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Archives Seven priests honored at Jubilee Mass

May 29, 2024

On Tuesday, May 14, as part of the annual Presbyteral Assembly, priests of the diocese gathered to celebrate the 2024 jubilarians, Father Andrew J. Amyot and Msgr. Leeward J. Poissant, who celebrated 60 years of priesthood; Father Raymond F. Diesbourg, MSC, Father Paul J. Kelly and Father Donald F. Kramberg, who celebrated 50 years; Father Howard J. Venette, who marked 40 years; and Father Scott R. Seymour, who was honored for 25 years.


Father Andrew Amyot, 60 years
Father Amyot, 88, who retired in 2011, was born in Rossie.  He studied for the priesthood at Wadhams Hall, St. Mary’s College in Kentucky and Christ the King Seminary in Olean.  He was ordained May 23, 1964 by Bishop Thomas A. Donnellan.

Early in his priesthood, Father Amyot was assigned as assistant pastor of St. Alphonsus in Tupper Lake, Notre Dame in Malone and St. Hubert’s in Star Lake.  From 1968 to 1977 and again from 1981 to 1982, Father Amyot was part of the Ogdensburg Peruvian Apostolate, serving the diocesan mission in Mollendo, Peru, South America.

Upon his return to the United States, he was names pastor in Willsboro and Essex, in Evans Mills, DeKalb Junction with its mission in Russell, Black River and Natural Bridge.

In 1994, Father Amyot was named pastor in Norfolk with responsibilities as pastor in Raymondville added in 2007. He held these positions until his retirement.

Father Amyot served the diocese as vicar for religious from 1981 to 1986 and as dean of St. Lawrence Deanery.


Msgr. Leeward J. Poissant, 60 years
Retired since 2014, Msgr. Poissant, 85, was born in Plattsburgh.

After studying at Wadhams Hall, Christ the King Seminary in Olean and the North American College in Rome, he was ordained on his 25th birthday, Dec.18, 1963.

Msgr. Poissant also earned a licentiate in sacred theology from the Gregorian University in Rome and a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Toronto.

Msgr. Poissant’s first assignment was as assistant pastor at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Ogdensburg. In 1965, he was named assistant chancellor and secretary to the bishop.

Beginning in 1968, Msgr. Poissant spent 34 years of his priesthood as part of the faculty and administration of Wadhams Hall. He served as the seminary’s rector-president from 1982 to 1987. He also served as philosophy professor, vice-president and dean of students.

While continuing as a philosophy professor until the seminary’s closure in 2002, Msgr. Poissant served as pastor in Dekalb Junction and Russell from 1989 to 1994, rector of St. Mary’s Cathedral from 1994 to 1997, and pastor in Morristown and Brier Hill from 1997 to 2002, and as pastor in Keeseville and Clintonville from 2002 until his retirement in 2014.

He also served the diocese as director of seminarians and dean of Clinton Deanery. In 1995, he was named a prelate of honor with the title monsignor.


Father Raymond F. Diesbourg, MSC, 50 years
Father Diesbourg, 77, was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

He attended Sacred Heart Mission Seminary in Geneva, Illinois, DeSales University in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and graduated in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from DePaul University in Chicago.

Father Diesbourg did his novitiate year with the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart at Sacred Heart Retreat House in Youngstown, Ohio, and took first vows in 1967. He completed theology studies at the Catholic Theological Union at Chicago, Illinois, and received a Master of Divinity degree in 1974. He was ordained a priest on June 8, 1974, and then continued post-graduate studies at the Academy of St. Alphonse in Rome, Italy.

In 1978, he returned to the Catholic Theological Union and taught Moral Theology for the next 10 years, also serving as registrar and director of admissions at the school. During this time, he was also Formation Director for the MSC theology students. In 1988, he was transferred to the MSC Provincial headquarters in Aurora, Illinois, where he served in various positions over the next 17 years. On weekends he provided clergy assistance to numerous parishes in the Rockford and Joliet Dioceses. He also preached a variety of retreats at the Bishop Lane Retreat House in Rockford, Illinois.

From 2005-2011, Father Diesbourg was Pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish in Ottsville, Pennsylvania, in the Philadelphia Archdiocese, a parish staffed by the MSC for over 100 years. He has served as an advisor to various MSC Provincials from 1980-1991 and again from 1997-2009, when he was elected Provincial Superior of the USA Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. He returned to the MSC headquarters in Aurora in 2011.

He became pastor of the Roman Catholic Community of Cape Vincent, Rosiere and Chaumont in 2019 and continues to serve in that role.


Father Paul J. Kelly, 50 years
Father Paul J. Kelly, 80, was born in Buffalo. He studied for the priesthood at Wadhams Hall before continuing his studies at St. Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore.

He was ordained on May 4, 1974, by Bishop Stanislaus J. Brzana.

Father Kelly served as assistant pastor at St. Mary’s in Potsdam, St. Joseph’s, Massena, while also teaching at Holy Family High School; Notre Dame, Ogdensburg and St. Mary’s, Clayton.

In 1976, he was named to the faculty of Wadhams Hall and undertook graduate studies at Fordham University.
In 1981, Father Kelly was assigned as chaplain of the Raybrook Correctional Facility and associate pastor in Lake Placid.

He continued to serve as prison chaplain when he was named pastor in Keene and Wilmington one year later.

The priest also served as administrator of St. Joseph’s in Malone, parochial vicar at Sacred Heart in Massena, pastor in Brasher Falls, parochial vicar of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Ogdensburg, parochial vicar and administrator in Morrisonville, Louisville, Our Lady of Victory in Plattsburgh and in Dannemora.

Father Kelly also served as chaplain at the Ogdensburg Correctional Facility and St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center before being named pastor in Adams in 1994.

In 1996, he was named pastor in Lake Pleasant and Wells, a position he held until his retirement in 2011.

Father Kelly continues celebrating Masses as Elderwood at Uihlein, a nursing home in Lake Placid.


Father Donald F. Kramberg, 50 years
Father Kramberg, 75, is a native of North Bangor. He studied for the priesthood at Wadhams Hall, Our Lady of the Angels in Albany and Christ the King Seminary in Olean.

Father Kramberg served as assistant pastor at Sacred Heart in Massena, St. Augustine’s in Peru and St. Mary’s in Canton.

In 1980, he was appointed to the faculty at Wadhams Hall, a position he held for 11 years. In 1991, he served as administrator in Old Forge and then at St. Alphonsus in Tupper Lake.

He also served as parochial vicar in Clayton and St. Mary’s in Canton before being named pastor in AuSable Forks in 1992.

In 1998, he was named pastor of St. Alphonsus Church in Tupper Lake with added responsibilities as pastor of Holy Name in Tupper Lake in 2002. In 2004, he was named pastor of St. Joseph’s Church in Dannemora, with responsibilities as pastor of Church of the Assumption in Redford in 2006.

He retired in 2013.


Father Howard J. Venette, 40 years
A Chateaugay native, Father Venette, 66, entered Wadhams Hall Seminary in 1976, receiving his bachelor’s degree in 1980 before continuing at North American College in Rome. Additionally, he studied French in Paris and Parish Ministry in Edinburgh.

He was ordained July 21, 1984, by Bishop Stanislaus J. Brzana at his home parish, St. Patrick’s in Chateaugay.

Early in his priesthood, he served as parochial vicar at Sacred Heart in Massena, St. Mary’s in Potsdam, St. John the Baptist in Plattsburgh, Notre Dame in Malone and Our Lady of Victory in Plattsburgh. In 1994, he was named pastor of St. Francis Solanus Church, Harrisville, and he began serving as associate director of the Deacon Formation program.  He later served as the director of that program.

In July of 1997, he became pastor of St. Patrick’s in Colton. He later served as administrator of St. Mary’s in Brushton and then St. Mary’s in Waddington and St. John’s in Madrid. In 2012, he was named administrator of the Catholic Community of Constable, Westville and Trout River before being assigned pastor of St. Mary’s in Potsdam and St. Patrick’s in Colton, later serving in that role at St. Elizabeth’s Church in Elizabethtown, St. Philip Neri Church in Westport and The Catholic Community of St. Philip of Jesus and St. Joseph in Willsboro.
In 2021, he was named chaplain at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, a position he still holds.


Father Scott R. Seymour, 25 years
A native of West Chazy, Father Seymour, 53, graduated from Wadhams Hall Seminary-College and Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora.

He was ordained May 29, 1999, by Bishop Paul S. Loverde.

Father Seymour¹s first assignment was as parochial vicar at Notre Dame in Malone. In 2002 he became parochial vicar at St. Mary¹s Cathedral in Ogdensburg, a position he held until 2005, when he was appointed administrator St. Philip of Jesus Church in Willsboro and St. Joseph’s in Essex.

In April 2006, Father Seymour became pastor in Willsboro and Essex until 2009 when he was named administrator in Morrisonville and Treadwill Mills for one year before becoming pastor of those churches. He had been named pastor of St. Joseph’s Church in Dannemora and the Church of the Assumption in Redford. Those parishes were separated from the grouping in June 2021.

Father Seymour was named pastor in Morrisonville and Treadwells Mill in 2010 and took on additional responsibilities as pastor in Cadyville in 2017.

Father Seymour has been active in ministry with the Catholic Daughters of America serving as a chaplain for local courts and is a past New York State chaplain.

He has directed choirs for major diocesan events, including the INSPIRE summit in 2016.

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