Story and photos by Tom Loughlin Jr.

UTICA — Their parades canceled and customary social gatherings curtailed, Syracuse Diocese Catholics in Oneida County of Irish descent and other devotees of St. Patrick met to honor their patron saint with the annual St. Patrick Memorial Mass at St. Joseph-St. Patrick’s Church.

Organizers of the annual event, and most numerous among attendees, were members of the Oneida County Men’s Ancient Order of Hibernians John C. Devereux Oneida County Division 1 and the AOH Ladies of Knock. Both groups require members to be practicing Catholics of Irish descent or birth.

The combined organizations’ procession was led into the church by bagpiper Dr. Dan Murphy, a former Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick’s Parade in Utica.

The Mass was dedicated to those who lost their lives in the pandemic, especially former St. Joseph-St. Patrick Pastor Father Richard Dellos.

Father Richard Kapral was assisted by several concelebrants. Father John Croghan, former pastor at St. Mary’s Church in Clinton and Hamilton College, delivered the homily about growing up Irish in Utica’s Cornhill neighborhood and school at St. Francis deSales. Father Tom Servatius of Historic Old St. John’s and Father Joe Salerno of Our Lady of Lourdes concelebrated. Rose Butler of the Ladies of Knock and Sister Maureen Denn, CSJ, proclaimed Scripture readings.

The Mass program and flowers were donated by McGrath, Myslinski, Karboski and Nunn Funeral Home.

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