MOOERS FORKS - The Rev. Terry R. LaValley is coming home and his visit will be one to be seen by the masses.
LaValley, who assumed the role as the 14th bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg April 30, will return to St. Ann's Parish this Sunday, May 2. LaValley will host his first Mass at his home parish since becoming diocesan administrator and relocating to Ogdensburg last year.
"It'll be good to be back with family and celebrate another first Mass," said LaValley, who officiated his first Mass after being ordained a priest in 1988. "I never thought I'd be doing another first Mass."
The Mooers Forks native now serves in a position previously held by the Most Rev. Robert J. Cunningham, who was appointed the 10th bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse early last year by Pope Benedict XVI.
"The whole appointment has been very, very humbling and quite surreal," said LaValley. "It's an awesome privilege and certainly a great responsibility."
In preparation for taking on the role of bishop, LaValley said he's been working closely with "the tremendous staff" at St. Mary's Cathedral in Ogdensburg and the diocese offices. LaValley said he's already begun overseeing confirmations, most recently in Peru, Chazy and Watertown.
"So, the plate is full," LaValley said with a laugh.
This Sunday, however, will be LaValley's first time back at St. Ann's. And, through the generosity of Primelink and its parent corporation, the Champlain Telephone Company, LaValley's Mass will be broadcast free via the Internet.
"We knew this is going to be huge for the area and people are going to want to see it," said Sarah A. McCune, director of marketing for PrimeLink. "That's why we're working together to bring high-speed service into the church and the hall."
LaValley said he was pleased to learn of the Web cast, noting those who are home-bound or unable to attend Sunday's Mass will still be able to be part of the event.
"It adds that much more meaning for me because I'm able to reach out to more than those who are able to come to the Mass itself," he said. "Technologically speaking, it's a great gift to the area."
This Sunday's Mass will begin at 2 p.m. Those who wish to view the Mass via the Internet may log onto www.primelink1.com. Additional seating will be provided in the church hall where a 52-inch television will also broadcast the service.