Several Southern Tier parish and school leaders were recently honored as they departed their longtime posts.
* Diana Oravec, principal at Ithaca’s Immaculate Conception School since 2005-06, has stepped down from that position. She was honored with an ice cream social June 18 at the school. Oravec previously served as principal of St. Patrick School in Seneca Falls from 2001-05. She also taught for 24 years at St. Mary School in Dansville, St. John the Evangelist School in Spencerport and St. Ann School in Hornell. Her successor at Immaculate Conception is Donald Mills, a veteran public-school principal. His position at Immaculate Conception began July 1.
* Father John Hayes, pastor of St. Matthew/St. Mary parishes in Livonia and Honeoye, was given a farewell party during the parish picnic held June 2 at St. Matthew. He had served in the area since 1999, when he became pastor of St. Joseph/St. William parishes in Livonia and Conesus. Father Hayes oversaw construction of a new church, St. Matthew, that in 2004 replaced St. Joseph/St. William. In 2007 he added the pastorate of St. Mary Parish in Honeoye, and led that parish and St. Matthew until this year. Father Hayes’ new assignment is as parochial vicar for Our Lady of the Lakes Parish in the Finger Lakes. Succeeding him at St. Matthew/St. Mary is Father Hoan Dinh, who comes from Our Lady of Peace Parish in Geneva where he was parochial vicar.
* Trish LaFortune, who has retired as pastoral associate of All Saints Parish in Corning/Painted Post, was given a reception June 9 following the 11:30 a.m. Mass at Corning’s St. Mary Church. A parish staff member since 2000, LaFortune has served in several ministerial roles including funeral planning, hospital visitation, marriage preparation and liturgy. She will continue to assist All Saints with funeral planning and marriage prep.
* Mike Drexler has departed as pastoral associate for evangelization and faith formation for the cluster of St. Agnes, Avon; St. Rose, Lima; and St. Paul of the Cross, Honeoye Falls. He was honored at all three churches the weekend of June 1-2. Drexler was previously the longtime faith-formation coordinator and youth minister for St. Agnes. The Avon/Lima/Honeoye Falls cluster’s new director of faith formation and youth ministry is Sister Laurie Orman, RSM, who had been serving as youth minister at Holy Trinity Parish, Webster.
* Sister Edna Slyck, RSM, who has retired as pastoral associate at Ithaca’s Immaculate Conception Parish, was given a send-off celebration June 30 after the 10:30 a.m. Mass. Sister Slyck, who served for 15 years at the parish, has a lengthy history in the Rochester Diocese as a teacher, religious-education coordinator and pastoral minister. She plans to continue residing in Ithaca in retirement. Replacing her as pastoral associate at Immaculate Conception is Patrick Meyer, who spent 17 years as a Catholic-school teacher in Ohio.