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Father O celebrates a joyous jubilee

— The Rev. Daniel J. O’Hara is a dyed-in-the-wool Central New Yorker. He’s a priest with a passion for our drumlins and lakes, our proud history and our hopeful ambitions. But most of all, Father O appreciates our people.

Born and raised in Camillus, the pastor of both Immaculate Heart of Mary in Galeville and St. Joseph the Worker in the village of Liverpool has remained ever-faithful to his Upstate roots.

This Sunday, June 10, Father O will celebrate the 25th anniversary of his ordination with a Mass of Thanksgiving at noon at Immaculate Heart of Mary, 425 Beechwood Ave., just off Old Liverpool Road, in Galeville. The Mass will be followed by a reception at St. Joseph’s, 1001 Sixth St., at the corner of Tulip Street, in the village.

Irish ancestry

Father O’s family immigrated to America from County Sligo, in Ireland. Various O’Haras have populated Warners, Auburn, Skaneateles and Skaneateles Falls. The son of Charles and Josephine O’Hara, young Dan got his earliest religious training at St. Joseph’s Church in Camillus where the Rev. Thomas Guyder was pastor.

Dan attended classes in the West Genesee School District before choosing to stay in Syracuse to matriculate at Le Moyne College where the learned Jesuits held forth. At Le Moyne, Dan began to answer to a higher calling. He did his graduate work at Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora over in Western New York.

On June 13, 1987, O’Hara was ordained into the priesthood by the Most Rev. Frank J. Harrison, the bishop of the Syracuse Diocese.

Serving CNY

Father O’s first assignment was in the town of Clay, at St. John’s Church on Soule Road where he served as a parochial vicar from 1987 to 1992. He spent about a year in Oneida County at St. Paul’s Church in Rome, before becoming associate pastor at St. James Church on South Salina Street in Syracuse. After five years as the associate pastor, he was appointed St. James pastor in 1998 and led the congregation there for a solid decade.

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