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Message from Reverend Ballard



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St. James’ History in the Valley


St. James parish was founded in 1925 with just 30 families and Father James Burns as its first pastor.  The seven and a half acre campus was purchased that year for $18,000 by the first trustees, Dennis H. Dwyer and Peter Byrne.  The first Mass was celebrated on September 27, 1925 in a red brick house on the property.  The parish continued to grow and in 1927, Father John Quirk was appointed the parish’s first assistant pastor.

In 1929, the parish decided to build a new church.  Thomas Enright, an architect and parishioner, drew up the plans.  Bishop Curley laid the cornerstone in 1934.  The parishioners supplied all of the labor for the construction.  In 1939, Father William Oley succeeded Father Burns as pastor.
The 1940’s brought two important changes.  The Franciscan Sisters arrived in 1943 and set up a st james schoolcatechetical center.  The following year, Father Francis Horrigan became pastor.

Bishop Foery authorized construction of a parish school in 1953.  The school was completed in 1954.

In 1958 a fund drive was started to raise $250,000 to begin building a new church which would cost around $500,000.  The present church was completed in 1960 and the old church was remodeled for use as a gymnasium in 1961.  The rectory and administration building was built in 1964.
Monsignor Horrigan
The Golden Jubilee of our parish was held October 26, 1975.  After 32 years as pastor, Msgr. Horrigan was succeeded by Most Reverend Frank J. Harrison, DD., and Auxiliary Bishop of Syracuse.  Father John Ahern was appointed administrator.

Father John Finnegan was appointed the fifth pastor in 1977.  The new convent was purchased and the present pipe organ was donated by Msgr. Horrigan.  In 1980 the daily mass chapel was built and dedicated to Msgr. Horrigan.  The lower level of the gym was made into a parish center. 

St. James’ had co-pastors for the first time in 1982 when Father Raymond Wood was appointed to share pastoral duties with Father Finnegan.   In 1985, Father Wood became pastor and Father George Hartnett was appointed associate pastor.  Early in 1988 Father Paul Alciati was named associate pastor. 

Father James Quinn was appointed the seventh pastor in July, 1988.  Father Michael Meagher served as pastor from 1994 to 1998.

Father Daniel J. O’Hara arrived in 1993 as an associate and was appointed pastor in 1998. 

In January 2008, Father John D. Manno was appointed Administrator at the age of 32. 
Upon his arrival at St. James, Fr. Manno was assigned to work with St. James and Our Lady of Lourdes regarding a plan for reconfiguration of parishes, help the parish to reduce its debt, while, at the same time, maintaining and creating ministries. Near the end of 2008, it was determined the Pastoral Councils of St. James and Our Lady of Lourdes that, in the future, the St. James Church site would be used for worship by both parish communities.

In 2009, after numerous discussions on how the Church could be more visible on the south side of the city, Fr. Manno, established the St. James Emmaus Ministry, naming Sheila Austin as its coordinator. The St. James Emmaus Ministry, works to bring the presence of Christ to the poor, marginalized, and alienated throughout the city. One of the guiding philosophies of the ministry is that we go out to the people and meet them where they are at. As a result of the good work done through St. James Emmaus Ministry, St. James Church was awarded with the Parish Service Award by Catholic Charities of Onondaga County in 2010. In 2014, Catholic Charities of Onondaga County will honor Sheila Austin with the Humanitarian Award for her great work and ministry with so many throughout the city. St. James Emmaus Ministry continually looks for ways to bring the Gospel to so many as it follows the words of Pope Francis who reminds the Church, “Do not forget the poor.”

Fr. Manno had the responsibility of finding an alternative use to the school building at St. James as the school had closed in 2006. In May 2010, the former St. James School was sold to the Syracuse Academy of Science and is now used as a k-6 building housing nearly 300 students. Part of the sale included the gym and parish center which have been renovated and is still used by the parish for various functions and events.

In May 2011, Bishop Robert J. Cunningham, tenth bishop of the Diocese of Syracuse, appointed Fr. Manno the pastor of St. James Church. Fr. Manno has overseen the elimination of St. James debt, the replacing of the church roof, installation of new rectory windows, installation of new air conditioning in the church, the building of a pole barn on the back part of the property for storage, the installation of new plantings around the church and rectory, the renovation of the rectory suites and kitchen, the establishment of the St. Marianne Cope Ministry Room in the basement of St. James Rectory, the refurbishing of the nativity set, and many other projects at St. James.



4845 South Salina Street, Syracuse, NY 13205  Rectory 315-469-7789