Father Jason Hage,
Director of Vocation Promotion
Fr. Jason is the pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Hamilton, Saint Joan of Arc Mission in Morrisville as well as sacramental responsibilities to the Colgate Newman Catholic Community. Fr. Jason grew up in Brockport 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. Jason spent the first three years of his priestly ministry at Holy Family Church, Syracuse, where he worked intensely with the youth and young adult ministry programs. Fr. Jason was asked by Bishop Cunningham to lead programming for all college-age men discerning a vocation throughout the diocese. He called this ministry the “Fisherman’s Club” and has been working with college-age discerners for the past three years. He loves to spend time with his parents, his three siblings, and his nephews.
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.
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.
Father Ken Kirkman
Fr. Ken is the parochial vicar at St. Anthony and St. Mary in Cortland. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Syracuse in June 2016. A native of Holy Cross Parish and alum of Holy Cross School in DeWitt, Fr. Ken attended Christian Brothers Academy and SUNY Oswego. His hobbies include foreign languages, literature, music, and astronomy.
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.
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:
- Cathedral Seminary House of Formation at the Immaculate Conception Center, Douglaston, New York
- Pope John XXIII National Seminary, Weston, Massachusetts
- Theological College at the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC
- St. Mary’s Seminary and University, Baltimore, Maryland