Diocesan, order priests note many years of ministry in 2024 - Catholic Courier
A priest distributes Communion. A priest distributes Communion during Pope Francis’ Mass for the feast of Mary, Mother of God, and World Peace Day on New Year's Day in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Jan. 1, 2024. (CNS photo/Lola Gomez)

Diocesan, order priests note many years of ministry in 2024

Priests of the Diocese of Rochester as well as order priests serving locally look back on their many decades of ministry as they celebrate 2024 anniversaries of ordination.

70 Years

Father Kreckel: Grateful for the friendships made during priestly ministry

Father Robert Kreckel maintains that he hasn’t done anything new or noteworthy in the last year.

“I’m just coasting along,” he said.

Father Kreckel

To Father Kreckel, who this year celebrates 70 years of priestly ministry, “coasting along” includes regularly presiding at Mass at St. Joseph and Holy Spirit churches in Penfield.

A Rochester native, Father Kreckel grew up in St. Boniface Parish and graduated from the parish school and Aquinas Institute. He completed his seminary studies at Rochester’s St. Andrew’s and St. Bernard’s seminaries and was ordained June 5, 1954, by Bishop James E. Kearney at Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Father Kreckel then served as assistant pastor at St. Alphonsus, Auburn (1954-60), and Immaculate Conception, Rochester (1960-66), before becoming Immaculate Conception’s pastor. He remained there until 1973, when he became the founding pastor of Church of the Resurrection in Fairport.

He led the fledgling Fairport parish until 1985, when he became pastor at St. Mary of the Lake, Ontario. He remained there until he reached senior status in 2003 and moved into the rectory at St. Joseph in Penfield. He has been assisting at St. Joseph and Holy Spirit ever since.

Father Kreckel is grateful for the many friendships he’s made and the diverse communities he’s belonged to throughout his seven decades of ministry.

“It’s a wonderful life,” he told the Catholic Courier in 2023.

60 Years

Father Delmonte: The people of God are a gift in his life

Father Delmonte

For every stop in his priesthood, Father Albert Delmonte has come away with joyful experiences.

“I am so grateful to God for the grace the people of God are, the gift they are in my life, in all the faith communities where I’ve been privileged to serve over the years,” Father Delmonte said. “The people have been enfleshed evidence of God acting in my life, when I see the reverence and gentleness with which they live their lives.”

Father Delmonte is a native of Auburn where he belonged to St. Mary and, later, Sacred Heart Parish. He attended Rochester’s St. Andrew and St. Bernard’s seminaries before being ordained June 6, 1964, by Bishop Lawrence B. Casey at Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Father Delmonte’s first parish assignment was as assistant pastor at Corpus Christi, Rochester (1964-67). He then taught theology at King’s Preparatory School (1967-69) before assisting at St. Ann, Hornell (1969-72), Christ the King, Irondequoit (1972-75) and Guardian Angels, Henrietta (1975-77).

His first pastorate was at St. Anthony, Elmira (1977-82), and his lengthiest assignment was as pastor of St. Salome, Irondequoit (1982-94). Father Delmonte was then pastor of St. Jerome, East Rochester (1994-99), sacramental minister at Blessed Sacrament, Rochester (1999-2000) and pastor of Holy Ghost, Gates, from 2000 until reaching senior-priest status in 2004.

From 2004 to 2014, Father Delmonte provided ministerial support at St. Louis Parish in Pittsford. He has ministered at St. Ann’s Community in Rochester since 2014, providing pastoral services while residing at the Chapel Oaks independent-living community.

Father Donnelly: Was blessed by the people he was privileged to serve

Father Donnelly

Father William Donnelly, who also lives at Chapel Oaks, joins with Fathers Delmonte and Daniel Holland — a senior diocesan priest as well — in doing pastoral care at St. Ann’s.

“They’re wonderfully faithful people,” Father Donnelly said of the residents. “They have cherished their faith all these years.”

Father Donnelly grew up in Auburn’s Holy Family Parish and attended St. Andrew’s and St. Bernard’s seminaries in Rochester. He was ordained by Bishop Lawrence B. Casey at Sacred Heart Cathedral on June 6, 1964.

He was assisting priest at Rochester’s St. John the Evangelist (Humboldt Street) from 1964 to 1969, and chaplain at Monroe Community College (1969-76) before taking a 10-year leave of absence doing social-service duty, particularly with youths.

Resuming priestly ministry in 1986, Father Donnelly served in two Long Island parishes. Upon returning to the Rochester Diocese, he was parochial vicar at St. Mary Our Mother, Horseheads (1990), and St. Mary, Canandaigua (1990-92).

In 1992, he became pastor of St. Mary, Elmira, staying until December 1996. In 1997, he began a 10-year pastorate at St. Mary, Rochester. He also was rector of Becket Hall (2002-05). In 2007 he became sacramental minister at St. Mary in Rochester, retaining that role until beginning at St. Ann’s in 2011 upon becoming a senior priest.

“It was a gift to me,” Father Donnelly said of his assignments. “I was always blessed by the people I was privileged to serve.”

Father Donnelly also continues to make promotional appearances for Unbound, an international organization serving the underprivileged.

Father Kiggins: Was enriched by ministering to people of diverse opinions and backgrounds

Father Kiggins

Throughout his 60 years of priestly ministry in various parts of the diocese, Father Roy Kiggins has always tried to respect and listen to people with different opinions or backgrounds than his own.

“I’ve learned a lot of things from those experiences, and I’ve been richer for it,” Father Kiggins said.

A Rochester native, he learned to adapt to new experiences at a young age, attending five schools between kindergarten and eighth grade. After graduating from St. James School in Irondequoit, he studied at St. Andrew’s and St. Bernard’s seminaries and was ordained June 6, 1964, by Auxiliary Bishop Lawrence B. Casey at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Rochester.

He served as assistant pastor at St. John of Rochester, Fairport (1964); Our Lady of Lourdes, Elmira (1964-71); Good Shepherd, Henrietta (1971-72); and St. Mary, Canandaigua (1972-73). In 1973, he returned to Good Shepherd, where he served as copastor until 1987.

That year, he became pastor of Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and led the Brockport parish until 1999. He then took a sabbatical in El Salvador before becoming pastor of Geneva’s St. Francis de Sales and St. Stephen parishes, which in 2007 merged to form Our Lady of Peace Parish.

After reaching senior status in 2008, Father Kiggins assisted with liturgical responsibilities at St. Francis and St. Clare Parish in Waterloo and Seneca Falls. He currently resides at St. Ann’s Community at Chapel Oaks.

Father Mulligan: Always enjoyed journeying with God’s people

Father Mulligan

Father John M. Mulligan grew up in Rochester’s Sacred Heart Parish and attended Rochester’s St. Andrew’s and St. Bernard’s seminaries. He was ordained June 6, 1964, by Bishop Lawrence B. Casey at Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Following ordination, he was assistant pastor of Immaculate Conception, Ithaca (1964-66); St. Patrick, Corning (1966-71); and St. Mary, Auburn (1971-73). He was copastor of St. John the Evangelist, Rochester (1973-81), then pastor of St. Stephen, Geneva (1981-83), and St. Anthony of Padua, Rochester (1983-88). While at St. Anthony of Padua, he also directed the diocesan Division of Urban Ministry.

He was the first-ever moderator of the diocesan Pastoral Center from 1988-98. In 1988, he also was named one of two diocesan vicars general, continuing in that role until the 2012 retirement of Bishop Matthew H. Clark. In addition, he served as pastor of Most Precious Blood, Rochester (1998-2000); Sacred Heart Cathedral (2000-05); and the Cathedral Community (2005-08).

He reached senior status in 2008 and assists at Holy Trinity, Webster, where he has resided since 2013.

“I have always enjoyed journeying along with God’s people, and serving God’s people has been a great source of nourishment,” he said at the time of his 55th jubilee in 2019.

55 Years

Father Endres: Likes to help out and do the Lord’s work

Father Endres

Father William Endres lives in East Rochester, but does not hesitate to drive to Watkins Glen, Ontario or Caledonia if he’s needed to preside at Mass when a brother priest is ill or away.

“I just like to do the work of the Lord and help out when I can,” he explained.

Father Endres grew up in Irondequoit, where he attended St. Salome Parish and its grammar school. He then studied at St. Andrew’s and St. Bernard’s seminaries in Rochester and was ordained June 7, 1969, by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen at Sacred Heart Cathedral.

He served as assistant pastor at St. Stephen, Geneva (1969-74); Sacred Heart Cathedral (1974-80); St. Jerome, East Rochester (1980-83); St. Thomas the Apostle, Irondequoit (1983-88); and Holy Trinity, Webster (1990-93). In the 1980s and 1990s, he provided sabbatical assistance to parishes whose pastors were on sabbatical and served temporary assignments at St. Mary, Elmira (1988); St. Michael, Penn Yan and St. Andrew, Dundee (1989 and 1993); Our Lady of Mercy, Greece (1989); and St. Vincent DePaul, Corning (1990).

Father Endres was chaplain at Rochester General Hospital from 1994-2001 while also serving at Rochester’s St. Andrew and St. Philip Neri parishes. From 2002 until reaching senior status in 2013, he was chaplain at Strong Memorial and Highland hospitals in Rochester and as assisting priest at St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Scottsville.

In 2011, he began assisting at St. Columba/St. Patrick Parish in Caledonia and St. Vincent DePaul Parish in Churchville, which merged with St. Mary to form St. Martin de Porres Parish.

Father Maloney: Praises God for all of his experiences in priestly ministry

Father Maloney

Father Bernard Maloney, OFM Cap, said he is awed by the various ways he’s been blessed to do the Lord’s work. Over the course of his 55 years as a priest, he has served in parishes and schools, as well as religious formation and administration for the Capuchin Franciscans of the Province of St. Mary.

“I just praise God for all the experiences I’ve had throughout my ministry. Never would I ever have imagined all the things I’d be doing,” said Father Maloney, who grew up in Rochester and is pastor at Mary, Mother of Mercy in Ovid, Interlaken and Trumansburg.

After graduating from Aquinas Institute, Father Maloney completed his formation at St. Lawrence Seminary in Mount Calvary, Wis.; St. Lawrence Friary in Milton, Mass.; and St. Anthony’s Seminary in Hudson, N.H. He earned a master’s of divinity from Mary Immaculate Friary and a master of arts degree in divinity from Maryknoll Seminary.

Father Maloney was ordained Nov. 8, 1969, by Bishop Joseph Paronicon at Sacred Heart Church in Yonkers. He taught religion at Sacred Heart High School (1972-76) and later served as director of postulants for the Province of St. Mary (1972-76) and provincial vicar and personnel director for the province (1987-93).

Father Maloney served as parochial vicar at St. Joseph Church, New Paltz (1976-81), and pastor at St. Joseph the Worker Church, East Patchogue, N.Y., (1981-87); Sacred Heart Church, Yonkers (1993-98); St. Francis Solanus, Interlaken, and Holy Cross, Ovid (1998-2002); St. John the Baptist, New York City (2002-08); and St. Joseph, New Paltz (2008-14).

In 2014, he became pastor of St. James the Apostle, Trumansburg, which in 2016 merged with Holy Cross, Ovid, and St. Francis Solanus, Interlaken, to form Mary Mother of Mercy Parish.

50 Years

Father Antinarelli: Has served Rochester’s Our Lady of Victory/St. Joseph since 2001

Father Antinarelli

St. Cecelia is the home parish of Irondequoit native Father Ronald A. Antinarelli. He attended Rochester’s Aquinas Institute, graduated from St. John Fisher College with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, and attended St. Bernard’s Seminary to earn his bachelor of divinity degree.

He was ordained on April 20, 1974, at Blessed Sacrament Church by Auxiliary Bishop Dennis W. Hickey.

After ordination, Father Antinarelli became assistant priest at St. Stephen in Geneva. In 1977, he was assigned to Holy Family in Auburn as associate pastor. He went on to serve as associate pastor at St. Philip Neri, Rochester (1980) and then at St. Ann, Hornell (1982). In 1987, he became parochial vicar at Immaculate Conception, Ithaca (June-September), followed by Holy Spirit, Penfield (September 1987).

In 2001, Father Antinarelli became priest administrator of Rochester’s Our Lady of Victory/St. Joseph Parish, which he continues to serve after becoming pastor in 2014.

Father Hewes: ‘God has blessed me these 50 years’

Father Hewes

“The way God has blessed me these 50 years is just incredible,” stated Father James Hewes during a Mass he celebrated at Greece’s St. Mark Church on March 27 —the 50th anniversary of his priestly ordination.

Father Hewes is a native of St. Jerome Parish in East Rochester. He graduated from McQuaid Jesuit High School, St. John Fisher College and St. Bernard’s Seminary and was ordained in 1974 at Holy Ghost Church in Gates by Bishop Joseph L. Hogan.

He served as associate pastor at St. Mary of the Lake, Watkins Glen (1974-75); St. Mary, Canandaigua (1975-79); and Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Rochester (1979-80). He then was pastor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Rochester (1981-87) and campus minister at SUNY Geneseo (1987-99).

Father Hewes went on to serve as parochial vicar at St. Francis de Sales/St. Stephen in Geneva (1999-2000); pastor of St. John the Evangelist, Clyde/St. Patrick, Savannah (2000-07); pastoral administrator of St. Joseph, Rush (2007-10); and parochial vicar in the Gates cluster of Holy Ghost, St. Helen and St. Jude (2010-15). He attained senior status in January 2015, moving to St. Mark where he still resides: “I couldn’t think of a better place to be,” he said.

Father Hewes helped start Catholic Charities agencies in Livingston and Wayne counties; was a mediator for the Center for Dispute Settlement; and was active in jail ministry and helping the urban poor. His many pro-life associations have included Rochester Area Right to Life, the diocesan Human Life Commission and Project Rachel. Father Hewes continues to write weekly parish-bulletin columns about life issues.

Father Kennedy: Feels blessed as he looks back at five decades of priestly ministry

Father Kennedy

“Basically, my life has been in three chapters,” noted Father Robert Kennedy, saying his 50-year priesthood has been divided up fairly evenly as a liturgist, educator and parish priest.

“I look back over it and really realize how blessed I’ve been. Not every diocesan priest has the opportunities I’ve had,” he said.

Father Kennedy grew up in Waterloo’s St. Mary Parish and Irondequoit’s St. Salome. He attended St. Andrew’s Seminary, St. John Fisher College and St. Bernard’s Seminary and was ordained March 1, 1974, by Bishop Joseph L. Hogan at Irondequoit’s St. Margaret Mary Church.

He was associate pastor at St. Mary, Canandaigua (1974-75) and diocesan director in the offices of liturgy (1975-81) and continuing education (1981-83). He earned a master’s degree in liturgy from the University of Notre Dame and later spent five years there for doctoral studies in liturgy. He went on to teach liturgy and preaching for many years at St. Bernard’s Institute (now St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry) while serving in a number of Monroe County faith communities.

Father Kennedy became pastor of Rochester’s Blessed Sacrament Parish in 2000, adding on the pastorates at Saint Boniface in 2011 and St. Mary in 2015. He reached senior status in 2017 and was parochial administrator at St. Louis in Pittsford in 2018 and 2019 before assisting at Rochester’s Sacred Heart Cathedral. He currently resides in Rochester and assists at area faith communities.

A noted writer and lecturer, Father Kennedy continues to maintain a steady speaking schedule, saying that he’s staffed eight retreats in the past year.

Father Leone: Extremely grateful to God for the privilege of offering holy Mass

Father Leone

Reflecting on his 50 years of priesthood, Father William B. Leone said he is extremely grateful to God for “the privilege of offering holy Mass, which is beyond words to describe, and certainly (I’m) not worthy to do that, but in God’s mysterious plan, I’m doing that.”

Father Leone’s home parish is St. Helen in Gates. He graduated from Aquinas Institute in 1965 and attended St. John Fisher College, followed by St. Bernard’s Seminary. He was ordained April 5, 1974, at St. Charles Borromeo Church by Bishop Joseph L. Hogan.

After ordination, he was appointed assistant pastor at St. Frances de Sales in Geneva, then associate pastor at St. Jerome in East Rochester in 1977. His first pastorate was at Rochester’s Holy Redeemer in 1980.

Also was in 1980, Father Leone became a chaplain in the New York Army National Guard, in which he served until 2008. In 2007, he deployed to Kosovo for a year.

“I was exempted (from military service) through college and seminary, and many of my friends served in Vietnam,” he recalled, noting that one of his friends was severely wounded and lost both legs in the war, and another died from complications related to Agent Orange. “I felt I should … give some time to military service as my friends had done; that I owed something to our country.”

In 1985, Father Leone became pastor of St. Francis Xavier, Rochester. He took a sabbatical from 1989-90, and then served in sabbatical-assistance ministry at St. Augustine, Rochester, and St. Mary, Geneseo, and as temporary Catholic chaplain at Ithaca College.

In June of 1990, he was appointed pastor of the Northern Cayuga Cluster (St. John, Port Byron; St. Joseph, Weedsport; St. Patrick, Cato), and he was pastor at St. Anne’s Parish in Rochester from 2002-08. He served as parochial administrator of St. Cecelia, Irondequoit, from 2008 until becoming pastor in 2011 of St. Jerome, where he currently serves.

“I think of so many people that I’ve had the privilege as a priest to serve, and they have been the greatest memories I have,” he remarked of his five decades of ministry. “So many times I’ve seen God’s providence at work. Things you never expect. … It turns out to be some soul, some person who God was seeking, and he seeks them through us, through our faith and our lives to be his presence in the world. It’s a mystery.”

Father Sirianni: Is grateful to the people of the Rochester Diocese for their support

Father Sirianni

Father Louis A. Sirianni said he knew as a boy of 8 that he wanted to be a priest.

“A priest or a garbage man,” he said, laughing, noting that he credits his mother for encouraging and nurturing his priestly vocation.

Father Sirianni is a native of Holy Cross Parish in Rochester. He attended St. Andrew’s and St. Bernard’s seminaries in Rochester and was ordained April 19, 1974, by Bishop Joseph L. Hogan at Rochester’s Holy Family Church, where he had served as deacon.

He was then assigned as an intern priest and associate pastor at Sacred Heart, Auburn (1974-79); associate pastor at St. Ann, Hornell (1979-82); and St. Louis, Pittsford (1982-85). His first pastorate was at Rochester’s Our Lady of Good Counsel (1985-92), and he then served as assisting priest at St. Boniface, Rochester (February-June 1993).

Father Sirianni began working with the Rochester Diocese’s Tribunal in the early 1980s as one of several priests trained to handle marriage-annulment cases. In 1992, Bishop Matthew H. Clark asked him to consider pursuing a degree in canon law and taking a more active role at the Tribunal. After receiving his licentiate in canon law in 1995, he began working as a judge for the Tribunal; in January 1996, he was appointed adjutant judicial vicar; and in June 1996, he became judicial vicar.

In addition his work in the Tribunal, beginning in 1996, Father Sirianni was assisting priest at Guardian Angels, Henrietta, until becoming pastor of St. Mark in Greece (2005-19). He reached senior status in 2021 and became a parochial vicar at St. Mark. Also that year, he retired as the Tribunal’s judicial vicar and was named adjutant judicial vicar.

He said he appreciates the flexibility he now has to visit out-of-state family.

Father Sirianni noted that he has enjoyed getting to know people throughout priesthood, sharing their joys and sorrows, and building relationships in the parish communities in which he has served.

“I’m grateful to the people in the Diocese of Rochester for their support … and all the lives that have been connected with mine. I’m hoping and praying that more young men will become priests,” he added.

Father Spilly: Has enjoyed being a priest and serving the people

Father Spilly

Father William Spilly is a native of Whiting, Indiana, near Chicago. He attended the former St. Bernard’s Seminary and was ordained May 10, 1974, by Bishop Joseph L. Hogan at St. Christopher Church in North Chili. He noted that his 1974 ordination class of 11 priests was the Diocese of Rochester’s largest in many years and has not been approached in size since.

He was parochial vicar at St. Ann in Hornell (1974-76) and then served in leadership roles for the diocesan Office of Human Development and Finger Lakes Office of Social Ministry from 1976 to 1984. Also during that time, he was administrator of St. Michael in Lyons for part of 1983.

In 1984, Father Spilly became pastor of the four-church Cayuga Team Ministry cluster, staying there for six years and also serving as pastor of two other area churches for part of 1986. In 1990 he took on another multi-parish pastorate, leading the four-church Corning-Painted Post Roman Catholic Community cluster until 1996.

Father Spilly then served eight years as pastor of Rochester’s St. John the Evangelist (Humboldt Street). He arrived as pastor of Hamlin’s St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in 2004, remaining there for 16 years until attaining senior status in 2020. At that point he moved into a private residence in Hamlin, where he still lives. He noted that he still celebrates Mass at area parishes when needed. A voracious reader, Father Spilly subscribes to a number of daily newspapers.

“I’ve enjoyed being a priest and serving people. I’ve enjoyed working with people of other faiths and denominations, especially on social-justice issues,” he remarked.

Father Tanck: Served in Rochester Diocese and with Basilians in Toronto

Father Tanck

As a Basilian, Father Norman Tanck has divided his 50-year priesthood almost equally between Toronto and his native Rochester Diocese.

“I get disoriented when I’m not on one end of Lake Ontario,” he quipped.

Father Tanck grew up in Rochester’s Holy Redeemer and Irondequoit’s St. Margaret Mary parishes. He graduated from Aquinas Institute in 1962 and St. John Fisher College in 1967, then entered the Congregation of St. Basil. He was ordained a Basilian priest at Brighton’s St. Thomas More Church on April 20, 1974.

In his early years with the Basilians, Father Tanck served as a teacher, academic counselor and campus-ministry director. From 1985-89, he was the dean of student life at St. John Fisher as well as superior of the Basilian community. From 1989-97, he served on the Basilian General Council as the order’s vicar general.

In 1998, Father Tanck became pastor of Irondequoit’s Christ the King Parish. He remained there for 14 years, becoming pastor of the newly consolidated St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in 2010.

In 2012, Father Tanck relocated to Toronto where he currently serves as part-time associate of St. Basil Parish; director of men entering the Basilians from the United States and Canada; and coordinator of Toronto’s Basilian Lay Associates.

Father Tanck noted his diversity of ministries after originally anticipating a career devoted to teaching.

“I’ve done things I never thought I was going to be able to do as a priest,” said Father Tanck, who celebrated 50th-anniversary Masses on April 21 at St. John Fisher and April 28 at Toronto’s St. Basil Church.

25 Years

Father Lape: Grateful to be serving the people in his hometown

Father Lape

Father Steven Lape recalled that when he entered the priesthood, he envisioned one day serving in his hometown of Gates. As he celebrates 25 years as a diocesan priest, that vision is a reality for Father Lape, pastor of the Parish of the Holy Family in Gates since 2021.

“It’s good to be home,” he told the Catholic Courier April 7. “I’m very thankful.”

As a child, Father Lape belonged to neighboring St. Theodore Parish in Gates, where he was involved in the youth program, sang in the choir, and served as a lector and extraordinary minister of holy Communion. He attended Gates Chili High School, and then he went on to study at Monroe Community College and St. John Fisher College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communications.

After graduation, Father Lape began a career as a radio disc jockey in Rochester, but after three and a half years, he found he wasn’t as happy as he thought he would be. So, he quit his radio job and spent several months “soul searching as to what God wanted him to do,” he said.

After spending 15 days in England and Scotland, and talking with some diocesan priests in Rochester, he started taking philosophy classes and moved into Becket Hall, the former diocesan pre-theology program for men discerning priestly vocations. In 1994, he entered St. Augustine Seminary in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada.

“It seemed like, as time went on, I just sensed signs from God, that this is where God wanted me to be,” Father Lape said.

He was ordained June 5, 1999, by Bishop Matthew H. Clark at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Rochester. After ordination, he served for three years as priest intern at Good Shepherd Church, Henrietta, before moving to Auburn as parochial vicar of St. Mary Church. In December 2002, while serving at St. Mary in Auburn, he became sacramental minister at Sacred Heart in Auburn and St. Ann in Owasco.

In 2005, Father Lape became pastor of East Rochester’s St. Jerome Church. He took a sabbatical from January to June 2010, during which he participated in a three-and-a-half month study program at the Dominican St. Albert’s Priory, in Oakland, Calif. Upon his return to the Diocese of Rochester, he served as a full-time assisting priest at St. Mary of the Assumption, Scottsville; St. Columba/St. Patrick, Caledonia; and St. Vincent de Paul, Churchville.

In 2014, Father Lape became pastor at St. Mary of the Lake, Watkins Glen, and St. Benedict, Odessa, which he led until 2021. In June 2021, he left the Southern Tier to return to his hometown of Gates to serve at Parish of the Holy Family.

“I just love being with the people,” he said about his priestly vocation. “I love mingling with them and sharing in their joys and sorrows, whether it’s being able to say the Mass for them or help them out in their funerals and comfort them, reassure them.”

Yet Father Lape said he isn’t planning any celebrations of his 25th anniversary.

“What makes me happy is just do what I do and just continue on being a minister to people and to be able to do the Masses and help people wherever they’re at. That’s my idea of celebrating,” he said.

Tags: Priests
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