CALLICOON, N.Y. — Thirty years ago on Aug. 19, Anthony Moore, OFM, took a shovel and broke ground for the Holy Cross Church building in Sullivan County. He was helped by Lillian Carter, the mother of President Jimmy Carter, who Anthony had met while based in Georgia in the late 1970s.
The parish, whose pastor is Ignatius Smith, OFM, held a 30th anniversary celebration of the church construction on July 23, complete with a Mass of Thanksgiving and the honoring of parishioners with the Province’s Francis Medal.
The occasion was a standing-room-only crowd of roughly 225 people, according to Ignatius. After Mass, concelebrated by Anthony, Ignatius, and Kevin Cronin, OFM, of St. Anthony Friary, Butler, N.J., Anthony told of the early days of construction and the joy of the parishioners with their new place of worship.
Former New York Cardinal Terence Cooke dedicated the church on July 20, 1980, giving them their own church for the first time since the mid-1800s. The parish, located several miles from the Province’s former St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary, worshiped at the seminary chapel until it was sold in the late 1970s.
To mark this special occasion, the Francis Medal was given to 14 people. The following descriptions were provided by Ignatius, who since 1995 has served the parishioners of two churches in Sullivan County — Holy Cross and St. Patrick’s Church in nearby Long Eddy, according to the parish website.
· Paula D’Agostino, an energetic lady with a strong Franciscan spirit
· Mary and Mickey DePrimo, an exemplary Catholic couple
· Francis Dirig, a brother of the late Edwin Dirig, OFM
· Dorothy Feeney, the guardian of upkeep at St. Patrick
· Frank and Kathleen Geosits, the backbone of the mission church of St. Patrick in Long Eddy
· John Lyttle, an attorney who advises the church and its members
· Melissa Mirch, religious education director who has added new concepts to the program
· Mary Navetta, 90, active in parish life
· Angelina and James O’Neill, a God-filled couple
· Ken Palmer, who takes great pride in the appearance of the church and its grounds
· Marie Zalesky, 102, who is still active in the parish’s spiritual and social activities