Sr. Briege McKenna, OSC and Rev. Pablo Escriva DeRomani visit Binghamton westside parishes

Sr. Briege McKenna, OSC along with Fr. Pablo Escriva Di Romani
will be in Binghamton New York
Saturday, September 11th – Wednesday, September 15th, 2021.

General Itinerary:
Saturday, September 11th
featured speaker at the Diocesan Women’s Commission Retreat being held at St. Thomas Aquinas
speaking at the vigil Masses 4pm Vigil at St. Thomas Aquinas and 5:15pm at St. Patrick’s

Sunday, September 12th
speaking at the Masses 9am & 4pm at St. Patrick’s and the 11am St. Thomas Aquinas

Monday, September 13th – Wednesday, September 15th
day program to follow the 10am daily Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Church
evening program will be held at St. Patrick’s Church.

Additional details will be announced shortly.


What is posted below is taken from article by Michael Kelly  of the Sunday, February 24th 2002 issue of The Universe, Britain and Ireland’s best-selling Catholic newspaper.

The Miracle Life of Healing Sister Briege, OSC

The life story of Sister Briege McKenna is a truly remarkable one. Warned by doctors that she would be confined to a wheelchair by rheumatoid arthritis, she was cured by a miracle. Now she uses her God-given healing powers to help others.

EVERYTHING is possible to God we say – Sister Briege McKenna knows that God can do the impossible. Some believe in the theory of miracles, Sr. Briege believes in the reality of miracles because she sees them happen.

Sr. Briege has seen God intervene in the most remarkable ways since she was healed of crippling arthritis in 1970. Her own healing set her on a path that would take her to the ends of the earth – from huge rallies in Latin America to retreats in remote parts of Korea.

Briege McKenna was born in a remote part of Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland, on Pentecost Sunday in 1946. Briege lost her mother when she was only 13. She remembers it well, “As I cried that night, I heard a voice say, ‘don’t worry, I’ll take care of you’. The next morning I knew I wanted to be a nun,” she says. Briege went on to enter the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Clare in her hometown. She remembers her first vows vividly, “As I knelt in the chapel, waiting to be called up, I saw Jesus dressed as the Good Shepherd coming to me to take my hand, saying ‘come with me’.”

Briege had several assignments in different convents, but was heartbroken in 1965 when she learned that she had developed rheumatoid arthritis. She went to Florida in 1967 but her condition gradually deteriorated, “I cried with the pain, the doctor said that there was no hope for me and that before long I would be confined to a wheelchair”. Meanwhile Sr. Briege also began to experience immense spiritual pain and dryness. “I even began to ask myself whether I really believed in Jesus,” she revealed. What happened next began a remarkable chapter in the life of this extraordinary woman. Sr. Briege explains: “I attended a retreat in December 1970. I listened to talks on the power of prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit. During the retreat I remember looking at the clock as I closed my eyes. It was 9:15am, December 9, 1970. The only prayer I said was ‘Jesus, please help me’. At that moment, I felt a hand touch my head, I opened my eyes and no one was there, but there was a power going through my body. I looked down. My fingers had been stiff, but not deformed like my feet. There had been sores on my elbows. I looked at myself. My fingers were limber, the sores were gone and I could see that my feet, in sandals, were no longer deformed. I jumped up screaming, ‘Jesus! You’re really here’.” Since that fateful day Sr. Briege has never had arthritis and carries out her ministry with a breathtaking energy and enthusiasm that would leave most people exhausted!


Doctors are baffled by her recovery, but Sr. Briege needs no explanation. For her it is simply the power of the touch of the healing hand of God. Sr. Briege’s miraculous recovery was just the beginning of a whole new life for her. Not only had she been healed herself, but she had also received the gift of healing, and a powerful gift of insight. Sr. Briege was reluctant to take on a healing ministry, in fact she put the idea completely out of her head-but the Lord will not take no for an answer. She explains: “I was at a prayer meeting, I wasn’t going to talk about healing, but as I got up a lady jumped up and said, ‘Excuse me, Sister, I want to say something. You have the gift of healing. You know about it, but you are more worried about the approval of people than you are about God’s will’. I looked at her and said, ‘I’ve never seen you in my life, who are you?'” The lady had been inspired by the Holy Spirit to reveal what was special about Sr. Briege.

Sr. Briege with Fr. Kevin Scallon, who she often works with

Sr. Briege eventually embraced her gifts and God is doing wonderful things through her. It would be easy to get proud with such gifts, but Sr. Briege keeps her feet firmly on the ground. “I don’t do anything” she says modestly, “it’s all the healing power of Jesus. He’s simply chosen me as an instrument.”

Everywhere Sr. Briege goes she is met by countless people in need of healing. God is blessing people in a very special way through her ministry. Sr. Briege maintains a grueling schedule crisscrossing the globe bringing the power of Jesus to whomever she meets. She is as comfortable addressing an intimate gathering of bishops in Rome as she is addressing thousands of people in football stadiums in Latin America.

In her ministry, Sr. Briege has a special focus on priests. “Because the priesthood is under such severe attack, it needs, perhaps more than ever before, our encouragement and support,” she says.

A lot of Sr. Briege’s work takes her to seminars and houses of formation for young men training to be priests. It is a ministry of comfort, a ministry of confirmation and a ministry of affirmation.

Everywhere she goes is the same; one seminarian described her as “an inspiring signpost pointing to the Lord”.

Sr. Briege, while praying before the Blessed Sacrament had a vision about priesthood. “It was then that the Lord revealed to me that I couldn’t just sit back and criticize the priesthood” she said.

“Actually, in the sacrament of Holy Orders, the priest says yes to God so he can be a priest for me, for you, for every one of us.”

“Jesus led me into what seemed to be a sequence of images appearing over the tabernacle. There I saw the ordination of a priest-through the Lord’s eyes.” “When we look at a tapestry hanging on a wall, we see only the finished results of the labor of the artist. “We do not see all the labor and love that went into its making. However, on the reverse side, we see all the different threads and stitches and labor that went into the making of the beautiful work of art.” “So, too, when we look at a priest, we see the obvious strengths and weaknesses. But we do not see behind the scenes where the Lord has, with love and faithfulness, endowed the soul with a priestly vocation and guided him to ordination. I found myself weeping as I watched the unfolding of this powerful revelation of the priesthood and what it means to a man to be ordained. “I had a sense that everyone in Heaven – Mary, the angels and all of the saints – were praising God’s faithfulness to humanity in his call to men in every age to give them the power to make him present among his people.” “Through this experience, I got a new understanding of the priesthood. I got a new love and a deep reverence for the sacrament of Holy Orders. I came to understand that priests were in need of great prayers, and great consolation.” This started Sr. Briege on her mission to confirm priests in their vocation. “Too often priests get disheartened, they don’t get enough support,” she says. “Priests are human too, and weak, they need our constant help and support.”

Sr. Briege McKenna is a remarkable woman; someone who puts Jesus first in her life, and her great gift is to bring others to Jesus. As she says in her own words: “I am convinced that no one can do more than become a signpost that points to Him, to help others discover Him in their own hearts and permit Him to give them great blessings.” Sr. Briege truly is an outstanding witness to the power of Christ working in the modern world; God is doing great things for his people through her ministry.

Hearing God’s Voice in the Wilderness Retreat

Men’s and Women’s Discernment Retreat:
Hearing God’s Voice in the Wilderness”
Christ the King Retreat House  August 13th – 15th

 Facilitated by: Chris Spilka, Director of Christ the King Retreat House and Mary Hallman, Director of Evangelization. Come away to the beautiful grounds at Christ the King Retreat House to be renewed and refreshed! This retreat is for anyone who feels lost in the wilderness and is seeking the will of God for their life. Whether this is your first retreat or your fiftieth, you will enjoy this opportunity to reflect on these important questions: Where is God in my life? How do I know the plans God has for me? Is there one right path? Who will walk with me as I discern?


Annual Novena to Our Lady of Knock

August 14th — August 22nd


Click here for more information & for the schedule of preachers!



Novena prayers will conclude each of the regularly scheduled masses from August 14th-August 22nd.  During the week, the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed at 6PM, in preparation for the 7PM Novena Service.  We are excited to have the newly ordained priests of our diocese among the preachers for these evening services.  The Feast of Our Lady of Knock is celebrated on August 17th; a special Mass will take the place of the 7PM Novena Service.  Following this Mass, there will be an ice cream social.

Saturday, August 14th

5:15pm Mass with Novena Prayers


Sunday, August 15th

9:00am Mass with Novena Prayers
4:00pm Mass with Novena Prayers


August 16th, 18th—20th

7:00am Mass with Novena Prayers
6:00pm Eucharistic Exposition
6:30pm Rosary
7:00pm Novena Service

Tuesday, August 17th

7:00am Mass with Novena Prayers
7:00pm Feast Day Mass
Ice Cream Social following Mass

Saturday, August 21st

8:00am Mass with Novena Prayers
5:15pm Mass with Novena Prayers

Sunday, August 22nd

9:00am Mass with Novena Prayers
4:00pm Mass with Novena Prayers


Our Lady of Knock, Queen of Ireland — Pray for Us

Urgent Letter to the Diocesan Family from Bishop Lucia regarding the Hyde Amendment

In his July 2nd letter to the Diocesan Family Bishop Lucia writes:
“It is critically important for Catholics to send a strong message to Congress now, before it moves forward to impose taxpayer-funded abortion. The USCCB has launched a campaign for Catholics to raise their voices on behalf of women. The goal is for millions of Catholics to sign the petition on by July 16th.”

Click the link below to sign the petition:



A Totus Tuus Summer awaits your child

Totus Tuus was held in conjunction with St. Joseph’s in Endicott for summer of 2021. A a day program for children entering 1st -6th grades 9am – 3pm Monday- Friday, with about 30 in attendance and an evening program for youth entering 7th – 12th grade with 30+ in attendance 6:30pm – 9pm was a fun and inspiring time for all!

Totus Tuus reaches thousands of young people for Christ every summer. Hosted in as many as 50 arch/dioceses across North America, it inspires active stewards, fruitful vocations and a lifelong love for the Church.

Totus Tuus is a Catholic summer youth program dedicated to sharing the Gospel and promoting the Catholic Faith through catechesis, evangelization, Christian witness and Eucharistic worship. The goal of Totus Tuus is to help young people grow in the understanding of, and strengthen their faith in Jesus Christ. It is only by establishing a real and personal relationship with Him that we can be led to love of the Father in the Spirit and so be made sharers in the life of the Holy Trinity.

“I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6)

Totus Tuus strives to bring our faith to life by creating a balance between knowledge of the meaning of the Sacraments and an authentic Sacramental life.

Totus Tuus seeks to foster openness to vocations in the young people we serve as well as among the teachers. This is accomplished by placing special emphasis on the importance and necessity of prayer, Eucharistic devotion and Marian devotion, in addition to catechetical instruction and formation in the Catholic Faith.

Registration for this year has now ended. We look forward to a Totus Tuus Summer next year, 2022!

Religious Liberty needs our thoughtfulness and prayers

Solidarity in Freedom

“Solidarity means much more than engaging in sporadic acts of generosity. It means thinking and acting in terms of community” (Fratelli tutti, 116).

Religious freedom allows the Church, and all religious communities, to live out their faith in public and to serve the good of all.  Beginning June 22, the feast of Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher, the USCCB invites Catholics to prayreflect, and act to promote religious freedom.  While , the Catholic Church in the United States particularly celebrates and observes Religious Freedom Week during the time from the Optional Memorial of Saints John Fisher and St. Thomas More, June 22nd, until the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul,  June 29th, it is appropriate to pray for religious freedom at any time.

Let us Pray…
June 22– Adoption and Foster Care       Pray that children waiting to be placed in a loving home and the caregivers who serve those children will find strength and support from the church.

June 23– Catholic Social Service during the Pandemic    Pray that God would continue to grant Catholic institutions the wisdom and courage to serve a world suffering the effects of the Covid pandemic.

June 24– The Equality Act         Pray that the dignity of all people will be respected in our country.  The bill is well-intentioned but ultimately misguided. The Equality Act discriminates against people of faith, threatens unborn life, and undermines the common good.

June 25– Church Vandalism       Pray that Christian witness in the face of attacks on our churches will convert hearts to faith in Jesus Christ.

June 26– Catholics in Nicaragua       Pray for our brothers and sisters who are suffering in Nicaragua.

June 27– Conscience Rights for Healthcare Workers     Pray that governments will respect the conscience of all people who care for the sick and vulnerable.

June 28– Christians in Iraq      Pray for the Christians in Iraq, and that people of all faiths in the land of Abraham may live in peace.

June 29– Free Speech    Pray that Christians will have the courage to speak the truth with kindness and clarity, even in the face of adversity.

For more information go to: http:


Bishop Lucia announces pandemic protocol updates

May 21st 2021

Dear Diocesan Family,

A year ago on Pentecost Sunday, the churches of the Diocese of Syracuse were re-opened for public worship with new protocols for our parish churches involving the wearing of masks and social distancing. Fast forwarding 365 days, the public has been informed that we are now at a new stage in our response to COVID-19 and that persons who are fully vaccinated are not required to wear masks in public or maintain social distance.
Naturally, there is rejoicing that we have come this far in dealing with the coronavirus, but there is still apprehension, also. People worry about its recurrence, especially if we abandon protocols that have worked to decrease the virus’ rate in our communities. We do ponder whether safety regulations are being abandoned too fast; and if our neighbors will continue to focus on the wellbeing of the public, in general?
Respecting such concerns and after consulting with local officials, along with brother bishops and my diocesan staff, I am issuing today revised protocols for our parishes and diocesan institutions. They are meant to aid to a fuller return to Divine Worship on the Lord’s Day by providing for a less restrictive, but still safe worship environment. These protocols go into effect immediately, but it may take our parishes until next weekend to implement them fully, so I ask for your patience and understanding.
Where possible, we are seeking to provide for space in our churches for those who may wish to continue to observe safe distancing measures. We respect anyone’s desire to wear a mask in Church; and will require our clergy and lay ministers of Holy Communion to wear a mask for the distribution of communion as a safety measure.
With the lifting ofrestrictions, I will discontinue in the Diocese of Syracuse the dispensation from Sunday Mass beginning on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ on Sunday, June 6th. From apostolic times, the Church has always held the obligation to attend Holy Mass on the Lord’s Day as a most sacred responsibility. As of the first Sunday of June, the Catholic faithful are asked to resume their full and active participation in the Eucharistic liturgy through physical attendance at the Saturday Vigil Mass or Sunday Mass.
It should be noted as well that anyone who is frail or at risk due to advanced age or medical conditions is always excused from this obligation. Caregivers, too, may have to use prudential judgment about attendance at Mass carefully considering the risk factors involved.
I hope the accompanying protocols will provide both reassurance and the desire for renewed participation for our diocesan family in the Sacred Liturgy. Be assured of my continued prayers for all members of this Diocesan Church and your loved ones, and please pray for me.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Douglas J Lucia
Bishop of Syracuse

Bishop Lucia to Ordain 4 to the Priesthood June 5th

The Diocese of Syracuse joyfully announces the ordination of :
Rev. Mr. Daniel Caughey, Rev. Mr. Brendan Foley, Rev. Mr. John Leo Odour and Rev. Mr. Dennis Walker
on Saturday, June 5th 2021 at 10:00am from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
While the event itself is closed to the public, all are coordially invited the tune in online for this historic event.

Please visit:

The Rite of Ordination to the Priesthood, which takes place during the Rite of the Mass, carries centuries of sacred tradition to this present ceremony. The following explanation of the ritual is given so that one may better understand the various parts of the Rite of Ordination.

As always the Liturgy begins with a Procession. What is important to note is the order of the procession. All liturgical processions are organized according to the “order” of the ministers. Minor ministers process first, the Deacons present for the celebration, the Deacon carrying the Book of the Gospels, the Ordination Candidate, the concelebrating Priests and finally the Bishop with his assisting deacons. Since the Ordination Candidate still ranks within the Order of Deacons, it is here that he enters in procession.

The Liturgy of the Word, too, takes place in its usual form. The readings for the Ordination are taken from the special Lectionary Readings for Holy Orders. All of the readings speak of God’s election of us as a chosen people and the importance of the ministry to carry on the work of Jesus within the Church, caring for the needs of all.

Immediately following the gospel, the profession of faith is not said nor are the general intercession used. This is when the rite of Ordination begins. There is first the Calling of Candidate. A member of the Diocesan Vocation Office calls the Deacon by name, he responds “Present” and then stands before the Bishop. It is important to note that the ordinand (the one to be ordained) is called from the midst of the people. The Church firmly believes that those who are called to ministry answer a call from the Lord and are called from the midst of the community of the faithful. That is the reason why the ordinand sits with his family in the midst of the congregation. (For a scriptural understanding one might read Hebrews 5:1-6)

The ordination continues with the Presentation of the Candidate. The Bishop inquires of those charged with the formation of priesthood candidates, if the ordinand has taken all the preparatory steps and has been found worthy and competent to fulfill the office of priest. The Bishop then ELECTS the individual to be ordained and asks for the people to affirm this election by applause. The Bishop in his election of the Candidate is not acting as judge of the individual but is affirming the action of Holy Spirit in the life of the individual. The Bishop will then proceed with a HOMILY which is not only a homily but includes instruction to the ordinand in what the Church will expect of him in accepting the call to Priesthood.

For the first time in the Rite the ordinand will speak for himself. In the Examination of the Candidate, the Bishop inquires directly of his willingness to be ordained a priest. Answering the last of the Bishop’s questions with a firm, “I am with the help of God” the ordained steps forward to promise obedience to the Bishop and his successors. As a presbyter (priest) he will be under the care, guidance and direction of the Diocesan Bishop. This promise of obedience assures that both priest and bishop will work hand in hand to build the kingdom of God. As a symbol of this obedience, the ordinand places his folded hands inside the folded hands of the Bishop.

Before the actual Ordination takes place, the Bishop calls the congregation to prayer. The Church now calls upon all those who are saints to intercede on the behalf of the candidate as he approaches the sacrament of Holy Orders. The Litany of the Saints reminds us of the universal call to holiness and especially the call to holiness that marks the life of a priest. The ordinand will prostrate himself while the assembly kneels to pray. The gesture of prostration is a symbol of his submission to the will of God. This is a very powerful moment as this man hands his life over to God in total abandon. The Bishop concludes the Litany with a prayer.

The actual rite of Ordination takes place in the two parts that follow. First is the ancient symbol of the Laying on of Hands. The ordinand will go before the Bishop and the Bishop prays in silence as he places his hands on the head of the candidate. This gesture was first used by the apostles in the election of the first deacons for service in the Church (Acts 6:6). Using this same gesture the priests now come forward to impose hands. This is a sign that they, too, share the same gift of ordination through the gift of the Holy Spirit. When the priests have finished, they will raise their hand (as at the consecration of the Mass) in blessing as the Bishop prays the Prayer of Consecration. This prayer is the second part of the actual Ordination. The assembly responds “Amen” to the Bishop’s prayer as a sign of our assent, too, of the sacred action that has taken place.

The newly ordained priest then removes his deacon’s stole and is vested with the priest’s stole (a sign of his office of the priesthood) and the chasuble (the vestment worn for the celebration of the Mass). He then goes before the Bishop again. First, the palms of his hands are anointed with the Sacred Chrism. The Bishop prays, “The Father anointed our Lord Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. May Jesus preserve you to sanctify the Christian people and to offer sacrifice to God.” His hands are anointed so that, like Jesus, he may be a servant to the people of God leading them to the love of the Father through his celebration of the sacraments and his example.

The Presentation of the Gifts take place. Representatives of the church bring the gifts of bread and wine forward to the Bishop who then presents them to the new priest. He says, “Accept from the holy people of God the gifts to be offered to him. Know what you are doing, imitate the mystery you celebrate, model your life on the mystery of the Lord’s cross.” In this presentation the Bishop exhorts the new priest to live the mystery of the Eucharist in his own life, giving his life as Jesus did for the eternal life of the faithful. The Rite of Ordination concludes with the Sign of Peace. Having been given the gifts to exercise his office, the new priest is welcomed into the Order of Priest, first by the Bishop and then his brother priests.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist is then celebrated by the Bishop with the newly ordained taking a prominent role in this, his first celebration of the Eucharist as a priest.

Today and always the newly ordained lives out the words of the scriptures, You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek. This simple ceremony carries with it profound meaning for the life of the church. Through this rite, the priesthood begun in Christ continues for the life of the Church.


“Bar Date” Update

Bishop Lucia updates the faithful related to the conclusion of the Bar Date in the process of Chapter 11.
Please see letter attached here.

In the Name of Jesus

Bishop Lucia releases a Pastoral Letter for the people of the Diocese of Syracuse, In the Name of Jesus.
In the letter, Bishop Lucia acknowledges that home is where the heart is and that our home, within the Diocese of Syracuse, the faithful are called to rise and walk in the light of Christ, to live the Truth with love. In it the Bishop also announces an upcoming Diocesan Synod, an assembly of the people of God, as a vehicle for communicating and responding in the development of strategy for the Diocese today and in the future. Read In the Name of Jesus, in its entirety at the link below.

Official Prayer for the Year of Vocations

God, My Father,
you created me with a specific purpose for my life;
This is my vocation.

By following your plan, I will be happy on earth, earn the reward of heaven, and help others to do the same.

Please help me to hear, understand and follow Your call with my whole heart, especially when it is difficult.

Saint Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, pray for me to know and accept, god’s will for my life.

Our CHOW Pantry Could use Additional Volunteers

St. Patrick CHOW Pantry has provided service to the food insecure in our area for many years.  This year, with the pandemic causing more families into the ranks of the food insecure, we have served twice as many people (~71% more households) than we did over the same period last year.

We are open from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm each Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Our service location is at the north end of the gym lobby of the school building.  We need more volunteers to staff our service delivery hours and to provide behind the scenes support for our program.  Please click on the link below to indicate the times you can volunteer and your contact information.  Thank you!