Home Diocesan News Here’s what happened in the diocese in 2017
Here’s what happened in the diocese in 2017 Print E-mail
Friday, 29 December 2017 14:46

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following year-end roundup of diocesan news stories was compiled by Annetta Sweetko, production director. Some of the events listed under a specific month may have actually been held earlier but due to printer deadlines were placed in the following issue.


Catholic Schools Week is celebrated with various activities in the schools throughout the diocese. – Massillon St. Mary Parish reopens with a blessing by Bishop George V. Murry, 16 months after fire damaged the church building. – The annual Mass for Life is celebrated at Youngstown  St. Columba Cathedral and North Canton St. Paul Parish with Bishop Murry. – Michael Roberts is named the new communication director for The Living Bread Radio. – Brother of Christian Instruction Francis Blouin, the third president of Walsh University, North Canton, dies of Lou Gehrig’s disease at the age of 87. – First Friday Club welcomes Bishop Murry who speaks on North American Church history. – Many parishioners representing the diocese attended the March for Life in Washington D.C.




Youngstown Cardinal Mooney high school honors Ursuline Sister Margaret Scheetz, Patricia Cipriano, Michael Kilanowski, and John  Zajac as Distinguished Alumni. – Father David Menegay, diocesan priest, died at age 73. – The World Day of Consecrated Life was celebrated with Bishop Murry in the cathedral with men and women religious from throughout the diocese. – The annual White Mass for health care professionals is held at the cathedral with Bishop Murry as celebrant. – Youngstown Ursuline High School offers summer youth sports camps for basketball, baseball and softball. – North Canton Walsh University inducts seven alumni: Ingrid Brainard Hughes, Corey Jones, Kami Kessler Treharn, Chad Lahna, George Theodoris, Brandon Weems, and Timm Fautsko, into its Wall of Fame. – thirty diocesan students from five  high schools qualify for the state speech tournament in Berea.


The Rite of Election is celebrated with 227 people as part of their preparation to becoming full members of the Church. – The diocese celebrates a special evening of Reconciliation entitled “The Light Is ON for You” with the Sacrament of Reconciliation offered in all parishes. – Lenten programs  are offered in various parishes throughout the diocese. –  The fifth annual Men’s Conference is held at Louisville  St. Thomas Aquinas High School and Middle School with keynote speakers and a Mass celebrated by Bishop Murry. – Canton Knights of Columbus host a Mass honoring Stark County safety forces  at the Basilica of St. John the Baptist. – Ursuline High School girls basketball team wins the Division III district championship. – New Middletown St. Paul the Apostle blesses  the newly remodeled and renamed Father Nick Shori Hall, named for its late former pastor as well as the director of the diocesan Office of Evangelization. – Father James Korda is named by Bishop Murry as president of Catholic Network of Youngstown Television.– A  Mass and dinner is held at Orwell St. Mary Parish for all the men and women religious who were celebrating major jubilees.


Holy Week, Easter events are held at the cathedral and throughout the diocese. – The long-running tapes (CDs) for the blind presented by The Catholic Exponent, comes to an end. – Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas High School and Middle School names alumni athletes to its Hall of Fame. – Ashtabula St. John’s School’s Youth Philanthropy board,  with the Ashtabula Foundation, awards $5,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations. – The annual Scouting awards prayer service is held at the cathedral. Bishop Murry presented the awards and received the Msgr. Kolp Award for his work in promoting Scouting. – Papal nuncio Archbishop Christophe Pierre is the speaker for the Walsh University commencement ceremony. – The Chrism Mass is offered at the cathedral  with Bishop Murry.


Nine priests: Fathers Ed Neroda, George Balasko, Bob Bonnot, Msgr. Carfagna, Fathers Tim O’Neill, Joseph Witmer, David Merzweiler, Philip Miller and Msgr. Kenneth Miller, celebrate major jubilees with a prayer service and dinner at Vienna St. Thomas the Apostle Parish. – Diocese honors teachers Kristin Clapper, Loui Doenges, Joni Elson, Kimberly Gray, Kathleen Holsinger, Susan O’Connor and principal  Claire Gatti with the Golden Apple awards at a dinner at the Youngstown Country Club. – Hundreds gather in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima at the Youngstown Our Lady  Comforter of Afflicted Shrine. – Two Humility of Mary Sisters, Janet Burkhart and Carol Ann Smith, celebrate their Golden Jubilee’s with a Mass of Thanksgiving. – The 12th annual Catholic Charities “Men Who Cook” is held at the Embassy in Boardman. – Mantua St. Joseph Parish son, Dominican Brother James Peter Trares, is ordained a priest in St. Louis, Mo., for the Domincan Order by Archbishop Robert Carlson. – The six diocesan high schools graduate 443 seniors at various sites. –The diocesan Eagle of the Cross Awards are presented to 26 teens of the diocese with a special Mass and banquet at  Youngstown Our Lady Mount Carmel Basilica.


Deacons Zachary Coulter  and Scott Kopp are ordained by  Bishop Murry at St. Columba Cathedral. – Ashtabula Our Lady of Peace Parish begins offering a 6 p.m. Mass on Sundays. – CTNY wins two major communication awards: The Communicator Award and The Gabriel Award. – The Youngstown Diocesan Council of Catholic Women hold its annual gathering at North Canton St. Paul Parish. – Ashtabula Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church celebrates its 120th anniversary.  – First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association awards 25 area student scholarships. – 20 Sisters of Notre Dame celebrate major jubilees with Mass and reception in Chardon.– 145 couples celebrate 25 to 75 years of marriage at the cathedral with Bishop Murry  as celebrant. – Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Jean Marie Squiric and Isabella Pezone celebrate Golden Jubilee’s at a Mass in the chapel at Emmaus House in Louisville.. – The Lumen Christi School system disbands though the five schools will continue with a voluntary collaboration.


“Fortnight for Freedom” is celebrated at St. Columba Cathedral with Bishop Murry as homilist. – Bishop Murry appoints  two parish leaders. Pattie Condello is named for Holy Family Parish (St. Clement Church, Navarre and St. Therese Church, Brewster) and Ursuline Sister Mary Alyce  Koval will serve at Boardman Saint Luke Parish. – Our Lady of Mount Carmel Feast Day is celebrated with processions and mass at Youngstown Our Lady of Mount Carmel Basilica, Niles Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish and Ashtabula Our Lady of Peace Parish. – East Liverpool Holy Trinity Parish’s St. Aloysius Church celebrates its 130th anniversary with a Mass and blessing by Bishop Murry. – A Mass for the Hispanic Community is offered by Bishop Murry at Salem St. Paul Parish. At this time seven parishioners receive confirmation and two children receive their First Communion. – Rachel Hrbolich, diocesan director of Catholic Charities, is appointed interim diocesan director of social concerns.  Hrbolich steps in to replace Salvatorian Father David Bergner who recently retired from the diocese. – Paul Hiltz is named interim CEO of Mercy Medical Center in Canton. – New principals are appointed by Bishop Murry Alyse Consiglio to Warren John F Kennedy Catholic School and Michelle Carosella as assistant principal at Youngstown Ursuline High School. – Ursuline Sister Therese Ann Rich and Regina Rogers celebrate Golden Jubilee’s with the Mass and luncheon.


Diocesan schools gear up for another school year. – The Serra Club hosts its annual seminarian picnic at the Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus grounds in Hubbard. – Bishop Murry addresses a local prayer vigil against hatred following violent at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The bishop appoints Anthony Kobak as parish leader for Austintown Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish. – Daniel Gravo is named by Bishop Murry as the president of Canton Central Catholic High School and Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas High School and Middle School. A joint board of directors is also appointed for both Stark County Catholic high schools. – Charismatic Renewal celebrates its 50th anniversary with a Mass in Salem St. Paul Parish.– Girard St. Rose Parish celebrates its 120th anniversary. – Six diocesan high school football teams gear up for a new season. – Sister Mary Agatha Ebele Obinka makes her perpetual vows as a Sister of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. – Benedictine Sister Barbara Pavlik observes her 60th jubilee as a Sister of the Queen of Heaven with a Mass of Thanksgiving. – St. Vincent de Paul Society opens new dining hall at the Youngstown SS. Cyril and Methodius Church on Wood Street. A grand opening with blessing is planned for next month. – The Grotto at Randolph – Suffield St. Joseph Parish marks its 90th anniversary with celebrations that included students of the school, previous  pastors and Bishop Murry. The Cecelia Project, a program to train pastoral musicians, accepts its second class. – The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops creates a new Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism and name Bishop Murry as chairman.


Bishop Murry and the priests of the diocese gather in Pittsburgh for their biannual priests’ convocation. –  Columbiana St. Jude Parish announces plans to build a 2,000 ft. addition to increase the church seating capacity and will include upgrades such as stained-glass windows – something the church has never had. – Four members of the Oblates who are in formation advance to next levels: Sister Mary Agatha Obinka makes her perpetual profession, Sister Mary Stephany Rose renews temporary vows, Sister Marie Blanche Kenfack Wamba makes her first profession, and Eva Marie Coulter becomes a first year in office. – Central Catholic football players honor former school president Father Robert Kaylor, who suffered a stroke earlier in the year and was unable to attend games as he normally did, with a sticker (with his initials and a cross) on their helmets. – A National Day of Remembrance for the Unborn is observed at various sites throughout the diocese. – In a ceremony at the cathedral Bishop Murry accepts 15 candidates for the diocese permanent diaconate program. – Living Bread Radio resumes airing the 10:30 a.m. Mass from Massillon St. Mary Parish after a two-year hiatus during the church’s fire restoration. –  Lowellville Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Parish marks its 150th Jubilee with a Mass and dinner.  – Two diocesan seminarians, Chad Johnson  and Brook Benedict, are inducted into the Order of Lectors at St. Mary’s Seminary in Wickliffe, near Cleveland.  – The Annual Faith and Family Festival  is held at Hoover Park at Walsh University in North Canton. – Bishop Murry leads a diocesan pilgrimage to Fatima, a town in Portugal, where Mary, mother of Jesus, is believed to have appeared 100 years ago.


A Rosary rallies to honor of the 100th anniversary of the reported appearance of Mary, mother of Jesus, at Fatima is held at various sites in the diocese with hundreds in attendance. – Youngstown St. Edward Parish celebrates its 100th anniversary with  a Mass with Bishop Murry as homilist and a catered dinner following. – The Diocese of Youngstown and the Northeastern Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America have  a joint ecumenical prayer service at the cathedral to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. – The Red Mass, for judges, attorneys, and others involved in the legal system is offered at Youngstown Our Lady of Mount Carmel Basilica with Bishop Murry presiding.– Massillon St. Barbara Parish observes its 150th anniversary with a Mass celebrated by Bishop Murry. – Sixty-five couples are honored for wedding jubilees at a Mass at Canton St. John the Baptist Parish with Bishop Murry presiding. –  A workshop to encourage positive clergy responses to issues of domestic violence and assault is offered at the cathedral hall. Retired Detective Sgt. Delphine Baldwin-Casey, victim assistance coordinator and Msgr. John Zuraw, safe environment coordinator for the diocese are among the speakers.


Warren John F. Kennedy Catholic School’s Lower Campus launches its new iRead literacy program. – Stark County Catholic High Schools raise $1 million for tuition assistance. –  Ursuline Sister Mary Alyce Koval is installed at Boardman St. Luke Parish as the new parish leader. – Twenty-two new lay leaders of prayer are commissioned by Msgr. Robert J Siffrin, diocesan vicar general, at Our Lady of the Lakes Parish, St. James Church, North Jackson. – Workers began renovation to the cathedral. Plans include new steps, walkways, wheelchair ramps. And preventive maintenance on the cathedral tower, and continuing inside to include boiler electrical work, with all set to conclude in the spring. – Youngstown Ursuline High School names Cynthia Herubin Francisco and John Herubin as distinguished alumni. – The 30th annual Retirement Fund for Religious is held with contributions accepted throughout the diocese. – Bishop Murry  has his annual meeting with leaders of religious communities serving in the diocese. – Diocesan annual Ministry Day is held at St. Thomas Aquinas High School and Middle School, Louisville, with keynoter ValLimar Jansen speaking on “Embracing Are Call.” – Black Catholic Month is celebrated at Canton St. Mary/St. Benedict Parish with the Bakhita Dancers from Columbus performing liturgical dance and the Holy Spirit Percussion, Music Group and Choir provide music. Bishop Murry is celebrant.


Elaine Soos, managing editor and special sections editor of the Catholic Exponent, announces her retirement, with plans to continue in limited capacity as consulting/contributing editor. Carol Stowe, assistant copy editor, assumes the position as special sections editor. – A newly constructed bell tower at Youngstown St. Anthony Padua Church is blessed by Msgr. Michael Cariglio, rector of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Basilica and St. Anthony Parish. – Niles St. Stephen Parish begins its 165th anniversary celebration. – Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas High School hires Michael Cook, veteran coach and alumni, as head football coach. – Our Lady of Guadalupe feast is held at the cathedral with Bishop Murry as homilist and concelebrant. – The annual performance of the “Messiah” is held at Warren Blessed Sacrament Parish. The performance was conducted by Dr. Hae-Jong Less of the Dana School of Music and included a solo by soprano Misook Yun. – Dungannon St. Philip Neri Parish, the diocese’s oldest parish, celebrates its 200th anniversary.


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