Latest News

August 9, 2022 | Congratulations to our Raffle Winners!

$5,000 – Pat Hayden
$2,000 – Susan Roach
$1,000 – Mike Howell
$500 – Michael Waleski
$500 – Joseph Nelipowitz
$200 – Scott & Kevin Kelly
$200 – Diane Saccocci
$200 – Kathleen Turo
$200 – Jack & Debi Rotondo
$200 – Kathy Bagnett

We raised $29,000 (after expenses) for our ministry of healing and reconciliation The Franciscan Place!! We are truly grateful for everyone who entered.

April 10, 2022 | Exciting News!

This weekend most of us got a glimpse of the refreshed Grotto with its new floor, wall color, doors, lighting and seating. It’s a much simpler place; yet still cozy, warm and featuring our beautiful grotto made from stones from Lourdes which were brought here to Assumption in the late 19th century by our parishioner, the late Francis Baumer of the Will & Baumer Candle Company.

The primary purpose of the Grotto will be evangelization. To that end we will begin to hold a “Liturgy of the Word” service called “11:11 at the Grotto” on Sundays at 11:11 starting on June 5, 2022. This will be a very casual prayer experience, i.e. bring your coffee, and is open to anyone who wants to attend. Our target audience for this 11:11 service are people who would describe their religious affiliation as “none”. Most people who describe themselves in those terms are actually former Catholics. Many are people who have never had faith as part of their life. Our hope is that over time these “none” will go from coffee to joining us for supper served at the Alpha program and god-willing to the Supper of the Lord.
Before we begin “live” 11:11 worship we are offering an online experience at and also on our parish website at the “Attend Online” button.
We are very excited about this new initiative and we are going to need help with this new ministry of evangelization and are very grateful for so many of our parishioners and donors community wide who have funded this ministry for this year.

Friar Rick

August 5, 2021 | Mask Policy Update

Facemasks are required for everyone regardless of vaccination status. Upon the recommendation of the CDC the Franciscan Friars Conventual now require all guests entering their Friary or Church to wear a mask. Masks are now once again mandatory for liturgies at Assumption Church and The Franciscan Place.

July 14, 2021 | Grotto Church Refresh Update

Our bakers have returned to the kitchen, making delicious chocolate-dipped shortbread in the shape of your favorite Franciscans. Buy cookies and feed the hungry! All proceeds from the sale of Fat Friar Confections go directly to our Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen on North Salina Street in Syracuse. Cookies are available for purchase at our mall ministry, The Franciscan Place at Destiny USA. For special orders, call (315) 473-9101.

July 8, 2021 | Grotto Church Refresh Update

We are excited to share the progress of this project aimed at creating an amazing space for Evangelization and Prayer. The floor is prepped and ready for the new flooring to be laid. New air conditioners are in place. A color palette has been chosen. And our amazing Lourdes Grotto has been adorned with a new frame around the bottom and is ready for it’s proper base. We are grateful for the support we received to make this project a reality!

May 21, 2021 | Updates in Church

Those fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks.
No sign-in nor temperature checks.
No social distancing in main part of church.
Pews on the perimeter will offer social distanced seating.
Ministers of communion will wear masks during communion.
Sanitizers are available throughout church.

Changes are announced due to updated CDC Guidelines and directives of Bishop Lucia.

May 18, 2021 | Update from our Diocesan Mask Wearing of Masks

To Members of Our Diocesan Family:
It was recently announced that New York State will adopt the CDC’s new mask and social distancing guidance for fully vaccinated people effective Wednesday, May 19th. The Diocese of Syracuse is reviewing the new guidance and working to assess how to implement changes to its protocols effectively and safely throughout our parishes and offices.
We ask for your patience as we are not able to change our policies and procedures abruptly. There is much to consider in regards to those who are fully vaccinated and those who are not.
Therefore, our current policies and procedures will remain in place at this time including the wearing of masks and maintaining the 6 foot distancing. We will inform you of the changes that will take place immediately once this work is complete. We thank you for your cooperation, patience and grace as we chart our path in this changing landscape.
Danielle Cummings
Chancellor/Director of Communications
Diocese of Syracuse

May 14, 2021 | Important Information on Mask Wearing in Church

The CDC announced new mask-wearing guidelines as of Thursday, May 13, 2021.  Those guidelines are still under review by New York State, our local officials, Bishop Lucia and his staff.  Please be aware that masks are still required to be worn, fully covering your mouth and nose by all; this includes those that are fully vaccinated.  We will also maintain the six foot distancing.  The Diocese will keep us informed of any changes as we move forward.

April 25, 2021 | Message from Pope Francis for the World Day of Vocations

Each year, on Good Shepherd Sunday (April 25 this year), the Church celebrates the World Day of Prayer for Vocations.  As revealed in the name, the day is an opportunity for Catholics around the globe to pray more intentionally for an increase in vocations to the priesthood, religious life, and the diaconate.  You can read Pope Francis’ special message for the World Day of Prayer here:  Message from Pope Francis World Day of Vocations

 Praying for vocations is necessary, but insufficient.  Remember to also encourage young men to consider the priesthood or religious life.  

                1. Identify a young man, who you observe has the gifts and persona that make for a holy priest or religious.

                2. Ask—clearly and bluntly—that young man if he’s ever thought about being a priest or brother.

                3. Tell him the gifts you see in him, which are leading you to ask.

March 8, 2021 | Official Notice from the Diocese of Syracuse

Please read the following notice on the filing of Chapter 11 for the Diocese of Syracuse: Official Notice from Diocese of Syracuse

December 16, 2020 | Important Message from our Bishop about Liturgy Capacity

Please read this important message from Bishop Douglas Lucia about the increase of our liturgy capacity: Message from our Bishop

December 8, 2020 | Pope Francis Proclaims “Year of Saint Joseph”

In his latest Apostolic Letter, “Patris Corde”, Pope Frances proclaimed December 8, 2020 – December 8, 2021 the “Year of Saint Joseph”.  In his letter he addresses the many reasons for this proclamation, which comes on the 150th Anniversary of the declaration of St. Joseph as the Patron Saint of the Universal Church.  Read the Pope’s inspiring letter here: Patris Corde

November 23, 2020 | Important Message from our Bishop about “Orange Zone”

Please read this important message from Bishop Douglas Lucia about our entrance into the COVID 19 “Orange Zone”: Message from our Bishop

October 13, 2020 | Parking Shuttle CANCELLED

Parking on the streets surrounding our Church is going well! Due to the lack of necessity, we have cancelled our weekend shuttle service.

September 29, 2020 | Parking Lot Update

Our parking lot will be closed due to construction beginning this weekend (Oct 3rd and 4th) and will remain closed for approximately six weeks. We have arranged for a shuttle service for our parishioners!  Please park at Destiny USA’s Pink Parking Lot #16 on Solar St (Lot closest to Bear St) and a bus will pick you up at:

3:30 or 3:45 on Saturdays

9:30, 9:35, 9:45 or 9:50 on Sundays

The shuttle will run after mass back to the parking. We are working with our contractor to provide a pedestrian path to the side door of the church during construction.  Of course you are welcome to park on the streets as well!

In addition, it is important to note that we will NOT have access to the side entrance of church throughout our parking lot construction. As such we will hold our Saturday Vigil Mass (Transitus the first week) in the Grotto. Sunday Mass will be held in the upper Church. If you are unable to do stairs, please come to the Vigil Mass while we are under construction.

Thank you for your understanding as we install a new, environmentally friendly parking lot.  For details on our exciting parking lot project, see below.

September 28, 2020 | Onondaga County Save the Rain Project at Assumption

Through a grant from Onondaga County’s Green Improvement Fund we are installing porous pavement in our parking lot and a rain garden which will capture rain water from the roof.  These projects will protect our environment and the quality of our water.  For more on the Onondaga County Save the Rain initiative visit:

September 10, 2020 | Food Pantry & Soup Kitchen Volunteers Needed!

Our Food Pantry & Soup Kitchen is in immediate need of volunteer Van Drivers to pick up donations at supermarkets: Tues, Weds & Thurs, 9-11:30am. We are also in need of folks to work our Soup Kitchen window: Mon, Tues, Thurs & Fri: from 3:45 – 5:15pm. Sign up today if you can help!!

June 19, 2020 | The Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse Files Chapter 11

Please read the following message from Bishop Douglas Lucia on the filing of Chapter 11 reorganization case for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse along with Frequent Asked Questions:

June 7, 2020 | Hope amidst the Thorns:

Message of the Franciscan Friars Conventual on the killing of George Floyd
The Franciscan Friars Conventual raise our voices in solidarity with all people of good will in grieving the death of George Floyd.  In the wake of his killing, we echo humanity’s plea for justice, reconciliation, unity, and peace.  May God fire our hearts these days with new hope.
At the Last Supper, Jesus Christ prayed for unity “that all may be one” (Jn. 17:21). After He took His last breath amidst the violence of Calvary, Jesus rose on the third day with an urgent message of hope for the world: “Peace be with you”!  Empowered by the Risen Christ’s Gospel message of peace and hope, St. Francis of Assisi sent his followers to become instruments of peace and healing in the broken, fragile world of the Middle Ages.
Now in modern times, the message of Jesus and the mission of St. Francis are as crucial as ever for our country and world.  As Franciscans, we friars understand the frustration and outrage of our African American brothers and sisters.  St. Francis walked gently into tense situations of discord, seeking paths to peaceful reconciliation.  He dialogued with the Sultan of Egypt during the divisive animosity of the crusades.  He knelt to reverence society’s poor, and he stood to challenge society’s wolves and powerbrokers.
We friars reaffirm the words of the Second Vatican Council: “Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights, on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God’s design” (Gaudium et Spes #29.2).  There can be no peace without justice.  Ever since the first Africans were brought to Virginia as slaves in 1619, a long history of systemic racism has existed in our country.
We Franciscan Friars pledge ourselves to prayer and witness in actions of solidarity for the ending of racial injustice and for peace in our streets. Prayer alone is not enough.  We call for genuine dialogue among our country’s diverse peoples – the courageous seeking of ways to change disordered systems of human, economic, political, and ecclesial interaction which exclude and demean “the other.”  We embrace a Gospel of Hope for the inclusion, equality, and unity of everyone in America “from sea to shining sea.” While we have time, let us do good.
Fr. Victor Abegg, OFM Conv., Minister Provincial of St. Joseph of Cupertino Province
Fr. Wayne Hellmann, OFM Conv., Minister Provincial of Our Lady of Consolation Province
Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv., Minister Provincial of Our Lady of the Angels Province
Fr. Michael Zielke, OFM Conv., Minister Provincial of St. Bonaventure Province

June 4, 2020 | Eradicating the Sin of Racism: A Message from Bishop Douglas J. Lucia

A year ago, on the first Tuesday of June (June 4 to be exact), I was here in Syracuse for the announcement of my appointment as the 11th Bishop of Syracuse and my first news conference. I remember beginning to read my prepared statement to the press assembled when the room began to fill with the sound of bagpipes and the tune of “Amazing Grace.” I probably should have taken this as a sign for the days ahead and that my new ministry would heavily rely on God’s grace!

In my statement that June day, I remember saying that “I am here to serve the people of the Diocese of Syracuse, Catholic and non-Catholic alike.” In the questions that followed, I recall talking about a “learning curve,” but also the great desire of making our parishes “more welcoming” places in which all could find a “home.”

I would compare the learning curve more to that of running the rapids in a kayak in a heavy spring runoff: challenging and unpredictable… yet exhilarating. Syracuse is my home and I love visiting our parishes, meeting people, and getting to know the wider community. Although COVID-19 sure has put a crimp in my ability to do so, it has caused me to focus on outreach even more and in ways I never expected to use, such as Zoom virtual conferencing or a live-streamed Mass.

I care deeply about our community and share the sadness and outrage of its members in light of the unimaginable and appalling death of George Floyd last Monday, May 25, in Minneapolis. The fear of dying because of the color of one’s skin, along with the loss of human dignity and civil rights, is a wake-up call to all men and women of goodwill. The ensuing protests should shake us out of our slumber to be attentive to Jesus’ own question in Luke 10:29, the Parable of the Good Samaritan: “And who is my neighbor?”

I have been reflecting on this question in these days and see that my next year as Bishop of Syracuse must be devoted to working with others in eradicating the sin of racism and its inequity from our society. It echoes the line in the First Letter of John: “Those who say, ‘I love God,’ and hate their brothers and sisters are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen” (4:20).

To turn away from sin means conversion of heart and behavior. And I know it starts with me and my own interactions and involvement in the community. In truth, the coronavirus pandemic has imparted many lessons but two that are particularly important to me: (1) How much my actions affect others; and (2) we are all in this together or we sink.

I leave you with my statement from Pentecost Sunday, which is a rallying cry for respect for life and a call to love others as God loves us:

The events of the past 24 hours in the City of Syracuse and across our nation are expressions of sorrow and frustration. Sadness at an unconscionable act that took the life of a young man in middle America despite the valiant attempt of other citizens to intervene. The scene now embedded in our consciousness cries out with the words of the Lord in Genesis 4:10 — “What have you done? Listen your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!” At its heart is a central teaching of God’s law of love that all life is sacred from conception to natural death; and that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves (cf. Lv 19:18, Mt 22:39, Mk 12:31, Lk 10:27).

Herein lies also the frustration experienced as well: Why doesn’t life matter? Whether it is the life of the unborn child in the womb, the life of a brother or sister who may have a different skin color than us, the life of someone who is elderly or terminally ill, the life of a shopkeeper or public safety officer, the life of someone whose beliefs are different than ours, and the list could go on. Unfortunately, frustration can cause us to strike out at one another like Cain did to Abel. Such behavior is often accompanied by words like: “I don’t care.”

During this time of pandemic, it has been shown repeatedly, that what best defeats COVID-19 is our conscientious adherence to practices that are considerate of our neighbors. The same could be said today of the malaise in our country when it comes to truly caring for one another. I grant you that I wonder how many wake-up calls it will take to get our society back on track when it comes to the precious gift that is human life.

Nonetheless, the time to act is now! As we celebrate the great feast of Pentecost, let us pray that the Lord’s law of love will not be something we have just memorized. Rather, may it be written on our hearts and in our daily actions. I ask that out of respect for one another no more property or businesses in this city and in Onondaga County be damaged, but instead we work peacefully together to support one another and put an end to injustice and racism.

Come, Holy Spirit! Enkindle within us the fire of God’s love! Amen.

April 22, 2020 | Letter to the People from our Bishop

Please take a moment to read the following Letter to the People written by Bishop Douglas J. Lucia, Bishop of Syracuse.  In it he provides us with updates on Sacramental Celebrations as well as comforting words of encouragement, so needed during this trying time.

Letter to the People

April 15, 2020 | Assumption Church Raffle, running now through May 10th!

Dreaming of the days when we can travel once again? Start planning now! Our Church raffle is a really fun way for you to support our Church while taking a chance to win one of these fabulous prizes: 1 of $5,000, 1 of $2,000, 1 of $1,000, 2 of $500 or 5 of $200. Tickets are a $50 (donation) each.  Email Joanne Amato for tickets: The drawing will be held May 10th.

April 6, 2020 | Assumption Food Pantry & Soup Kitchen in Need of Volunteers

The Franciscan Friars are keeping these essential ministries open during the pandemic. The friars are also assisting with keeping the All Faiths Food Pantry open as well. But they need your help with preparing food, packaging and distribution at the door. Volunteers who deal with the public maintain CDC recommended distances, wear gloves and surgical masks which prevents them from touching their mouths. If you know people who are interested in volunteering please let them know. Volunteers are needed 7 days a week in the mornings. Please call Friar Greg at 518-573-1649

April 2, 2020 | Palm Update

Bishop Lucia has asked us not to distribute Palms in any way.  In light of the Pandemic it is not appropriate to invite people out of their homes at this time.  Please join us for Palm Sunday Mass Live at 4:00 PM or on-demand anytime afterwards at

March 27, 2020 | Our Food Pantry & Soup Kitchen answered the call!

Our Food Pantry & Soup Kitchen has working feverishly each day to feed the hungry, and in fact has taken on temporary management of another food pantry nearby.  Due to social distancing and the safety of our volunteer community, we had to quickly adjust the way we were of service, but thanks be to God, the leadership of Friar Greg, and the volunteers who were less at risk who stepped forward, we continue to operate our Food Pantry five days a week and our Soup Kitchen seven days.  Our food supply remains ample and the people who come to us are so very grateful we are open. Friar Rick himself has been on the front lines handing out food and was especially moved by a little girl, no more than 9 years old who came to our soup kitchen alone, looking for enough food for three.  Unfortunately, Sister Dolly has not been able to hold Coffee & Conversation due to the order for no gatherings, however has been able to remain available for the regulars all the same through her service at our Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen.  At the direction of our medical director, our walk-in clinic is closed for the time being, however that is not stopping Sister JP from caring for the medical care of the uninsured!  She has been taking care of patient medications, offering advice and just overall quelling the anxieties that so many of us can relate to during these times.  Please continue to keep the leaders of our outreach ministries, the volunteers as well as those seeking service in your prayers.

March 27, 2020 | The Litany of Supplication prayed with Pope Francis

For the full transation of the Litany of Supplication Prayed with Pope Francis at Urbi et orbi this on Friday, March 27, 2020, visit:

March 26, 2020 | Mass Livestreamed Monday-Friday at 12 PM

The Bishop’s Daily Mass streams live Monday-Friday at noon! You will find the livestream of the Mass which takes place at the Cathedral online here:

March 21, 2020 | Join us for Weekend Mass!

Please join us for Weekend Mass at via our YouTube Channel:  It will air first on Saturday at 4 PM, and will remain on our channel for you to participate with anytime after that.

March 18, 2020 | Church Open Daily from 12 pm – 8 pm

Our Church is open daily to offer you a chance to come and pray. We ask that while in church you maintain a safe distance of at least 6 feet from anyone else who might be in church.

March 13, 2020 | A Message from our Bishop Regarding Mass

Masses throughout the Diocese of Syracuse will continue to be offered at this time. However, due to the serious health crisis caused by the coronavirus, Bishop Lucia hereby dispenses Catholics in the Diocese of Syracuse from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass beginning immediately until further notice (Code of Canon Law, c. 87). Those with underlying health conditions are especially encouraged to remain at home.

March 12, 2020 | Our Poverello Health Center will be closed until March 30th

Sister James Peter will be available for medical phone calls and needs at 315-423-9961 ext. 344 during this time of closure.

March 12, 2020 | Novena to End Coronavirus Pandemic

Bishop Douglas J. Lucia of the Diocese of Syracuse has asked us to pray:

O Mary, full of grace, Patroness of this nation and Mother of the Church, in this time of illness and world-wide need we seek your intercession for the human family before your Son’s throne
of grace and mercy. We ask for strength in adversity, health in weakness, and comfort in sorrow.

Help us, O Blessed Mother, to be filled with the confidence and trust in the tender compassion of our God. Let us not be afraid, like our own Saint Marianne Cope, who entrusted her life and ministry among the outcasts of society into the care of our Divine Physician. Continue to watch over all who are sick as well as those who care for them and give wisdom to all who are seeking a cure.

We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Pray and pray again!

February 28, 2020 | Enhanced Precautions Implemented at Assumption Church Among Infections Disease Concerns

Due to the concerns about infectious diseases, Assumption Church has implemented Enhanced Precautions for the season of Lent. Washing our hands thoroughly, not coughing near one another and not touching our mouth, nose, or eyes without first washing them are the simplest and most effective ways to prevent the spread of disease. In addition, the following steps will go into effect this weekend:

1.We will not be sharing Communion from the Cup during Lent.
2.Parishioners are strongly encouraged to receive Communion in the hand to prevent saliva from possibly touching the minister’s finger and being passed onto the next person.
3.The Sign of Peace will be given by waving, bowing, etc. No physical touching.
4.Those who have symptoms such as cough, running nose or feeling poorly are asked to stay home from Mass.
5.Hand sanitizing stations will be installed in church shortly. Once installed we will invite parishioners to sanitize their hands before/after Mass.

November 14, 2019 | Fat Friar Holiday Cookie Platter Orders are being taken now!

Order your Holiday Cookies now and support our Food Pantry & Soup Kitchen! You will receive 2 lbs of delicious cookies for just $35. Fat Friar Cookies, a volunteer run effort, is selling cookie platters for Christmas. The platters contain assorted traditional Italian cookies along with the signature Fat Friar chocolate dipped shortbread. Call our Parish Office weekdays between 9am-3pm to order at (315) 422-4833. A limited number of platters will be sold, so place your order today! Pick up will be available on Dec. 20 , from 9 AM — 1 PM.

Sept 11, 2019 | Urgent Message from the Pastor

Dear Friends: We are in urgent need for help with the parish’s campaign for caring for our community in the HOPE Appeal. We still need more parishioners to help us raise the last $10,000. I have done my part by pledging $120 from my personal money. I ask every household to try and match that or do better.

It’s kind of urgent as we only have until the end of October to raise the money…. otherwise it will come from the parish’s regular funds!!!!

The HOPE Appeal funds our charitable works through Catholic Charities, chaplaincies universities and hospitals, mass for shut ins and so much more.

Please give today. Click here and remember to select the Franciscan Church of the Assumption.


September 7, 2019 | Help the victims of Hurricane Dorian

Please support Catholic Relief Services as they reach out to those most affected by this natural disaster!

Catholic Relief Services – Hurricane Dorian

August 7, 2019 | Will you help us make a difference??

Our Faith Community is raising $23,500 this year to help our Brothers and Sisters right here in Central New York. We’ve raised just over $9,000 so far, leaving us with $14,500 to reach our goal…and we need your help!

By saying yes to supporting our Diocesan Campaign, you will be the light for others by supporting:

Evangelization –Helping people come to know the Love of Christ.

Catholic Deaf Ministry -Allowing people of ALL abilities take part in our Sacred Liturgies.

Jail Ministry –Supporting human life… even on it’s not so glorious days.

Campus Ministry -Offering a place of hope students know they can turn to at such a pivotal point in their life, sometimes so full of hard decisions and peer pressures.

And this is just to name a few… Text HOPECNY11 to 71777.

Please give generously to our Diocesan HOPE Appeal Campaign! Those in need are counting on us. For a full listing of how our gifts are shared, visit:

July 30, 2019 | The Novena for Bishop-elect Douglas H. Lucia begins today!

Please pray along with us through August 8 when he will be ordained and installed as Bishop of our Diocese.  Click here to view the Novena on our Facebook:

July 29, 2019 | Help Us Win $10,000 for our Poverello Health Center: Vote Daily trough August 21, 2019

The Polls are open, and Sister JP needs your help!! This is your chance to have an impact on the families who come to us in need. Our Poverello Health Center is competing for a $10,000 grant to benefit our ministry, which provides FREE health services for those with no health insurance.

VOTE FOR SR JP! Voting is open July 29 through August 21. You may vote once per day, so be sure to come back daily!!

**Setting a daily reminder on your phone will help you remember to vote each day. ??Thank you!!!!!

June 4, 2019 | Pope Francis Appoints New Bishop for the Diocese of Syracuse

Pope Francis has appointed Bishop-elect Douglas John Lucia, 56, of the Diocese of Ogdensburg will become the 11th bishop of Syracuse, succeeding Bishop Robert J. Cunningham who has served the diocese since May 26, 2009. Bishop-elect Lucia will be ordained and installed at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception located in downtown Syracuse on August 8, 2019. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of NY will be in attendance. Tickets will be required and that Information will be released at a later date.

Bishop Cunningham submitted his resignation to the Holy Father upon his 75th birthday on June 18, 2018, as is required by canon law. He will continue to serve as the Apostolic Administrator until Bishop – elect Lucia’s ordination and installation.

Bishop-elect Lucia was born on March 17, 1963, the son of Leward and Betty (Pepin) Lucia in Plattsburgh, N.Y. He and his twin brother and their sister and younger brother grew up in Altona, N.Y. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Wadhams Hall Seminary College in Ogdensburg, N.Y., in May 1985 and a Masters in Divinity from Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora N.Y. in May 1989. He was ordained to the Ministerial Priesthood at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Ogdensburg on May 20, 1989, by Most Reverend Stanislaus J. Brzana, DD, STD, Bishop of Ogdensburg.

In his first assignment, Bishop-elect Lucia served as parochial vicar at St. Patrick’s Church in Watertown, N.Y. In 1990, he was sent to the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall, Ontario, Canada for two years of service where he was parochial vicar at St. Columban’s Church in Cornwall. Upon returning to the Diocese of Ogdensburg, the bishop-elect became the parochial vicar at St. John the Baptist Church in Plattsburgh, N.Y. for three years. He was then assigned as a parochial vicar at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Ogdensburg. He became the associate secretary of the Matrimonial Tribunal in 1996.

From 1997 to 1999, the bishop-elect was assigned to study canon law at the Pontifical University at St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome. During the summer of 1998, he served as a parochial vicar of Holy Family Church in Watertown and worked part time for the Diocesan Tribunal Office.

Upon the completion of his studies in June 1999, Bishop-elect Lucia was named adjutant judicial vicar and vice chancellor. He also served as administrator at St. Raphael’s in Heuvelton and as a part – time chaplain at the Gouverneur Correctional Facility.

In 2000, he was appointed secretary to the bishop and in 2003 was named diocesan director of vocations.
From September 2003 to March 2004, the bishop-elect served as administrator of St. Mary’s Church in Canton. In September 2004, Bishop Robert J. Cunningham, then Bishop of Ogdensburg appointed him as chancellor and episcopal vicar for Diocesan Services. In 2005, he was given additional responsibilities as diocesan director of seminarians.

In June 2006, while retaining his diocesan responsibilities, Bishop–elect Lucia was appointed pastor of St. John the Evangelist Church in Morristown and St. Peter’s Church in Hammond with its mission of St. Patrick’s Church in Rossie. He was also appointed diocesan director of the Office of Worship.
In August 2008, the bishop-elect was appointed pastor of the Roman Catholic Church of St. Mary’s in Canton where he served until June 2017. During this time period, he served as the episcopal vicar for worship as well as the adjutant judicial vicar.

In 2017, Bishop-elect Lucia was appointed pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Waddington and St. John the Baptist Church in Madrid and the judicial vicar of the diocese. He continued in his role of diocesan vocation director and director of seminarians.

On June 4, 2019, Pope Francis appointed him to be the 11th bishop of the Diocese of Syracuse. As bishop of Syracuse, Bishop- elect Lucia will be the shepherd of over 220,000 Catholics who reside in seven counties of the diocese covering 5,479 square miles.

February 21, 2019 | Safeguarding Children: Statement by the Religious Orders of the World

Please see statement here: Safeguarding Children

February 15, 2019 | A Message from the Diocese of Syracuse

Most Rev. Thomas J. Costello, retired Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Syracuse died today, Friday, February 15, 2019 at the age of 89 years old. A native of Camden, New York, Bishop Costello served as a priest of the diocese for over 65 years and as auxiliary bishop for over 26 years.

A Reception of the body will take place on Thursday, February 21, 2019 at 4:00 pm. at The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse. Visitation will be from 4:00-7:00 pm. at which time the Vigil Service will take place.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 am. on Friday, February 22, 2019 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Burial will be Friday, February 22, 2019 at 2:00 pm. at St. Peter’s Catholic Cemetery in Rome, New York.

For more on the life and legacy of Bishop Costello visit:

February 11, 2019 | A Message from our Bishop Addressing New York State Abortion Policy

Please see his message here: Letter from the Bishop.

February 5, 2019 | Pope Francis and Signs Historic Declaration of Peace

Pope Francis and Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb sign an agreement to live in peace. In this historic move, Pope Francis continues his wonderful example of how are to unconditionally love our Brothers and Sisters with this historic move. Read more about it here:

November 19, 2018 | Safeguarding Statement from the Friars

The Franciscan Friars Conventual of Our Lady of the Angels Province are committed to creating safe environments for children and vulnerable adults. Our safeguarding processes for the protection of minors and vulnerable adults are routinely reviewed by the accrediting organization Praesidium, in accordance with strict Church norms. Any allegation regarding the Franciscan Friars Conventual of this Province receives an immediate response, according to Praesidium’s rigorous standards. This includes the Province’s full cooperation with local law enforcement authorities and Ordinaries who have ecclesial jurisdiction over the matters, as well as a duly diligent investigation by a qualified third party in order to substantiate credibility. This investigative process is being followed with respect to the questions currently being raised about Fr. James Smyka, who is suspended from public ministry.

November 16, 2018 | Snow Days at Assumption

If the Syracuse Public Schools are closed due to snow or other weather situations, then the parish office will be closed and all church events will be cancelled. Mass will still be held for those who can walk but we strongly discourage you from driving in a snow emergency. If the schools are closed for part of the day, the same will apply at Assumption.

November 13, 2018 | Assumption Church’s Statement Regarding Friar James Smyka, OFM Conv.

For Immediate Release:
Assumption Church’s Statement Regarding Friar James Smyka, OFM Conv.

Recent media reports have identified Friar James Smyka, OFM Conv. as being associated with Assumption Church in Syracuse, NY. Although Friar James lived in the local St. Francis Friary from August 2014 to October 2018, which is on the same property as Assumption Church, he was not employed by the parish and was only involved at the church on a handful of occasions to preside at a weekday morning Mass. Friar James did not have involvement with youth or vulnerable adults at the church.

Assumption Church did not have any prior knowledge of any allegations against Friar James nor were any allegations brought to our attention. Any allegation of inappropriate conduct with a child or vulnerable adult by a member of the clergy, staff or volunteers would be immediately reported to the police first and then to the competent Church officials.

Assumption Church participates wholeheartedly in the Diocese of Syracuse’s Safe Environment program which requires screening and training for clergy, staff and volunteers.

Assumption will have no further comment on this.

Questions may be addressed to: Friar James McCurry, Minister Provincial, Our Lady of the Angels Province at (410) 531-1400


Click here for a pdf of the statement: Assumption Church Statement Regarding Friar James Smyka, OFM Conv.

November 6, 2018 | Fat Friar Cookie Platters are Back for the Holidays!

The 2-lb Christmas Cookie platters (about 40 cookies) are full of assorted Italian cookies and the Fat Friar signature chocolate-dipped shortbread for all for just $35. 100% of the proceeds from sales of Fat Friar confections go toward providing nutritious food to those in need. Our pantry and soup kitchen on the Northside of Syracuse feeds thousands in our community.

To order, please call (315) 473-9101 weekdays from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM. Order deadline is December 7, but act fast, because only 35 platters will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis! All orders will be available for pick up on Friday, December 21 between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm at Assumption Food Pantry & Soup Kitchen, 810 N Salina Street, Syracuse NY 13208.

Thank you for helping us fulfill our mission to serve others!

Cookie Platter Flyer

August 15, 2018 | United States Conference of Catholic Bishops address “Moral Catastrophe”

President of U.S. Bishops’ Conference Announces Effort That Will Involve Laity, Experts, and the Vatican stating, “Let me ask you to hold us to all of these resolutions,” as U.S. Bishops’ Offer Firm Resolve to Address “Moral Catastrophe”

August 16, 2018

WASHINGTON— Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued the following statement after a series of meetings with members of the USCCB’s Executive Committee and other bishops. The following statement includes three goals and three principles, along with initial steps of a plan that will involve laity, experts, and the Vatican. A more developed plan will be presented to the full body of bishops at their general assembly meeting in Baltimore in November.

Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement follows:

“Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Two weeks ago, I shared with you my sadness, anger, and shame over the recent revelations concerning Archbishop Theodore McCarrick. Those sentiments continue and are deepened in light of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report. We are faced with a spiritual crisis that requires not only spiritual conversion, but practical changes to avoid repeating the sins and failures of the past that are so evident in the recent report. Earlier this week, the USCCB Executive Committee met again and established an outline of these necessary changes.

The Executive Committee has established three goals: (1) an investigation into the questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick; (2) an opening of new and confidential channels for reporting complaints against bishops; and (3) advocacy for more effective resolution of future complaints. These goals will be pursued according to three criteria: proper independence, sufficient authority, and substantial leadership by laity.

We have already begun to develop a concrete plan for accomplishing these goals, relying upon consultation with experts, laity, and clergy, as well as the Vatican. We will present this plan to the full body of bishops in our November meeting. In addition, I will travel to Rome to present these goals and criteria to the Holy See, and to urge further concrete steps based on them.

The overarching goal in all of this is stronger protections against predators in the Church and anyone who would conceal them, protections that will hold bishops to the highest standards of transparency and accountability.

Allow me to briefly elaborate on the goals and criteria that we have identified.

The first goal is a full investigation of questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick. These answers are necessary to prevent a recurrence, and so help to protect minors, seminarians, and others who are vulnerable in the future. We will therefore invite the Vatican to conduct an Apostolic Visitation to address these questions, in concert with a group of predominantly lay people identified for their expertise by members of the National Review Board and empowered to act.

The second goal is to make reporting of abuse and misconduct by bishops easier. Our 2002 “Statement of Episcopal Commitment” does not make clear what avenue victims themselves should follow in reporting abuse or other sexual misconduct by bishops. We need to update this document. We also need to develop and widely promote reliable third-party reporting mechanisms. Such tools already exist in many dioceses and in the public sector and we are already examining specific options.

The third goal is to advocate for better procedures to resolve complaints against bishops. For example, the canonical procedures that follow a complaint will be studied with an eye toward concrete proposals to make them more prompt, fair, and transparent and to specify what constraints may be imposed on bishops at each stage of that process.

We will pursue these goals according to three criteria.

The first criterion is genuine independence. Any mechanism for addressing any complaint against a bishop must be free from bias or undue influence by a bishop. Our structures must preclude bishops from deterring complaints against them, from hampering their investigation, or from skewing their resolution.

The second criterion relates to authority in the Church. Because only the Pope has authority to discipline or remove bishops, we will assure that our measures will both respect that authority and protect the vulnerable from the abuse of ecclesial power.

Our third criterion is substantial involvement of the laity. Lay people bring expertise in areas of investigation, law enforcement, psychology, and other relevant disciplines, and their presence reinforces our commitment to the first criterion of independence.

Finally, I apologize and humbly ask your forgiveness for what my brother bishops and I have done and failed to do. Whatever the details may turn out to be regarding Archbishop McCarrick or the many abuses in Pennsylvania (or anywhere else), we already know that one root cause is the failure of episcopal leadership. The result was that scores of beloved children of God were abandoned to face an abuse of power alone. This is a moral catastrophe. It is also part of this catastrophe that so many faithful priests who are pursuing holiness and serving with integrity are tainted by this failure.

We firmly resolve, with the help of God’s grace, never to repeat it. I have no illusions about the degree to which trust in the bishops has been damaged by these past sins and failures. It will take work to rebuild that trust. What I have outlined here is only the beginning; other steps will follow. I will keep you informed of our progress toward these goals.

Let me ask you to hold us to all of these resolutions. Let me also ask you to pray for us, that we will take this time to reflect, repent, and recommit ourselves to holiness of life and to conform our lives even more to Christ, the Good Shepherd.”

August 14, 2018 | A Statement from our Bishop in Light of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury’s Report on Clergy Sexual Abuse

These are difficult days to be a Roman Catholic. The allegations regarding Archbishop Theodore McCarrick and now the release of the grand jury report involving six dioceses in Pennsylvania have deepened a wound for Catholics who have been besieged by news of clergy sexual abuse since 2002. It is understandable for many to ask, “What is next?” “What and who can I trust?”

“How did this ever happen?” The People of God are rightfully asking these questions. In these recent days, we have become painfully aware that those meant to shepherd and guide others are sinners not only in the sense that all are fallible but also specifically in the area of sexual abuse of children and young people. They must be held accountable for their actions. Bishops are no exception.

Our focus together should always be the safety and well-being of the human person – especially the vulnerable and the innocent among us. Over the past 15 years, since the crisis broke in 2002, the Diocese of Syracuse has addressed this problem aggressively by reporting all allegations to the appropriate district attorney, ensuring that no priest with a credible allegation of abuse remains in ministry, and preventing acts of abuse through our highly successful Safe Environment Program. There are now nearly 40,000 individuals trained in child sexual abuse prevention as well as criminally background checked. I am grateful to the trained men and women who have worked tirelessly either as members of our Diocesan Review Board or Safe Environment program to ensure that the Diocese of Syracuse has an established and well-monitored set of policies and procedures that will not allow any abuse to ever take place.

Like you, I am deeply troubled by these grievous acts and I must again apologize for the pain and suffering endured by our people. To the victims of clergy sexual abuse decades ago, I know I can never change what has taken place, nor remove the pain or the anger. I will continue to pray fervently for all victims of clergy sexual abuse, to ask those who have been harmed to come forward to report the abuse in order to begin the healing process and remain steadfast in my personal commitment that this horrific chapter in our local church will not happen again.

+ Robert J Cunningham

Diocese of Syracuse
240 East Onondaga Street
Syracuse NY 13202

June 25, 2018 | Franciscan Friar Conventual Statement on Immigration Policy

Read the official Statement here: Statement on Immigration.

June 3, 2018 | Important Message from the Pastor

May 29, 2018 | Assumption is Coming to you!

When we think of church we usually think of a place we go to on Sundays. It’s not often the church comes to us! Well that’s exactly what Adam Eichelberger, our new Director of Evangelization intends to do; bring the church to YOU! Eichelberger, originally from Tucson, AZ has made it his life’s mission to help people fall in love with Jesus. After a career with Apple he moved to youth and young-adult ministry in various parishes, motivational speaking, leadership training and currently assists several parishes in Central New York. The plan is to organize monthly gatherings in a home or coffee shop where there are concentrations of parishioners; in North Syracuse, Liverpool, Solvay or any neighborhoods that want to participate. We’ll gather to reflect on scripture, share our experiences and just as importantly grow in friendship. It’s a way for our parishioners to feed their spirit besides Sunday mass. These gatherings will be open to all parishioners and any guest you may want to bring. We are also excited to announce that Adam will coordinate the implementation of the Alpha program. Alpha is for people who are unchurched, have abandoned the faith or are struggling with what they believe. It involves hosting a series of evenings that include a meal, a video or presentation and then conversation. There are no strings attached. No judgement. No pressure. Alpha has been around since 1990 and has touched the lives of millions of participants in 169 countries and been offered in 112 languages. Adam is uniquely positioned to speak to young adults in Syracuse for whom this will be first encounter with Jesus. He, we, will need to work hard to make this a reality in September 2018. It can be a game-changer for Assumption’s future!

May 18, 2018 | The Annual Diocese of Syracuse HOPE Appeal is Underway

Assumption Church has been assessed just under $27,000. We need your help to meet our goal! Please be as generous as you can. Click here and be sure to make note that you would like your gift to be applied to Assumption’s assessment:

This year we will have donor and recipient testimony given in Church! Be sure to stay tuned for that.
The Hope Appeal Supports: Hospital Chaplains • Catholic TV— Mass for Homebound • Evangelization • Catholic Charities • Catholic Outreach Ministries • Tuition Assistance • Academic Development  • Parish Services • Faith Formation • Office of Disabilities • Family Life • Vocations
By meeting our HOPE Appeal assessment we are also able to apply for grant funding through our Diocese.

May 9, 2018 | Please see the statement from the Franciscan Friars: Assumption Cemetery Announcement

Assumption Church is aware of various complaints regarding the cemetery on Court Street. Some of these have been directed to the parish or to the diocese. However, Assumption Cemetery is owned and operated by a Cemetery Corporation of the Franciscan Friars Conventual. The parish has no say over its management. Concerns and questions should be directed to the Cemetery Director, Mrs. Sandy Miller at or by telephone 443-583-7644 ext: 151.

Please see the statement from the Franciscan Friars: Assumption Cemetery Announcement