Msgr. James McCloskey, 96, died Nov. 25, 2017. A priest of the Diocese of Syracuse for 71 years, his ministry included service as parochial vicar of Our Lady of Pompei, St. Peter, St. Daniel, and St. Therese, all in Syracuse; and as pastor of Christ the King in Liverpool, Holy Family in Syracuse, and St. Brigid/St. Joseph in Syracuse. He retired in 1995, residing at Immaculate Conception Parish in Fayetteville.
As he prepared to mark his 70th jubilee in 2016, Msgr. McCloskey shared this wisdom with the Sun:
Asked what has kept him going for 95 years, Msgr. McCloskey recalled the words of Father John Wilson Lynch in a lecture given while he was at St. Bernard’s: “He said, ‘If I have any advice after 11 years of ordination, it would be this: Never let go of the supernatural motive.’”
“You do this because I believe it’s the will of God for me and that’s what is uppermost in my mind,” Msgr. McCloskey said. “I made an announcement in the bulletin and I said that I’m happy where I am and I’m going to spend the rest of my years cramming for the final exam before a fair and merciful judge…. I said, the reason I’ve lived this long, I think is because of my many faults and failings down through the years and right up to the present. I’m still working off this debt of community service hours that God has assigned me. When I complete that, he can let me in.”
Immaculate Conception parish shared on its website special videos and photos of Msgr. McCloskey. See them here.
Funeral arrangements for Msgr. McCloskey are as follows:
Wake, Vigil Service, and Mass of Christian Burial are all being held at Immaculate Conception Church, 400 Salt Springs Rd., Fayetteville. All services are open to the public.
Wake: Thursday, Nov. 30, 4-7 p.m.
Vigil Service: Thursday, Nov. 30, 7 p.m. Presider: Father John Manno, Regional Vicar; Homilist: Father Corey Van Kuren, St. Vincent de Paul Blessed Sacrament Church, Vestal
Mass of Christian Burial: Friday, Dec. 1, 10:30 a.m. Presider: Bishop Robert J. Cunningham; Homilist: Father Tom Ryan, pastor of Immaculate Conception.