By Katherine Long
Family, friends, parishioners and brother priests gathered at Our Lady of Pompei-St. Peter’s Church in Syracuse Feb. 6 to lay Father James Quinn to rest. Father Quinn passed away Feb. 1 at the age of 80.
A graduate of Our Lady of Angels Seminary at Niagara University, Father Quinn was ordained to the priesthood May 24, 1958 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in his hometown of Syracuse.
Throughout his 54 years of ministry, Father Quinn served as pastor, associate pastor or priest in residence at 11 churches in the diocese, most recently at Our Lady of Pompei-St. Peter’s and at Sacred Heart Church in Cicero. He directed the diocesan Office of Vocation Promotion for nine years, the Catholic Youth Organization for 12 years and the Syracuse-area CCD beginning in 1973. Father Quinn was chaplain for a number of organizations, including Morrisville College and the Knights of Columbus Council 189 in Utica. A member of the board of directors of the United Fund among other organizations, Father Quinn also served on the diocesan Priest Senate, Presbyteral Council and continuing education committee. He retired from active ministry in 2011.
Father Quinn’s Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated by Bishop Robert Cunningham and concelebrated by Fathers Paul Angelicchio, Daniel Caruso, John DeLorenzo and Francis Wapen. Retired auxiliary bishop Thomas Costello and many of Father Quinn’s fellow priests were also present.
Father DeLorenzo, who became friends with Father Quinn when they served together at St. Paul’s Church in Whitesboro in the late 1970s, delivered a heartfelt homily that touched on both professional and personal aspects of Father Quinn’s life.
“Father Jim was a priest who loved God’s people deeply,” Father DeLorenzo said. “He celebrated each day as a gift and he tried to live each moment of every day with enthusiasm, gratitude, joy and love.”
The priesthood was Father Quinn’s “great love,” Father DeLorenzo continued, and “Jim loved his priestly ministry because he was bringing God and the Gospel message of God’s eternal love to everyone he met.”
Father DeLorenzo also recalled Father Quinn’s fondness for travel, citing the many pilgrimages he led and the trips he took around the world to places like the Holy Land, Africa, China, South America and many points throughout Europe. A fan of Broadway theatre, Father Quinn also made many trips to New York City.
Always a “priest’s priest,” Father DeLorenzo said, Father Quinn often welcomed his brother priests at dinner parties and gatherings. “There, he entertained his priestly brothers with great food, great fun and great fraternity,” Father DeLorenzo said.
Recalling Father Quinn’s “warm, welcoming smile and Kris Kringle eyes,” Father DeLorenzo remembered his friend as a faithful son, brother and priest whose “unique presence in our lives will be forever missed.”
Father Quinn was predeceased by his sister, Patricia Fitzgerald. He is survived by his sister, Mary Bright; nephews Patrick (Barb) Bright and Jim (Cindy) Bright; nieces Karen (Frank) Marrero, Terri (Joe) Bright, Sue (Joe) Barry and Julie (Frank) Rabert; and eight great-nieces and great-nephews.
Father Quinn was buried at St. Mary’s Cemetery in DeWitt. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Church of Our Lady of Pompei-St. Peter, 301 Ash St., Syracuse, N.Y. 13208.