By Claudia Mathis
Father Corey Van Kuren is celebrating 25 years of priesthood since his ordination on June 7, 1985.
A native of Johnson City, Father Van Kuren’s home parish is St. James. After graduating from Binghamton Catholic Central School in 1969, he attended St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. and Maryknoll School of Theology in Maryknoll, N.Y.
Father Van Kuren’s first appointment was as associate pastor of St. Rose of Lima in North Syracuse from 1986 to 1988. He began to serve as chaplain at Binghamton General and Wilson Memorial Hospitals in 1988. From 1991 to 1992, he was the administrator at St. Paul’s in Norwich. In 1992, he served as associate pastor at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Endicott. He was named pastor of St. Rita’s in Chenango Forks in 1994 until leaving that parish to serve in the same position at St. Paul’s Church in Binghamton in 1996. In 2009, Father Van Kuren took over as chaplain at SUNY Binghamton. He continues to serve Binghamton General and Wilson Memorial Hospitals.
When asked what he has enjoyed the most about his priesthood, Father Van Kuren responded that he likes administering the sacraments — preaching and listening to confessions. “I’ve enjoyed serving in the hospitals,” he said. “I like being involved in people’s lives.”
Father Clarence Rumble is celebrating 25 years of priesthood. He was ordained on June 7, 1986. Father Rumble considers it a privilege to have served the people of three different parishes. “I’ve had many opportunities to be part of people’s lives,” he explained. “The most significant moments for me as a priest have been when I was administering to the sick and the dying.”
Father Rumble’s home parish is Our Lady of Pompei in Syracuse. After graduating from Bishop Grimes Junior/Senior High School in 1974, Father Rumble attended Onondaga Community College in Syracuse and St. John Fisher College in Rochester. He completed his seminary work at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.
Father Rumble’s first priestly assignment was as associate pastor to Sacred Heart Church in Utica. In 1991 he was transferred to St. Anthony’s in Endicott to serve as associate pastor until 1996. Afterwards, he began to serve at St. Anthony’s as pastor. He has been pastor of Church of the Holy Family since 2008.
A special Mass to celebrate his jubilee will be held June 5 at Church of the Holy Family. A reception will follow the Mass.
Father John Donovan is celebrating 25 years of priesthood since his ordination on June 7, 1986. Father Donovan serves as pastor in his hometown of Johnson City at St. James. He also serves as the diocesan tribunal adjutant judicial vicar.
After graduating from Seton Catholic Central High School in Binghamton in 1977, Father Donovan continued his studies at Broome Community College in Binghamton and at Le Moyne College in Syracuse. He completed his seminary work at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, Md.
After his ordination, Father Donovan was assigned to St. Francis de Sales in Utica as parochial vicar. From 1987 to 1991, he served in the same position at St. Anthony of Padua in Endicott. From 1991 to 1992, he was pastor at St. Therese in Munnsville and St. Joan of Arc in Morrisville. He served as chaplain to SUNY Morrisville from 1991 to 2003, and beginning in 1992, served as chaplain to Colgate University.
Prior to his assignment as judge for the diocesan marriage tribunal in 1998, he studied canon law at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. from 1994 to 1998.
Father Donovan worked in the diocesan Vocation Promotion Office from 2003 to 2005 before assuming his current position as pastor at St. James in 2005.
Father Paul Carey, pastor of St. Bernard’s in Waterville and chaplain at Colgate University, was ordained 40 years ago on May 29, 1971. As he looked back over the years, Father Carey remarked that he had enjoyed all of his assignments.
Father Carey’s home parish is St. John’s in Utica. He attended Utica Catholic Academy and Notre Dame High School, graduating in 1961. He attended Resurrection College in Kitchener, Ontario in addition to St. Andrew’s and St. Bernard’s Seminaries in Rochester, N.Y.
Father Carey’s first assignment was as associate pastor at St. Charles Borromeo in Syracuse. Then, from 1973 to 1988, he taught religion and history and served as a guidance counselor at Utica Catholic Academy. From 1988 to 1989, he served as administrator at St. Therese in Munnsville. From 1988 to 1989, he was the chaplain at Cazenovia College.
In 1989, Father Carey was assigned as pastor at Immaculate Conception in Pompey and St. Paul Mission in Fabius. From 1998 to 2010, he served as pastor to St. Joseph’s in Lee Center. In 2010, he began to serve as pastor of St. Bernard’s in Waterville and chaplain at Colgate University’s Newman Community. “I’ve very much enjoyed the students at Colgate,” he said.
Father Jerome Katz is celebrating his 40th year in the priesthood. His home parish is Our Lady of Lourdes in Syracuse. After graduating from Onondaga Valley Academy in 1962, Father Katz attended Resurrection College in Kitchener, Ontario and completed his seminary work at Christ the King Seminary in Olean, N.Y.
After his ordination on May 29, 1971, Father Katz was assigned to St. Peter’s in Rome as parochial vicar. From 1973 to 1976, he worked as a faculty member of Seton Catholic Central School in Endicott. In 1976, he served as parochial vicar to Our Lady of Lourdes in Utica for one year. He then served on the faculty of Seton Catholic Central School in Endicott from 1977 to 1978.
From 1979 to 1983, Father Katz served as the director of the Union/Endicott Faith Center in Endicott, a position that Father Katz said he enjoyed immensely. Beginning in 1983, he served as administrator at St. Joan of Arc in Morrisville and as chaplain at the Newman Center of SUNY Morrisville. In 1987, he served as temporary associate pastor for seven months at St. Daniel in Syracuse. From 1987 to 1988, Father Katz was on the teaching faculty of Rome Catholic High School and from 1988 to 1989, he worked as chaplain to St. Mary College in South Bend, Ind. He then served for one year at St. Francis in Marcellus as a temporary administrator. From 1990 to 1992, he served on the faculty of Bishop Grimes Junior/Senior High School.
From 1992 to 1995, Father Katz was parochial vicar at St. John’s in Liverpool. In 1995 he took over as pastor at St. Anthony’s in Cortland until 2003, when he became pastor at St. Joseph’s in Camillus. Then, in 2004, he was assigned to St. Patrick’s in Whitney Point and St. Stephen’s in Marathon as an administrator. He retired in 2010.
Father Katz said that celebrating the special sacraments such as baptisms and funerals was what he enjoyed the most about his priesthood. “I liked it because I met people heart-to-heart,” he said.
Father Richard Morisette, pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary in Hannibal and St. Mary’s in Oswego, celebrated his 50th jubilee in February with a special Mass at St. Mary’s and a reception and dinner afterward at the Elks Club.
Father Morisette said the things he has enjoyed the most about his priesthood have been his pastoral duties and interactions with people.
A native of Oswego, Father Morisette’s home parish is St. Mary’s. After completing his seminary work at St. Bernard’s and St. Andrew’s Seminaries in Rochester, he was ordained on Feb. 2, 1961. He was then assigned to St. John’s in Pulaski as an associate pastor. He continued to serve in the same capacity at Most Holy Rosary in Syracuse from 1963 to 1969, St. Joseph’s in Camillus from 1969 to 1974 and at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse from 1974 to 1978. He then served as pastor of St. Patrick’s in Chittenango from 1978 until 1984 when he became associate pastor at Immaculate Heart of Mary in Liverpool. From 1985 to 1987, he served as administrator to St. Patrick’s in Otisco and Corpus Christi in South Onondaga. From 1987 to 1999, he was assigned as pastor to St. Michael’s/St. Peter’s in Syracuse. In 1999 he became pastor at Holy Family in Vernon. In 2005, Father Morisette began his service as a pastor to St. Mary’s in Oswego and then in 2008, the pastorship of Our Lady of the Rosary in Hannibal was added to his responsibilities.
Father Morisette’s special assignments include serving as chaplain to the Knights of Columbus Westvale/Geddes chapter, the diocesan Legion of Mary and the Oswego County Volunteer Fire Departments.
Father William Cahill is celebrating 50 years in the priesthood since his ordination on May 20, 1961. Although he retired in 2007, Father Cahill ministers to parishes in Florida and Albany. “It’s very rewarding to help out in parishes when the pastors need assistance,” said Father Cahill.
A native of Utica, Father Cahill’s home parish is St. Francis de Sales. He completed his seminary work at St. Andrew’s and St. Bernard’s Seminaries in Rochester and also earned a master’s degree in theology at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. He also holds a master’s degree in history from Syracuse University and one in counseling from SUNY Albany.
Father Cahill’s first priestly assignment was as associate pastor at St. Mary of the Lake in Skaneateles and then a month later, he arrived at Blessed Sacrament in Syracuse to serve in the same position. From 1963 to 1967, he served on the faculty of Bishop Ludden Junior/Senior High School. In 1967, he was associate pastor at St. Daniel in Syracuse. He then served in the same position at St. Peter’s in Utica from 1970 to 1972, St. Agatha’s in Canastota in 1972 and Our Lady of Solace in Syracuse in 1975.
Father Cahill served as pastor to St. Mary’s in Hamilton from 1978 to 1988. At the same time, he served as chaplain at Georgetown Correctional Facility. “That introduced me to prison ministry,” said Father Cahill. “I loved working with the men.”
After taking a one-year sabbatical to earn a master’s degree in counseling, Father Cahill was assigned as chaplain to Oneida Correctional Facility in Rome.
Father Cahill’s special assignments include serving on the diocesan Marriage Tribunal, the Vocation Promotion Committee and the Commission for Ecumenism.
Reflecting on his priesthood, Father Cahill said that his vocation has given him the opportunity to help people in need.
Msgr. George Sheehan is celebrating his 50th year of priesthood with a special Mass at Holy Cross in DeWitt with a reception afterwards.
Msgr. Sheehan’s home parish is St. Brigid’s in Syracuse. He graduated from St. John the Baptist High School in 1952 and later attended Catholic University in Washington, D.C. He completed his seminary work at Christ the King Seminary in Olean, N.Y.
Msgr. Sheehan was ordained on May 20, 1961. He began his ministry as a temporary associate pastor at St. Margaret’s in Homer in 1961. Three months later, he arrived at Blessed Sacrament in Utica to serve as associate pastor. From 1965 to 1972, Msgr. Sheehan served on the faculty of Bishop Ludden Junior/Senior High School in Syracuse. He then served as principal of Bishop Grimes Junior/Senior High School from 1972 to 1976.
Msgr. Sheehan holds the distinction of serving as the first director of Priest Personnel, a position he held from 1978 to 1985. He was then appointed pastor of St. Mary’s in Baldwinsville, serving there until 1996. “The 11 years that I spent at St. Mary’s was a fruitful and beautiful experience — it helped me to grow as a person as well as a priest,” said Msgr. Sheehan. In 1996, he returned to Bishop Grimes Junior/Senior High School to serve as principal. From 2005 to 2006, he served as interim superintendent for the diocesan Catholic Schools and then he was appointed Vicar for Catholic Educational Advancement. After taking a one-year sabbatical in 2009, Msgr. Sheehan retired in 2010.
Msgr. Sheehan continues to serve the people. He celebrates Mass at the Bishop Grimes Convent in East Syracuse and on weekends at St. Paul’s in Oswego.
Msgr. Sheehan’s special assignments included serving on the Presbyteral Council and the College of Consultors. He also served as Regional Vicar for the West and Regional Episcopal Vicar. He was designated a monsignor on June 26, 2006.
Msgr. Sheehan said that he has enjoyed the priesthood. “The celebration of the Eucharist has been the centerfold of my life,” he said. “I’ve liked working for the people of God. I loved working with the kids. They are the future of our church and we should put all our efforts into helping them put Jesus in their lives.”
Father Thomas FitzPatrick, pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes in Syracuse, is celebrating his 50th year in the priesthood. A Syracuse native, his home parish is Most Holy Rosary.
Father FitzPatrick attended St. Jerome College in Kitchener, Ontario and completed his seminary work at St. Bernard’s in Rochester and at Theological College at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.
After he was ordained on May 20, 1961, Father FitzPatrick served as assistant pastor at St. Lucy’s in Syracuse until 1965 when he was transferred to serve as assistant pastor at Sacred Heart in Utica. From 1970 to 1975, he served in the same capacity at St. Brigid-St. Joseph in Syracuse. In 1975, he began to work at St. John the Baptist in Syracuse as an associate pastor. From 1977 to 1991, Father FitzPatrick
served as pastor to St. John the Evangelist in Syracuse. He was involved with Vietnamese ministry in Syracuse from 1991 to 1994. Afterwards, he served as associate
pastor at St. Joseph’s in Camillus, from 1994 to 1995, prior to coming to Our Lady of Lourdes in Syracuse.
In addition to ministering to the refugees in Syracuse, Father FitzPatrick served on the Respect Life Committee and as athletic director of West Side Catholic. He also taught school at St. Patrick’s and St. Lucy’s Schools in Syracuse and at St. Francis de Sales School in Utica.
Father FitzPatrick said that he has enjoyed working with people, especially from Syracuse’s inner city. “The high point in my priesthood was working with the refugees,” he said. “They presented challenges and opportunities for learning. It was lots of fun and inspiring.”
Father FitzPatrick said that his parish will celebrate his jubilee but he would also like to plan an additional celebration with the Vietnamese population in Syracuse. “I want to thank them for all that they’ve taught me,” said Father FitzPatrick.
Msgr. Robert Davern is celebrating his 60th jubilee, a priesthood filled with many accomplishments and much fulfillment.
Msgr. Davern grew up on Syracuse’s West side and attended St. Patrick’s schools. He completed his seminary work at St. Andrew’s and St. Bernard’s Seminaries in Rochester.
After his ordination on May 19, 1951, Msgr. Davern was assigned to Immaculate Conception in Fayetteville as associate pastor. In 1952 he began serving in the same capacity at Our Lady of Lourdes in Syracuse.
Before taking on the position of associate director of Syracuse Catholic Charities in 1954, Msgr. Davern began to earn his master’s degree in social work from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. He then served as director of Catholic Charities in the Binghamton area from 1961 until 1970, when he took a leave of absence to serve as director of social services in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Upon his return to the U.S. in 1971, Msgr. Davern began to work with Catholic Charities in Syracuse as co-director of development and social action. From 1973 to 1975, he served as pastor at St. Vincent de Paul in Syracuse. From 1975 to 1977, he worked as co-director of Catholic Charities in Binghamton.
From 1977 to 1982, Msgr. Davern served as director of the diocesan Development Office. It was during this time that he worked with Bishop Frank Harrison to coordinate the first HOPE Appeal.
From 1982 to 1993, Msgr. Davern served as chaplain at the Onondaga County Penitentiary, a ministry that he found very rewarding. “I immensely enjoyed the time I spent in prison cells, talking to the forlorn,” Msgr. Davern said.
Msgr. Davern was named Monsignor in 1964.
Msgr. Davern’s special assignments included serving as the diocesan representative for the Triple Cities State Commission Against Discrimination and chaplain at Loretto Geriatric and Van Duyn Hospital in Syracuse. In addition, he served as temporary administrator at St. Patrick’s in Binghamton and at St. John the Evangelist and St. James in Syracuse.
“In the end,” Msgr. Davern said, “it’s the one-on-one contact to those in need that really matters. My work has been very rewarding. Every day I would go home knowing that I had helped someone.”
Msgr. James McCloskey is celebrating his 65th jubilee this year. He was ordained on May 30, 1946. He has resided at Immaculate Conception in Fayetteville ever since his retirement in 1995. He is actively involved at the parish.
A native of Syracuse, Msgr. McCloskey graduated from Cathedral High School in 1939. After studying at Niagara University, he completed his seminary work at St. Bernard’s Seminary in Rochester and at the Theological College in Washington, D.C.
Msgr. McCloskey’s first assignment was as an associate chaplain for Camp Assisium at Fourth Lake. From 1946 to 1964, Msgr. Mc Closkey served as the parochial vicar at Our Lady of Pompei, St. Peter, St. Daniel and St. Therese, all in Syracuse. From 1957 to 1964, he helped on weekends at Holy Cross in DeWitt.
In 1964, Msgr. McCloskey received his first pastorate at Christ the King in Liverpool. He served there until 1972 when he became the pastor at Holy Family in Syracuse. In 1980, he was made pastor at St. Brigid/St. Joseph in Syracuse and served there until his retirement.
Msgr. McCloskey’s special assignments included serving as spiritual director of the Legion of Mary, promoter of justice, diocesan consultor, evaluation-committee member, serving in positions with continuing education and the Catholic Education Committee, Circle IFCA moderator, Confraternity of Christian Doctrine director and serving on the CCD executive committee.
Msgr. McCloskey is grateful that God chose him to serve as a priest. “I am rejoicing because God chose to call me to represent Him for the people and the people to Him,” he said.