Ogdensburg Diocese Begins 150th Anniversary Celebration February 12 | Perspectives of Faith
OGDENSBURG — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg, covering an area of 12,036 square miles and 78 parishes, will kick off its 150th anniversary celebration with a holy hour Feb. 12 at St. Mary’s Cathedral.
The diocese was established by Pope Pius IX on February 16, 1872, after separating what was then a sprawling Diocese of Albany that encompassed most of northern New York and formed what is now the Diocese of Ogdensburg which includes Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties, as well as northern Herkimer County.
The diocese will open the celebration, themed “Remember, Renew, Rejoice,” during a Holy Hour, or a time of prayer with the Eucharist, at 3 p.m. on February 12 at St. Ogdensburg. Parishes, organizations and the faithful of the diocese are encouraged to join in the celebration by organizing similar prayer services the week of February 16.
“As we celebrate 150 years of the Church in the North Country, we remember those who came before us, sowing the seeds of faith and building the foundations on which we now stand; we renew our commitment to Christ, the mission he entrusted to the Church and to the service of the lost, the rejected and the forgotten; and we rejoice in the many gifts and blessings that come from the Lord,” Bishop Terry R. LaValley, Bishop of the Diocese of Ogdensburg, said in a statement.
According to a statement from the diocese, the “cornerstone” of the anniversary celebration will take place on August 9 with vespers and an evening prayer and will continue on August 10, the feast of Saint Lawrence, with an anniversary mass. . Both will take place at St. Mary’s Cathedral.
Other events include an octave of service, during which eight days will be set aside for parishes, organizations and individuals to serve one another, their communities and the church from May 19-26.
Celebrations are also planned to mark the 70th anniversary of St. Mary’s Cathedral and the 50th anniversary of Camp Guggenheim, the diocesan youth camp at Saranac Lake. The diocese will also host a website and “stories map” dedicated to collecting and sharing stories of historical significance from the diocese.
Alongside the 150th anniversary, the diocese is participating in the “Synod on Synodality” convened by Pope Francis to create opportunities for what Vatican documents describe as “local listening and dialogue” with the aim of “ humbly learn together how God is calling us to be like the Church of the third millennium,” the statement said.
The Diocese of Ogdensburg is made up of three mission parishes consisting of 101 places of worship, 16 parish oratories, two secondary schools, eight elementary schools and a retirement home. The Catholic population of the diocese is 71,905, or 18.2% of the total population of the diocese.
In the diocese there are 49 active diocesan priests, nine priests belonging to religious institutions and five priests belonging to other dioceses. There are 37 retired and disabled diocesan priests, many of whom continue to perform various roles.
The assistant priests are a transitional deacon, 96 permanent deacons, 66 nuns and 753 commissioned lay ministers.
At Fort Drum, two priests from the Archdiocese of Military Services serve as chaplains.