Father Albert J. Delmonte, 69, has served in eight parishes since he was ordained in 1964. Over the years, the parishioners he’s served have been his inspiration for continuing his ministry, he said.
“The strength of their faith has always been the greatest motivation for me. The faith of the people is what always inspired and encouraged me,” Father Delmonte said.
Father Delmonte will retire in June, after 40 years in the priesthood, but said he will continue to help out in the diocese wherever he is needed, he said.The Holy Ghost parish community in Gates will celebrate Father Delmonte’s 40th anniversary of ordination at the 10:30 a.m. Mass on June 6, with a coffee hour following. A similar coffee hour will follow his last Mass at Holy Ghost later that month.
Father Delmonte grew up in Sacred Heart Parish and attended St. Mary’s Grammar School, both in Auburn. At St. Mary’s, he became an altar server, working with a young priest named Father Dennis Hickey, who would later become an auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Rochester.
“I admired and respected him. That’s when I first felt drawn to the priesthood, watching him work. I loved to serve Mass for him. He was a great man,” Father Delmonte said.
Father Delmonte completed his seminary training at St. Andrew’s and St. Bernard’s seminaries, both in Rochester, and was ordained on June 6, 1964, by Auxiliary Bishop Lawrence B. Casey at Rochester’s Sacred Heart Cathedral. He was then assigned to Corpus Christi Parish in Rochester, where he served as assistant pastor until 1967, when he joined the theology faculty at King’s Preparatory School. In 1969, he became assistant pastor at St. Ann’s Parish in Hornell, where he remained until 1972, when he was named assistant pastor at Christ the King Parish in Irondequoit.
In 1975, Father Delmonte moved to Guardian Angels Parish in Henrietta, where he served as associate pastor until 1977, when he was named pastor of St. Anthony’s Parish in Elmira. He remained there for five years before he became pastor of St. Salome’s Parish in Irondequoit in 1982. He served that parish for 12 years before becoming pastor of St. Jerome’s Parish in East Rochester in 1994, where he remained until 1999. He served as sacramental minister for Blessed Sacrament Parish in Rochester for a year before taking on his current position in 2000 as pastor of Holy Ghost.
“It’s been a wonderful career, and I thank God for it every day,” Father Delmonte said.