Celebrating senior priests

The following men have served as priests for the Archdiocese of Detroit for more than 60 years.

Fr. Donald B. Kuntz, 96, was ordained June 7, 1941.

Fr. Kuntz served as assistant pastor at St. Mary Magdalen Parish, Hazel Park (1941-46), and St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Pontiac (1946-50), before becoming assistant director of religious education for the archdiocese (1950-54).

He served as assistant pastor at Visitation Parish, Detroit (1954-59), and at St. Thecla Parish, Clinton Township (1959-61).

In 1961 Fr. Kuntz was named pastor of St. Cletus Parish, Warren, where he served until being granted senior priest status in 1984.

Fr. Henry E. Villerot, 95, was ordained June 7, 1941.

Fr. Villerot served as assistant pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, River Rouge (1941-46); St. Aloysius Parish, Detroit (1946-51); and the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Detroit (1951-56).

He served as chaplain to Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit (1956-60), and to Detroit Osteopathic Hospital, Highland Park, for one year.

Fr. Villerot was pastor of St. Theresa Parish, Detroit (1960-66); of St. Margaret of Scotland Parish, St. Clair Shores (1966-72), and of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish, Birmingham, from 1972 until being granted senior priest status in 1985.

Msgr. Thomas H. Villerot, 93, was ordained May 29, 1943.

Msgr. Villerot was assistant pastor at St. Joseph Parish, Erie (1943-47); St. Catherine Parish, Detroit (1947-52); St. Lawrence Parish, Detroit (1952); and St. Mary Parish, Royal Oak (1952-57).

In 1957 he was appointed to the faculty of Sacred Heart Seminary; and was later named pastor of St. Martin Parish, Detroit (1965-70). He was pastor of St. Jude Parish, Detroit (1970-79) and vicar of the Gratiot Vicariate (1971-73). He was pastor of St. Valerie of Ravenna Parish, Clinton Township, from 1979 until he was granted senior priest status in 1987.

He returned to St. Mary Parish, Royal Oak, as temporary administrator from September to December 1989. He was appointed to the archdiocesan College of Consultors (1990-92), and was named a prelate of honor to His Holiness (monsignor) in March 1990.

Fr. Joseph A. Janiga, 91, was ordained Oct. 27, 1945.

Fr. Janiga was appointed to the faculty of St. Mary’s College and SS. Cyril & Methodius Seminary, Orchard Lake (1945-77); associate pastor of St. Michael Parish, Pontiac (1977-78); and associate pastor of St. Cletus Parish, Warren (1978-83).

He was named pastor of St. Helena Parish, Wyandotte (1983-89), and was granted senior priest status in 1989.

Fr. Edward F. Konopka, 91, was ordained Oct. 27, 1945.

Fr. Konopka was assistant pastor at SS. Peter & Paul (West Side) Parish (1945-51), at Holy Name of Jesus Parish, Detroit, (1951-56), and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Wyandotte (1956-59). He was appointed chaplain to Mount Carmel Hospital, Detroit (1959-60).

Fr. Konopka was founding pastor of St. Colman Parish, Farmington (1960-66); then served as pastor of St. Michael Parish, Pontiac (1966-71); St. Isidore Parish, Macomb Township (1971-74); Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish, Detroit (1974-1982); and St. Alan Parish, Troy (1982-94).

He also was vicar of the North Oakland-Pontiac Vicariate (1967-68) and coordinator for the building of Pontiac Catholic High School in 1968.

He was granted senior priest status in June 1994, but was called back several times to serve as temporary administrator of parishes in Lapeer, Detroit and Livonia.

Fr. Joseph Ryder, 90, was ordained June 8, 1946.

Fr. Ryder served as an assistant pastor at Guardian Angels Parish (1946-51) and Assumption Grotto Parish (1951-55), both in Detroit; St. Anselm Parish, Dearborn (1955-60); and St. Ignatius Parish, Detroit (1960-61). He was pastor of St. Alexander Parish, Farmington Hills (1961-66); St. Louis Parish, Mount Clemens (1966-70); St. Andrew Parish, Rochester (1970-75); and St. Owen Parish, Bloomfield Hills (1975-92). He achieved senior priest status in 1992.

Fr. Ryder also served three years on the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, six years on the National Liturgical Board (1960-66) and 20 years as chaplain for the Detroit Lions alumni.

Fr. J. Walter Stanievich, 91, was ordained Oct. 26, 1946.

He served as an assistant pastor at St. Clement Parish, Center Line (1946-51); St. Patrick Parish, Wyandotte (1951-54); and Holy Innocents Parish, Roseville (1954-59). He served for three months as an assistant at St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Detroit, before becoming temporary administrator and then pastor of St. Anthony (Lithuanian) Parish, Detroit, (1959-70). Besides his duties at St. Anthony, he was administrator at St. Peter (Lithuanian) Parish in Detroit (1962-70).

Fr. Stanievich was pastor of St. Mark Parish, Warren (1970-91). He served as vicar of Warren-Center Line Vicariate for two consecutive terms (1973-79), and another term from 1982-85. He achieved senior priest status in 1991.

Fr. Stanievich then served as temporary administrator at St. Paschal Baylon Parish, Taylor (1993); St. Sylvester Parish, Warren (1994); St. Perpetua Parish, Waterford Township (1995); St. Henry Parish, Lincoln Park (1995); and St. Francis Xavier Parish, Ecorse (1997).

Fr. Erwin J. Bauer, 89,was ordained May 31, 1947, in Detroit.

Fr. Bauer served as assistant pastor at Sacred Heart Parish, Dearborn (1947-52); St. Gregory the Great Parish, Detroit (1952-56); St. Agatha Parish, Redford Township (1956-61); St. Mary Queen of Creation Parish, New Baltimore (1961-63); and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Grotto) Parish, Detroit (1963-65).

He founded St. Donald Parish, Roseville, in 1965, and served as pastor there until 1978. He also served as vicar of the Roseville-St. Clair Shores Vicariate from 1969-70.

From 1978-83 he served as pastor of St. Mary Mystical Rose Parish, Armada, and as vicar of the Thumb Vicariate from 1979-83.

Fr. Bauer was appointed pastor of St. Hubert Parish, Harrison Township in 1983, and served as vicar of the North Macomb Vicariate (1984-87). He was pastor of St. Barnabas Parish, Eastpointe (1985-87), and St. Philip Neri Parish, Columbus, and of Holy Rosary Mission, Smith’s Creek (1987-91) and again  from 2001 until 2003.

Granted senior priest status in 1991, he served as administrator of St. Mark Parish, Harsens Island, in 1991 and in 1996.

Fr. Fabian B. Slominski, 87, was ordained May 22, 1948, in Detroit.

Fr. Slominski served as an assistant pastor at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Wyandotte (1948-53); at the Detroit parishes of SS. Peter & Paul (West Side) (1953-58) and St. Bartholomew (1958-62); and at St. Florian Parish, Hamtramck (1962-67).

Fr. Slominski was pastor of Corpus Christi Parish, Detroit (1967-70); St. Anne Parish, Warren (1970-83), and St. Cletus Parish, Warren, from1984 until he was granted senior priest status in 1990. He served as a chaplain at St. John-Macomb Health Center in Warren until 2007.

Fr. Edmund D. Muir, 87, was ordained May 21, 1949.

Fr. Muir served as assistant pastor at Visitation Parish, Detroit (1949-54), and at Epiphany Parish, Detroit (1954-57). He was temporary administrator of Epiphany Parish (1957-58), and also as assistant pastor at Our Lady of Victory Parish, Detroit (1958).

Also in 1958, Fr. Muir became a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force. He returned to Detroit to become assistant pastor at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Grotto) Parish (1963-68).

His first pastorate was Epiphany Parish, Detroit (1968-82); and he also served as pastor of St. Clement Parish, Dearborn, from1982 until attaining senior priest status in 1993.

Fr. Lawrence T. Fares, 87, was ordained April 23, 1950, in Rome.

He was incardinated into the Archdiocese of Detroit in 1977. Fr. Fares served as associate pastor of St. Louis Parish, Clinton Township (1977-78); Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Grotto) Parish, Detroit (1978-84); and Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish, Detroit (1984-85).

In 1985 he was named parochial administrator of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Detroit, and also at Holy Name Parish, Detroit, while continuing his duties at St. Thomas.

Fr. Fares was appointed pastor of St. Ronald Parish, Fraser, in 1989, and continued to serve there until he was granted senior priest status in 1997.

Fr. Bohdan W. Kosicki, 85, was ordained May 20, 1950.

Fr. Kosicki served as an assistant pastor at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish, Detroit (1950-55); Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish, Grosse Pointe Woods (1955); St. Anne Parish, Warren (1955-59); St. Christopher Parish, Detroit (1959); and Our Lady Queen of Apostles Parish, Hamtramck (1959-60).

In 1960 he was sent to the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., for graduate studies. He then was assistant pastor of St. Albertus Parish, Detroit (1963-64). He was appointed chaplain to St. Francis Hospital, Hamtramck, in 1964.

Fr. Kosicki served as assistant pastor at St. Hyacinth Parish, Detroit (1965-66), and was named assistant to the archdiocesan vicar for religious in 1966. In 1971 he was named archdiocesan delegate to charismatic groups, in addition to his other duties.

In 1976 he was appointed pastor of Sweetest Heart of Mary Parish, Detroit. While there he also had duties as acting director of the archdiocesan Office of Special Services, a post he continued to hold while pastor of St. Ladislaus Pastor, Hamtramck (1981-82).

Fr. Kosicki was named pastor of St. Lucy Parish, St. Clair Shores, and served there until being granted senior priest status in 1997. During the 1990s he also served on the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council.

Msgr. Peter S. Lentine, 92, was ordained May 20, 1950.

Msgr. Lentine served as assistant pastor at St. Elizabeth Parish, Wyandotte (1950-55); Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Grotto) Parish, Detroit (1955-60), and St. Matthew Parish, Detroit (1960-65).

Philomena Parish, Detroit in 1966, and continues to serve there.

Msgr. Lentine also served as an archdiocesan consultor from 1977-83.

Fr. Edward L. Scheuerman, 85, was ordained May 20, 1950.

Fr. Scheuerman served as assistant pastor at St. Bartholomew Parish, Detroit (1950-54), then was appointed to the faculty of Sacred Heart Seminary in 1954.

In 1966 he was named principal of Aquinas High School in Southgate, moving in 1970 to the faculty of Bishop Gallagher High School in Harper Woods.

He continued to serve as priest counselor at Bishop Gallagher after he became pastor of St. Martin of Tours Parish, Detroit, in 1971. While at St. Martin, he served (1971-77) as vicar of the Detroit-Grosse Pointe Vicariate.

Fr. Scheuerman was appointed pastor of St. Patrick Parish, Wyandotte (1981-94), then administrator of St. Charles Borromeo, Newport (1994-95).

He was granted senior priest status in 1995, but undertook several brief assignments after that: as parochial administrator of St. Mark Parish, Warren (1995) and in 1999 as temporary administrator of Christ the King Parish, Detroit, and then at Presentation/Our Lady of Victory Parish, Detroit.