Submitted by St. Francis Commons

Oswego — A community celebration and dedication of a new statue of St. Francis of Assisi took place at St. Francis Commons at St. Luke Assisted Living Residence in Oswego. The new statue, which marks the location of a former orphanage, Catholic High School, and now a health-care campus on the city’s East Side, was commissioned and installed by Oswego Knights of Columbus Council # 227.

Knights of Columbus Council member Charles Barsi recounted a brief history of the site that included a convent and an orphanage started by the Order of Sisters of St. Francis in the late 1880s, which came to be known as St. Francis Home. After the orphanage closed, the buildings were converted into Oswego Catholic High School in 1953, then Bishop Cunningham High School, until the high school’s closure in 1992. Subsequently the property was acquired and developed by St. Luke Health Services; it is now the site of Bishop’s Commons Enriched Living Residence, Little Lukes Childcare Center, and St. Francis Commons Assisted Living Residence.

Barsi explained that the Knights of Columbus commissioned Oswego County Monuments to design the marble statue in tribute to both the history of the location and its current use.

The ceremony included a blessing led by Deacon Nick Alvaro, Father Richard Morisette, and Father George Wurz. In attendance were representatives from the Knights of Columbus, alumni of the former Catholic High School, and members of the community.

A number of Catholic High School alumni spoke with great fondness about high school experiences, including Kelley Comerford Greene, now director at St. Francis Commons, who attended Bishop Cunningham High School until its closing. A reception followed the dedication, hosted by the St. Francis Commons Resident Council.

“On behalf of our St. Luke Board of Directors, we extend a sincere thanks to the Knights of Columbus for conceiving of this tribute, and for donating and erecting this monument,” said Terrence Gorman, CEO of the St. Luke organization. “This statue of St. Francis serves as lasting tribute to a proud history dating back some one hundred and thirty years here in the Oak Hill section of the city and which continues to this day; we invite the community to visit.”

The new statue of St. Francis of Assisi is on display outside of the main entrance at St. Francis Commons, 12 Burkle St.

St. Francis Commons Assisted Living Residence is a part of The St. Luke Family of Caring, an affiliation of community-based, not-for-profit health-care providers serving the greater-Oswego County area. Located on the St. Luke health-care campus in Oswego and easily accessible to the community, St. Francis Commons provides supportive-housing and home-care services in a comfortable, single-story residence accommodating 60 individuals in fully equipped private or shared-private rooms. For more information, or to make an appointment for a tour, call (315) 326-0870. On the web:

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