Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Syracuse Diocese saves a church, cares for souls

July 9th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

The beautiful Church of St. Mary of the Assumption in Oswego, NY had not held Mass since January, as it awaited a decision from the Vatican on whether or not it could become an Oratory, a Latin Mass Center, and of course while also weathering the COVID-19 storm. The good news was publicized May 21st, with the announcement that the Church would become an Oratory, a personal parish (as separate from a territorial parish.) And the new parish would become a Latin Mass Center. Its first Mass was celebrated last Sunday, July 5th, by Syracuse’s new Bishop Douglas Lucia, who offered a Novus Ordo ad orientem Mass, with a large serving of Latin. The July schedule calls for the Traditional Latin Mass on July 12 and July 26th, all at noon. And on July 19th, it is expected, tentatively, that Bp. Lucia will again offer a Novus Ordo ad orientem, with largely Latin content.



Bishop Lucia was joined by Father James Schultz, pastor of three territorial parishes in Oswego County, and the newly appointed parochial administrator of St. Mary’s Oratory. As an Oratory, St. Mary’s “will be supported by its current assets and by free-will donations,” Bishop Lucia said.  He also spoke about the future care of the parish. Canon Matthew Talarico, provincial superior of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, will visit St. Mary’s Aug. 4th, and Bishop Lucia’s hope is “to entrust the parish to the Institute’s care.” The society would “become responsible for the apostolate of the Extraordinary Form [of the Mass] in the Diocese….” The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest is a Society of Apostolic Life founded in 1990. Its provincial headquarters in the U.S. is at the Shrine of Christ the King Sovereign Priest in Chicago, IL. The Institute’s motherhouse is in Gricigliano, in the Archdiocese of Florence, Italy.  It is reported that the Institute “celebrates the classical Roman Liturgy, the ‘Latin Mass,’ in its traditional form;” i.e. The Mass of the Ages.

Bishop Lucia announced in May that he would establish St. Mary’s as a personal parish and oratory. “Personal parish” is a canonical term that means the parish will have no territory attached to it except the land on which it is built; “oratory” designates a place of prayer. The bishop’s decision came seven months after he announced he would suspend the 2019 merger of Oswego parishes and conduct a review of the process that led to their merger. The review came after the St. Mary of the Assumption Preservation Group in July 2019 submitted to Cardinal Beniamino Stella, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy, an appeal asking for a review of the process. Christ the Good Shepherd Parish remains Oswego’s territorial parish, “here to serve all the people of Oswego,” said Bp. Lucia. (Excerpts are from

A congregation of about 160 enthusiastic worshipers attended the July 5  Mass.










CHURCH IS OPEN Monday through Friday 12-3PM


Sunday July  5 th –  Noon Mass with Bishop Lucia – Novus Ordo Latin, ad orientem

Sunday July 12th – Noon Traditional Latin Mass with Fr. Schultz

Sunday July 19th – Noon Mass expected with Bishop Lucia – Novus Ordo Latin

Sunday July 26th – Noon Traditional Latin Mass with Fr. Schultz

To find the Mass schedule and register to attend a liturgy, visit or contact Kristie Pauldine, President of the St. Mary of the Assumption Preservation Group and office manager of St. Mary’s at (315) 343-3953, or email to



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