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Archives Five priests honored as jubilarians

May 25, 2022

By Darcy Fargo

OGDENSBURG – Five priests of the Diocese of Ogdensburg were honored on May 18 as they celebrate jubilee anniversaries of their ordination to the priesthood.

The Jubilee Mass was held at Wadhams Hall, part of the annual Presbyteral Assembly, held this year as a retreat for priests of the diocese.

Honored for 25 years of service was Father Mark R. Reilly, pastor of St. Peter’s Parish in Massena, and Father James V. Teti, currently administrator of St. Henry’s in Long Lake and St. Therese in Newcomb and soon to be pastor of those churches and St. Alphonus-Holy Name Parish in Tupper Lake; honored for 50 years of priesthood were Father Gerald A. Cerank, a retired priest of the diocese currently living in Bradenton, Florida, and Father Daniel L. Chapin, currently serving with Maryknoll Fathers in a missionary capacity; and honored for 60 years was Father John P. Kennehan, a retired priest of the diocese who resides in Ogensburg.

At the Jubilee Mass, Bishop Terry R. LaValley thanked the jubilarians and all the priests of the diocese for their service to God and His people here in the North Country.

“What does love look like?” Bishop asked. “Sacrifice for the sake of the good of another… It’s reflected in the lives of our jubilarians and in all of your priestly lives as you sacrifice so much for the love of Christ and the good of his Church. This sacrifice – born of the salvation of souls – takes on special meaning for us as this local church looks back and counts our blessings for the lat 150 years of priestly love shared with the folks of the Diocese of Ogdensburg.”

Bishop LaValley encouraged the priests to continue in their efforts to share that love – the love of Christ – with their parishes and those they encounter.

“I thank God for the gift of your fidelity and perseverance,” he said. “And for the joy of the faith that you pass on amid so many challenges today. We know that the priest’s task is to teach people love. That’s the real task for someone who speaks about God. This is what we need most – to love and to teach them love.”

Three of the five jubilarians were in attendance at the Mass. They were also celebrated at a meal after the Mass, as well as with a reception prior sponsored by the Diocese of Ogdensburg Vocations Society (DOVS).

Father Mark R. Reilly

Pastor of St. Peter’s Parish in Massena and Dean of the St. Lawrence Deanery, Father Reilly, 58, was ordained Aug. 9, 1997, by Bishop Paul S. Loverde.

A Syracuse native, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps after graduating from high school and entered LeMoyne College. Upon graduation from LeMoyne, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant and was on active duty from 1986 to 1992.

He entered Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, in 1992.

Father Reilly’s first assignment was as parochial vicar in Saranac Lake. In 1999, he became spiritual Director at Immaculate Heart Central Jr./Sr. High school in Watertown. In 2006, Father Reilly was named pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Evans Mills, St. Theresa of Avila Church in Theresa, and St. Joseph Church in Philadelphia. In 2010, Father Reilly was named pastor in Saranac Lake with parishes at Lake Clear and Bloomingdale and mission in Gabriels.

In 2005-06, he was called up for active duty as a navy chaplain to serve with the Marines in Iraq, and again was activated for service from August 2012 to August 2013 in Djibouti, Africa. He retired from the Navy Reserves on June 1, 2014.

Father James V. Teti
New to the diocese, Father Teti is a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark in New Jersey. He’ll be serving in the Dioceses of Ogensburg for three years.

He was ordained May 24, 1997, in the Archdiocese of Newark.

Prior to arriving in the Diocese of Ogdensburg, Father Teti, 51, served as parochial vicar of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey for several months after ordination before relocating to Rome to study at the North American College.

After completing his studies in Rome, Father Teti served as parochial vicar of Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Verona, New Jersey; as assistant director of Vocations for the Archdiocese of Newark; in residence at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart and as the archbishop’s secretary; as parochial vicar of Our Lady of the Lake Parish and St. Teresa of Avila Parish in Summit, New Jersey; as director of the Permanent Diaconate for the Archdiocese of Newark; as pastor of Annunciation Parish in Paramus, New Jersey; and as administrator of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Mountainside, New Jersey.

50 Years
Father Gerald A. Cerank

When he enrolled at Plattsburgh State College in the early 1960s to pursue a teaching career, he wasn’t even Catholic, but he soon found his way to Christ, his Church and the priesthood.

After 10 years of study, first at Plattsburgh State, then St. Mary’s in Kentucky, Wadhams Hall, St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, and finally Fordham University, where he earned a master’s degree in Divinity and Religious Education, Father Cerank was ordained to the priesthood May 13, 1972.

After serving in various locations around the diocese, Father Cerank was assigned to St. Ann’s Church in Mooers Forks, where he served for 20 years until he retired in 2014. Among his accomplishments in Mooers was the construction of a new rectory at the parish, completed shortly after his arrival there.
He is currently retired and living in Bradenton, Florida.

Father Daniel L. Chapin
Father Chapin is currently serving as a priest associate with Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers.

Born in Malone and raised in North Bangor, Father Chapin, 75, studied for the priesthood at Wadhams Hall Seminary and St. Bernard’s Seminary in Rochester before his ordination May 13, 1972, by Bishop Stanislaus J. Brzana.

Father Chapin served as an assistant pastor at St. Mary’s in Ogdensburg before beginning 10 years of missionary work with the Ogdensburg Peruvian Apostolate, serving at St. Martin de Porras Parish in Mollendo, Peru, from 1976 to 1986. He was pastor from 1981 until returning to the United States.

Upon returning to the U.S., Father Chapin again served as parochial vicar at the cathedral for a short time until taking part in a sabbatical year at the Jesuit Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass. While on sabbatical, he worked as a chaplain intern at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Brighton, Mass., and then at Hotel Dieu and Kingston General Hospitals in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Upon his return to the diocese, he served as parochial vicar at Holy Family in Watertown and priest chaplain at Jefferson Community College in Watertown until being named pastor at St. Mary’s in Clayton and St. John the Evangelist in LaFargeville in 1989. In 2000, he was named pastor of St. James in Gouverneur with added responsibilities as pastor in Edwards in 2004.

He became pastor at St. Stephen’s in Croghan in 2006 with additional responsibilities as pastor in Harrisville added in 2013. Father Chapin also served as part-time priest chaplain at Gouverneur Correctional Facility. He retired as pastor after serving in Croghan, beginning his time as a Maryknoll Associate.

60 Years
Father John P. Kennehan

A native of Brasher Falls, Father Kennehan, 85, studied for the priesthood at Wadhams Hall and Christ the King (Diocese of Buffalo), before his ordination April 7, 1962 by Bishop James J. Navagh.

Father Kennehan served as an assistant pastor at St. John’s in Plattsburgh and St. Mary’s in Clayton before being assigned to the Ogdensburg Peruvian Apostolate in 1967. He served in Mollendo, Peru, until 1974, when he was named pastor of St. Patrick’s in Colton.

Father Kennehan returned to Peru from 1981 to November, 1982, when he was named pastor of St. James in Gouverneur. One year later he was named pastor in Norfolk, a position he held until 1989. At that time, he went to the University of St. Louis, Mo., for study in pastoral counseling.

Upon his return to the diocese, Father Kennehan was named pastor at Pope John XXIII campus parish in Plattsburgh in 1992; in Potsdam in 1994, and pastor in pastor in Brownville and Dexter in 2002.

Father Kennehan also served the diocese as a pro-synodal judge for the tribunal from 1975 to 1980, vicar for religious from 1978 to 1982 and as a member of the Department of Worship’s Art and Architecture Committee.

After retiring in 2003, he lived in Springfield, Missouri for a time. He currently resides in Ogdensburg.


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