2013 was a monumental year for the Universal Church and the Diocese of Syracuse. For the first time in more than 600 years a pope resigned and a Jesuit cardinal was chosen to succeed him as pontiff. Within the Diocese of Syracuse, older churches celebrated milestone anniversaries and new facilities were opened to help those in need. Here’s a look back at the highlights from 2013.
New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan sent a letter on Jan. 9 to Governor Andrew Cuomo asking him to reconsider his support for legislation that would expand access to abortion.
St. Marianne Cope’s first feast day as a saint was celebrated on Jan. 23 with Masses and events throughout the diocese.
On Jan. 25, five buses from the Diocese of Syracuse traveled to the March for Life in Washington D.C.
Parishioners from St. Peter’s Church in Oswego buried a time capsule behind the cornerstone of the church filled with letters regarding the work of St. Marianne Cope on Jan. 27.
Catholic Schools Week celebrations and events were held from Jan 27-Feb 2 throughout the diocese.
Msgr. J. Robert Yeazel; Msgr. Timothy S. Elmer; Msgr. James P. Lang; Msgr. James T. O’Brien; Msgr. John P. Putano; Sister Patricia Burkard, OSF; Sister Marie Wilson, CSJ; Kathleen (Tina) Dyer; Elizabeth (Betty) Frank; Virginia A. Lostumbo; John D. Marshall; Mary Jane Osada; and Kathleen Pfaffenbach received papal honors from Pope Benedict XVI on Feb. 3.
World Marriage Day was celebrated Feb. 9.
On Feb. 11, Pope Benedict XVI became the first pope in more than 600 years to announce his resignation.
Pope Benedict XVI delivered his farewell address on Feb. 27 and officially left office on Feb. 28.
Hundreds of teens attended the Race 4 The Cross Syracuse Catholic Youth Rally and Conference at Bishop Grimes Prep on March 2.
On March 12, after only two days of deliberation, the College of Cardinals elected Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, the new pope. Cardinal Bergoglio, a Jesuit, took the name Pope Francis.
More than 200 Catholics from the Diocese of Syracuse arrived in Albany on March 20 for “Catholics at the Capitol,” a day of public policy advocacy sponsored by the New York State Catholic Conference.
The Ignite Catholic Men’s Conference drew a record crowd of 900 men to the SRC Arena at Onondaga Community College on March 23.
On March 28, Holy Thursday, Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 diverse young people, including two women and two Muslims, at Rome’s Casal del Marmo prison for minors. Pope Benedict and Pope Francis also spent the day together at Castel Gandolfo, Italy.
Students and parents from Endwell’s Church of the Holy Family sent hundreds of rosaries to the children of Newtown, Conn., on Good Friday, March 29, in memory of the children who died in a horrific elementary school shooting Dec. 14.
Catholic school educators gathered in Houston, Texas April 2-4 for the National Catholic Educational Association convention. The key topic discussed was how to integrate technology into the classroom.
On April 7, St. Mary’s Church in Cortland celebrated its 100th anniversary.
Three people were killed and more than 170 were injured by a bomb at the Boston Marathon on April 15. Masses of prayer and remembrance were held throughout the diocese.
A vigil was held in Albany to oppose abortion expansion legislation on April 15.
Catholic Charities of Onondaga County and St. Ann’s Parish in Manlius welcomed the Mugushu family, refugees from the Republic of Congo. The family had been living in a refugee camp in Malawi, Africa before coming to the U.S.
The Office of Family Life offered a Day of Renewal for separated and divorced Catholics on April 27.
Local residents Bernard Tomasso, OFS; Steven Cohen, OFS; Margaret Tomasso, OFS; and Raymond Porzio, OFS became secular Franciscans of the third order.
On May 11, the St. James Peace and Justice Committee held its fourth annual Groceries for Guns day at St. James Church in Johnson City, where 51 guns were traded for grocery store gift cards.
Seminarian Jason Hage was ordained a transitional deacon at Holy Cross Church in DeWitt on May 18.
It was announced May 20 that diocesan Catholic School Superintendent Chris Mominey would resign his position effective July 1 to become Chief Operating Officer and Secretary of Catholic Education for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
The Boy Scouts of America’s National Council voted on May 23 to allow openly gay youths admittance as members.
Religious sisters across the diocese celebrated milestone jubilees and were recognized by Bishop Robert J. Cunningham at a special Mass on May 28.
Utica’s Historic Old St. John’s Church Renovation Celebration Mass was held on June 1.
The annual Pathways to Ministry celebration was held on June 3 to recognize and honor the accomplishments of faith formation leaders and teachers throughout the regions.
On June 4, Notre Dame Jr./Sr. High School in Utica announced plans for expansion and a $10 million capital campaign, which was kicked off with a $4 million matching grant to be distributed in tiers by the Good News Foundation.
Diocesan priests celebrated milestone jubilees at a special Mass celebrated by Bishop Robert J. Cunningham on June 5.
On June 6, Father Christopher Seibt was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Syracuse.
Hillary Byrnes Esq., Assistant General Counsel for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, addressed the Diocese of Syracuse Catholic Lawyers Guild on June 6.
From June 21 to July 4 the U.S. bishops held their second annual Fortnight for Freedom to raise awareness of challenges nationally and internationally to religious freedom.
Catholic Charities of Cortland and Chenango Counties, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Syracuse, Amaus Health Services at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and the Franciscan Church of the Assumption were collectively awarded $162,000 in grants from Fidelis Care.
On July 11, the new Catholic Charities of Broome County building in Binghamton was dedicated.
More than three million people, including Pope Francis, attended the 14th annual World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro July 23 to 28. The theme of the event was “Go and make disciples of all peoples.”
St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church in Syracuse celebrated its 100th anniversary July 26 and 27 with a large cultural festival featuring food, faith traditions, music and dance.
On July 28, Pope Francis held a 90-minute mid-air discussion with members of the press on his flight back from World Youth Day. During the discussion, the pope answered questions on a variety of issues including homosexuality in the priesthood, divorced and remaried Catholics, curial reform and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
On Aug. 10, parishioners of St. Joseph-St. Patrick and Utica residents celebrated the renaming of Varick Street to Saint Marianne Way in honor of St. Marianne Cope, a former parishioner.
Bishop Cunningham announced Aug. 14 that Father Joseph Zareski would serve as pastor of St. Anthony-St. Mary’s Parish in Cortland beginning Sept. 5.
Mary Hallman was appointed the diocese’s new Director of Evangelization.
President Barack Obama visited Upstate New York and Pennsylvania Aug. 22 and 23, delivering proposals to make higher education more affordable and accountable.
The diocesan school year opened on Sept. 4 with the addition of three new principals: Martha O’Leary of Holy Cross School in DeWitt, Patty Bliss of Rome Catholic School in Rome and Matt Martinkovic of St. James School in Johnson City. St. Mary’s School in Cortland opened offering a seventh grade program for the first time in almost 30 years.
Pope Francis led thousands in a prayer vigil for peace in St. Peter’s Square on Sept. 7, days before U.S. lawmakers voted on President Obama’s proposal for a military attack on Syria.
Shawn Allen began serving as the new Catholic campus ministry director at SUNY Cortland.
On Sept. 11, a flash flood devastated 24 counties in the state of Colorado and a relief team at Catholic Charities of Broome County was sent to help the survivors. Parishes throughout the diocese held second collections to provide assistance for the survivors.
An interview with Pope Francis, conducted by Father Antonio Spadaro, SJ, editor-in-chief of the Italian Jesuit journal La Civiltà Cattolica, was published by that publication, America magazine and several other Jesuit journals Sept. 19. The editorial teams at each of the publications prepared questions for Father Spadaro to ask the pope. The interview covered the pope’s trip to Brazil, his feelings on his election to the pontificate, his thoughts on being a Jesuit, and his concern for the world.
Sixteen members of the 2013 diocesan Formation for Ministry program were commissioned as lay ecclesial ministers on Sept. 22 by Bishop Cunningham at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
On Sept. 24, the new Catholic Charities Men’s Shelter in Syracuse was opened, replacing the Oxford Street Inn.
Author and survivor of Rwandan genocide Immaculeé Ilibagiza spoke of the power of faith, hope and forgiveness at St. Vincent de Paul-Blessed Sacrament Church in Vestal on Sept. 28.
On Sept. 30, Pope Francis announced Blessed Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II will be canonized at a ceremony on April 27, 2014.
On Oct. 5, more than 100 faith formation leaders and parish staff members from throughout the diocese gathered for a Formation for Ministry workshop held at Bishop Grimes Prep in East Syracuse. The workshop was sponsored by the Disability Commission and the Office of Ministry for Persons with Disabilities.
On Oct. 7, Sister Helen Prejean, famed author of Dead Man Walking, spoke about her experiences ministering to inmates on death row at a lecture sponsored by the Department of Religion in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences.
Bishop Cunningham appointed Father Kevin Maloney pastor of St. Patrick’s Church and St. Brigid’s & St. Joseph on Tipperary Hill in Syracuse, effective Oct. 15.
A variety of celebrations marked the first anniversary of St. Marianne Cope’s canonization Oct. 21, including a novena at St. Joseph-St. Patrick’s Church in Utica and a liturgy at the St. Anthony Convent Chapel in Syracuse.
The Respect Life Office held a special Mass for Life at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception that was attended by diocesan high school students on Oct. 24.
More than 800 women attended the fourth annual Syracuse Catholic Women’s Conference on October 26 at the Oncenter. The theme of the conference was “Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace.”
On Oct. 27, St. Patrick’s Church in Binghamton celebrated its 175th anniversary.
On Nov. 6, Bishop Salvatore R. Matano was named the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Rochester.
More than 300 middle school students attended a youth rally at St. Joseph the Worker Church in Liverpool Nov. 8.
More than 13 million people lost their homes when a devastating super typhoon hit the Philippines. Parishes throughout the Diocese of Syracuse coordinated second collections to assist the survivors.
The Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was displayed for parishoners at St. Stephen’s Church in Phoenix Nov. 8 through 10 and at other parishes throughout the diocese.
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz was elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Nov. 12.
Bishop Cunningham appointed Father Stephen Wirkes pastor of St. Agatha’s Parish in Canastota, effective Nov. 15.
Teens from the Diocese of Syracuse joined teens from across the country at the National Catholic Youth Conference in Indianapolis, Ind., Nov. 21 through 23.
On Nov. 21, Pope Francis laid out a vision of the Catholic Church that is dedicated to evangelization with a focus on the poor in Evangelii Gaudium (the Joy of the Gospel).
A celebration marking the end of the Year of Faith was held Nov. 24 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Bishop Cunningham released his pastoral letter Faith: A Gift Received, A Treasure to be Shared as part of diocesan efforts to continue knowing, living and sharing the faith.
Catholic Charities of Broome County distributed more than 3,000 Thanksgiving food baskets to those in need on Nov. 28.
The world mourned the loss of former South African President Nelson Mandela who died on Dec. 5 at the age of 95.
On Dec. 7, Most Holy Rosary Church in Syracuse celebrated its 100th anniversary.
Lay volunteers from more than 70 parishes in the diocese were honored with the Immaculata Award for outstanding service at a standing-room-only vespers service Dec 8.
On Dec. 11, Time magazine named Pope Francis Person of the Year.
The new Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Vestal was dedicated on Dec. 22 by Bishop Cunningham.
Rest in Peace
Sister Philip Marie Coffey, SCJ
Dec. 23, 2012
Sister Mary Martin Holly, OSF
Dec. 27, 2012
Father Robert Bogan
Dec. 27, 2012
Father William Keane, S.S.
Dec. 28, 2012
Sister Regina Loughlin, DC
Dec. 29, 2012
Sister Daniella Spina, OSF
Jan. 30, 2013
Father James Quinn
Feb. 1, 2013
Msgr. Matthew Luczycki
April 5, 2013
Father William “Bill” T. Guckert
April 18, 2013
Sister Harriet Jackson, IHM
April 19, 2013
Sister Elisabeth Colby, CSJ
May 10, 2013
Sister Rita Lorraine Burke, IHM
June 11, 2013
Father Donald Zewe, SJ
June 11, 2013
Brother Maurice V. Swartout, OFM
July 15, 2013
Msgr. Adolph Kantor
July 21, 2013
Sister Patricia Clark, OSF
Aug. 15, 2013
Sister Rita Beck, CSJ
Aug. 16, 2013
Sister Catherine Witte, DC
Sept. 3, 2013
Father George Sandor, OFM Conv
Sept. 25, 2013
Sister Catherine Bede Rupprecht, CSJ
Oct. 5, 2013
Father Robert E. O’Brien, SJ
Oct. 19, 2013
Sister Margaret Clarke, IHM
Oct. 31, 2013
Sister Jean Cumming, CSJ
Nov. 15, 2013
Sister Marie Carbery, OSF
Nov. 17, 2013
Sister Moira Murray, IHM
Nov. 24, 2013
Father Conrad Somerville, OFM Conv.
Nov. 26, 2013
Father Raynald Yudin, OFM Conv.
Dec. 10, 2013