Obituary: Father James F. Smith, S.J.

Father James Smith, S.J., died on Sept. 7, 2016. He was 86 years old.

Father Smith was born in Syracuse on April 26, 1930. He was the son of Frederick and Katherine (Gorman) Smith. He attended Le Moyne College in Syracuse from 1947 to 1949, when he entered the Jesuits at St. Andrew-on-Hudson in Poughkeepsie.

From 1955-1956, he taught math at Canisius High School in Buffalo, and then studied math at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He began theology at Woodstock College in Maryland in 1959 and was ordained on June 20, 1962, at Canisius College.

He pronounced his final vows on Aug. 15, 1966. In 1964, Father Smith began his career at Le Moyne College in Syracuse for over 40 years. He taught math until 1970 and again from 1971 to 1975. (He had a brief sabbatical in Eugene, Ore., from 1970 to 1971.) From 1976-1977 he was vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty. He became vice president of the college and continued as dean of faculty through 1979. He then taught math at John Carroll University for one year and returned to Le Moyne College in 1980.

After a sabbatical at the University of Kentucky and Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, from 1982 to 1983, Father Smith resumed teaching math and computer science at Le Moyne from 1983 to 1990. After a sabbatical at McQuaid Jesuit High School, he resumed teaching computer science at Le Moyne from 1991 to 1992.

In 1992 he became minister and community treasurer at St. Andrew Hall. He returned to Le Moyne in 1997 and served as minister, retreat minister, spiritual director, community treasurer, and guestmaster until 2005.

In 2005, the board of trustees conferred on Father Smith a bachelor degree. As one Le Moyne College Jesuit recently remarked, Father Smith would joke that it took him 58 years to earn his degree from Le Moyne. That same year, Father Smith became associate pastor of St. Ignatius Loyola Parish in New York City and from 2007 to 2008 was assistant to the rector and spiritual director of Ciszek Hall in the Bronx.

In 2008, he returned to Syracuse as a pastoral minister. In 2013, he was missioned to pray for the Church and the Society at Murray-Weigel Hall in the Bronx until his death.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held Sept. 12 at Murray-Weigel Hall Chapel in the Bronx. Burial was in Jesuit Cemetery, Auriesville, N.Y.

Obituary: Sister Mary Dorena Dwyer

Sister Mary Dorena Dwyer, CSJ, 99, died Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 80 years.

Sister Mary Dorena, the former Mary Theresa Dwyer, was born in Syracuse, on June 3, 1917, daughter of the late Roger and Josephine Kenney Dwyer. She was raised in St. Brigid’s Parish and graduated from Syracuse Central High School.

On March 19, 1937, Sister Mary Dorena entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph. She pronounced final vows on Aug. 15, 1942. She received a bachelor’s degree in science and a master’s degree in education, both from The College of Saint Rose.

For 41 years, Sister Mary Dorena taught in schools of the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses. In addition, she taught and supervised student teachers at The College of Saint Rose and was the director of education for the Albany Province of the Sisters of St. Joseph. For 14 years, Sister Mary Dorena was a staff member at Mulberry Hill Arts, the ceramics shop at St. Joseph’s Provincial House.

Sister Mary Dorena was a master educator, gifted at connecting with the children, engaging the parents, and affirming the staff. She also was an excellent mentor to younger teachers, challenging yet affirming, always ready to share both her expertise and her listening heart. In her retirement years, Sister Dorena found that her passion for clay ran deep, and she created beautiful ceramic works of art.

With a profound love for God and a great devotion to her family, her religious community, and her friends, Sister Dorena leaves a legacy of faith, hope, and endurance, and she will be dearly missed by all.

Sister Mary Dorena is survived by her beloved sister, Doris Healey; her sister-in-law, Frances Dwyer; her nieces, Karen Mazzucco, Kathleen Hogan, and Michele Garo; her nephews, Frank Healey and Patrick, Michael, and Timothy Dwyer; their families; and the Sisters of St. Joseph. In addition to her parents, Sister Mary Dorena was predeceased by her brother, Roger Dwyer.

Sister Mary Dorena’s Mass of Christian Burial was  held  Sept.  14 at 11:00 a.m. in the chapel of St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham.

Contributions in Sister Mary Dorena’s memory may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110.

Obituary: Deacon Robert S. Riggalls

   WATERVILLE — Deacon Robert S. Riggalls, 78, passed away unexpectedly with his wife, Mary Lou, by his side on Friday, Sept. 2, 2016.

   Deacon Bob was born in Utica, Feb. 2, 1938, a son of the late Homer and Columbia Papa Riggalls, and attended local schools. Robert was in the Army, 44th Battalion, from 1959 to 1962. On Feb. 11, 1961, at Mt. Carmel Church, Bob was married to Mary Lou Soldano, a devoted and steadfast union for over 55 years. In 1991, Robert was ordained to the diaconate, a calling for which he was well suited. His main church affiliation was St. Mary of Mt. Carmel, where he was Deacon until 2007.
    He is survived by his wife, Mary Lou, of Waterville; a daughter and son-in-law, Cyndi Miller and Timothy Breer, of Vermont; a son and daughter-in-law, Christian and Aileen Riggalls, of Rochester; three granddaughters, Tiffany and Bill Everett and Kathryn and Rachel Hardin; and one great-grandson, Dylan.

   He was predeceased by his son, Robert Riggalls, Jr.; brother, Michael Riggalls; and Julie Waters, who was like a daughter to him.
   Deacon Bob’s Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016, at St. Mary of Mt. Carmel/Blessed Sacrament Parish.

Obituary: Joseph B. Neville, S.J.

Father Joseph B. Neville died on Sept. 3, 2016, at Murray-Weigel Hall, Bronx, N.Y. at the age of 86. He had been a Jesuit for 69 years and a priest for 56. Father Neville was born in the Bronx on Oct. 31, 1929, to Brigid (née Conway) and John Neville from County Tyrone, Northern Ireland.

He was baptized in St. Jerome’s Church in the Bronx on Nov. 17, 1929, and attended St. Jerome’s elementary school and then the Fordham Preparatory School. After graduation from high school, he entered the Society of Jesus on Sept. 7, 1947, at the Jesuit novitiate of St. Andrew-on-Hudson in Poughkeepsie, and pronounced his first vows on Sept. 8, 1949.

After completing the juniorate at St. Andrew-on-Hudson in 1951, Father Neville went to the Philippines to study philosophy at Berchmans College in Cebu City and then began teaching at the Ateneo de Zamboanga in 1954. He returned to the United States in 1957 to study theology at Woodstock College in Woodstock, Md. He was ordained a priest on June 18, 1960, at the Fordham University Church in the Bronx, did his tertianship at the Shrine of the North American Martyrs at Auriesville in 1961, and pronounced his final vows on Sept. 8, 1978.

In 1962 Father Neville was assigned as Assistant Principal at Regis High School in New York City, where he stayed until 1972. Upon completion of his work at Regis, Father Neville pursued religious studies at Fordham University for one year and then taught religious studies at his alma mater, the Fordham Preparatory School, from 1973 to 1979.

Father Neville began the work that was to occupy him for the rest of his life when he moved to the Jesuit retreat house of Christ the King in Syracuse, where he gave retreats and was engaged in spiritual direction from 1979 to 1981. In 1981 he continued this work at the Loyola House of Retreats in Morristown, N.J., and then in 1987 at Mount Manresa Retreat House in Staten Island, N.Y.

Father Neville returned to Christ the King Retreat House in Syracuse in 1992. He worked there until 1994 when the Diocese of Syracuse assumed responsibility for the house. In 1994 Father Neville moved to the Jesuit Community at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, where he gave retreats and spiritual direction to a large number of clergy in New York and Pennsylvania.

He also celebrated Mass in a number of parishes in the diocese, most recently at Immaculate Conception Church in Fayetteville. In all that he did, Father Neville radiated a spirit of hospitality and welcome to all. He became known for saying “a thousand welcomes!” and then radiating that spirit.

In July of 2016 Fr. Neville moved to Murray-Weigel Hall for rehabilitation after a fall. He suffered some medical setbacks and finally succumbed to pneumonia.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held Sept. 10, 2016, in Panasci Family Chapel at Le Moyne College.

Burial was in Jesuit Cemetery, Auriesville, N.Y.

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