|Birth: ||May 11, 1930|
New York, USA
|Death: ||Jan. 17, 2008|
New York, USA
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (CNS) -- Msgr. Joseph Champlin, a native of the Diocese of Rochester and graduate of its former St. Bernard's Seminary, died Jan. 17 at University Hospital in Syracuse after a long battle with Waldenstrom's disease, a rare form of bone cancer. He was 77.
The funeral Mass for the nationally known author, speaker and liturgist was celebrated Jan. 23 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse. His remains were be present, however, because he chose to donate his body to Upstate Medical Center, in line with the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church that it is a "noble and meritorious act" for people to donate their bodies to science. Upon return of Champlin's cremains from Upstate Medical Center, they were interred on March 19, 2009 in the crypt of the Syracuse Cathedral
Born May 11, 1930, in Hammondsport, Joseph Masson Champlin was educated at New York state public schools before graduating from Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., in 1947. He studied at Yale University in Connecticut and the University of Notre Dame in Indiana before beginning seminary studies at St. Bernard's.
Msgr. Champlin was ordained a priest of the Syracuse Diocese on Feb. 2, 1956, and thereafter served as an associate at that diocese's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. He was associate director of the liturgy secretariat for what was then called the National Conference of Catholic Bishops from 1968 to 1971.
After serving as pastor of Holy Family Church in Fulton and St. Joseph's Church in Camillus, he was assigned as rector of the Syracuse cathedral in 1995. He served in that position until 2005. At the time of his death he was semiretired and serving as sacramental minister of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Warners.
A prolific writer, Msgr. Champlin wrote more than 50 books with more than 20 million copies in print. He circled the globe, traveling 2 million miles lecturing, conducting retreats and sharing his expertise on liturgy and pastoral care.
Besides his writing and pastoral leadership, Msgr. Champlin was a fine athlete who was often seen jogging downtown during his 10-year tenure as rector of the cathedral. He ran because he enjoyed it, but he also ran to draw attention to one of his favorite causes, the Guardian Angel Society, which was set up in 1997 to provide tuition assistance to students in need.
Over the course of 10 years Msgr. Champlin raised $2 million to help students with tuition to Catholic elementary and high schools. He raised funds through sponsorship at local running events and he worked tirelessly promoting an annual luncheon and dinner dance that support the Guardian Angel Society.
Syracuse Bishop James M. Moynihan said that with Msgr. Champlin's death "the Diocese of Syracuse has lost a great servant. He epitomized the definition of a gentleman and a priest."
Retired Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Costello of Syracuse, who had known Msgr. Champlin for nearly 60 years, said "the one thing he was most proud of was pastoring the parishes. He had a fantastic ability to know people -- to know their names, their husband's names, their father-in-law's names."
Bishop Costello visited Msgr. Champlin during his latest hospital stay and noted his marked weakness over previous visits. "He was ready," the bishop said. "He had tried everything else, now he's trying God."
Diagnosed with Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia in 2002, Msgr. Champlin turned his diagnosis into a personal learning and spiritual experience. He shared the news with parishioners at the cathedral in hopes that they could glean some useful information for themselves.
Although many of Msgr. Champlin's books dealt with liturgical and sacramental topics, some of his later work was more pointed and reflective, giving advice and direction to those on a spiritual journey. In 2003, Ave Maria Press released "Slow Down: Five-Minute Reflections to De-Stress Your Days," a compilation of 101 radio spots by the priest that were broadcast locally. Then in 2004, Alba House published "From Time to Eternity and Back," a personal account of his struggle with cancer.
However, his most widely read book is "Together for Life," a handbook on marriage, with more than 9 million copies in print.
He is survived by a brother and sister-in-law, Charles and Peggy Champlin of Los Angeles, and a sister and brother-in-law, Nancy and David Kreis of Syracuse, 10 nieces and nephews, and countless devoted friends.
Francis Malburn Champlin (1892 - 1938)
Charles Davenport Champlin (1926 - 2014)*
Joseph Masson Champlin (1930 - 2008)
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
New York, USA
Created by: Member#47194125
Record added: Aug 31, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 75744177