By Claudia Mathis
SUN staff writer
Father Kevin Bunger is celebrating his 25th year in the priesthood. A native of Clinton, his home parish is St. Mary’s and he graduated from Whitesboro High School in 1973. Father Bunger’s post graduate studies include course work at Mohawk Community College in Utica and Le Moyne College, where he graduated in 1979.
Father Bunger was ordained May 14, 1983 after attending Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora, N.Y. His first assignment was as associate pastor at St. Matthew’s in East Syracuse where he served until 1987.
From 1987 to 1990, Father Bunger served at the parishes of Cristo Luz Del Mundo and Jesus Vida Y Paz in Lima, Peru. After returning to the U.S., Father Bunger served as chaplain to nine Binghamton area nursing homes until 1994, when he started working as an administrator at St. Joseph’s Church in Sanitaria Springs. He continues in that same capacity today.
Ever involved with organizations that foster social justice and peace, Father Bunger has served with the Hispanic ministry at Broome County Community College in Binghamton since 1991. He also helped coordinate a group of “flood recovery” people who helped repair homes that were damaged from flooding in the summer of 2006.
Father Alfred Bebel is celebrating his 50th jubilee since his ordination May 24, 1958. His home parish is Blessed Sacrament in Johnson City. After graduating from Johnson City High School in 1950, Father Bebel pursued post secondary studies at Harper College in Endicott and Niagara University in Lewiston, where he graduated in 1964. He completed his seminary work at Our Lady of Angels Seminary at Niagara University.
Father Bebel’s first assignment was as assistant at Blessed Sacrament in Syracuse in 1958. He also served as assistant at St. Ann’s in Binghamton before ministering as chaplain at Binghamton General Hospital in 1967. From 1968 to1973, Father Bebel served as administrator at St. John the Evangelist in Bainbridge and St. Agnes in Afton. He served as spiritual advisor for the Diocesan Cursillo Movement from 1972 to 1986. He was assigned as pastor of St. Ann’s in Binghamton in 1973. In 1986, Father Bebel took over as chaplain at Upstate Medical University. He retired in 2004. Father Bebel’s additional chaplaincies include Wilson Memorial Hospital in Johnson City from 1970 to 1973, Broome Community College in Binghamton from 1965 to 1970, the Southern Tier Catholic Nurses in Binghamton from 1967 to 1974 and the Broome Developmental Center in Binghamton from 1977 to 1984. Father Bebel was also involved with the Diocesan Cursillo Movement from 1971 to 1986. He continues to serve as chaplain at the Broome County Developmental Center.
Father Bebel said he never regretted going into the priesthood. “It’s been very fulfilling,” he said. “I’ve come to appreciate the struggles of the lay people and the examples of their faith.”
A Mass of Thanksgiving will be celebrated on May 18 at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Binghamton to commemorate Father Bebel’s anniversary. A reception will follow in the church hall. Two days later, Father Bebel and some of his family members will travel to Skorkow and Dzialdowo, Poland, the areas in which Father Bebel’s mother and father were born. Anniversary Masses will be celebrated in each of those parishes.
Father Robert Bogan, administrator at Annunciation at Clark Mills, will be celebrating with his parish 50 years of priesthood on May 24 and May -25.
Father Bogan’s home parish was St. Francis de Sales in Utica. He studied at both Syracuse University and Theological College in Washington, D.C. after graduating from St. Francis de Sales High School. Father Bogan completed his seminary work at St. Andrew and St. Bernard Seminaries in Rochester. He was ordained May 24, 1958.
Father Bogan began his ministry as an associate pastor at St. Patrick’s in Clayville in 1958, and then a few months later, at Most Holy Rosary in Syracuse. In 1963, he departed to serve on the faculty at Catholic Central High School in Binghamton where he stayed until 1974.
Father Bogan then served as pastor at St. Patrick’s in Whitney Point from 1974 to 1984. In 1986, he took over as pastor at St. Mary of the Assumption in Binghamton, where he served 10 years. After he retired in 1996, Father Bogan served as administrator at St. John’s in North Bay, Annunciation Church in Clinton, St. Christopher’s in Binghamton and St. Francis de Sales in Utica. Father Bogan also served in 1961 as priest/counselor at Onondaga County Children’s Court.
Esposito has served at parishes throughout the Syracuse Diocese. He is celebrating his 50th year as a priest since his ordination Feb. 3, 1958.
A native of Syracuse, his home parish is St. Lucy’s and he attended the parish’s high school before moving on to St. Andrew’s and St. Bernard’s Seminaries.
After his ordination, Father Esposito’s first assignment was as assistant pastor at St. Patrick’s in Utica. In 1962, he served as assistant pastor at St. Francis de Sales in Utica for three months before serving as administrator for four months at St. Joseph’s in Boonville. Father Esposito then became the assistant pastor at St. Anthony’s in Syracuse where he served until 1968. At that time, he took over as assistant pastor at St. Ambrose in Endicott. In 1973, he began his service as an associate pastor at St. John the Baptist in Rome where he stayed for one year. From 1974 to 2003, Father Esposito served as pastor at St. John the Evangelist/St. Agnes in Bainbridge/Afton, St. Joseph’s in Lee Center, St. Anthony’s in Syracuse, Christ the King in Liverpool, St. Rose of Lima in North Syracuse and St. Mary/St. Bernadette in Cleveland/Constantia. Now retired, Father Esposito assists at Sacred Heart in Cicero and St. Rose of Lima in North Syracuse.
Looking back over the last 50 years, Father Esposito said he has enjoyed the priesthood. “Wherever I was assigned,” he said, “the people were wonderful.”
Father Esposito celebrated his jubilee in February with a family get-together and with a reception at Sacred Heart Parish in Cicero.
Father William Gleba is celebrating his 50th jubilee this year. A native of Utica, Father Gleba’s home parish is Holy Trinity. After graduating in 1950 from Utica Free Academy, he pursued post-graduate studies at St. Mary’s in Michigan and Syracuse University. Father Gleba completed his seminary work at Ss. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Michigan and was ordained on May 24, 1958.
Father Gleba served as assistant pastor at St. Stanislaus in Utica, Transfiguration in Rome and St. Ann’s in Binghamton from 1958 to 1968 before entering the U.S. Air Force as a chaplain. A year later, he became the assistant pastor at St. Ann’s in Manlius. He served thereafter in the same position at Sacred Heart in Syracuse, St. Mary’s in Rome, Holy Trinity in Utica and St. Joseph’s in Oneida, where he also served as administrator. After serving as chaplain at the Utica State Hospital from 1975 to 1991, Father Gleba served at Transfiguration in Rome from 1992 to 1997 before retiring.
A special dinner at Hart’s Hill Inn in Whitesboro on May 25 has been planned to celebrate Father Gleba’s jubilee.
Msgr. James Kane is celebrating his 50th year of priesthood in May. In addition to serving at parishes in the Southern Tier, Msgr. Kane held the position of assistant superintendent of the Diocesan Schools Office from 1967 to 1975, served as Counselor to the Broome County Children’s Court in 1959, served as chaplain to the Binghamton Bureau of Fire that same year and was a member of the Priest Executive Committee in 1965.
Msgr. Kane’s home parish is St. Patrick’s in Binghamton. He attended the parish’s elementary and high schools, graduating in 1950.
After completion of his seminary work at St. Andrew’s and St. Bernard’s and his ordination on Feb. 3, 1958, Msgr. Kane was assigned to St. John’s in Binghamton in 1958 as an associate pastor. Later that year, he began to serve as an associate pastor at St. Thomas in Binghamton and continued until 1966 when he left to pursue his master’s in education from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
After serving for eight years in the Diocesan School Office, Msgr. Kane took over as pastor at Blessed Sacrament in Johnson City in 1975. He retired in 2003. “I’ve experienced great joy in being a priest and in my various assignments,” said Msgr. Kane. His anniversary will be celebrated with a special Mass on May 30 at St. Patrick’s in Binghamton.
A native of Utica, Msgr. James Lutz is celebrating his 50th year in the priesthood. His home parish is Our Lady of Lourdes in Utica and he graduated from Utica Free Academy before moving on to study at St. Lawrence University in Canton and St. Bonaventure University in Allegheny. Msgr. Lutz completed his seminary work at St. Bernard’s. He was ordained on Feb. 3, 1958.
Msgr. Lutz served as associate pastor at St. Anthony’s in Chadwicks for the first six months of his ministry. In 1958, he went on to serve as associate pastor at St. Paul’s in Whitesboro, St. Francis in Marcellus and the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse. In 1973, Msgr. Lutz was assigned pastor of St. Ann’s in Manlius.
Since 1988, Msgr, Lutz has assisted Utica area parishes and he is presently helping in the Ogdensberg area. “I love parish work and working with people,” said Msgr. Lutz. “It’s very satisfying working with the parishioners.”
Msgr. Lutz’s special assignments include serving on the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine Executive Committee in 1965, serving as the director of the diocesan Propagation of the Faith Office and serving as chaplain for the Knights of Columbus in Manlius from 1973 to 1988. Actively involved in the community, Msgr. Lutz has been a member of the Lucian Guild and the Syracuse Power Squadron since 1971. “I’ve always been interested in boats,” said Msgr. Lutz. He has also been assisting the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary for the last six years.
Father Richard Tucker is celebrating his 50th jubilee this year. Even though he retired in 1986, Father Tucker is still very active within the diocese. He teaches sixth grade religious education at the Cathedral Academy at Pompei in Syracuse and also assists at Our Lady of Pompei in Syracuse. “I’ve never regretted being a priest,” said Father Tucker. “I’ve found it very fulfilling, and for the most part, satisfying and happy. This is my way of pleasing God and coming into His presence.”
A native of Syracuse, Father Tucker’s home parish is Most Holy Rosary. After graduating from Central High School in 1945, he joined the U.S. Navy and was stationed in Corpus Christi, Texas. Father Tucker remembers his stint in the Navy as “a wonderful life for a teenager.”
Father Tucker earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Le Moyne College, where he was a member of the first class. After graduating in 1951, he worked in the business world, where he was very successful and well-respected.
Father Tucker completed his seminary work at St. Bernard’s Seminary and was ordained on Feb. 3, 1958. His first assignment was as associate pastor at St. Ann’s in Syracuse. He moved on to St. Matthew’s in East Syracuse as an associate pastor in 1959 and then as an associate pastor at St. Mary’s in Oswego in 1969. In 1970, Father Tucker began to serve as pastor at St. Louis in Oswego. He also served as pastor at St. Ann’s in Syracuse for 10 years before retiring.
Father Tucker’s special assignments include serving as Director of Religious Education for the City of Oswego from 1970 to 1976, serving on the Building Commission from 1976 to 1980 and serving on the Marriage Tribunal from 1974 to 1993.
Father Tucker celebrated his anniversary on Feb. 2 at a Vigil Mass at Our Lady of Pompei in Syracuse. After the Mass, a catered dinner, organized by Our Lady of Pompei pastor Father Paul Angelicchio, was held at the rectory for Father Tucker’s classmates and special friends. “It was a surprise,” said Father Tucker.
Father James F. Quinn, celebrating 50 years of priesthood, has served in many capacities throughout the diocese. His home parish is Most Holy Rosary in Syracuse. From second grade on, he attended the parish’s schools, graduating in 1950. Father Quinn’s post secondary education includes studies at St. Jerome College in Kitchener, Ontario, and Our Lady of Angels Seminary at Niagara University.
After his ordination May 24, 1958, Father Quinn served as associate pastor from June to August 1958 at St. John the Baptist in Syracuse. He went on to serve in the same position at St. Patrick’s in Syracuse until 1959, when he began to serve at St. Agnes in Utica and St. Paul’s in Rome in 1971. From 1974 to 1978, Father Quinn served as pastor at St. Theresa in Munnsville and St. Joan of Arc in Morrisville. During that time, he served as chaplain at Morrisville College. Father Quinn served as pastor at St. Paul’s in Whitesboro from 1978 to 1988 and at St. James in Syracuse from 1988 to 1994. He then served as director of the Office for Vocation Promotion for 11 years. Father Quinn established the original program for the recruitment and promotion of candidates to the diocesan priesthood.
In 2005, Father Angelicchio invited Father Quinn to live at St. Peter’s in Syracuse to serve as the sacramental priest for the parish.
He also served in the same capacity at Our Lady of Pompei in Syracuse at the same time. When St. Peter’s rectory closed in 2007, Father Quinn moved to Our Lady of Pompei, retaining the same duties. Today he is semi-retired, assisting with the spiritual needs of the parishioners at St. Peter’s and Our Lady of Pompei. “I’ve loved every day of my priesthood,” remarked Father Quinn.
Father Quinn’s special assignments included serving on the United Fund Board of Directors, the Priest Senate and as the summer director at Camp Bethlehem. In addition, Father Quinn has served as director of the Greater Utica CYO and as Religious Education Resource Director. He has also been the chaplain for the Utica Council 189 Knights of Columbus, Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, Sons of Italy and the Boy and Girl Scout Councils.
To commemorate his anniversary, a Mass of Thanksgiving will be celebrated May 25 at St. Peter’s. It will be followed by a reception and dinner at the OnCenter in Syracuse.
Kiernan, now retired, is being recognized for 60 years of priesthood. His home parish is St. Mary’s in Cortland. After attending his parish’s schools, he graduated from high school in 1941. Father Kiernan completed one year of college course work at Niagara University before completing his seminary work at St. Andrew’s and St. Bernard’s.
After Father Kiernan’s ordination on May 6, 1948, he began to work as an associate pastor at St. John the Evangelist in Pulaski. He stayed for one year until he was assigned the position of associate pastor at St. Ambrose in Endicott, serving there until 1954. Father Kiernan went on to serve as associate pastor at St. John the Baptist in Syracuse from 1954 to 1955 and at St. Patrick’s in Binghamton until 1965. That year, he was assigned a pastorship at St. Joseph’s in Sanitaria Springs. He continued to minister as a pastor at St. Paul’s in Norwich from 1969 to 1976 and at St. John the Evangelist in Binghamton from 1976 until 1993, when he retired. Father Kiernan spoke with great affection about his former parishioners. “They were great Catholics and they put up with me,” said Father Kiernan.
Father Donald Bauer, is also celebrating his 60th jubilee. Ordained May 6, 1948, he has served in many capacities throughout the diocese. His home parish is Sacred Heart in Utica. After graduating from St. Francis de Sales High School in Utica, Father Bauer completed his seminary work at St. Andrew’s and St. Bernard’s.
Father Bauer’s first assignment was at Our Lady of Pompei in Syracuse, where he served three years as associate pastor. From 1951 through 1965, Father Bauer served as associate pastor at the Syracuse parishes of St. Therese, Most Holy Rosary, Holy Trinity and St. Patrick’s, in addition to Our Lady of Lourdes in Utica and St. Paul’s in Rome. In 1965, Father Bauer was assigned pastor at Corpus Christi in South Onondaga until 1970, when he became pastor at St. Patrick’s in Clayville.
Father Bauer served in the human development department of Catholic Charities in Syracuse from 1972 to 1973. He then served as the religious consultant for the AFL-CIO Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America.
Father Bauer’s multifaceted career continued as he went on to serve as pastor at Sacred Heart in Utica from 1974 to 1976, administrator at St. Mary’s in Florence and St. Paul‘s in Redfield from 1979 to 1980. He served as pastor at St. Helena’s in Sherrill for a few years before serving as the administrator at St. Theresa’s in New Berlin and Our Lady of Good Counsel in Warners from 1984 through1985. Father Bauer retired in 1993 and is now living in St. Joseph’s Nursing Home in Utica.
Msgr. Adolph Kantor is celebrating 65 years in the priesthood. As an active retiree, Msgr. Kantor attends Mass every day and still serves as chaplain for the Central New York Chapter of the Knights of Columbus.
Msgr. Kantor reflected favorably on his priesthood. “I liked bringing Christ up on the altar,” said Msgr. Kantor. “I enjoyed watching the drama unfold.”
A native of New York Mills, Msgr. Kantor’s home parish is St. Mary’s. After graduating from New York Mills High School in 1932, Msgr. Kantor attended St. John Kanty Prep School in Erie, Pa., for two years before completing his seminary work at St. Bernard’s.
After his ordination on June 5, 1943, Msgr. Kantor served as associate pastor at Sacred Heart in Syracuse from 1943 until 1948, when he took over as associate pastor at Holy Trinity in Utica. Beginning in 1956, Msgr. Kantor served as associate pastor at Blessed Sacrament in Syracuse until 1960 and then at St. Mary’s in New York Mills from 1960 to 1962. He was then assigned to St. Joseph’s in Oriskany Falls as pastor. From 1964 through 1989, Msgr. Kantor served as pastor at St. Stephen’s in Syracuse, Transfiguration in Rome and Sacred Heart in Syracuse.
Msgr. Kantor was named Honorary Prelate to Pope Paul VI on Dec. 21, 1971.
Msgr. Kantor’s special assignments included serving as chaplain at Utica College from 1960 to 1963 and for the Utica Police Department in 1956. He also served on the Diocesan Board of Consultors in 1968.