2016 Priest Jubilees

Compiled by Katherine Long

Editor

Each year, the Diocese of Syracuse honors its clergy who are celebrating milestone anniversaries. Here, the Sun offers a brief look at the jubilarians and their years of dedicated priestly service.

CELEBRATING 60 YEARS

finnegan, father john s _V6B9417Father John Finnegan is a native of Our Lady of Solace Church in Syracuse, and  a graduate of Central High School. He studied at Le Moyne College and St. Bernard’s Seminary.

   He was ordained Feb. 2, 1956. His ministry in the diocese has included the following: assistant pastor of St. Rose of Lima Church in North Syracuse, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse, and Our Lady of Lourdes in Utica; pastor and co-pastor of St. James Church in Syracuse; pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Baldwinsville and St. Joseph’s Church in Camillus; and, following his retirement in 2003, administrator of St. Mary’s Church in Jamesville and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, a position he has held since 2005.

   Father Finnegan served as Newman Center chaplain at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica and Hamilton College in Clinton. He also served as a chaplain to the city-county jail in Syracuse and as a member of the Ecumenical Commission.

   Father Finnegan said he has “loved being a priest” and thoroughly enjoys what he does — “that to me is a real blessing.”


hapanowicz, father arthur r _V6B1197Father Arthur Hapanowicz is a native of Holy Trinity Church in Utica and a graduate of Utica Free Academy. He studied at St. Mary’s College and Ss.
Cyril and Methodius Seminary.
   Father Hapanowicz was ordained May 19, 1956. He served as associate pastor of St. Mary’s Church in New York Mills, Transfiguration Church in Syracuse, Transfiguration Church in Rome, and Our Lady of Lourdes in Utica; and as pastor of St. Patrick’s in Taberg and St. Ann’s in Glenmore, St. Stephen’s in Oswego, Transfiguration in Syracuse, and Holy Trinity in Utica.

  Father Hapanowicz also served as a member of the first priest personnel committee following Vatican II, the priest homiletic committee, and the priests CCD executive committee; and as spiritual director and chaplain to Legions of Mary and at Annsville Youth Camp.

  Father Hapanowicz retired in 2009, and continues to serve the community at St. John the Evangelist Parish in New Hartford. He will mark his jubilee with the celebration of a Mass of Thanksgiving on May 19.

  Father Hapanowicz said he learned during his time in seminary that all things work out. “It didn’t work out the way I planned it — it worked out better,” he said.


hobbes, father thomas _V6B9838Father Thomas Hobbes is a son of St. John’s Church in Utica, and a graduate of Utica Catholic Academy. He studied at St. Andrew’s and St. Bernard’s Seminaries. He later earned a master’s degree from Syracuse University.

   Father Hobbes was ordained Feb. 2, 1956. He served as associate pastor of St. Paul’s in Whitesboro, St. Agatha’s in Canastota, and St. James in Syracuse; was in residence at St. Catherine in Binghamton; and as pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes in Windsor, Our Lady of Good Counsel in Endicott, and Christ the King in Endwell.

   Father Hobbes also ministered in Catholic education for many years as a member of the faculty at Catholic Central High School in Binghamton, and as principal at Seton Catholic Central High School in Binghamton. He also served on the Broome County Catholic School Board.

   Father Hobbes retired in 2008, and continues to serve in the parish communities of Eastern Broome County.

   Father Hobbes celebrated a Mass at Seton Catholic Central to mark his anniversary. He offers special thanks to St. Therese of Lisieux and advises that anyone discerning a call to the religious life “be open to the Holy Spirit.”


Msgr. John McGraw is a native of Holy Cross Church in DeWitt and is a graduate of Cathedral Academy in Syracuse. Msgr. McGraw studied at St. Andrew’s and St. Bernard’s Seminaries and at the North American College in Rome. He also earned a degree in canon law from the School of Canon Law at the Catholic University of America.

   Msgr. McGraw was ordained Dec. 16, 1956 by Bishop Martin O’Connor, rector of the North American College, in Rome. Msgr. McGraw’s pastoral assignments included rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse; pastor of St. Joseph’s in LaFayette; and chaplain to Hutchings Psychiatric Center in Syracuse.

   Msgr. McGraw served as secretary to Bishop David Cunningham, and as assistant chancellor and chancellor of the diocese. He also served on the diocesan tribunal.

   Msgr. McGraw retired in 2001 and continues to assist in various parishes on the weekends. Msgr. McGraw said the most rewarding part of his ministry was his work at Hutchings, “because it dealt with so many of the forgotten but wonderful, beautiful people in our society.”


morbito, father angelo l _V6B9096

Father Angelo Morbito grew up in St. Joseph’s Church in Oswego. He is a graduate of Oswego High School and Cornell University, where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering. He studied at St. Bonaventure and Christ the King Seminary.

   Father Morbito was ordained May 19, 1956. He served as associate pastor of St. Cecilia’s in Solvay, St. Mary of the Assumption in Binghamton, and Immaculate Conception in Fulton; and as pastor of St. Peter’s in Oswego and St. Cecilia’s.
   Father Morbito’s ministry also included serving as a member of the faculty at Oswego Catholic High School, as a member of the Diocesan Building Commission, as chaplain to the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, and as moderator of the Binghamton Chapter of Catholic Nurses.

   He retired in 2000 and continues to celebrate Masses at Providence House Apartments. He noted that his time in the priesthood has given him many friends and wonderful experiences.


roark, father john l _V6B9201Father John Roark is a son of St. Mary’s in Binghamton and a graduate of St. Paul’s High School. He studied at St. Michael’s College of the University of Toronto and St. Bernard’s Seminary. He later earned a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Counseling from Syracuse University. He also attended a sabbatical program at the North American College in Rome, Italy, and the Vatican II Institute for Clergy Formation at St. Patrick’s Seminary in California.

   Father Roark was ordained Feb. 2, 1956. His pastoral assignments included service as parochial vicar at Our Lady of Sorrows in Vestal, Our Lady of Solace in Syracuse, and St. John the Baptist in Syracuse; and as pastor of St. Patrick’s in Jordan, St. Margaret’s in Mattydale (where he was also co-pastor), Immaculate Heart of Mary in Liverpool, and St. Ann’s in Syracuse. He was also chaplain to the Liverpool Fire Department.

   Father Roark served as regional episcopal vicar for suburban parishes of Onondaga County and as regional episcopal vicar for the Western Region of the diocese. His extensive service to the diocese also included work on the diocesan tribunal, ecumenical commission, liturgical commission, building commission, personnel committee, cabinet, pastoral council, the committee to celebrate the anniversary of the diocese, and the committee to help establish the Salina Civic Center. He was a member of the Lourdes Camp board of directors, of the St. Mary’s/St. Agnes Cemetery board of directors, of the Le Moyne College board of trustees, and of the Retirement Trust Board of the Sisters of St. Francis.

   Father Roark was a founding member of the Northside Churches Community Concerns Council and the Jordan-Elbridge Area Church Board. He was chairman of the Town of Elbridge Narcotics Guidance Council. He served the United Way of Central New York as a member of the planning-allocations department, a corporate member, and a member of the admissions committee.

   In 2001, Father Roark retired and was named Pastor Emeritus at St. Ann’s. Father Roark counts living through Vatican II as a highlight of his priesthood and “a wonderfully great period of time for me.” Looking back on his 60 years, he said he feels blessed and happy and “good about being part of the Church of Syracuse.”


Father Henry Wallace, a native of Binghamton, studied for the priesthood at St. Jerome’s and St. Bernard’s Seminary.
   He was ordained Feb. 2, 1956. His pastoral assignments included associate pastor of Christ the King Church in Endwell, Our Lady of Sorrows in Vestal, St. Mary’s in Clinton, and St. Matthew’s in East Syracuse; and as pastor of St. Therese in Munnsville and St. Joseph’s in LaFayette. He retired in 1998.


CELEBRATING 50 YEARS

carey, father james h _V6B9334Father James Carey is a native of Most Holy Rosary Parish in Syracuse, and a graduate of Most Holy Rosary School. He studied at St. Jerome’s and St. Bernard’s Seminary, where he earned his Master of Divinity. He later earned a master’s degree in Public Administration from Syracuse University.

   Father Carey was ordained May 21, 1966. His pastoral assignments have included associate pastor of St. Francis de Sales in Utica and the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse; and pastor of St. Lucy’s in Syracuse and St. Charles Borromeo in Syracuse. He is currently administrator of the Church of the Nativity at St. Leo’s in Tully, at Immaculate Conception in Pompey, and at St. Joseph’s in LaFayette, and of the mission of St. Patrick’s.

   Father Carey served the diocese as secretary to Bishop Walter Foery; director of human development; associate diocesan director of Catholic Charities; chaplain to the Syracuse University football team, the Hillbrook Juvenile Detention Center, and the Plaza Nursing Home; diocesan liaison to the Native American community; and diocesan director of health ministries.

   Father Carey said he is privileged to have served as a parish priest. “Parish priest is one of the most awesome vocations in the world. No two days are alike. Being in a position to serve God’s people with the word and the table is a wonderful way of life. If I had it to do over, I wouldn’t change anything, even the mistakes,” he said.


drobin, father paul Fr Paul Head Shot KR Final.4.15.16-4x6

Father Paul Drobin’s home parish is Holy Trinity in Utica. He is a graduate of St. John Kanty Prep in Erie, Pa. He studied at St. Andrew’s and Bernard’s Seminaries and Theological College of the Catholic University of America. He later earned a master’s degree in religious studies from the University of Detroit and a certificate in pastoral counseling from the Onondaga Pastoral Counseling Center.

   Father Drobin was ordained May 21, 1966. His pastoral assignments have included assistant pastor of Transfiguration Church in Rome and pastor of St. John the Evangelist in New Hartford. He served as Newman chaplain at Hamilton and Kirkland Colleges, and at Utica College and SUNY Polytechnic Institute, where he continues to serve.

   Father Drobin was a member of the faculties of Rome Catholic High School and Utica Catholic Academy and director of Family Life and Community Services at Catholic Charities in the Eastern Region.

   He served on numerous community services boards in the Utica area, including the United Way and the Samaritan Counseling Center.

  Asked about a highlight of his years as a priest, Father Drobin drew on a conversation he once had with a young religious education student who asked about the most important thing that had happened to him as a priest. Father Drobin changed the question to answer in the present tense: “When people invite you into the sacred parts of their lives, that’s the most important thing that happens to me…. and it happens every day of my life.”

   Father Drobin will mark his jubilee with a Mass at Holy Trinity on May 22, followed by a reception.


hearn, father philip a _V6B0952Father Philip Hearn grew up in St. Matthew’s Parish in East Syracuse and graduated from St. John the Evangelist High School in Syracuse. He studied at St. Jerome’s and Christ the King Seminary. He later earned a master’s degree in Religious Education from Fordham University.
   Father Hearn was ordained May 21, 1966. He has served as assistant pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes in Syracuse, St. John the Baptist in Rome, and Blessed Sacrament in Syracuse; and as pastor of St. Mary’s and St. Peter’s Parish in Rome.

   Father Hearn was a member of the faculty of Rome Catholic High School and principal of Bishop Ludden High School in Syracuse. He served as co-director of vocations at Aquinas House in Syracuse and as vicar forane in the Eastern Region of the diocese.

   Father Hearn said, “It’s been a glorious way to live, each day serving the Lord,” also noting, “I’m grateful to all the priests that I have lived with through the years who have been willing to put up with me.”

  Father Hearn and his parish will celebrate his anniversary with a Mass May 29, followed by a dinner.


keebler, father paul j _V6B9305Father Paul Keebler’s home parish is St. Therese in Syracuse, and he is a graduate of Nottingham High School. He studied at Syracuse University and Le Moyne College and at Maryknoll and Christ the King Seminaries.

  Father Keebler was ordained May 21, 1966, at the age of 40. His pastoral assignments included summer associate at St. Joseph the Worker in Liverpool, priest-in-residence at St. Ann’s in Syracuse, temporary administrator of St. Mary’s in Florence, part-time associate of St. Paul’s in Binghamton, and temporary administrator and later pastor of St. Ann’s in Binghamton.

  Father Keebler was a longtime member of the faculties of Bishop Ludden High School and Rome Catholic High School. He ministered in Texas, Puerto Rico, Argentina, and Bolivia through his work with the diocesan Spanish Apostolate. Father Keebler was also chaplain to nine nursing homes in Binghamton.

  Following his retirement in 2002, Father Keebler was chaplain to Our Lady of Lourdes in Windsor. He continues to celebrate Mass each day at the Nottingham, where he resides.

   Father Keebler offered this advice to a young person discerning a call to the priesthood: “Pray, ask God to guide you, and respond positively to His call.”


Father Joseph Kehoe is a son of St. John the Baptist in Syracuse, and is a graduate of St. John the Baptist High School and Le Moyne College, where he earned a BBA. He served in the Air National Guard for three years. He earned a certificate from the Glastonbury Monastery Latin School. He studied at Christ the King Seminary at St. Bonaventure.

   Father Kehoe was ordained May 21, 1966. His pastoral assignments included assistant pastor of Holy Family in Fulton, St. Vincent de Paul in Syracuse, St. Lucy’s in Syracuse, Immaculate Conception in Fulton, Sacred Heart in Cicero, and St. Mary’s in Baldwinsville; and administrator of St. Mary’s in Irish Ridge, Holy Cross in New London, St. Therese in Munnsville, and St. Francis in Durhamville, where he continues to serve.

   Father Kehoe also served as chaplain to Knights of Columbus councils and Oneida Healthcare facilities, and as longtime spiritual advisor at Holy Cross Academy in Oneida.

   To those discerning a call, Father Kehoe advises, “To listen to their conscience, listen to God.” He will mark his anniversary with a Mass at St. Therese May 22, followed by a luncheon and reception.


FredPort1

Father Frederick Pompei is a native of St. Joseph’s in Oswego and a graduate of Oswego High School. He studied at St. Andrew’s and St. Bernard’s Seminaries.

   Father Pompei was ordained Aug. 24, 1966, at his own parish of St. Joseph’s. He served as a transitional deacon at St. Lucy’s in Syracuse and as associate pastor of St. Mary’s in Baldwinsville, St. Anthony’s in Cortland, and St. Cecilia’s in Solvay. He was also a member of the faculty of St. Mary’s High School in Cortland and Newman chaplain at Broome Community College. Father Pompei also was the coordinator for Marriage Encounter in the Diocese of Syracuse in the 1970s.

   For many years, Father Pompei has conducted parish missions and renewals, retreats, seminars, and more throughout the U.S. For about 24 years, he conducted various missions and retreats as a “contract chaplain” for the U.S. Navy. He also conducted three missions for the Air Force.

  Father Pompei said he will celebrate his anniversary by celebrating the regular Saturday evening Mass Aug. 6 at Our Lady of Pompei in Syracuse, “a great little parish” where he has been for about 25 years. He then will attend a little party. Also attending will be his brother, a Franciscan priest.

  A highlight of Father Pompei’s priesthood came during a weeklong mission in Florida. Instead of having a prepared breakfast at the parish, he felt that something wasn’t right and instead went to a McDonald’s. A young woman came up to him and asked if he was a priest. She sat down and poured out her heart, saying that she had had an abortion. She asked for forgiveness. “I gave her absolution there in McDonald’s,” Father Pompei said. After that experience, he said, “I knew why God sent me to Florida.”


queen, father james

Father James Queen is a son of St. Charles Borromeo in Syracuse and a graduate of Christian Brothers Academy. He studied at St. Andrew’s and St. Bernard’s Seminaries.

   Father Queen was ordained May 21, 1966. He served as parochial vicar at Sacred Heart in Utica, St. John’s in Binghamton, St. John the Baptist in Rome and Our Lady of Good Counsel in Endicott; and as associate pastor and pastor of St. Paul’s in Rome.

   Father Queen was a member of the faculties of Seton Catholic High School in Endicott, Seton Catholic Central High School in Binghamton, Notre Dame High School in Utica and Rome Catholic High School.

   Father Queen retired in 2004, and now serves at St. Brendan Parish in Ormond Beach, Fla.

   Father Queen counts teaching high school students as a high point of his ministry as a priest, noting, “I loved it, it was great — it kept me young!”

  Father Queen will mark his anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving May 22, followed by a parish reception.


smegelsky, father john j _V6B0591

Father John Smegelsky is a native of St. Mary’s in Oswego and a graduate of Oswego Catholic High School. He studied at St. Jerome’s, Our Lady of the Angels Seminary, and Christ the King Seminary.

   Father Smegelsky was ordained May 21, 1966. He served as assistant pastor of St. Mary’s in Cleveland, St. John the Evangelist in Oswego, and St. Mary’s in Oswego; associate pastor at St. Margaret’s in Mattydale; and as pastor of St. Patrick’s and St. Anne’s in Taberg, and St. Michael’s in Central Square. He retired in 2011.

In his retirement, Father Smegelsky continues to assist in parishes in the Northern Region. He will mark his jubilee with a Mass at St. Mary’s in Oswego on May 22, followed by a reception.


CELEBRATING 40 YEARS

castronovo, father edmund a _V6B0901Father Edmund Castronovo is a native of Ilion, N.Y., and a graduate of Hamilton Central High School. He studied at Wadhams Hall Seminary, St. Bernard’s Seminary, and the Catholic University of America.

   Father Castronovo was ordained May 8, 1976. He has served as parochial vicar of St. Paul in Norwich, St. Daniel in Syracuse, and Holy Trinity in Utica; as pastor of St. Malachy in Sherburne and St. Thomas in New Hartford; administrator of St. Joseph in Oneida; and pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel in Verona, where he has served since 2010. Father Castronovo served in the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter from 2008 to 2010.

   Father Castronovo has also ministered as a chaplain to the Knights of Columbus in Syracuse and to the Pharsalia and Georgetown correctional camps.

   For those considering a call to the religious life, Father Castronovo said humbly, “If the good Lord could use somebody as weak and as inept as I am, He can use anybody.”


Father John DeLorenzo is a native of St. Joseph’s Church in Camillus and a graduate of West Genesee High School. He studied at Onondaga Community College, Wadhams Hall Seminary, St. Bernard’s Seminary, and St. Mary’s Seminary.

   Father DeLorenzo was ordained May 8, 1976. He has served as associate pastor of St. Bartholomew in Norwich, St. Paul in Whitesboro, Our Lady of Lourdes in Utica, and St. Daniel in Syracuse; as pastor of St. John the Baptist in Syracuse; and as administrator and pastor of St. Patrick in Jordan, where he has served since 2004.

   Father DeLorenzo said the most important moment of his priesthood was the day of his ordination, as it was “the fulfillment of what you’ve been studying for, it’s the fulfillment of how you want to spend your life.” The priesthood is truly a vocation, a call, and “it’s the most important work in the world, to help people save their souls and bring them God’s love,” he said.

   Father DeLorenzo will mark his jubilee by celebrating a special Mass of Thanksgiving on May 15 with the people of the parish, family, and friends.


durant, father thomas p _V6B0978

Father Thomas Durant is a native of Vernon Center and St. Agnes Church. A graduate of Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School, he studied at Mohawk Valley Community College, Resurrection College, and Christ the King Seminary.

   Father Durant was ordained May 8, 1976. He has served as associate pastor of St. Peter in Rome, Our Lady of Lourdes in Syracuse, and St. John the Baptist in Rome; and as pastor of St. Joan of Arc in Morrisville and St. Therese in Munnsville, St. Peter in Utica, and St. Paul in Whitesboro, where he has served since 2009.

   Father Durant was a member of the faculty for a decade at Rome Catholic Academy, worked with the Deaf community, and ministered as chaplain to the Corcoran Faith Center in Syracuse.

   Father Durant said he felt “that real blessing of God reaching into all the places I’ve been” and that “you ended up experiencing one, humongous Catholic Church. You’ve got different cultures, different people, people coming in from different experiences of life, but yet one faith base,” he said.

  The young people of the parish will help Father Durant celebrate his jubilee with special activities at Masses May 14 and 15, and there will be a reception dinner for Father Durant May 15.


pasik, father mark a _V6B1322

Father Mark Pasik is a native of Holy Trinity in Utica and a graduate of Utica Free Academy. He studied at St. Mary’s College and Ss. Cyril & Methodius Seminary, also studying at Utica College during his summer breaks from St. Mary’s. He later earned a master’s degree in theology from the University of Detroit and studied canon law at the Catholic University of America.

  Father Pasik was ordained May 8, 1976. He has served as associate pastor of Sacred Heart in Utica, St. Peter in Utica, and St. Paul in Norwich; and as pastor of St. Casimir in Endicott, Transfiguration in Rome, and St. Mark in Utica, where he has served since 2008. Father Pasik has also served on the diocesan priest personnel committee, tribunal, senate, vocation committee and diocesan school board.

  Father Pasik said he has “felt very much stimulated by the Holy Spirit’s presence” in his priesthood. He credits his father with teaching him things in life that have enhanced his ministry as a father image in the priesthood. Father Pasik also met Cardinal Karol Wojtyla in Krakow with a group of seminarians while visiting Poland and other European Countries during the summer of 1971. “The group was led by the then-Cardinal Wojtyla’s friend and our professor of Polish Studies at our seminary, Msgr. Zdzislaw Peszkowski. Cardinal Wojtyla would stay at Orchard Lake during his visits to the United States. I assisted at his Masses and the Cardinal would get a haircut in my college dormitory. His subsequent election to the papacy was an astounding event which I felt deeply as a priest whose ancestors are from Poland,” Father Pasik recalled.

  His covenant with the priesthood is forever, Father Pasik noted, and he would rather have “the roller coaster of the priesthood” than driving ahead “with the sun in my eyes, falling asleep.”


Msgr. Neal Quartier is a son of St. John the Baptist in Syracuse and a graduate of St. John the Baptist High School. He studied at Wadhams Hall Seminary and St. Bernard’s Seminary. He later completed special trainings through the Rochester Diocese Office of Human Development and the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University. He earned his master’s degree in social work from Syracuse University and his PhD in psychology from the University of Southern California.

   Msgr. Quartier was ordained May 8, 1976. He has served as associate pastor of St. John in New Hartford and Christ the King in Liverpool; administrator of St. John the Evangelist in Syracuse; and rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, where he has served since 2005.

   Msgr. Quartier has also served as diocesan director of seminarian formation, director of the Personal Resource Center, staff psychologist to the marriage tribunal, chaplain to Upstate University Hospital and the Franciscan Motherhouse, and regional vicar of parish life and worship.

   Msgr. Quartier said his work with the dying at Upstate has impacted his life most poignantly. He plans to mark his jubilee with a simple celebration with family, and has asked the parish to celebrate by contributing to the restoration fund for the Cathedral.


CELEBRATING 25 YEARS

father david john jamesFather David James is a son of St. Lucy’s Church in Syracuse and a graduate of West Genesee High School. He studied at Onondaga Community College, Le Moyne College, Syracuse University, Wadhams Hall Seminary, and Christ the King Seminary.

   Father James was ordained June 8, 1991. He has served as parochial vicar of St. John the Baptist in Syracuse and Sacred Heart in Cicero; as pastor of Immaculate Conception in Pompey and St. Paul’s in Fabius; and as chaplain to Upstate University Hospital, Crouse Hospital, and the Syracuse VA Medical Center, where he has served since 2006. He also often assists at St. Joseph’s in Camillus and St. John the Baptist in Syracuse.

   Father James was certified as a hospital chaplain by the National Association of Catholic Chaplains in 1992. He noted much of his priestly ministry has centered around death and end-of-life issues, and welcoming back people who had left the Church.

   Father James plans to celebrate his jubilee at a date to be announced.

   Profiles were compiled from interviews, Sun archive materials, and diocesan materials. Associate editor Tom Maguire contributed reporting. Special thanks to Nancy Zumpano for Father Paul Drobin’s photo and to Valeta Orlando and the Florida Catholic for Father James Queen’s photo. Other photos are from Sun or diocese archives.

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