Most Rev. James M. Moynihan, D.D., 84, retired Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse, died on March 6, 2017. Bishop Moynihan was the 9th Bishop of the Diocese, serving from May 1995 until April 2009. Born in Rochester, he was the son of Michael and Caroline Horigan Moynihan of Rochester. He graduated from St. Andrew’s Seminary High School in Rochester before attending St. Bernard Seminary College. He graduated in 1954 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
He was ordained a priest on December 15, 1957 in the North American College Chapel, Rome, Italy by Archbishop Martin J. O’Connor, D.D. Rector of the College. He continued his theological studies at North American College and obtained a Doctorate in Canon Law, Summa Cum Laude, from The Gregorian University in Rome, Italy.
He was named Associate Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Rochester, New York and served from 1961-1963. He was the Defender of the Bond and Promoter of Justice in the Diocesan Tribunal from 1961 -1966. He served as Secretary to Most Rev. James E. Kearney from 1963-1966. He was appointed Vice Chancellor of the diocese of Rochester in 1965 and named Chancellor in 1967 under Most Rev. Fulton J. Sheen and continued to serve under Most Rev. Joseph L. Hogan from 1967-1974. He also served as the Catholic Chaplain for the Rochester Police Department from 1962-1973, an appointment he considered an honor to his father who was a Rochester Deputy Chief. He was the Catholic Chaplain to Highland Hospital from 1974-1976. He was appointed pastor of St. Joseph Church in Penfield, New York and served from 1976-1991. During that time he directed the Bishop’s Annual Catholic Thanksgiving Appeal from 1985-1989 under Most Rev. Matthew H. Clark. In 1991, he was appointed Associate Secretary General of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) New York 1991-1995. He was given the Papal Honor, Chaplain to His Holiness in 1993 and entered the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre in 1994.
He was appointed Bishop of Syracuse, April 4, 1995; ordained and installed on May 29, 1995 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. His episcopal motto was “Support One Another in Love.”
Bishop Moynihan was predeceased by his parents, Michael and Caroline Horigan Moynihan; and his cousins, Rev. Jeremiah Moynihan and Katherine Moynihan Lehon.
He is survived by his sister, Caroline Anne Moynihan of Washington, DC; and cousins, Michael and Gail Moynihan (Rochester), Thomas and Barbara Moynihan (Rochester), Martin Moynihan and Debbie Lechinger (Rochester), James and Hiroko Moynihan of Japan, John and Rose Moynihan (Rochester) and many cousins in Ireland.
The family wishes to thank all of the Bishop’s caregivers, Julie Merola, the staff of The Nottingham and the nurses from Medical Registry of CNY.
The Reception of the Bishop’s Body will be at 3 PM Thursday, March 9 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 259 E. Onondaga St., Syracuse. Viewing will follow until 7 pm with the Vigil for Bishop Moynihan beginning at 7 pm. On Friday, March 10, there will be a viewing from 9:00 to 10:30 am with the Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 am. Burial will follow in the Cathedral Crypt.
Contributions in his name may be made to Light a Child’s Future for Catholic School Education or the Cathedral Restoration Fund. Either may be mailed to 240 E. Onondaga St., Syracuse, NY 13202.