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home : features : people of faith

4/26/2012 9:01:00 AM
Priests mark ordination anniversaries
Fathers Adam Forno and George St. John
Fathers Adam Forno and George St. John
The "class of 1962" (golden jubilarians) will celebrate a Mass May 30, 4 p.m., in the chapel of the Little Sisters of the Poor residence, Latham.

25 years a priest

REV. R. ADAM FORNO, a native of Auburn, N.Y., has served as associate pastor at Christ the King parish in Westmere, Albany and St. Francis de Sales in Loudonville; administrator and pastor at St. Joseph's in Rensselaer and, since 1998, pastor of the Parish of St. John the Evangelist and St. Joseph in Rensselaer. He is a board member and chaplain for several organizations. He will celebrate his 25th anniversary as a priest Aug. 18 with family and friends.

QUOTE: "As I participate in the paschal mystery of dying and rising with the Lord Jesus through the frequent brokenness of my lived experiences, I have shared as a Roman Catholic priest the unique grace of accompanying others as they, too, through the prism of faith and their own sacramental participation in the death and resurrection of Christ, rise up from the challenges of their lives. This encounter with the divine brings me deep joy for which I feel richly blessed!"



Half-dozen mark 40th

REV. WINSTON BATH, a native of Marshall, Texas, served as associate pastor at St. James parish in Albany and Sacred Heart in Troy before, in 1985, becoming pastor of St. Mary's parish in Hudson, then the combined Holy Trinity parish in Hudson/Germantown, where he still serves. He'll mark his 40th jubilee with a May 27 parish luncheon.

QUOTE: "The priesthood is an amazing experience. Like any way of life, it has moments of blessing and grace as well as times of struggle and difficulty. But it is certainly never dull."


REV. PETER CHEPAITIS, OFM, is a Hudson native and Franciscan priest. He taught in a seminary and a high school and led Marriage Encounters and a campus ministry team before turning to parish mission and retreat work - which he continues through Middleburgh-based Bethany Ministries, a retreat ministry he co-founded in 1995. He plans to observe his anniversary at local celebrations, with fellow friars and with his family.

QUOTE: "When someone asks me why I became a priest, the only answer that makes sense to me is that I have been called to it by God. My life and ministry have been full of experiences of deep joy and profound challenge, but I have been able to remain faithful to that calling only by praying for discernment every day and opening my heart to the grace of the Spirit. As a Franciscan priest, I am constantly aware of the call to live the Gospel I am privileged to preach, and to preach that Good News at all times, both by actions and words. The most positive experiences I have had as a priest have been as a minister of healing and forgiveness, especially through the sacraments of reconciliation and anointing of the sick and as a spiritual guide. I have always had a hunger for contemplative prayer, and have found that prayer essential to sustain me in my life and ministry. Leading congregations in the celebration of the Eucharist, from celebrations at conferences to home Masses, has been a transcendent experience of Christ in our midst and in my heart."


REV. ANTHONY CURRAN, a native of Clonmel in County Tipperary, Ireland, has served for many years as a nursing home chaplain at several sites in the Schenectady area. His prior assignments included associate pastor at three New Jersey parishes and at St. Paul the Apostle, Schenectady; Our Lady of Victory, Troy; St. Brigid's, Watervliet; St. Mary's, Glens Falls; and St. John the Evangelist, Schenectady; administrator at Ss. Peter and Paul, Frankfort; and pastor at St. Joseph's, Dolgeville. He has not announced plans to mark his anniversary.


REV. JOSEPH FALLETTA, a Rochester native, began his priesthood in the Ogdensburg Diocese, then served as a hospital chaplain and a Maryknoll associate priest in Chile before coming to the Albany Diocese. He has been pastor of St. Alphonsus parish in Glens Falls, Nativity/St. Mary's in Stuyvesant Falls, Our Lady of Hope in Copake Falls and, since 2010, St. Joseph's in Stuyvesant Falls/Stottville. He has also served as diocesan director of the Hispanic Apostolate and ministered to migrant farmworkers in Columbia County. He did not announce plans to celebrate his 40th anniversary of priesthood.

QUOTE: "The different ministries above have given me a rewarding insight into what it means to live the life of faith with and for others. They have helped me see and respond to the different aspects of a person's life, as well as my own. Cross-cultural ministry in particular is one special way I have come to understand how service to one another can and has broadened my understanding of Church. Pastoral health care has given me opportunities to address the final stages of life. Parish ministry is like a 'general practitioner' who attends to the different facets of a person's life within a family."


REV. JAMES SPENARD, OSA, a native of Troy, is an Augustinian priest who served in Pennsylvania and for 25 years in Carthage, N.Y., and neighboring towns. In the Albany Diocese, he served at Immaculate Conception parish in Hoosick Falls and has been pastor of St. Augustine's parish in Troy for 14 years. He has not noted plans for his anniversary.

QUOTE: "For the past 14 years, it's been my honor to live with and seek God with the people of St. Augustine's. I'm so grateful to Bishop [Howard J.] Hubbard and my [Augustinian] prior provincial for this opportunity. While the footprint of the Augustinians in the Diocese has shrunk, we truly treasure our ministry and our history here. I am so happy to be a part of it. Wonderful companions on the journey of life, sharing restless hearts looking for God, is one of God's greatest gifts to a priest. St. Augustine thought so. We are all in this thing called life together. I wouldn't give up any of the past 40 years. I love it."


REV. KENNETH SWAIN, a Chicago native, has served as associate pastor at St. John the Baptist parish, Rensselaer; Sacred Heart, Sidney; and St. Madeleine Sophie and Our Lady of the Assumption, Schenectady; as a hospital chaplain; as pastor of St. Mary's in Coxsackie, St. James in Fort Plain and St. Patrick's in St. Johnsville; and as administrator of Holy Trinity in Johnstown. He is currently pastor of Holy Mother and Child parish in Corinth/Lake Luzerne. He does not plan to mark his anniversary.



Bumper crop of golden jubilarians

REV. CHARLES GAFFIGAN, a Schenectady native, taught at McCloskey High School in Albany and served as associate pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish in Schenectady, St. Michael the Archangel in South Glens Falls; St. Joseph's in Broadalbin and Annunciation in Ilion. He was pastor at Most Precious Blood in South Kortright, St. Mary's in Glens Falls, Sacred Heart in Philmont and Holy Infancy in Lake Luzerne and Immaculate Conception in Corinth, which merged to become Holy Mother and Child parish. He'll celebrate his 50th jubilee with a Mass Aug. 5, 3 p.m., at Holy Mother and Child's Corinth church, followed by a reception.

QUOTE: "Memorable moments are the moment I said yes to taking a parish census in my first assignment and the ministry of visiting homes of inactive Catholics and the unchurched, [which has] continued throughout my priesthood. Why recommend priesthood? Because the need is greater than ever! The priesthood has given me the opportunity to share my God-given gifts in the service of others, which I find very fulfilling."


REV. TERENCE HEALY, a native of Dublin, Ireland, has served as associate pastor at St. Patrick's parish in Watervliet, St. Gabriel's in Rotterdam, Ss. Peter and Paul in Canajoharie, St. Helen's in Niskayuna and Annunciation in Ilion. Since 1985, he has been pastor of St. Joseph the Worker parish in West Winfield/Richfield Springs. He will celebrate his 50th anniversary of ordination with a Mass at the parish June 17, 1 p.m., followed by a private reception.

QUOTE: "It is beyond explanation, the privilege of saying Mass and offering holy communion to the faithful."


REV. DAVID JONES, MM, is a Troy native and a Maryknoll priest who spent many years in Tanzania and Sierra Leone, and also served at U.S. Maryknoll offices. He's been a hospital and prison chaplain in Rensselaer County and was administrator of St. Patrick's parish in Troy from 2003-2010. He will observe his jubilee with a Mass June 17, 1 p.m., at St. Joseph's Provincial House chapel, Latham, and a reception at the American Legion Post in Green Island.

QUOTE: "I find the 50 years of priesthood the most important thing I could have chosen. In each and every assignment, I felt close to the people I worked with, and being a Maryknoll missioner was the best thing for me. I am most grateful to the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers."


REV. ALAN JUPIN, a Watervliet native, was associate pastor at St. Thomas the Apostle parish in Delmar; associate and then pastor for eight years of St. John the Baptist in Schenectady; and pastor of Our Lady of Mercy, Colonie, for 10 years and of Our Lady of Fatima, Schenectady, for 17. He has not announced plans to mark his anniversary. QUOTE: "Ever since I was a little kid, I've always wanted to be a priest. I knew that I would be one, and that I'd be happy. It turned out to be so. I knew that 'the cross' would be part of it - we can't choose what way that will come - but God's grace is sufficient for all of us."


REV. DANIEL MAHER, a native of Cashel, Ireland, was associate pastor of St. Teresa of Avila parish, Albany; St. Mary's, Clinton Heights; and St. Francis de Sales, Loudonville; taught at Mercy High School in Albany; and was pastor of Sacred Heart of Mary in Watervliet for 21 years and Holy Cross in Albany for 14. He'll hold a jubilee celebration with friends and family in Ireland this summer.


REV. LEO MARKERT, an Albany native, served as associate pastor of St. Mary's in Oneonta, St. Patrick's in Watervliet, St. Teresa of Avila in Albany and St. Michael the Archangel in South Glens Falls, then went on active duty with the U.S. Navy as a chaplain. He then became pastor of Sacred Heart parish in Sidney, then spent 23 years as pastor of St. Gabriel's in Rotterdam. He will observe his jubilee privately.

QUOTE: "I've come to believe that the priesthood is not some thing, but someone: Jesus Christ, in whose priesthood I've been privileged to have served for these 50 years. I would do it all over again."


REV. FRANCIS O'CONNOR, an Albany native, was associate pastor at seven parishes: St. Brigid's, Watervliet; St. Mary's, Granville; St. Peter's, Stillwater; St. Peter's, Troy (while teaching at Catholic Central High School); St. Mary's, Hudson Falls; St. John the Baptist, Schenectady; and St. Joseph's, Albany, where he became pastor. He also served as secretary to Bishop William Scully, as a healthcare chaplain and as pastor of St. Patrick's in Albany and St. Joseph's, Stuyvesant Falls/Stottville. He has also been in Hispanic ministry and is currently chaplain for the Shrine Church of Our Lady of the Americas, a mission of Blessed Sacrament parish in Albany, and spiritual director for the Residents Encounter Christ retreat program for prisoners. His jubilee Mass will be celebrated May 20, 11 a.m., at Our Lady of the Americas, with a reception to follow at Blessed Sacrament School.

QUOTE: "It has been and is a privilege to accompany people in their search for God, to encourage and be encouraged on our journey. I am particularly grateful for my many relationships with the poor. Mis anos de ministerio con la comunidad hispana han sido una inspiracion y un reto: My years of ministry with the Hispanic community have been an inspiration and a challenge."


REV. THOMAS POWERS, an Albany native, taught at St. Patrick's Central Catholic High School in Catskill, at Keveny High in Cohoes and at Catholic Central High in Troy. He was associate pastor at St. John's, Greenville; Sacred Heart, Cohoes; Sacred Heart of Mary, Watervliet; and St. Patrick's, Athens. He was a hospital chaplain and pastor of St. Agnes in Cohoes; in the 1980s, he spent seven years in Rome, Italy, directing the graduate school at the North American College and the U.S. Visitors to the Vatican Office. He was diocesan director of continuing education for priests, pastor of St. John the Baptist parish in Valatie and pastor of St. Teresa of Avila parish in Albany. He has not announced plans to mark his anniversary.


REV. JOHN ROONEY, an Albany native, taught at Mercy High in Albany and Catholic Central High in Troy, directed CYO programs and was a hospital chaplain. In parish life, he was associate pastor at Our Lady of the Assumption in Latham and St. Mary's in Troy, and spent 25 years as pastor of Sacred Heart in Albany and six as pastor of Sacred Heart of Mary in Watervliet. He has not announced plans to mark his anniversary.



60 years, 65 and counting

REV. GEORGE ST. JOHN, a native of Troy, has been associate pastor of Blessed Sacrament parish in Albany and St. Margaret of Cortona in Rotterdam Junction; a healthcare and religious order chaplain; diocesan director of religious education and of Catholic radio and television; principal of St. Patrick's Central Catholic High School in Catskill; and pastor of St. Patrick's parish in Catskill, St. Mary's in Glens Falls and, for 12 years, Holy Spirit in East Greenbush. To mark his 60th jubilee of priesthood, he plans a Mass of Thanksgiving June 17 at Blessed Sacrament Church in Albany, followed by a reception in the school hall.

QUOTE: "I found great joy and satisfaction in the variety of assignments and continue to do so in retirement. The day I arrived to begin duty [as a chaplain] at Albany Med, that very hour I was called upon to visit a young college student who survived an accident in which her mother and boyfriend died and her father was in critical condition, and [to] tell her about it. The physicians indicated that sharing this knowledge would help her to remain conscious after a serious injury to her head. I couldn't believe she was discharged the next morning....I highly recommend pursuit of priesthood to young men - maybe older as well - who are inclined to offer their lives with Christ for the welfare of people and are drawn to do so as a priest. The priesthood has allowed me to serve God and the Church under five bishops to the best of my ability, and to bring God's grace and blessings to my brothers and sisters in Christ."


REV. RAYMOND PIECHOCKI, an Amsterdam native, had a summer assignment to Sacred Heart parish in Arkville, and served as associate at St. Adalbert's, Schenectady; St. Stanislaus, Amsterdam; St. Joseph's, Green Island; St. Mary's, Schenectady; and St. John the Baptist, Amsterdam. He was administrator of Sacred Heart parish in Hudson and pastor of Sacred Heart in Little Falls and for many years at St. Stanislaus, Amsterdam. He was also chaplain and director of pastoral care at Mt. Loretto Nursing Home, Amsterdam. He has no plans to celebrate his 65th anniversary.


REV. EDWARD RYAN, a native of Troy, was a hospital chaplain, assistant pastor at St. Mary's in Troy and, from 1964-96, pastor of St. Peter's parish in Delhi. He has not announced plans to mark his 65th anniversary of priesthood.





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