Deacon Gary DiLallo always has been motivated by a desire to serve others. That desire has led him to serve as a brigadier general in the U.S. Army Reserve, a police officer, a permanent deacon and as pastoral administrator of Ss. Mary and Martha Parish.
Although he will retire from pastoral leadership at the Auburn parish in June, Deacon DiLallo said he hopes to continue his diaconal ministry elsewhere in the diocese.
"I still enjoy preaching and teaching. To me that’s the most important part, spreading the word of God," Deacon DiLallo said.
Born and raised in Auburn, he later moved to Washington, D.C., to attend American University. While in Washington, he met his wife, Priscilla, and embarked on dual careers in law enforcement and the Army Reserves. Deacon DiLallo worked as a police officer in the nation’s capital for eight years before he and Priscilla moved to New York in 1979. Back in his home state, he worked as a deputy with the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office before becoming an investigator for Cayuga County’s district attorney. The DiLallos also provided foster care for more than a dozen children over the course of a decade and adopted one of them.
In the late 1980s Deacon DiLallo discerned a call to serve his faith community and was ordained a permanent deacon by Bishop Matthew H. Clark on June 2, 1990, at Sacred Heart Cathedral. He ministered for several years at St. Mary Parish in Waterloo and St. Hyacinth Parish in Auburn before serving in two parishes near Poughkeepsie and becoming director of deacon formation for the Poughkeepsie area. During this time he was active in the Army Reserves, serving as CEO of the 77th Regional Reserve Command at Fort Totten in Queens.
Deacon DiLallo retired from the Army Reserves as a brigadier general in 2005 and became director of faith formation for Blessed Trinity/St. Patrick parishes in Tioga County. He served there until 2009, when he was appointed pastoral administrator of Auburn’s St. Francis and St. Hyacinth parishes, which in 2012 merged to form Ss. Mary and Martha Parish. He guided the parish through the transition and also helped the parish establish a youth ministry, Martha ministry and Stephen Ministry.
"It was just a wonderful time. It was a real blessing," he said.
Nonetheless, Deacon DiLallo said he will not miss the 72-mile trek to Auburn from his Southern Tier home. He will, however, be a frequent presence in Auburn over the next few months. He’s promised to assist Father Frank Lioi, pastor of St. Mary in Auburn, who also will take on leadership of Ss. Mary and Martha.