Some of the colleagues and friends who have worked closely with Bishop Cunningham offered the following messages to the diocesan shepherd.
God’s blessings in abundance on your birthday, Bishop! Thank you for your years of faithful ministry as a priest and shepherd. Quoting a bit of Irish wisdom, “May all the good saints protect you and bless you today. And may all troubles ignore you, each step of the way” as you continue the journey of life and faith. May Mary, Mother of the Church, hold you in the warm embrace of her love.
— Sister Ellen Rose, SSJ, Superintendent, Diocese of Ogdensburg
I must admit that my first reaction to the fact that Bishop Cunningham is turning 75 is amazement. He certainly does not look nearly that age! He is very active and works well beyond a normal work week. Over the past nine years, I have been honored to work closely with him and have had the pleasure of getting to know him very well. I realize that most of the people in the diocese do not have an opportunity to see his personal side. He is warm and caring and has a genuine concern for the clergy, religious and people of this diocese. I think what I most enjoy is his humor and his sentimentality. He has a dry sense of humor and gets choked up from time to time, whether it be talking to seminarians, ordaining a new priest or sharing a story from the past. I frequently share touching stories about my children and in the course of the conversation, we are both inevitably in tears. We fondly refer to it as his Irish side! He is a wonderful spiritual leader and shepherd for our diocese and I am forever grateful to him for his friendship. May he enjoy this special day and many more in the future. God bless Bishop Cunningham.
— Danielle Cummings, Chancellor and Director of Communications
It has been a great honor and privilege to serve as Bishop Cunningham’s Vicar for Priests during the past nine years. Bishop Cunningham always expresses his love for the Church, the priesthood, and the people of God in all his decisions. He is a joy to work with because of his enthusiastic support for the priests and religious of the diocese and our lay ministers who join with him in promoting the faith. Bishop Cunningham’s vision always looks to the needs of our people to grow in their awareness of God’s love and compassion. He is truly a pastoral bishop who extends himself to those entrusted to his care.
— Msgr. Richard Kopp, Vicar for Priests
Dear Bishop Cunningham,
On behalf of our Board of Trustees, our 2,000 employees and the nearly 130,000 individuals that Catholic Charities serves across the Diocese of Syracuse, we want to thank you for your leadership, support and prayers in our daily efforts to bring God’s love and compassion to those who are most vulnerable and in greatest need. Wishing you a blessed and happy birthday.
— Michael F. Melara, Executive Director, Catholic Charities of Onondaga County
Thank you, Bishop Cunningham, for your support and encouragement over the years, for all of us at Emmaus Ministry and those served on the south side of Syracuse. Blessings on your 75th birthday and may God bless you with many, many more happy and healthy birthdays!
— Sheila Austin, Director, Emmaus Ministry
Happy Birthday, Bishop Cunningham. Thank you for your support over the past six years as I have discerned the priesthood — it has meant a lot to me. We are blessed to have you as our shepherd.
— Deacon Nate Brooks, seminarian
— Tina Dyer, Executive Secretary, Diocesan Pastoral Council
Dear Bishop Cunningham,
Happy 75th birthday! May you be blessed with health, happiness, and many more birthdays to come. With love and prayers.