Reflections of Jubilarians

Msgr. J. Robert Yeazel,

pastor, Holy Cross Church, DeWitt, ordained in May 1967

   Msgr. Yeazel will be retiring from Holy Cross Church this July. He has served in Binghamton, Syracuse, Fayetteville, Jamesville, and DeWitt.

   He also has had many special assignments. He has served in diocesan administration as vicar general, chancellor, and vicar for priests. Msgr. Yeazel has served on the diocesan finance committee, the diocesan management board, and the Le Moyne College and Christian Brothers Academy boards of directors.

   He was asked what has inspired him since his last jubilee and what he is reflecting on as he observes his 50th jubilee. He responded in an email:

  “Since my 25th and 40th anniversaries, I continue to be inspired by the many ways the Lord continues to work in my life. The challenges for the Church have changed dramatically — the priest shortage, the pedophile crisis, and aging, and yet the Lord revitalizes and blesses us more and more each day to look to Him and not to ourselves; to remain hopeful and confident.

   “Reflecting on being revitalized by this new stage in life, I find myself excited about serving in new, and hopefully meaningful, ways in retirement. I am excited and energized by the new possibilities.

   “The years have gone quickly and every one has been filled with great joy and multiple blessings. I pray that retirement will offer new leisure time in the midst of continued ministry. I don’t crochet or [use a rocking chair], so I’m all set to serve and hopefully to give back for all the blessings that have been given to me.”


Father Gerald Buckley,

retired in 1999, ordained in May 1957

   Father Buckley helps out in parishes in the Broome County area, doing daily Masses and weekend work, and also at the Greater Binghamton Health Center.

   “I’m a people-centered person and I sort of miss that so I do as much visiting as I  can do to the hospital and the people that call on me,” he said.

   “That’s the priestly work,” he said, “to get involved with families and offspring and keeping in touch with them and following through with them in their life in the faith and their activity.”

   Asked what has impressed or inspired him since his last jubilee, Father Buckley mentioned the “ongoing upgrading of the Church and its people.” He is also inspired by the way the liturgy is performed today, and he keeps up with that.

   He also keeps busy golfing  and walking. He golfs in a league once a week. “I like the approach shot, the chip shot,” he said, adding that he is not a long hitter.

   “I hope the Lord blesses me with good health so I can be as active as I can and be active and available,” he said.