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home : features : people of faith

4/28/2011 2:02:00 PM
PRIEST ANNIVERSARIES
Priests mark ordination anniversaries

PAIR CELEBRATE 25 YEARS

REV. O. ROBERT DEMARTINIS, a native of Amsterdam, served in Florida before returning to the Albany Diocese in 1990. He was an associate pastor at St. Luke's parish in Schenectady and Our Lady of the Annunciation in Queensbury; pastor of Our Lady Queen of Apostles in Frankfort and, for 10 years, at Immaculate Conception in Schenectady; and chaplain for Glens Falls Hospital. He was appointed pastor of St. Stanislaus parish in Amsterdam last year. He will mark his anniversary the weekend of May 14-15 with receptions after each Mass at St. Stanislaus and by celebrating the 10 a.m. Sunday Mass.

QUOTE: "My philosophy of my priesthood is contained in the prayer that I carry with me: 'My brothers and sisters, accept us as we are: men, who like you need the mercy of God; poor men, weak, sinful, with faults and limited talents. Though we are the men called by God...we too grope through the darkness of the world. All we can do is travel with you into the light of God, our Father....Pray for us. Have patience with us. Carry us. Accept God's word and His holy mysteries from us.' I hope that the joy and fulfillment I receive from my vocation is apparent to all people with whom I come in contact, and that this joy can be an inspiration to other men considering the priesthood."


REV. MARTIN FISHER, a native of Fort Edward, has been an associate pastor at St. Paul the Apostle parish in Schenectady and St. Ambrose in Latham; vice-chancellor and secretary to the Bishop; and pastor of St. Mary's parish in Glens Falls, Corpus Christi in Round Lake and, since 2008, both Notre Dame-Visitation in Schuylerville and St. Joseph's in Greenwich. He plans parish celebrations of his anniversary at both churches and a family celebration in June.

QUOTE: "[Priesthood] has been challenging, joyful and transforming [for] two and a half decades of my life. One of the most rewarding aspects is knowing each day that you make a difference through your preaching, presence and presiding. What I have received from the people I have ministered to far outweighs what I have given. The Holy Spirit speaks in many ways....I pray for the grace to listen to what God is saying and share it with the body of Christ."



FORTY YEARS FOR FOUR PRIESTS

REV. GARY GELFENBIEN, a native of Hartford, Conn., has served as an associate pastor at Sacred Heart parish in Troy, St. Clare's in Colonie and Corpus Christi in Round Lake. He was also a chaplain for The College of Saint Rose in Albany and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy. Since 1992, he has been pastor of St. James parish in Chatham. He has not announced public plans to mark his anniversary.

QUOTE: "As I approach this 40th anniversary, I find it very humbling. Christ came as servant for all, pouring out His very life for the good of humankind. This is one of those moments where you realize that your own service barely approximates a fraction of the tremendous love of Christ."


REV. THOMAS KRUPA, a native of Amsterdam, has been an associate pastor at St. Gabriel's parish in Rotterdam and St. Adalbert's in Schenectady. He has been pastor at St. Casimir's in Albany and, for 19 years, at Sacred Heart parish in Castleton. He plans an anniversary Mass May 22, 10:30 a.m., at Sacred Heart; a reception will follow.

QUOTE: "From my earliest memories, I was inspired by my uncle, Rev. John Wojtyna; because of him, I always wanted to be a priest. Each day gives me an opportunity to see God's love in action. Serving others and bringing the person of Jesus into their lives is very rewarding and gives me great joy."


REV. JAMES KANE, a native of Buffalo, served at parishes and as director of the Liturgy Office for the Ogdensburg Diocese before transferring to the Albany Diocese. He was a parochial vicar at Sacred Heart parish in Albany, St. Helen's in Niskayuna and St. Vincent de Paul in Albany; administrator at St. Mary's in Gloversville, St. Peter's in Stillwater and Assumption/St. Paul in Mechanicville; and pastor at St. Agnes/St. Patrick's in Cohoes, St. Helen's in Niskayuna and his current assignment, St. Patrick's in Ravena. He is also director of the diocesan Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs and honorary Canon of the Episcopal All Saints Cathedral in Albany. He will mark his jubilee with a Mass of Thanksgiving May 29, 4 p.m., at St. Patrick's.

QUOTE: "I have been privileged to preach the 'good news' of peace, joy and love and to celebrate the sacraments - especially the Eucharist - and to bear witness to the ecumenical and interfaith communities on behalf of the Diocese."


REV. JAMES SCHIFFER, a native of Queens, was ordained a Passionist priest and spent 15 years as a missionary in the Philippines and two decades as an Air Force chaplain and in supervisory roles in California, Texas, Korea, Germany, Washington, D.C., and Georgia. After retiring from the military, he became pastor of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus in Windham in 2005 and St. John the Baptist parish in Greenville in 2006. He will celebrate a jubilee Mass June 12, 11 a.m., at St. Theresa's, followed by a dinner at the Brandywine Restaurant. Plans at St. John's are not yet finalized.

QUOTE: "My 40 years as a priest have been very rewarding. The Lord placed me in the right ministries at the right times. It has been my privilege to serve the Lord in many places and in varied ministries throughout the world. If a person is looking for a meaningful and fulfilling life, and feel the Lord's call, I would invite them to think seriously about the priesthood. The Lord never asked us if we are worthy, only if we are willing!



HALF-DOZEN CLERGY MARK GOLDEN JUBILEES

REV. JOSEPH ANSELMENT, a native of Watervliet, served in guidance and as vice-principal at Cardinal McCloskey High School in Albany and as principal of Bishop Scully High in Amsterdam. As a pastor, he spent 20 years at St. Peter's parish in Stillwater and 11 at Our Lady of the Annunciation in Queensbury, where he is now pastor emeritus. He is planning a family gathering to celebrate his anniversary.

QUOTE: "It was a dynamic era in the Church and it was exciting to be part of it. The love and support of the people in different situations - schools, parishes, various ministries - has been a great source of strength and consolation."


REV. DANIEL DEPASCALE, a native of Amsterdam, has been an associate pastor at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Gloversville and a U.S. Navy chaplain in places as varied as Newfoundland, Vietnam, Virginia, Cuba, Florida, Japan and South Carolina. He has served in the Diocese of St. Augustine, Fla., since 1990. He plans observances of his jubilee in late summer at Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish in Amsterdam and at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

QUOTE: "Memorable moments included my first assignment, meeting parishioners who became friends for life; and becoming a chaplain - serving the military all over the world and being a pastor to all denominations."


REV. PASCAL IANOTTI, a native of Amsterdam, has been an associate pastor at St. Mary's parish in Little Falls (while teaching at St. Mary's Academy) and St. Joseph's in Amsterdam (while teaching at St. Mary's Institute and Bishop Scully High). For 20 years, he was pastor at St. Patrick's parish in St. Johnsville. He will celebrate his anniversary at his home parish, Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Amsterdam, with a Mass of Thanksgiving May 15, 2 p.m.

QUOTE: "The priesthood has been a beautiful and spiritual journey.The call to be a priest is truly a gift from God. It is a privilege to serve God's people in so many different ways: offering the holy sacrifice of the Mass, celebrating the sacraments, teaching, preaching and anointing them, and being with the people of God in their good and bad times. I am amazed how quickly the years have passed....I am grateful to be a messenger of the Good News and continue in ministry in my semi-retirement."


REV. JOHN KELLY, a native of Albany raised in Boston, has been associate pastor at St. Joseph's parish in Schenectady, St. Mary's in Albany and St. Pius X in Loudonville; taught at Catholic Central High School in Troy; served as pastor of St. John the Baptist parish in Greenville; and served as a chaplain for the Little Sisters of the Poor in Troy. He has been chaplain for Albany Memorial Hospital since 1987. He'll mark his 50th jubilee with a May 29 Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany.

QUOTE: "It has been especially rewarding to witness how former students, altar servers and youth group members have grown into admirable, mature adults - and now to count them among my friends. Over the years, there has never been a shortage of wonderful people who have shown me compassion, forgiveness and support in the face of my own shortcomings and failures - and for this I am most grateful. I enthusiastically urge young men to give priesthood serious consideration for the sheer joy and satisfaction that comes with preaching the Gospel and celebrating the sacred mysteries."


REV. JAMES MACKEY, a native of Troy, has been an associate pastor at St. Mary's parish in Hudson Falls, St. Patrick's in Albany and St. Anne's in Waterford. He served in various roles for the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the Diocesan Development Program (Bishop's Appeal), the National Catholic Stewardship Council and North American College in Rome. He has also been a chaplain for St. Colman's Home in Watervliet and for the New York Guard. He was pastor of his home parish, St. Michael's in Troy, for 20 years and pastor of St. Mary's in Glens Falls for five years, retiring in 2007. His jubilee Mass will be Oct. 2 at noon at St. Michael's, followed by a parish reception and dinner at Franklin Plaza in Troy.

QUOTE: "I've been blessed with a wonderful 50 years, from the opportunity to study in Rome and ordination at St. Peter's Basilica to the privilege and joy of serving the Church on the national level. In the Diocese of Albany, as director of the Bishop's Appeal, I got to know everyone in the Diocese; as a pastor in Troy and Glens Falls, I worked with people at the most critical times in their lives. I would do it all over again and recommend it to others who would like to serve others - there's no better way to bring joy and happiness to yourself."


REV. DANIEL NUSBAUM, a native of Temperance, Mich., was ordained as an Oblate of Mary Immaculate and incardinated into the Albany Diocese in 1968. He was an associate pastor at St. Mary's parish in Haines Falls and then began teaching and serving in other ministries at colleges in New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland. He returned to Michigan in 2003 and now teaches at Sacred Heart Major Seminary there. He will mark his jubilee in Detroit with the seminary community in April and at a parish Mass in July.

QUOTE: "From the beginning, I wanted to served a teaching priest, and the Diocese has allowed me to do that. At 77, I remain active as a professor....My greatest joy a a priest has been the sacramental life and especially the formation of our Catholic youth. Now, being engaged in ministry to our future priests is the crowning joy."



60, 65...

REV. PATRICK LYNCH, a native of New York City, was ordained 65 years ago for the Diocese of Brooklyn. After 10 years there, he was incardinated into the Albany Diocese. He was associate pastor at St. Ann's parish in Albany; St. Columba's, Schenectady; St. Peter's, Delhi; St. Patrick's, Catskill; and St. Mary's, Frankfort. He was administrator and pastor of St. Joseph's parish in West Winfield and served at St. Paul's in Troy and in the Chancery Accounting Office, retiring in 1987. He has not announced anniversary plans.


REV. THOMAS VAIL, a native of Little Falls marking six decades of priesthood, was an associate pastor at St. Mary's parish in Gloversville, taught at Mater Christi Seminary in Albany and was secretary to Bishop Edwin Broderick and vice-chancellor of the Albany Diocese. He spent 11 years as pastor of St. Gabriel's parish in Rotterdam, then eight years as pastor of St. Peter's parish in Saratoga Springs. He retired in 1992. He will celebrate his anniversary privately.

QUOTE: "During these 60 years, I have been blessed in so many ways. I shall always be grateful to the Lord for His goodness and to my family, friends and parishioners for their kindness and support over the years."



SEVEN DECADES 

REV. MATTHEW CYVAS, a native of Lithuania, was ordained there during the Russian occupation of Lithuania before the U.S. entrance into World War II and served at a parish from 1941-44. He studied in Rome after the war and eventually came to the Albany Diocese, serving at St. Joseph's in Scotia and St. Michael's in Amsterdam and as pastor of St. George's Church in Albany, which had a large Lithuanian population. He retired to Florida in 1988. He has not announced plans to mark his 70th jubilee.

QUOTE: "My most memorable time was being secretary [to an archbishop in Lithuania] from 1944-45." 







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