Fr. Stephen H. Gratto
Rev. Stephen H. Gratto, 65, died at the Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse Infirmary, at 3:15 a.m., on May 26, 2012.A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 12 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, 2012, at St. Mary's Church, Canton, N.Y., with the Most Reverend Terry LaValley, Bishop of Ogdensburg, presiding, and the priests of the diocese concelebrating. The homilist will be Fr. Jeff Hubbard, a close friend of Fr. Gratto.The Brown Funeral Home, Plattsburgh, is coordinator of arrangements, with calling hours at O'Leary's Funeral Home, Canton, N.Y., from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m., Monday, May 28. At 8:30 p.m., there will be Evening Prayer, led by Fr. Michael Gaffney, pastor of St. Joseph's and St. Mary's Church in Massena. The body will be received by Msgr. John Murphy, pastor of the Church of the Visitation, Norfolk, at St. Mary's Church, at 10 a.m., Tuesday, May 29. Burial will be at St. Mary's Cemetery, Canton.Fr. Gratto was born on May 7, 1947, in Canton, N.Y., son of the late Clarence and Anna Harvey Gratto. He attended Canton school system through junior high, and then attended Wadhams Hall High School. He entered Wadhams Hall Seminary College in 1965, with theological studies at St. Mary's in Baltimore. Fr. Gratto was ordained a priest on May 5, 1973, by Bishop Stanislaus J. Brzana.Fr. Gratto's first assignment was assistant pastor, at Holy Family, Watertown, in 1973. He was appointed to the Staff of Catholic Charities, and was an assistant pastor at Brasher Falls, in 1976. He was associate pastor in Sacred Heart, Massena, as he continued his work at Catholic Charities. In 1981, he was made Director of Catholic Charities, Plattsburgh, and in 1986, he was appointed Diocesan Director of Catholic Charities. In 1988, he was pastor in Hammond/Rossie, and in 1990, pastor at St. John the Baptist Church, in Madrid. Fr. Gratto was also pastor of St. Alexander's, Morrisonville, and St. Joseph's, Treadwells Mill, and in 2002, pastor of St. Patrick's Church, Brasher Falls, and St. Lawrence Church, North Lawrence. After a sabbatical in 2005, he was appointed pastor of St. Martin's Church, Port Leyden. Because of ill health, Fr. Gratto retired in 2011.Most recently, Fr. Gratto was a resident in the Sisters of St. Joseph' Infirmary, where he was also able to celebrate Mass for the Sisters, when his health permitted.Fr. Gratto is survived by four brothers, Charles, Joseph, Peter, and Clarence; and one sister, Joan; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.Donations can be made to Catholic Charities or to the Priests' Retirement Fund.Arrangements have been entrusted to Brown Funeral Home, 29 Broad St., Plattsburgh, NY 12901, (518)561-3980. Online condolences may be offered at www.brownfunera lhomeinc.com.