Last mass for Franciscan Friars

By Kerry Longobucco

August 31, 2014 Updated Aug 31, 2014 at 7:10 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Members of Binghamton's St. Cyril church bid farewell to their friars Sunday morning due to a shortage of Franciscan priests.

After calling Broome County home for ninety years, friars from St. Cyril and the Church of the Holy Trinity will be relocating in order to continue their work. As of September 1, they will serve the Diocese of Syracuse.

Friars of that diocese will now oversee the masses of Binghamton's Franciscan churches. For now, it's uncertain whether the schedule of masses will be affected.

It's a drastic change for loyal members, like Betty-Anne Graham, who was baptized at St. Cyril.

"It's been coming on slowly. We knew eventually changes would be made," Graham said. "But we had to wait till the final announcement was made for us."

Father McCurry, the minister provincial, said this last mass was about thanking the community for their ongoing support.

"We love Binghamton," he said. "We love the people here, and we simply wanted to thank them in this closing mass today."

McCurry said he is hopeful for a new generation of friars, and that the Franciscans have strategic plans to recruit new leadership.

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