2014: a year when saints were canonized; the world fell in love with the pope; and many throughout the diocese reached out in service to help those in need. Before a new year begins, here’s a look back at a few key events that happened worldwide and within the diocese in 2014.
• Pope Francis chose to limit the honor of “monsignor” among diocesan priests and grant it only to those at least 65 years of age.
• More than 400 pro-life marchers from the Diocese of Syracuse joined in the 41st March for Life in Washington, D.C.
• In his fifth State of the Union address President Barack Obama stressed many themes that were on the advocacy agendas of faith-based organizations: income inequality, immigration reform and peaceful resolution of global conflicts.
• Schools throughout the diocese celebrated Catholic Schools Week.
• Bishop Robert J. Cunningham dedicated the Carl H. Roesch Archives Museum in honor and memory of the man who helped to create the diocese’s archives more than 30 years ago.
• The Wal-Mart Foundation State Giving Program presented Catholic Charities of Broome County a $75,000 grant for the organization’s Monsignor Owens Emergency Food Pantry.
• Pope Francis released a message and vision of “Becoming ‘a Poor Church for the Poor’” at a gathering sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and 15 national Catholic partner organizations
• World Marriage Day celebrated marriages throughout the diocese.
• Pope Francis installed 19 new cardinals bringing the total number of cardinals to 218 and the number of cardinals under age 80 to 122.
• Members of Utica’s Holy Trinity Church youth group completed a successful pilgrimage to Rome, Italy.
• More than 300 Catholic teens from throughout the diocese participated in the annual Race 4 the Cross Syracuse Catholic Youth Conference and Rally.
•William Crist began as the new superintendent of Catholic Schools within the Diocese of Syracuse.
• Hundreds gathered at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse for the Rite of Election and the Call to Continuing Conversion. During the celebration, 59 catechumens and 150 candidates from 51 parishes across the diocese took the next step toward full communion with the Catholic Church.
• Catholics celebrated Pope Francis’ first anniversary as pope.
• A coalition of nearly 200 Catholic dioceses, agencies and businesses asked a federal court in Oklahoma to block enforcement of a Department of Health and Human Services mandate requiring coverage that would violate religious beliefs for employees on company health plans.
• Joseph’s House, a home for women facing unplanned pregnancies, officially opened in Syracuse with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
• The diocese hosted the sixth annual IGNITE Catholic Men’s Conference.
•Immaculate Conception School in Fayetteville was one of 12 schools across the country to win the Innovations in Catholic Education award presented by Today’s Catholic Teacher magazine.
• Catholic Charities of Onondaga County was selected for a New York State Refugee Social Services Program award in the amount of up to $3,019,010 for a 60-month contract.
• Dr. Linda LeMura was elected the 14th president of Le Moyne College, making her the first laywoman to serve as president of a Jesuit college or university.
• The Pope apologized for clerical sex abuse and promised tougher sanctions stating the Church “is committed to strengthening child protection programs and punishing offenders.”
• Before a crowd of a half a million people in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis canonized popes John XXIII and John Paul II.
• The Supreme Court rules that prayers said before town council meetings in Greece, N.Y., do not violate the Constitution.
• Sharon Smith, who received the second healing miracle that cleared the way for St. Marianne Cope’s canonization, passed away on May 3.
• Bishop Cunningham ordained nine new permanent deacons at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
• Members of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities held their final Mass at St. Anthony Convent Chapel on Court Street in Syracuse, which the sisters called home for more than 100 years.
• Seminarian Zachary Miller was ordained to the transitional diaconate.
• The pope completed a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
• Father Jason Hage was ordained to the priesthood.
• The Franciscans announced they would withdraw from their ministry to St. Mary’s Church in Minoa, St. Francis Church in Bridgeport, Ss. Cyril and Methodius Church and the Church of the Holy Trinity in Binghamton.
• Graduation was celebrated at Catholic schools throughout the diocese.
• Bishop Cunningham celebrated the first Eucharistic liturgy in the new St. Marianne Cope Shrine and Museum in Syracuse.
• Bishop Cunningham appointed Msgr. John Putano, pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Patrick’s in Binghamton, administrator of
Ss. Cyril and Methodius and Father John Donovan, pastor of St. James in Johnson City, as administrator of Holy Trinity in Binghamton.
• Bishop Cunningham announced that the Diocese of Syracuse was ready to support and help care for unaccompanied migrant children entering the U.S.
• St. Marianne Cope’s remains were welcomed back to Hawaii.
• Bishop Cunningham celebrated Rites of Candidacy for seminarians Ken Kirkman and Peter Tassini.
• Sister Anne Marie Saphara professed final vows as a Sister of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities.
• During his first trip to Asia, Pope Francis urged South Korean political and civic leaders to seek peace and strengthen their country’s commitment to democracy and social justice.
• Bishop Cunningham appointed Father Jon Werner pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption and St. Paul’s in Binghamton.
• The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced rules related to the federal contraceptive mandate allowing religious nonprofits and some companies to opt out of coverage they oppose. The Diocese of Greensburg, Pa., won a permanent injunction against enforcement of the mandate.
• Mass was celebrated for diocesan faculty and staff at Holy Cross Church in DeWitt to open the new school year.
• Close to a thousand church leaders, politicians and lay people gathered in Washington, D.C. for the inaugural In Defense of Christians summit.
• Msgr. Francis Culkin turned 100 years old.
• Pope Francis named five women, a record number, to the International Theological Commission.
• Graduates of the diocesan Formation for Ministry program were commissioned as lay ecclesial ministers.
• A midterm report from the Synod of Bishops on the family emphasized a call for greater acceptance and appreciation of divorced and remarried Catholics and cohabiting couples and homosexuals.
• Bishop Cunningham blessed Franciscan Villa in Syracuse, the
newly-built home of the Sisters of
St. Francis of the Neumann Communities.
• In a meeting with representatives of the International Association of Penal Law, Pope Francis called for the abolition of the death penalty and life imprisonment.
• The fifth annual Catholic Women’s Conference was held in the diocese.
• The Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities announced the closure of Stella Maris Retreat Center in Skaneateles, effective Jan. 26, 2015.
• Pope Francis announced he would visit Philadelphia in September 2015 when he attends the World Meeting of Families in that city.
• The Syracuse Diocese’s celebration of the Year of Consecrated Life was kicked off with a special Mass at the Franciscan Church of the Assumption in Syracuse.
• Churches throughout the Syracuse Diocese opened their doors on
Dec. 15 to offer Catholics the Sacrament of Reconciliation, as part of its “The Light is On For You” campaign.