Home Page Home Page Events Events Photos Photos Diocese of Ogdensburg Home Page  
Follow Us on Facebook

Archives Year in review: Looking back at 2023

December 27, 2023

As 2023 comes to a close, we take this opportunity to reflect on the year. The following are highlights from 2023 editions of the North Country Catholic.

•  December 31, 2022 – The Vatican announces the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. He was 95.

•  January 10 – Sister Gail Anne Jarvis, a Sister of Mercy of the Americas and Plattsburgh native, dies at age 66.

•  January 12 – Four students from St. Bernard’s School in Saranac Lake carry the torch in the torch relay for the International University Sports Federation World University Games. The students were aided by school Principal Andrea Kilbourne-Hill, a former Olympian, and teacher Allison Miller.

•  January 18 – Sister Kathleen Mary DeBoalt, a Sister of St. Joseph, dies at age 72 after several decades serving youth and families at various Catholic Schools in the diocese.

•  January 25 – Father Nicolas J. Revilla, a priest of the Archdiocese of Caceres in the Philippines, arrives in the diocese.

•  February 2 – The Diocese of Ogdensburg celebrates and prays for consecrated religious as part of World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life.

•     February 26 – Bishop Terry R. LaValley celebrates the Rite of Election and Call to Conversion at St. Mary’s Cathedral, documenting and praying for those preparing to enter the Church at the Easter Vigil.

•  March 1 – A new deanery configuration becomes effective, reducing the number of deaneries in the diocese from six to four – Clinton-Northern Franklin, St. Lawrence, Adirondack Mountain and Jefferson-Lewis.

•  March 15 – Bishop Terry R. LaValley announces that the 2022-23 Bishop’s Fund Appeal had reached its goal. Thanks to the generosity of 6,680 households, $1.3 million was raised to support vital ministries and aid North Country neighbors.

•  March 15 – Sister M. Carolyn Madden, a Sister of Mercy and native of Saranac Lake, dies at age 94. She served for decades in schools around the North Country and in other parts of New York.

•  March 22 – Piercefield native Sister Maurice Black, a Sister of St. Joseph, died at age 93. She served the diocese in education, and she founded and directed the Special Religious Education program in Watertown.

•  March 29 – Due to declining enrollment, it is announced that St. Mary’s School in Ticonderoga would be closing after 64 yeas educating and forming youth in the Catholic tradition.

•  March 30 – Priests of the Diocese of Ogdensburg gather with Bishop LaValley at St. Mary’s Cathedral for the celebration of the Chrism Mass.

•  March 31 – A Women’s Healing Retreat featuring Sister Mary Michael Fox, a Dominican Sister of St. Cecilia, is held at the Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse in Watertown. The event was sponsored by the Department of Faith Formation.

•  April 9 – Msgr. Lawrence M. Deno died at age 90. He served as a priest in the diocese for 63 years.

•  April 15 – Bishop LaValley bestows the Edgar P. Wadhams Award for Distinguished Service to Dr. Celine Paquette at St. Mary’s Church in Champlain for her dedication to the Church, diocese parish and community.

•  April 16 – Mary Beth Bracy of Plattsburgh is consecrated to the Life of Consecrated Virginity Lived in the World in a Mass celebrated by Bishop Terry R. LaValley at St. Peter’s Church in Plattsburgh.

•  April 22 – Youth from around the diocese gather at High Peaks Resort in Lake Placid for the annual diocesan Youth Rally themed “We are Jesus in the World.”

•  May 8-10 – Deacons from around the diocese gather at Edgewood Resort in Alexandria Bay for the annual Deacon Assembly.

•  May 21 – Bishop LaValley celebrates the Jubilee Mass during the annual Presbyteral Assembly, honoring Father Patrick Ratigan (40 years), Father Robert Decemberer (40 years), Msgr. John McAvoy (60 years), Father Sony Pulickal (40 years), Father Richard Demers (40 years), Msgr. John Murphy (50 years), and Father J. Michael Gaffney (SO years).

•  May 27 – Father Lukas Gruber, Deacon Carter Pierce and Deacon Douglas Schirmer are ordained by Bishop LaValley at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

•  June 9 – The Catholic Media Association awarded the North Country Catholic a second place award in the “best Regular Column – Spiritual Life” category for three of Editor Darcy Fargo’s columns.

•  June 10 – Augustinian Academy in Carthage is joined by Bishop LaValley honoring Mary Ann Margrey, school principal, who retired after 45 years of service in Catholic Education.

•  June 19 – Quebec’s Minister Responsible for First Nations and Inuit Relations announces a $115,000 grant to help St. Regis Mission Church repair stone walls, façade and a steeple.

•  June 23 – Father Fernando Solomon, currently serving at St. André Bessette Parish in Malone, takes his Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America, becoming a U.S. citizen.

•  June 25 – Bishop LaValley commissions 14 new lay ministers to serve in various ministries around the diocese.

•  July 2 – Father Jaya “Jai” Kumar, a Missionary of the Sacred Heart (MSC), arrives in Watertown to assist at the parishes there and other parishes and ministries served by the MSC community.

•     July 6 – Danielle Fitzgerald of St. Bernard’s School in Saranac Lake and Karlene Gonyeau of St. Mary’s School in Ticonderoga were honored as 2022-23 Distinguished Teachers.

•  July 15 – Bishop LaValley celebrates a Jubilee Mass with the Sisters of St. Joseph. Celebrating jubilees were Sister Mary Louise Fiedler, 65 years; Sister Noel Chabanel Hentz, 60 years; Sister Bernadette Marie Collins, 60 years; Sister Ellen Rose Coughlin, 60 years; and Sister Jennifer Votraw, 55 years.

•  July 16 – Knights of Columbus from around the diocese gathered at St. Anne’s Shrine in Isla LaMotte, Vermont, for the group’s annual pilgrimage.

•  July 17 – The Diocese of Ogdensburg files for Chapter 11 reorganization. Reorganization is intended to ensure survivors of abuse are justly compensated and the diocese can continue its vital ministries.

•  July 30 – Six men were admitted as candidates to the Permanent Diaconate by Bishop LaValley at St. Mary’s Cathedral. 

•  August 6 – A gazebo at Camp Guggenheim is dedicated to the memory of William Ward, who was born with Myotubular Myopathy, a rare disease that affects all skeletal muscles and died at age 20 in 2021. The gazebo provides a covered gathering space near the camp’s beachfront.

•  September 7 – Bishop LaValley awards the Bishop Edgar P. Wadhams Award for Distinguished Service to Ralph Bennett, who served as director-caretaker of Camp Guggenheim for over 40 years.

•  September 8 – Deacon Lee Trudeau is appointed associate director of Deacon Formation by Bishop LaValley to assist Msgr. Robert H. Aucoin, program director, in educating and forming men discerning and pursuing the diaconate.

•  September 10 – Bishop LaValley celebrates the Marriage Jubilee Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral, honoring and praying for married couples from around the diocese.

•  September 15 – Deacon William S. Raven of Black River dies at age 91. He was ordained in 1988.

•  September 16-17 – The annual Bishop’s Fund Appeal, themed “We Share the Burden,” launched around the diocese. The appeal supports vital ministries and 

•  September 24 – Representatives of law enforcement, corrections, emergency services and emergency communications gathered at St. Alexander’s Church in Morrisonville for Bishop LaValley’s celebration of the annual diocesan Blue Mass.

•  September 29 – Survivors of residential schools spoke about the abuse they endured at Every Child Matters Day in Akwesasne, an event aimed at reconciliation and healing.

•  October 1 – Mission of Hope celebrates its 25th anniversary and honors Sister Debbie Blow, a Dominican Sister and the organization’s founder and longtime executive director, by dedicating and blessing the Sister Debbie Blow OP Operations Center and Warehouse in Peru.

•  October 4 – Sister Eileen Murray, an Ogdensburg native and Sister of the Grey Nuns, celebrated her 100th birthday.

•  October 16 – Father Joseph W. Elliot dies late in the evening at St. Joseph’s Home in Ogdensburg at age 78 after 52 years of service as a priest in the diocese.

•  October 20-22 – Catholics from around New York gather in Auriesville for the New York State Eucharistic Congress. Bishop LaValley is the principal celebrant for the Congress’ main Mass on October 21.

•  October 22 – Trinity Catholic School in Massena celebrates its 40th anniversary.

•  November 12 – Deacon Gary Brunell of Constable dies at age 88. He served as a deacon for 33 years.

•  December 7 – Msgr. Paul E. Whitmore dies at age 94 after a brief illness. He served as a priest in the diocese of 69 years, including service as a columnist for the North Country Catholic.

•  December 11 – Sister Catherine Mary Cumings, a Sister of Mercy, dies at Elderwood of Uihlein in Lake Placid. She was the founding director of Mercy Care for the Adirondacks’ Parish Nurse and Mission Integration programs.

North Country Catholic North Country Catholic is
honored by Catholic Press
Association of US & Canada

Copyright © Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg. All rights reserved.