Rev. George P. Fleming, born in Albany, has served as an associate pastor at Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Latham and St. John the Evangelist Church, St. Mary’s Church and Holy Cross Church in Schenectady. From 1999 to 2006, he served as pastor at Blessed Sacrament Church in Hague; St. James in North Creek; and St. John the Baptist Church in Chestertown. From 2006 to 2010, Father Fleming served as pastor at The Church of the Holy Trinity in Schaghticoke; and at St. Bonaventure Church in Speigletown (Troy) and Transfiguration Parish in Schaghticoke/ Speigletown from 2010-2014. Since 2014, he has served as pastor at The Church of St. Joseph in Stottville/Stuyvesant Falls; St. James Church in Chatham; and St. John the Baptist Church in Valatie.
“The loss of my mother and other significant loved ones during my seminary experience and early priesthood had a significant effect on how I would model my priesthood. The consolation and support I received strengthened my faith as did my awareness of their inspiration and the grace that was shared. The ability to walk with others at significant times of their life and the humbling awareness that you are providing a way for them to connect closer to Jesus through the sacraments, prayer and pastoral support continues to bless me immensely.
I am profoundly touched by the challenges and benefits of serving multiple parishes for over 20 years. I would not have considered this possible when I was ordained and at times, I do feel overwhelmed. Two aspects of this type of service, however, make it possible.
The first aspect is the power of collaboration and the role of lay leadership. I was blessed to work with pastors for my first two assignments and a pastoral life director during my first pastorate, all of whom taught me much. Having multiple assignments requires you to be indebted to your staff, lay ministers and volunteers which, in the long run, serve the people well.
The second aspect that allows for the serving of multiple assignments has been the blessing of technology. 25 years ago, I never would have imagined relying on the internet, emails, cell phones or other means that allow one to be in contact with multiple communities and be reached in times of need or emergency.”
Father Fleming will celebrate Masses of Thanksgiving at each of the eight weekend liturgies over the course of three weeks: The Church of St. Joseph, June 15-16; St. James, June 22-23; St. John the Baptist, June 29 and 30. The three parishes are part of the Catholic Community of Northern Columbia County, including the Spanish community. There will be a celebration in honor of Father Fleming’s anniversary on Sunday, June 23, at the Columbia County Fairgrounds in Chatham from 2-5 p.m. All are welcome and may RSVP at any church site.
Rev. Christopher J. Welch, a native of Auburn, served at St. Francis De Sales (Christ Our Light) in Loudonville, and as part-time chaplain at Ellis Hospital for a year while on medical leave. He also served from 1998 to 2002 as a Parochial Vicar for Sacred Heart-St. Columba’s Church in Schenectady; and as Parochial Vicar at Corpus Christi in Round Lake from 2000 to 2002. He has been pastor at St. Joseph in Greenwich; Sacred Heart-Visitation (Notre Dame-Visitation) in Schuylerville; and St. Paul the Apostle in Hancock. Since 2016, Father Welch has served as a pastor of St. Cecilia’s Church in Fonda; Sacred Heart in Tribes Hill and as Vicar for the Mohawk region.
“As an ordained member of the Body of Christ, I have been welcomed to celebrate peak moments in the life of others. I am part of celebrating new life with baptisms and weddings and new life with those who have died or in the process of dying in hospitals and at funeral liturgies.
I have had some major medical moments in life and my priesthood. These moments have helped me to understand the power of prayer and the sacrament of the sick. It is an honor to pray with those who are sick in mind, body or spirit.
In my priesthood, I have come to experience, in the words of St. Ignatius, many consolations and desolations. The consolations always come on the heels of the desolations. Our God is good and greatly present in our world and in the lives of the people in his Diocese. It has been an honor and privilege to serve as a priest in the Albany Diocese.”
Father Welch will offer Mass at the Shrine of the North American Martyrs at 3 p.m. on Sunday,
June 30. He will also offer a Mass at his home parish of Sacred Heart in Auburn at 10:30 a.m. on July 14.
Rev. Ronald Menty, born in Waterford, has been an associate pastor at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany. He served as pastor at St. Patrick’s in Troy; Our Lady of Grace in Ballston Lake; St. Patrick’s in Ravena; St. Joseph’s in Scotia and All Saints in Albany. He also served as Administrative Advocate for Priests at the Pastoral Center of the Albany Diocese.
“I have been blessed with assignments to wonderful parish communities. I have especially enjoyed working with the laity and encouraging their participation in lay ministries and in assuming greater responsibilities in the life of the parish community. I especially enjoy breaking open the Word of God in homilies that I hope are meaningful to the community. I recommend this ministry to anyone willing to work with people in their parishes in establishing communities of faith and service.”
Father Menty will celebrate the weekend liturgies at St. Clare’s Church in Colonie on May 18-19, with a reception after Mass.
Rev. Richard S. Vosko, born in Amsterdam, celebrated the Sacrament of Holy Orders with Bishop Edwin B. Broderick in St. Stanislaus Church. He then taught religion at Cardinal McCloskey High School until he was appointed chaplain at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In 1973, Father Vosko was named the director of the first Office of Prayer and Worship, also known then as the Liturgy Center. Since 1978, he has worked internationally as a liturgical designer and consultant for Catholic, Protestant and Jewish congregations. As a member of the Diocesan Architecture and Building Commission, he’s served as the consultant for most of the churches built or renovated in this Diocese since the Vatican II Council. He also designed the chapels in St. Peter’s Hospital and the Albany International Airport. Over the years, he has taught courses at Siena College, Maria College, Union Theological Seminary in New York and St. Bernard’s School of Theology. Since 1969, Father Vosko has worshiped with the faith communities at St. John the Evangelist in Schenectady; St. Pius X in Loudonville; Christ Sun of Justice in Troy; and St. James, now St. Francis of Assisi, in Albany. Until 2017, he was the Sacramental Minister at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Albany. During the past two years, Father Vosko has presented major addresses at national conferences on liturgy, art and architecture in Ireland, Italy and Australia. His third book, “Art and Architecture for Congregational Worship: The Search for a Common Ground,” will be available from The Liturgical Press in September.
Grateful for all the lessons he has learned from laity and clergy over the past 50 years, Father Vosko has made no plans to celebrate his anniversary.
Rev. Ronald S. Matulewicz, born in Schenectady, served at St. Joseph’s Church in Albany from 1959 to 1962. He also taught at St. Joseph’s in Albany; Bishop Burke High School in Gloversville; Fulton-Montgomery Community College; St. Alphonsus Church in Glens Falls and St. Anthony’s Church in Herkimer. From 1985 to 2008, Father Matulewicz served at St. Stephen’s Church in Hagaman and St. Mary’s in Galway. He also served as chaplain at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany.
“There were dramatic changes in the Church because of Vatican II; English was introduced. The Church was now ecumenical … I had to learn and accommodate myself to a new way of praying.
As a child, because I belonged to a Polish parish, all devotions, prayers, catechism were in Polish and the Mass was in Latin. All the priests prayed the Breviary in Latin. We understood what we were praying and saying.
In this time, my family, priests, friends offered me love, affirmation, and prayer. In Johnstown, Herkimer and Hagaman, parishioners and families, invited me for dinner frequently. It was wonderful to become a member of their family. Of course, there was the joys and sorrows we encountered in life. It was worth it. I have Mass at the Korean Church in Albany. It is the former Francis De Sales parish on Exchange Street.
I am close to Father Damian Lee, the pastor. I appreciate when I give an English sermon and he gives his in Korean. I tease him that I did it first and then he copies my sermon. Then Father Damian relates to the seniors. I relate to the youth and graduate students of the University at Albany. I can speak just a little Korean.
It is a real family parish; after Mass, dinner is served, chopsticks and all. I celebrate Mass every Tuesday at All Saints on the Hudson in Mechanicville at 9 a.m. Then I go out with the parish nurse on sick calls. I am involved in the Clifton Park Senior (Community Center). I take art classes there. All my activities bring me in contact with people. I remind them to go to Church."
Father Matulewicz celebrates Mass every Tuesday at All Saints on the Hudson in Mechanicville at 9 a.m. My nephew will have a chicken and venison barbecue at his farm in Delanson with family and friends (to celebrate).
Rev. Paul Smith, born in Albany, and since 1962 has served as Campus Minister at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, then at the University at Albany, and within the last 10 years at University Heights College Suites, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Albany Medical College, Sage College of Albany and Albany Law School. Since 1990, Father Smith has been Pastoral Associate for Sacramental Life at St. Lucy/St. Bernadette Church in Altamont. Since 2010, Father Smith has served as chaplain at Albany County Jail.
“In the office prayer for Holy Week we have been reading about how God chooses the weak and those who count for nothing so that we can do no boasting before God. Those words feel like a giant mirror shared in front of me at this special time. I am a living example of God’s faithfulness to covenant in season and out.”
Rev. Peter G. Young, born in Albany, served at St. John’s in Albany, from 1959 to 1969 as assistant pastor, and later served as pastor at Blessed Sacrament in Bolton Landing from 1976 to 1993. He was a chaplain at Mt. McGregor Correctional Facility from 1976 to 1993 and served as a Sacramental Minister at Mother Teresa Community from 2003 to 2006 before retiring. After graduating from Siena College, Father Young enlisted into the Army.
Rev. Bernard J. Ahern, born in East Durham, served in the U.S. Navy, ET second class, from 1944 to 1946 before becoming ordained in 1954. He was an assistant pastor at Sacred Heart Church from 1954 to 1960, then as a U.S. Navy chaplain from 1960 to 1984, while serving one year in Vietnam. He later served at St. Joseph’s Church in Fort Edward; and since 1991 has served as an assistant pastor at St. Joseph’s Church in Jacksonville, Fla.
“I have always loved my assignments and the people I served. Rev. George Murray never asked me about becoming a priest, but the good example he set and his happiness as a priest drew me, plus the Holy Spirit, to the priesthood. It is the best job any person could have and it should shine in our lives.”
Father Ahern plans on celebrating his 65th anniversary at the 5:30 p.m. Mass on Saturday, June 8, at St. Joseph’s Church in Jacksonville, Fla.
Rev. Paul C. Cox, a native of Wynantskill, was an associate pastor at St. Vincent de Paul in Albany, and then a pastor at St. John the Baptist in Walton; Holy Spirit in East Greenbush; St. Mary’s in Glens Falls; and Sacred Heart in Lake George. He retired in 1998 but remains a Sacramental Minister at St. Cecilia’s in Warrensburg.
“I can’t think of a most memorable moment; there have been so many over 65 years. I am inspired by the holy lives of the people and have been called to them. They do so much for the Church and community in good and immeasurable ways.”
Father Cox has no plans for observing his jubilee at this time.
Rev. James Daley, a native of Albany, has been an assistant pastor at St. Patrick Church in Troy, and taught at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. In addition, he also taught at the Mater Christi Seminary in Albany for 11 years, while also teaching at St. Margaret of Cortona in Rotterdam Junction, and St. Paul’s in Schenectady. He was pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Delmar for 32 years, while helping out at Our Lady of Assumption and St. Joseph Provincial House, both in Latham, from 2002 to the present.
“I have never been unhappy all these years!”
Father James Daley plans on offering a Mass of Thanksgiving at the parish or Mother House on June 16.
Rev. Nellis J. Tremblay, from Glens Falls, was ordained in 1954 and spent six years as pastor at St. Patrick’s in Albany. He later served as pastor at St. Joseph’s in Albany; and Sacred Heart Church in Cohoes for three years. From 1992 to 1998, he served at St. Cecilia in Warrensburg, before he retired. He volunteered at Sacred Heart in Cohoes, and received a bachelor’s degree in counseling and a doctorate in theology from St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore and trained Bishop Howard Hubbard as priest.
“For years, I represented our Bishop in the city of Albany. I lived at the Cathedral. We helped solve the inter-racial problems: jobs, education, housing, government and poor. I had a sabbatical for three months in Rome. I have been to the Holy Land three times. I have traveled to Egypt, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Mexico, Alaska, Portugal, Spain, Africa, Canada and Haiti.”
Rev. Alfred Lamanna is a native of Amsterdam. He served the Diocese as associate pastor at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany, St. Mary’s parish in Little Falls, St. Mary’s in Frankfort, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Amsterdam; and as administrator of Our Lady of the Assumption in Schenectady. He became pastor of St. Catherine’s in Middleburgh, and St. Joseph’s in Schoharie, then served for 25 years as pastor of St. Mary’s parish in Frankfort, retiring in 1994.