By JIM KEVLIN • The Freeman’s Journal & Hometown Oneonta
COOPERSTOWN – On May 30, 1955, little John Rosson, 7, underwent his First Holy Communion at his hometown church, Immaculate Conception in Irvington, on the Hudson River.
As the host – in Catholic doctrine, the small, round wafer is the actual Body and Blood of Jesus Christ – passed his lips, the boy immediately knew: He was destined to be a priest.
Almost 44 years later, Father Rosson, 71, said his final mass at 10 a.m. Sunday, March 31, signaling the end of 19 years as pastor of St. Mary’s “Our Lady of the Lake” Roman Catholic Church on Elm Street.
COOPERSTOWN – Father Peter Pagones, who retired from St. Paul the Apostle and Our Lady of Mount Carmel churches in Schenectady last July, will be interim pastor at St. Mary’s “Our Lady of the Lake” Catholic Church here, according to Diocese of Albany spokesman Mary DeTurris Poust.
He will fill in while a permanent successor is sought for Father John P. Rosson, 71, who retired Sunday after 19 years as pastor locally. He plans to be at St. Mary’s every weekend, and for Holy Week.
COOPERSTOWN – Rev. Joseph Perdue, First Baptist Church of Cooperstown, did not mince words as he read a statement from Zack Jackson, pastor, Community United Church of Christ in Reading, Penn, as part of the vigil for those killed at the Tree of Life Synagogue.
“This man who committed this massacre is a self-proclaimed Christian,” he said. “You will be tempted to say ‘He’s not a real Christian’ and feel no responsibility for him the way we do with Westboro Baptist, abortion clinic bombers and every other person who kills in Jesus’ name. It’s easy to walk away. But we must, instead, walk towards the problem of Christian extremism and face it head on!”
COOPERSTOWN – Father Patrick J. Conroy, who filled in in at St. Mary’s “Our Lady of the Lake” Catholic Church when the pastor, Father John Rosson, went on vacation in October, has been ousted as chaplain at the U.S. House of Representatives under a cloud of controversy.
“As you have requested, I hereby offer my resignation as the 60th Chaplain of the United States House of Representatives,” read Father Conroy’s letter to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, dated April 15. Conroy, a Jesuit, leaves the job on May 24.