Elmira native ordained as archdiocesan priest - Catholic Courier

Elmira native ordained as archdiocesan priest

Father Matthew Newcomb, a native of Elmira’s Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of New York on Saturday, May 14. The ordination was performed by Cardinal Edward Egan at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.

Father Newcomb, 26, is a 1997 graduate of Horseheads High School. He received his associate’s degree in liberal arts from Corning Community College in 1998, then moved to New York to begin his priestly studies. He earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from St. John’s University in 2000 and his master’s in divinity from St. Joseph’s Seminary in 2004.

Following his priestly ordination, Father Newcomb celebrated his first Mass on May 15 at St. Brendan’s Church in the Bronx, where his summer assignments have taken place. The following weekend, he returned to Elmira to celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving at Our Lady of Lourdes on May 22.

Father Newcomb credits two deceased priests of the Diocese of Rochester, Fathers Joseph Egan and Elmer McNamara, for helping create his path to a priestly vocation.

“The witness of how they were as priests was a great influence. They were happy and joy-filled priests; they weren’t afraid to preach the truth of Christ in their homilies,” he said.

Father Newcomb’s first priestly assignment in the New York Archdiocese is as parochial vicar of St. Joseph’s Parish in Kingston. The newly ordained priest envisions himself ultimately as the head of a parish — “definitely I feel the call to be a pastor, a leader and shepherd of souls,” he said — with teaching a strong possibility as well.

“My parents (Patricia and James) are retired teachers, and I’d like to be involved somehow in education,” he said.

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