Vocations Team

Father Jason Hage,

Director of Vocation Promotion

Father Jason Hage grew up in Brockport, NY and was a serious hockey player in high school, winning the New York State title his junior year. He attended Xavier University in Cincinnati and earned his Bachelor’s in Philosophy. Upon graduation from Xavier, he entered St. Mary’s Seminary & University in Baltimore, MD and earned his Master’s of Divinity as well as his Sacred Bachelor’s in Theology. Fr. Hage spent the first three years of his priestly ministry at Holy Family Church in Syracuse, where he worked intensely with the youth and young adult ministry programs. In 2015, Bishop Cunningham appointed Fr. Hage the coordinator of “Fisherman’s Club”, the diocesan outreach to college-age men discerning the priesthood. In 2017, Fr. Hage was appointed pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Hamilton, St. Joan of Arc Mission in Morrisville, with sacramental responsibilities at Colgate University’s Newman Community. Bishop Lucia appointed Father Hage the Director of the Office of Vocation Promotion on October 1, 2019.

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Father Chris Ballard

Fr. Chris is the pastor of Our Lady of Hope Church in Syracuse and was ordained a priest on June 5, 2010. Fr. Chris’ favorite part of priestly ministry is preaching and teaching, as he enjoys the opportunity to dialogue and defend the Faith. He enjoys traveling, hanging out at the lake, and spending time with his cats, Francis and Clare.

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Father Chris Celentano

Fr. Chris was born and raised in Lyncourt and attended St. Daniel Church. The youngest of three children, Fr. Chris was raised by two loving and practicing Catholic parents. He attributes his love of Christ and the Catholic Church to his upbringing as well as his lifelong pastor, Msgr. Eugene Yennock. Before answering the call to the priesthood, he attended Ithaca College and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Sport Management. He only spent one season working for a minor league baseball team in the South Atlantic League when the call to the priesthood grew louder. After the 2001 season he applied and was accepted to formation for the priesthood in the Diocese of Syracuse. Fr. Chris studied at St. Mary’s Seminary & University in Baltimore, Maryland where he earned a Master’s of Divinity. He was ordained a priest in 2008 and has served as a parochial vicar at Saints John and Andrew in Binghamton and pastor of Divine Mercy in Central Square. Father Chris received certification in spiritual direction in 2017 from the Institute for Priestly Formation. Currently he serves as pastor of St. Rose of Lima Church and School in North Syracuse, board member of Bishops Grimes Jr./Sr. High school and as a local spiritual director.

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Father Ken Kirkman

Fr. Ken is the administrator of St. Anthony of Padua and St. Joseph in Endicott, NY. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Syracuse in June 2016 and served as parochial vicar in Cortland, NY. A native of Holy Cross Church and School in Dewitt, Fr. Ken graduated from Christian Brothers Academy in 2005 and from SUNY Geneseo in 2009 with a BA in history. His hobbies include foreign languages, literature,music, and astronomy.

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Father Nate Brooks

Fr. Nathan Brooks is parochial vicar at St. Anthony’s and St. Mary’s in Cortland, NY. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Syracuse on June 1, 2019. Fr. Brooks grew up in Central Square, NY and attended St. Michael’s parish, now known as Divine Mercy Parish. Following graduation from Bishop Grimes, he completed one semester at Onondaga Community College and was then accepted for a one-year internship at Walt Disney World in Florida. After completing the internship, he went to SUNY Oswego where he graduated with a degree in Business Administration. For the next several years, Fr. Brooks worked in management at the Hampton Inn in Clay and Target in Charleston, WV. In 2012 Fr. Brooks started seminary at St. Mary’s Seminary & University in Baltimore, MD and earned his Master’s of Divinity as well as his Sacred Bachelor’s in Theology.

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The Office of Seminarian Formation works in conjunction with the Office of Vocation Promotion and the Bishop’s Office to ensure that men studying for the priesthood in the Diocese of Syracuse are adequately equipped and formed to be faithful, holy priests.  Click here to contact the office.

Currently, the Diocese of Syracuse works with the following seminaries to form men for the priesthood:

 

We appreciate your continued prayers.

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