The Reverend Alfred A. Lamanna, age 98, of Franfort, longtime pastor of the former St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Frankfort, was called by God to his eternal home on July 10, 2020.
Father Lamanna was born on September 5, 1921, in Amsterdam, NY, the son of the late Lawrence and Louise (Delli Veneri) Lamanna. He was raised and educated in Amsterdam, receiving the sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, Penance and Confirmation at St. Michael’s Church.
Upon his graduation from Amsterdam High School in 1940, Father went on to continue his education at Siena College in Loudonville, NY, the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and St. Bonaventure University in Olean, NY. His seminary education and training took place at the Theological College of Washington, D.C. where he was a member of the Basselin Program’s Class of 1948; additionally, he continued his theological studies at Christ the King Seminary in St. Bonaventure, NY.
On June 11, 1949, Father Lamanna was ordained to the Priesthood by Bishop Edmund F. Gibbons at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany. His first assignment was to serve at the cathedral as the Assistant Pastor during the summer of 1949. He spent three years as the Assistant Pastor to St. Mary’s Church in Little Falls and six years as the Assistant Pastor to St. Mary’s Church in Frankfort, before taking the assignment as Administrator of Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Schenectady where he served for six months. He then moved on to spend three years at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Gloversville and five years at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Amsterdam.
Father Lamanna’s first Pastorate took place at the Churches of St. Catherine in Middleburgh and St. Joseph in Schoharie from 1967 to 1969. He was then appointed as Pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Frankfort where he served the families of Frankfort for twenty-five years until his semi-retirement in 1994. He continued to be a thriving presence in the community of Frankfort for years to come.
On June 11, 2019, Father Lamanna celebrated his 70th anniversary of priesthood with a Mass of Thanksgiving at Our Lady Queen of Apostles Church in Frankfort and a reception at Francesca’s Banquet Hall in Ilion; an occasion that he celebrated surrounded by the love of friends and family.
Father was a member of various Knights of Columbus councils for over sixty-five years; serving as chaplain in Ilion, Gloversville, Amsterdam and Herkimer. As the area chaplain, he participated in the National March for Life in Washington, D.C. in 1997. His work with Herkimer Council 579 brought about the support and education of seminarians through their adoption of seminarians at Kericho in East Africa. Together, with members of the Herkimer K of C, he blessed the monument to unborn children at Calvary Cemetery in Herkimer.
From 1952-1958, Father served as the local Boy Scout Chaplain, organizing retreats to Camporee at White Lake, NY and to the Auriesville campgrounds. He was also honored as the National Boy Scout Chaplain at Valley Forge. He served as the CYO Director of both Fulton and Montgomery counties in the 1950s and in 1953 received the Albany diocese Priest of the Year award for his dedication to area youth.
In 1965, Father Lamanna received a citation for his “zealous work” on behalf of the American Committee on Italian Migration where he served as Director, for his tireless work in helping to push legislation for the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965.
During the 90s, Father spearheaded the project for the new bridge connecting the Village of Frankfort to Route 5; subsequently, the state of New York and Herkimer County named the bridge the “Rev. Alfred A. Lamanna Bridge.”
In 1999, he received the Bishop David F. Cunningham Award for outstanding service and devotion to the Church; this award was presented to him by Bishop James M. Moynihan of Syracuse.
During Father Lamanna’s retirement years, he assisted various parishes in Herkimer County as well as those in the Utica area, Richfield Springs and Canajoharie. More recently, he was the Spiritual Director of the St. Padre Pio Prayer Group of CNY. He promoted various causes, including the canonizations of Padre Pio, Cardinal Cooke and Fr. Michael J. McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus.
Father Lamanna was a priest of great dedication and caring who exercised his priesthood and discipleship with fidelity, generosity and steadfast witness to the Gospel. He has brought to his ministry an overwhelming spirit of charity and compassion, while always displaying the highest standards of personal and professional integrity. He will be remembered for his loyalty to the Church, generous cooperation, hard work, compassion and love for his community. In his 71 years of service to the people of Central New York, he has truly left his mark as a “good and faithful” servant who will be missed by all.
Father Lamanna was always so grateful and thankful for the many kindnesses extended to him by all his parishioners, friends and relatives throughout the many places he served. He will always be remembered for his quick wit, playful mannerisms, a good slap and a love for cuccidatas!
He is survived by his sister-in-law, Rose Lamanna; five nieces, one nephew, great-nieces, great-nephews, cousins and many friends.
He was predeceased by his parents, Lawrence and Louise; and his four brothers, Louis Lamanna, the Rev. Joseph Lamanna, Angelo Lamanna and Infant Angel Lamanna. May they all be reunited and rejoicing in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Calling hours and funeral services for Father Lamanna were held on July 13, and July 14, at Our Lady Queen of Apostles Church in Frankfort, where his Mass of Christian burial was offered by the Most Reverend Edward B. Scharfenberger, bishop of Albany. Interment in the Lamanna family plot took place at St. Michael’s Cemetery in Amsterdam.
Father Lamanna’s final wishes were pre-arranged and entrusted to Harry and Kevin Enea, Don Applegate and Martin L. Ciaccia, funeral directors of the Enea & Ciaccia Family Funeral Home, 4309 Acme Road, town of Frankfort, Ilion, NY (315) 894-8000. Online notes of sympathy may be left at www.eneafamily.com.