History of Saint Daniels


In February 19, 1933 the air echoed with the first celebrated mass of this 129th parish of the diocese of Syracuse, New York. A year prior, St. Daniel's was born out of the need to expand from St. John the Baptist Church on Park and Court Streets. Boundary lines were established for this newly formed parish. It would expand north and partly northwest to run parallel with St. Margaret's parish in Mattydale and on the remaining north, south, east and west sides the boundaries would extend to a small section of Court Street, Cowie Avenue, Harding Street, upper Wadsworth to Grant Boulevard, North Avenue and as far as Thompson Road.

This out-mission of St. John's would be the last official act initiated by Bishop Daniel J. Curley before his death and would become his namesake. Both Bishop Curley and the Vicar General Doody approved financing that would come from the Charity Funds used by the various pastors. A note was drafted for Monsignor McEvoy with an undetermined amount, in that, the total sum for building the church was not yet determined. The actual amount borrowed would be $30,000.

The Lyncourt area would finally have its own parish. The Rev. Msgr. Charles F. McEvoy was assigned as guardian of the small mission. It would take great courage on the part of the parishioners to undertake the building of their parish since it was at the height of the Depression.

Ground was broken under the directorship of Architect Paul Hueber, Sr. Soon afterwards the non-faced cinder block structure was not only to become a mission church, but eventually became established as a parish with a residential pastor under the leadership of Bishop Walter A. Foery. Unfortunately, many of the statistics regarding the actual construction of the original church were destroyed by summer flooding that often filled the rectory basement with water and debris.

On July 20, 1939 Bishop Foery appointed the Rev. Denis F. Lyons first Pastor of St. Daniel's. The trustees at that time were Frank Carroll and Charles Dussing. It was at this point that the out-mission became a permanent parish and St. Daniel's was established as the 129"' parish of the diocese. Being predominantly German and Irish, the enrollment had grown to approximately 600 members. Since that era St. Daniel's has grown to over 1200 members. That small cinder block structure would remain the home of St. Daniel's parish until 1966 when the expanding enrollment demanded the need for a larger structure.

On March 1, 1966 work began on the construction of the new and present church. Architects Pederson, Hueber, Hares and Glavin, J.A. Vault Inc.. were responsible for the innovative design of our present church. The original stained glass windows were used to enhance the stylistic design of the existing windows, blending the two eras together. The modernistic marble altar sits upon the original altar site. St. Daniel's mission church still echoes gently within the walls of this young expanding parish. The total cost of this structure, which seats 740, was $500,000.

On April 26, 1967 the Most Rev. Bishop Walter A. Foery dedicated the new church. Fr. Denis F. Lyons was the Celebrant of the Solemn High Mass of Thanksgiving, assisted by the Most Rev. David F. Cunningham and members of the clergy. From the time that the permanent parish was established in 1939, St. Daniel's has benefited and grown through the leadership and guidance of three Pastors: Rev. Denis F. Lyons, Rev. James F. Gillen and presently Rev. Msgr. Eugene M. Yennock.


The Rev. Denis F. Lyons was a native of Limerick, Ireland. He attended St. Munchin's College and St. John's Seminary in Ireland. He also attended Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri and was ordained on May 29, 1926 at Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Albany. During his term the new church and school were constructed. His foresight in establishing Catholic education for the Lyncourt area was the planting of the seed for a school and permanent residence for the Sisters. His hard work and dedication were the building blocks of the strong family unit that is evident in our parish today. Fr. Lyons died on May 19, 1969.

The successor to Fr. Lyons was the Rev. James F. Gillen, a native of Oswego, New York. He attended St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto, then St. Bernard Seminary in Rochester, N.Y. He was ordained March 17, 1945. He served at St. Daniel's from 1969 to 1981. Fr. Gillen had a great appreciation for music and shared this love by donating the organ to the church.

Msgr. Yennock was born in Syracuse and attended St. Andrew and St. Bernard seminaries in Rochester, New York. He was ordained at Our Lady of Pompeii on June 3, 1950 by his cousin, the Most Rev. Raffaello Delle Nocche, Bishop of Tricarico, Italy. Fr, Yennock's first assignment was Assistant Pastor at Immaculate Conception Church in Fulton, New York. From 1966, he also served as Pastor of St. Peter Church, Oswego. In 1971 he was named Pastor of Our Lady of Angels Church in Endwell, N.Y. and in December of that year Pope Paul VI designated him a domestic prelate of the Church with the title of Reverend Monsignor. From 1979 to 1981, Msgr. Yennock served as Episcopal Vicar of the southern region of the Diocese of Syracuse while residing at St. Paul Rectory in Binghamton, N.Y. He has also served as Chaplain to the Catholic Daughters of the Americas in the Fulton, Oswego and New York State Courts.

On June 15, 1981 Msgr. Yennock was appointed as the third pastor of St. Daniel Church. During his tenure, he has overseen the commencement of Perpetual Adoration in the convent chapel, the renovation of the convent to include Pre-K facilities, the installation of new stained glass windows in the church vestibules and the development of Fr. Lyons Hall. During his time at St. Daniel's Msgr. Yennock has performed over 500 Baptisms, given hundreds of children First Holy Communion, witnessed over 200 marriages, heard thousands of confessions and administered anointing of the sick to many people. He continues to inspire parishioners with his homilies and teaching and is well known throughout the region for the annual blessing of the bikers.

Monsignor's desire when he first came to St. Daniel's 21 years ago was to make the parish a close-knit family. He initially did this by meeting with families in their homes to listen to their concerns. To this day this family spirit remains evident in our parish. We are not only blessed with a vibrant Catholic school , but by many vocations to the priesthood.


A profound silence must have filled Fr. Lyons as he walked the halls the night before St. Daniel's School was to be dedicated. November 22, 1953 would be the day remembered by not only Fr. Lyons and Fr. J. McCloskey, but by all the parishioners who saw the dream of their own parish school dedicated by Bishop Walter A. Foery.

It was the beginning of an era of Catholic education for this growing community. This structure had the capacity to house 450 students with the capability to expand to 800 students and a second floor. Eight classrooms with eight alternate rooms were the beginnings and in 1959 a gymnasium was added, which served many purposes in the years to follow.

Plans were drawn to house the Sisters of St. Francis from the Motherhouse on Court Street. No longer would they have to travel three times a week to give catechistical instructions. They were to become the residential teaching staff of St. Daniel's School. On May 14, 1954 the construction of the convent was completed and five Sisters were assigned to the new school. The opening enrollment was 212 children from Kindergarten through 6" grade. In later years Grades 7 and 8 were added and the teaching staff grew.

Though the enrollment has fluctuated through the years, it has never ceased. Even though the decline of Catholic school enrollment throughout our nation and diocese caused St. Daniel's School to adjust back to K - 6`" grade, it still thrives on the determination and dreams of those original parishioners.


Built on the leadership and determination of a parish destined to grow, St. Daniel's foundation was held together by parishioners who gave more of themselves than can ever be truly noted. All these people helped to shape this parish as it went through its growth, anxieties and joys. There were and are trustees who give of their time and efforts to keep St. Daniel's running smoothly. Such individuals as Earl E. Boyle (1953-1962), Charles W. Dussing (1953-1960), Edward Todd (1962-1970), Harold Yeazel (1970­1985), William Haller (1980-1989), Edith Matott (1985-2002), Joseph Celentano (1989-2002) and currently Nancy lannolo and George Hunter (2002-present) all toiling tirelessly to plant the seeds needed for growth.

The list of Associate Pastors is filled with men who gave their lives to Christ and served by leading this parish to become a vital place within the family unit. Leaders like: Fr. Richard A Clark (1940-45 and 1948-50), James F. Gillen (1945-46), Robert Donovan (1946-47), John K. Ryan (1947-48), James McCloskey (1950-54), Daniel Heintz (1954-57), Ambrose Farrell (1957-61), Joseph M. Devitt (1961-67), William C. Cahill (1967-70), Bernard Nelson (1970-71), James Mathews (1970-73), Joseph Phillips (1973-76), Albert J. Proud (1976-79), Paul Slavetskas (1979-81), Edmond A. Castronovo (1981-87), John DeLorenzo (1987-94), Mark Gantley (1994-2001) and Fr. Mark P. Kaminski (2001-2004), Rev. Amedeo G. Guida (2004-2006), Rev. Thienan Tran (2006-2008), Rev. Timothy Elmer (2008-2010), Rev. Charles Vavonese (2010-2012 ).

Vocations have flourished from the seeds of prayer and guidance this parish planted in the hearts of its young. Individuals who chose to serve as Priests and Religious are: Donald Connors (Rev. Canis Connors), Richard Allard, Ronald Barchette, J. Robert Yeazel, Daniel Caruso, Clifford Auth, Richard Prior and Rev. Mr. Pio Peter Carranti and Joseph Celentano as Permanent Deacons, along with Theresa Herold (Sr. James Denis), Mary Dolores Smith (Sr. Marie Bernadette), Mary Ann Legnetto (Sr. Antonia), Kathleen Osbelt (Sr. Ann Matthew), Sr. Dorothy Bernadette Allard (Sr. Daniel Joseph), Theresa Allard (Sr. Elizabeth Jean), Sr. Theresa Brown (Sr. Theresa Andre) Sr. Joan Mary Brogle, Anne Allard (Sr. Annette Maria), Sr. Nancy Burkhard (Sr. Carl Marie), Sr. Rosemarie Freitag (Sr. Robert Daniel). Current seminarians include Jonathan Moore, Mark Loftus and Christopher Celentano.

The seeds of this parish have grown into a strong tree that has weathered much, its branches reaching beyond the clergy into the lives of the laity who have become involved in organizations such as the Mary and Martha Society. This society was established in the early 40's under Fr. Lyon's leadership. Originally this group of women undertook the task of the special needs of the parish, including social and financial functions. The Altar Society began its services for the upkeep of the altar and sanctuary in 1949.

The spiritual growth of St. Daniel's has been through such organizations as the Prayer Group, started in October 1981. Their primary directive, under the guidance of Sr. Josephine Regan, was to pray for the needs of God's people. This group was also instrumental in the organization of a Bible Study Group, along with a weekly Holy Hour.

The Legion of Mary at one time continued this spiritual growth with daily recitation of the Rosary. Established on December 12, 1981, the Legion undertook a variety of spiritual works with the help and prayerful guidance of the Blessed Mother. One of their corporal works of mercy was visiting the sick and elderly, along with acting as Eucharistic Ministers.

During the Lenten season of 1985, the Renew Group began its pursuit to better know Jesus and His teachings. They spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ through evangelization within the parish as well as reaching outside the parish.

In 1989, St. Daniel's celebrated its 50th Anniversary as a parish with many gala celebrations. Since 1989 much has happened:



Young Mother's group formed to discuss the emotional and spiritual formation of their children


New video equipment obtained for Fr. Lyons Hall


1989 Hope Appeal Chairpersons: Michael & Susan Ellingworth and James & Linda Capodagli


Sr. Josephine, Parish Minister for 7 years departs from St. Daniel's


50"' Anniversary Quilt signing begins


50 years of grace­

Records from 1933-1989 reveal:  3823 Baptisms, 4001 First Communions, 3377 Confirmations, 1246 Marriages, 1093 Funerals


50th Anniversary Solemn Liturgy with Reception and open house in School gym, followed by a gala celebration Dinner at the Sheraton Inn, Liverpool


Visit from Our Lady of Fatima National Pilgrim Statue


New Allen organ installed-previous organ donated to St. Patrick's Church in Otisco



Town Meeting focused on the faith and future of our young people


New Apple IIGS computers and $23,800 worth of software obtained for School thanks to parishioners turning in register tapes for points


Msgr. Yennock celebrates 40 years in the Holy Priesthood


Fr. Richard Allard, C.S.B., a Basilian Father and former member of St. Daniel's celebrates 25th Anniversary in the Priesthood


Peg Sopchak becomes new President of the Legion of Mary, replacing Anne Simmons. Remaining Officers are Margaret Morse, Myrtle Zacharek and Gen Pitko


Flashing around Church repainted; Parking lot repaired-sealed-coated


Elaine & Cal Taylor elected Co-Presidents for Federation of Catholic School Parents-Syracuse Diocese. Frank Caliva re-elected Treasurer.



Wayne Skinner, Director of Music since 4/2885 departs and is replaced by Andrew Knox


Parish raises $4,321.10 for Sisters Retirement Fund


Sr. M. Sylvester Elliott, former Teacher at St. Daniel School from 1954-63 celebrates 100th birthday


All pews and oak doors in Church are cleaned and waxed


Associate Pastor Fr. John DeLorenzo celebrates 15thAnniversary to the Priesthood


Parishioners Dr. Patsy and Mrs. Nancy lannolo establish the Central New York Marion Center at 5180 West Taft Road to bring Our Lady's messages of peace and reconciliation to everyone



5"' grade teacher, Ms. Grace LaCroix, receives the St. John Baptiste de LaSalle Outstanding Teacher Award for excellence in teaching


Anne Uva, Parish Minister for 5 years departs St. Daniel's for CBA


Church roof painted; New Rectory roof installed; New sidewalks and steps around Convent installed


Missionary image of Our Lady of Guadalupe visits St. Daniel's on behalf of unborn babies to end abortion on demand


Christine Arabik joins St. Daniel's as Parish Minister for Religious Education


Former teacher Sr. Sylvester dies in Honolulu


Sr. Grace Seelman, former Principal of St. Daniel School (1982-85), becomes Parish Minister for the sick


Plans for Perpetual Adoration begin


St. Daniel School Reunion Classes of 1953.1983


Senior citizens form a group called the Wisdom People



Underground pipes from school boiler to church burst and are repaired


Theodore Purchla, new Director of Music begins


Traveling Youth Pilgrim Virgin program begins


Drains installed in parking lot; New electrical service installed in Rectory


Parish Minister for Religious Education, Christine Arabik, departs


Diane Celentano becomes Parish Minister for Religious Education in addition to continuing supervision of the Pre-K program



Sr. Mary Catherine Bums, OSF, on the faculty of St. Daniel School since 1988, celebrates 60 years of service to the Church


Parishioner Rev. Mr. Daniel Caruso is ordained to the Holy Priesthood


Fr. John DeLorenzo, Associate Pastor since July 1987, is assigned as Pastor to St. John the Baptist Church


Fr. Mark Gantley is assigned as new Associate Pastor at St. Daniel's


Air handling system in school is cleaned and updated; New heating/cooling unit is installed in the convent chapel; Chapel floors are sanded/renewed; Chapel paneling/pews washed/polished


Convent porch is converted into a classroom for special computer enrichment programs


New school computers purchased



Mrs. Christine Loman, 2nd grade Teacher wins 1995 Teacher of the Year Award


Convent interior painted; Church trim painted


Dan Gibbons hired for Outreach to Families and Youth


Ms. Angela Attili is hired for the Little Angels Pre-School program



Joan White (Joygerm Joan), founder of "Joygerms Unlimited" and Minister of Evangelization receives 1995 Achievement Award from the Post-Standard


Dan Gibbons departs St. Daniel's for a new position


Sr. Francis Patrick Burns CSJ, joins Sr. Grace Seelman to minister to the elderly and shut-ins


Air conditioning units in church from 1968 replaced


Sr. Francine Abuser CSJ, arrives as Pastoral Associate for Evangelization


New sinks, cabinets and desks installed in 6`h grade Science room


Bricks repaired on south side of Church



Convent renovated and 1 °` floor converted to Pre-School; Six entrance doors/moldings in Church refinished inside and out and deteriorated wood replaced


Reunion of St. Daniel Class of 1986


Stained glass memorial windows donated by: Robert Sellin and Family, Theresa Tedesco Eallonardo, Dr. and Mrs. Patsy lannolo, Members of the Cipriano Family


Msgr. Yennock receives the Apostle for Life Award from the Syracuse Right to Life Association due to his strong support for human life


Wisdom People donate $200 to repair kneeling cushions in Confessionals



Bingo ends at St. Daniel's after 16 years


Fr. Lyons Memorial Fund was established to develop Fr. Lyons Hall and from 1982-1998 has achieved the following: Lavatories, Kitchen, Tables and Chairs, Video projector, Sound system, Air conditioning, Ovens, Piano, Organ, Vestments and Hymnals 07/26198


After 64 years of service Sr. Mary Catherine Burns, OSF retires


Sr. Francine Abuser, CSJ departs from St. Daniel's to enter the religious Dominicans of St. Cecilia in Nashville, TN


Sr. Grace Seelman becomes ill and is unable to continue ministry at St. Daniel's


Knights of St. Daniel's Boys Club started


Sr. Grace Seelman dies



Fr. Daniel Caruso is appointed Pastor of St. Vincent Church in Vestal


Sr. Ancilla Yim, OSF, School Principal, celebrates 50 years of service with a Jubilee Mass and Reception in the Gym


Heritage Campaign begins-Chairpersons: Thomas Burton & Robert DiFlorio. Goal set for St. Daniel's was $450,000 over 5 years


Perpetual Adoration Monstrance is gold plated, with cost defrayed by Mrs. Sheila Piraino and Mrs. Tina Edem in memory of their husbands. Precious stones set into monstrance were donated by: Barbara & Rita Drossier, Clifford & Beverly Hart, Corinne Covina, Elizabeth Placate, John & June Johnson, The Joseph Metalloid Family, Karl & Lorraine Kiel, Larry & Tracy Salamino, Norma Yennock, Rose & Andrew Hurting, Stanley & Florence Swieck and William & Margaret Sopchak


Deacon Clifford Auth is ordained to the Priesthood at the Cathedral and celebrates his first Mass the following day at St. Daniel's with a Reception following in the Gym


Goal of $450,000 for Heritage Campaign achieved


Total pledged to date for Heritage Campaign: $576,015 with 50% of total amount over $450,000 being returned to St. Daniel's. Money returned to St, Daniel's used to build new rooms in church basement, install a new boiler and to make facilities more handicapped accessible


Convent rooms painted; New landscaping installed around church; Lavatories made handicap accessible; Construction started to extend Fr. Lyons Hall and add a storage room and boiler room


Rita Boskovski commissioned for Youth Ministry by Bishop Moynihan



Msgr. Yennock celebrates 50th Anniversary of Ordination to the Holy Priesthood with dinner at the OnCenter and Mass of Thanksgiving the following day with Reception in the Gym


Farewell reception for Sr. Ancilla Yim who after 12 years at St. Daniel's returned to Hawaii


Sr. Antonia Legnetto, OSF becomes Principal after having previously served as Principal from 1987­



After 20 years of serving the sick and shut-ins, the Legion of Mary ends due to lack of membership


Former Associate Pastor Fr. Edmund Castronovo (1981-87) celebrates 25 years in the Holy Priesthood


Deacon Richard Prior ordained to the Holy Priesthood at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Syracuse, NY. First Mass is celebrated at Sacred Heart Church in Cicero on 6/3/01, while preaching weekend Masses at St. Daniel's 6/9 and 6/10 with reception following in the Gym 06/09/01


Former parishioner Richard F. Mackiewifcz is ordained to the permanent Diaconate for the Diocese of Buffalo


St. Daniel website established www.stdaniel.com


After celebrating 10 years in the Holy Priesthood, Fr. Mark Gantley transfers to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Las Vegas, Nevada-A farewell reception was held in the Gym


Fr. Mark P. Kaminski becomes new Associate Vicar


Michele Compoli (Youth and Pastoral Care) and Diane Celentano (Pastoral Care) are commissioned as Lay Ministers by Bishop James Moynihan



Joseph Celentano ordained to Permanent Diaconate


Fr. Mark Kaminski celebrates 1 TM Anniversary to the Holy Priesthood