St. Paul’s Church Selected as Site of New Christ the Good Shepherd Parish, Oswego

Most Reverend Bishop Robert Cunningham

Most Reverend Bishop Robert Cunningham

Syracuse, NY — After an extensive local process, Bishop Robert J. Cunningham accepted the consensus based recommendation that St. Paul’s Church will be the home of Christ the Good Shepherd Parish.

St. Paul’s Church is located at 50 E. Mohawk St., Oswego.

The decision comes 18 months after the Oswego parishes of St. Joseph, St. Stephen the King, St. Mary and St. Paul announced they would begin a process to form one faith community that worships on one campus.

The community selected Christ the Good Shepherd as its patron and new name on August 2018.

Bishop Cunningham notified parishioners of his acceptance in a letter dated May 11, 2019.

The need to bring the four parishes together is a result of a number of factors facing many churches in the Northeast including an aging and declining population; economic and industry shifts; limited financial resources; aging facilities; fewer priests and religious available for ministry; and decreasing participation in Masses and the sacraments.

The letter provided some background for the decision stating “In 2017, the pastoral leadership and parish finance councils reported that the financial condition of the Oswego parishes was unsustainable and that restructuring and unification would be required.”

It further explains that a full analysis was done of each parish prior to a recommendation being made on the one location.

The unification of the parishes of Oswego will begin on July 1 and will be celebrated at Masses on July 6-7.

This decision is the next step in the process and there is still much work to be done with the pastoral leaders and the parish staffs of the four faith communities.


  1. I believe that Bishop Cunningham needs to come to Oswego on a sleety, snowy day and walk from the Trinity School up hill to the church. Parking may become an issue, and to be honest, hasn’t the Catholic Church lost enough parishioners? How many will go elsewhere to a more accommodating site that understands the needs of the very aging population they speak of? A flat non-hilly location would accommodate those elderly folks. So, I guess the Hall Newman Center will probably see some of the ones that are not retiring by early evening, and those that still drive, go to Holy Trinity in Fulton, or just watch Mass on EWTN, which may not do much for donations to the parish, but allows seniors to ‘attend’ Mass.

    I don’t totally understand the logic of this selection. # of parking spaces, probably…

    Now, my other complaint and it is a complaint. WILL the Syracuse Diocese once again ABANDON churches as they did my beloved St. Louis’s until it becomes an environmental hazard. Does the Diocese have any guilt over the close call that Harborfest attendees and vendors suffered when St. Louis’s collapsed from neglect?

    Please consider your choices. I live three houses from St. Mary’s. Slate tiles have already fallen off the roof in high winds. WILL one KILL someone, damage adjacent properties? Will the grasses grow, the lovely prayer garden become overgrown and abandoned? St. Louis didn’t look very good by the time it fell…

    Of course, the solution is allowing Married Priests! SOLUTION to ‘several issues,’ not just in Oswego.

  2. Most importantly for the diocese…the feeder school to the catholic schools in Syracuse stays open. Say what you want but this was purely a financial decision to benefit the diocese and not the parishioners in this city.

  3. The church is taking a position known as “live to fight another day”! This is partly the result of secular politics in America and the church scandal’s mismanagement. As they did back in the 1700 and 1800s maybe it’s time to dispatch Missonary’s to spread the religion to the people, the Seven day Adventist and Mormons certainly understand that.
    One positive thought in all of this, because the church population is elderly the Diocese will be getting the estates of some of their last deep believers.

  4. Currently I’m living in South Texas but was raised as a Parishioner of St. Mary’s. I’ve attended several other churches here and there. Mostly for weddings, baptisms, etc. However , since traveling here to the RGV, I’ve noticed that Oswego Catholic Churches has lost Parishioners by not adapting to some modernization, as well as, bringing forward programs such as ACTS retreats using the familiar beliefs mixed with solutions to the modern day church. Humanity is ever changing. So Understanding and incorporating richer ideas should be withheld if Oswego wants to sharpen its swords and fight to keep Catholicism in its bounds.

  5. Jane is 100% correct. This small committee ( deciding for all the Catholics of Oswego )
    was set up simply as a smoke screen. The decision was made months ago by the Bishop for the only reason of money !! He could care less about the feelings of us parishioners, he has to retire this year and leaving. It was dollar signs in his eyes only. We’ve been mislead my our clergy as well, as this has dragged on for over a year and played with our emotions and added needless stress to all Catholics of Oswego. It will take many years if at all for any type of healing here. So sad and what a shame.

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