloria Byrnes, James Byrnes and Rhona Prescott made their permanent commitment to the Third Order Secular Franciscans, Ss. Elizabeth-Bonaventure Fraternity on April 25 at a Mass at Assumption Church in Syracuse.
  7. St. Joseph’s School and Our Lady of Sorrows-Seton Campus merged to form Seton Catholic at All Saints.
  8. The new English translation of the Roman Missal was presented to Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican on April 28.


  1. Pope Benedict XVI, at his weekly general audience on May 5, called for complete nuclear disarmament.
  2. Father Thomas McGrath was appointed chaplain/administrator of Stella Maris Retreat & Renewal Center in Skaneateles.
  3. On May 14, Bishop Cunningham celebrated a Mass that marked the fifth anniversary of the beatification of Bl. Mother Marianne Cope.
  4. Bishop Robert Cunningham announced two priest appointments: Father Edward Zandy was appointed pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in Johnson City and St. Vincent de Paul Church in Vestal and Father Charles Vavonese was appointed part-time Director of Disability Ministries, Coordinator of Public Policy and part-time parochial vicar at St. Daniel Church in Syracuse.
  5. Tom Cuskey, Bill Ferguson, Bill Fitzpatrick, Richard Galloway, Tom Kane, Michael Letizia, Donald Mula and John Pedrotti were ordained permanent deacons for the Diocese of Syracuse on May 15.
  6. Catholic Charities honored Betsy Hartnett, Father Fred Mannara and Fred Tesori at the 25th annual House of Providence Dinner on May 19.
  7. Sister Mary Jane Wilcox, DC, former principal of Cathedral School in Syracuse, died May 21 in Albany.
  8. Bishop Cunningham celebrated a Mass marking the first year of his installation as bishop of the Syracuse Diocese on May 26 in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
  9. Sheila and Doug Ambrose and their three children were named Family of the Year by the Family Nurturing Center of Central New York in Utica. They are parishioners at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Utica.


  1. Christopher Ballard was ordained a priest of the Syracuse Diocese on June 5 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
  2. Participants at the Catholic Bishop’s Regional Consultation on Migration in Washington June 2-4 issued a joint statement calling for protection, hospitality, service and justice to immigrants throughout the hemisphere.
  3. The Secular Franciscan Order in Utica celebrated its 150th anniversary on June 6.
  4. A funeral Mass for Father John “Jay” Booth was held June 12 at St. Patrick’s Church in Binghamton.
  5. Two former Syracuse Diocese parishioners, Father Qui Vo and Father Charles Gallagher, SJ, were ordained priests on June 12 in Albany and Boston, respectively.
  6. St. John the Evangelist in Syracuse celebrated its final Mass on June 27.
  7. Bishop Robert Cunningham announced new priest assignments. Father Timothy Elmer was appointed Chancellor of the Syracuse Diocese, Father John Putano was appointed pastor of St. Patrick and St. Thomas Aquinas Churches in Binghamton, Father Michael Galuppi was assigned as administrator of Our Lady of Good Counsel in Endicott, Father Paul Carey was named pastor of St. Bernard Church in Waterville and Father Mark Gantley was named administrator of St. John the Evangelist Church in Bainbridge and St. Agnes Mission in Afton. In addition, Father Edmund Castronovo was assigned pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Verona, Father Douglas Cunningham was named administrator of the Catholic Community of St. Stephen and St. Patrick in Whitney Point, Father William Jones was assigned as the new parochial vicar at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse and will assist with chaplaincy at Crouse Hospital, Father John Kurgan was assigned as administrator at Our Lady of Sorrows in Vestal, Father James O’Brien became Vicar for the Western Region of the diocese, Father Thomas Servatius was assigned administrator of St. Augustine’s Church in Baldwinsville and Father Robert Stephenson was appointed parochial vicar of the Church of the Nativity in LaFayette.


  1. Frank Woolever, Syracuse peace activist and former priest, died on July 5.
  2. Father Edward Hayes died on July 17 and a funeral Mass was held for him on July 22 at St. Patrick’s-St. Anthony’s in Chadwicks.
  3. Sister Mary Ann Hayes, CSJ, died July 19 at St. Joseph’s Provincial House in Latham, N.Y.
  4. Father Richard Stuczko died July 19 at his retirement home in Florida.
  5. St. Louis Church in Oswego, which had closed in 2000, collapsed on July 25.


  1. Cheryl Wint was received into the novitiate with the Sisters of St. Francis during evening prayer on Aug. 6 at St. Anthony Convent Chapel in Syracuse.
  2. On Aug. 7, Sister Anne Marie Saphara, OSF, professed temporary vows, Sister Kimberly Clouse, OSF, renewed her temporary vows and Sister Jean Donovan, OSF, transferred her perpetual profession of vows during a Mass celebrated at St. Anthony Convent Chapel in Syracuse.
  3. Sister Louise Bauer, CSJ (Sister Mary Donald), died Aug. 9 at St. Joseph’s Provincial House in Latham, N.Y.
  4. Frances “Kate” Anderson passed away at Francis House in Syracuse on Aug. 18 after working with numerous bishops for 46 years in the Chancery of the Syracuse Diocese.
  5. Sister Joan (Sister Amanda) Schermerhorn, CSJ, died Aug. 21 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Troy, N.Y.
  6. Seminarian Rene Fahey was formally admitted as a candidate for ordination during the Rite of Candidacy at St. Joseph’s Church in Camillus on Aug. 22.
  7. Bishop Robert Cunningham celebrated Mass at Unity Kitchen in Syracuse Aug. 22, marking Unity Kitchen Community of the Catholic Worker’s 40th anniversary.
  8. Sister Mary Englebert Lucha, CSJ, died Aug. 23 at St. Joseph’s Provincial House in Latham, N.Y.
  9. Father Amedeo Guida accepted the keys to his new parish, St. Cecilia’s of Solvay, signifying the beginning of his pastorship.
  10. Father Angelo Libera died on Aug. 25 and his funeral Mass was celebrated on Aug. 30 at St. Cecilia’s Church in Solvay.


  1. Sister Katie Eiffe, CSJ, diocesan director of the Office of Faith Formation, announced that she would leave her position to join her community in Latham, N.Y. as assistant coordinator of the Sisters’ hospitality and retreat center at the Provincial House.
  2. Catholic school administrators, faculty and staff gathered on Sept. 7 for the Mass of the Holy Spirit at Holy Cross Church in DeWitt to mark the beginning of the new school year.
  3. On Sept. 12, the annual Disabilities Awareness Mass was held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse.
  4. Father Depaul A. Genska, OFM, died on Sept. 13 at Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J.
  5. On Sept. 19, St. Patrick’s Church in Syracuse celebrated its 140th anniversary with a special Mass and a dinner at the Empire Room at the New York State Fairgrounds.
  6. The 16th annual Journey of Faith Conference was held Sept. 26 at the OnCenter in Syracuse.
  7. On Sept. 26, Bishop Robert Cunningham celebrated a Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse, marking the 100th anniversary of its official consecration as a cathedral.
  8. Catholic Charities honored six individuals as well as a local parish at the 38th annual Brady Awards Reception on Sept. 30 at the Empire Room at the New York State Fairgrounds.


  1. Sister Mary Luddy, CSJ, (Sister Marie Ailbe) died Oct. 6 at St. Joseph’s Provincial House in Latham, N.Y.
  2. Deacon Gerald Pittman, after serving many years at St. Ann’s in Manlius, died Oct. 8.
  3. The first annual Syracuse Catholic Women’s Conference was held at the OnCenter on Oct. 16.
  4. On Oct. 19, Bishop Robert Cunningham celebrated a funeral Mass for Father Joseph Kane at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse.
  5. Bishop Robert Cunningham appointed Sister Grace Anne Dillenschneider, OSF, as the Vicar for Religious for the Diocese of Syracuse.
  6. St. Stephen the King Church in Oswego commemorated its 100th anniversary with a Vigil Mass on Oct. 24.


  1. Bishop Robert Cunningham appointed Catherine Cornue as diocesan director of Faith Formation for the Diocese of Syracuse.
  2. Pope Benedict XVI’s new book, Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times, was released Nov. 23 at the Vatican.
  3. Opus Prize winner Sister Beatrice Chipeta shared her experiences of ministering to AIDS orphans in Malawi at Church of the Holy Family in Endwell.
  4. The Syracuse Diocese introduced Together in Faith for the Future, an increased offering program, to pastors from across the diocese.
  5. Sister Adelina St. Hilaire, CSJ, died Nov. 27 at St. Joseph’s Provincial House in Latham, N.Y.
  6. Father Donald Bauer passed away on Nov. 28 at St. Joseph’s Nursing Home in Utica.


  1. Sister Ann Joseph Brosnan, CSJ, died on Dec. 2 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Troy, N.Y.
  2. Sister Chrysostom Cerino, CSJ, passed away on Dec. 6 at St. Joseph’s Provincial House in Latham, N.Y.
  3. The Daughters of Charity announced that their four provinces of Emmitsburg, Md., Albany, N.Y., St. Louis, Mo. and Evansville, Ind. had united to form the Province of St. Louise.
  4. Representatives of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Association of Evangelicals called for the ratification of the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

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