By Deacon Michael Colabufo
Blessed Sacrament Church in Syracuse celebrated 100 years of faith, hope and love with a concelebrated Mass at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 19, followed by the blessing of a new Eucharistic Alcove by Bishop Douglas J. Lucia. An anniversary dinner followed in the school cafeteria with close to 100 people in attendance.
Father Richard Shanahan, the first pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church, from 1921 to 1937, offered the parish’s first Mass on Sept. 18, 1921, in a former Town Hall located at 401 S. Midler Ave. for the cost of $15 per Sunday. Soon afterward a plot of land, six acres in all on James Street, was purchased for $22,000, with a barn converted into a place of worship for the 125 families.
Father Shanahan first constructed Blessed Sacrament School and the convent for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, who taught at the school. The current church structure was under the leadership of Father William Moore, with the cornerstone laid in 1951.
Blessed Sacrament Church had seven pastors who added to the vibrancy, growth and compassionate community in Eastwood. Following the death of Father Shanahan (1921-1937) were Father William Moore (1937-1956); Msgr. Robert Dillon (1956-1978); Father Joseph Segrue (1978-1995); Msgr. James O’Brien (1995-2007); Father Peter Reddick (2007-2017); Msgr. Timothy Elmer (2017-2019), as the administrator; and our current pastor, Father Severine Yagaza (2019-present).
Blessed Sacrament parishioners give thanks to the benefactors through its 100 years of faith, hope and love and look forward to continuing the discipleship of being the Body of Christ through the next century.