Years of tradition combined with pandemic year flexibility as the diocese’s 2020 Immaculata Awards for Service were presented.

The Immaculatas were instituted in 2011 as part of the diocese’s 125th anniversary celebration. The awardees, nominated by their parish leaders, are “those who generously and unselfishly give of themselves to their parishes and whose love for the Church has been shown through their devotion to the Holy Father, as well as to our Diocese. They are the unsung heroes in our midst who build up our parish communities by extraordinary service in parish ministry in volunteer service.”

The awards are typically presented during a special Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. This year, however, mindful of coronavirus concerns and protocols, Bishop Douglas J. Lucia directed pastors to present the awards to the honorees in their home parishes.

Bishop Lucia blessed the Immaculata Award medallions during a Mass at St. Margaret’s Church in Mattydale Nov. 28. Originally scheduled to take place at the Cathedral, the Mass and blessing were moved to St. Margaret’s when portions of Syracuse were designated a COVID-19 “orange zone” and church attendance was limited to 25. Parish representatives at the Mass brought the blessed medallions back to their parishes; pastors were to confer the awards at Mass on the Second Sunday of Advent or the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.

In his homily Nov. 28, Bishop Lucia reflected on the meaning of the Immaculata Award. The Immaculata is “an award that speaks of service. An award that actually speaks of being alert to the Lord as he comes into the lives of our parish communities. And so on this particular Sunday, even though we are in the midst of the coronavirus and everything still is up in the air and cases seem to be increasing, we know that again, through the service of these folks who will receive the award, God is with us. That our God is a God of accompaniment. A God who comes to walk with us. And that is the whole theme of the Advent season.”

Photos of some of this year’s honorees appear on these pages; turn to page 10 for a list of all honorees. Share photos of your parish’s Immaculata Award recipient by sending to


2020 Immaculata Award honorees

Josie Abounader
St. Joseph/St. Patrick, Utica

William & Pamela Aiken
St. Anne, Mother of Mary, Mexico

Karen Babicek
Our Lady of Good Counsel, Endicott

Eileen Balsley
Christ Our Light, Pulaski

Dick & Kathy Bensley
St. Stephen/St. Patrick, Whitney Point

Matthew & Barbara Bishop
St. Margaret, Mattydale

Michael Brunner
St. Ambrose, Endicott

Richard & Alicia Calagiovanni
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Syracuse

Nancy & John Cannizzaro
St. John the Baptist/Holy Trinity, Syracuse

Christine Carguello
St. Mary of the Assumption, Minoa

Patricia Cashier
St. Daniel, Syracuse

David & Kathy Cizenski
Our Lady of Hope, Syracuse

Sally Copley
St. Patrick, Jordan

Philomena Corsi
St. Anthony, Cortland

Eric R. Cote
Sacred Heart, Cicero

Yolanda Dancesia
Ss. Cyril & Methodius, Binghamton

Joan Decker
Blessed Sacrament, Syracuse

Nick DiFulio
St. Rose of Lima, North Syracuse

William & Judy Ann Dougherty
Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Syracuse

Jerome Dubos
Most Holy Rosary, Syracuse

Susanne Dunne
Our Lady of Good Counsel, Verona

Larry & Patty Ehlinger
St. Joseph, Rome

Don & Helen Falardeau
St. Mary of the Assumption, Baldwinsville

Marie Felice
Our Lady of Pompei/St. Peter, Syracuse

Peter & Patricia Ferguson
Our Lady of Sorrows, Vestal

Joseph C. Fleury
St. Vincent de Paul Blessed Sacrament, Vestal

Kathryn Franco
St. Theresa of the Infant Jesus,
New Berlin

Fred & Mary Ann Furtek
St. Augustine, Baldwinsville

Marian Godfrey
St. Joseph, Oxford

Rocco Griffo
St. John the Baptist, Rome

Sister Harriet Hamilton, OSF
St. Mary, Cortland

John Hohl
St. John, Bainbridge &  St. Agnes, Afton

Mary Eileen Horan
Saints John & Andrew, Binghamton

Scott & Donna Igler
St. Francis of Assisi, Binghamton

Jay & Lori Johnson
St. Patrick/St. Anthony, Chadwicks

Mary Katherine Johnson
St. Joseph, Camillus

Florence Jutton
St. Charles-St. Ann, Syracuse

Patrick Kelly
Assumption Church, Syracuse

Maureen Kimble
Immaculate Conception, Greene

Ursula King
St. Mark, Utica

Dan Koehl
St. Joan of Arc, Morrisville

Terry Kotlarz
St. Francis Xavier, Marcellus

Frances Kriese
Holy Family, Syracuse

Fred & Irene Lenga
Church of the Holy Trinity, Binghamton

Michael & Kathleen Lucarelli
St. Malachy, Sherburne

Angelo & Carmelina Manoiero
St. Anthony & St. Agnes, Utica

Kate McMahon
St. Michael & St. Peter, Syracuse

John & Joy Metzger
The Mission of St. Bernadette, Constantia

Joseph Morris
Most Holy Rosary, Maine

Olga Mulpagano
St. Vincent de Paul, Syracuse

Connie Murabito
St. Mary of the Assumption, Oswego

Robert & Joan Payne, II
Historic Old St. John, Utica

Craig Peets
Epiphany Parish, Liverpool

Vincent Penna
St. Mary of the Assumption, Binghamton

Patricia Piedmonte
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Baldwinsville

Lynne Pletl
St. Bernard, Waterville

Gail Rau
Pope John XXIII, Liverpool

Leo Rayhill
Immaculate Conception, Fayetteville

The Romano Family
Christ the King, Liverpool

Jean Sajna
St. Matthew, East Syracuse

Eva Schmidt
St. Paul, Binghamton

Herbert Secor
Transfiguration, Rome

Patricia Sheridan
St. Mary, Clinton

Joseph & Laurie Siniscarco
St. Mary of Mt. Carmel/Blessed Sacrament, Utica

Bernard Solan
Our Lady of the Rosary, New Hartford

JoAnne Smith
Divine Mercy, Central Square

Rachelle Smith
St. Francis of Assisi, Bridgeport

Benjamin Stuttard
St. Joseph, Oriskany Falls

Mary Sugar
Holy Trinity, Fulton

Joseph & Janice Swain
St. Mary, Hamilton

Joy Twiss
Spirit of Hope Catholic Community, Oneida

Michael Vaseleck
St. James, Johnson City

Daniel J. Verna
Our Lady of Lourdes, Utica

SP Outreach Ministries Volunteers
St. Patrick, Binghamton

STA Outreach Ministries Volunteers
St. Thomas Aquinas, Binghamton

Mike & Kathy Wajda
St. Paul, Rome

Rita White
Holy Cross, DeWitt

Henryk Widomski
Holy Trinity, Utica

Martha Winterton
St. Anthony of Padua, Syracuse

Margaret Woodruff
St. Stephen, Phoenix

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