This year’s jubilarian priests

Here are the priests celebrating milestone anniversaries of their ordinations this year: 

25 years

Fr. Matthew A. Ellis

Fr. Ellis, 53, was ordained Nov. 5, 1988, after attending the University of Detroit, Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit and St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township.

After ordination, Fr. Ellis’ first assignment was as associate pastor of St. Mary, Queen of Creation Parish, New Baltimore. In 1989, he became associate pastor of St. John Neumann Parish, Canton, until 1993, when he was assigned as associate pastor of Divine Child Parish, Dearborn.

Fr. Ellis served as pastor of St. Damian Parish, Westland, in 1997. After returning from a leave of absence, Fr. Ellis was appointed associate pastor of St. Anne Parish, Warren, in 2007. He then served as associate pastor of Our Lady on the River Parish, Marine City, from 2008-10, before being appointed associate pastor of St. Therese of Lisieux Parish, Shelby Township, where he continues to serve today.

 

Fr. Peter B. Opara

Fr. Opara, 57, was born in Nigeria and was ordained Aug. 15, 1988, for the Diocese of Ahiara Mbaise, Nigeria. Fr. Opara attended seminary in Nigeria and several colleges in the U.S., receiving several advanced degrees, including a master’s and a doctorate in education.

After coming to the United States in 2002, Fr. Opara served in several parishes in New York before becoming chaplain of St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Livonia in 2006, where he still serves today.

 

Fr. Francisco Restrepo

Fr. Restrepo, 51, was born in Urrao-Antioquia, Colombia, and was ordained there on Dec. 5, 1988. He attended the Seminario de Misiones de Yarumal (Missionary Seminary of Yarumal), and was incardinated into the Archdiocese of Detroit in 2000.

When he came to Michigan, he served as associate pastor of St. Gabriel Parish, Detroit (1995-96); St. Isaac Jogues Parish, St. Clair Shores (1996-99); and St. Michael Parish, Sterling Heights (1999-2002). He was named pastor of St. Stephen/Mary, Mother of the Church Parish, Detroit, from 2002-06.

Fr. Restrepo served briefly at St. Francis of Assisi-St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish, Ray Township, in 2007 before being named administrator and then pastor of St. Matthias Parish, Sterling Heights, where he still serves today.

 

Fr. Kevin T. Thomas

Fr. Thomas, 58, was ordained June 4, 1988, in Maryknoll, N.Y. He attended Wayne State University for his undergraduate studies, and earned his theology degree from the Maryknoll Seminary in Ossining, N.Y. He was incardinated into the Archdiocese of Detroit in 1999.

Fr. Thomas served as associate pastor of St. Isidore Parish, Macomb Township (1996-98), and then as associate pastor of Divine Child Parish, Dearborn (1998-2001). He served briefly as administrator of St. Roch Parish, Flat Rock (2001), and St. Christopher Parish, Detroit (2001-02), before being named pastor of Christ the Good Shepherd Parish, Lincoln Park (2002-08). In 2008, he was appointed pastor of St. Aidan Parish, Livonia, where he continues to serve today.

 

40 years

Fr. Ronald J. DeHondt

Fr. DeHondt, 67, was born in Mount Clemens and was ordained Nov. 3, 1973. He attended Sacred Heart Seminary and St. Paul’s Seminary.

Fr. DeHondt served as associate pastor at St. Mary of Redford Parish, Detroit (1973-79), before becoming temporary administrator of St. Michael Parish, Monroe, briefly in 1979. He then served as associate pastor of St. Lawrence Parish, Utica (1979-80), and Our Lady of Loretto Parish, Redford (1980-81). He was appointed pastor of St. Gregory the Great Parish, Detroit, in 1981, and in 1998 the pastorate of Church of the Madonna in Detroit was also entrusted to him. In 2003, Fr. DeHondt became pastor of St. Margaret of Scotland Parish, St. Clair Shores, where he remains today.

Fr. DeHondt also served as a spiritual director at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in 1979, as an auditor on the Metropolitan Tribunal from 1981-82, and taught as a member of the seminary’s faculty from 1988-93. He served as vicar of the Old Northwest Detroit Vicariate from 1993-96, and served on the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council from 2004-08.

 

Fr. Nue Gjergji

Fr. Gjergji, 67, was ordained Aug. 11, 1973. Fr. Gjergji has served as pastor of Our Lady of Albanians Parish, Southfield, since 1998, and continues to serve the Albanian Catholic community in Metro Detroit in that role today.

 

Fr. Richard A. Hartmann

Fr. Hartmann, 69, was born in Detroit and was ordained April 7, 1973. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Detroit, and also attended Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit and St. John Provincial Seminary in Plymouth Township.

After ordination, Fr. Hartmann’s first assignment was as associate pastor of Presentation-Our Lady of Victory Parish, Detroit, from 1973-75. He became pastor of Presentation-Our Lady of Victory in 1975, and from 1981-91 was pastor of All Saints Parish, Detroit. In 1988, he was also given care of St. Gabriel Parish, Detroit, as administrator. Fr. Hartmann was appointed pastor of St. Christopher Parish, Detroit, from 1991-2001, before being named pastor of St. Roch Parish, Flat Rock, where he still serves today.

Fr. Hartmann also served as vicar of the Old Southwest Vicariate from 1983-85, and served two terms on the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council, from 2002-09.

 

Msgr. Russell E. Kohler

Msgr. Kohler, 69, was born in Monroe and was ordained April 15, 1973. He attended Sacred Heart Seminary, St. John Provincial Seminary and the University of Detroit.

Msgr. Kohler served as associate pastor of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Grotto) Parish, Detroit (1973-74), and then of St. Aloysius Parish, Detroit (1974-76). He was made temporary administrator of St. Patrick Parish, White Lake, in 1976, before being named pastor of St. Aloysius, Detroit, from 1977-80.

Msgr. Kohler was administrator of St. Joseph Parish, Detroit, from 1980-81, while at same time also pastor of St. David of Wales Parish, Detroit. The following year, he was administrator of St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Newport.

In 1982, Msgr. Kohler began a decade-long period of service as chaplain to DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital in Detroit, before he was appointed pastor of Most Holy Trinity Parish in Detroit in 1991. Msgr. Kohler still serves as pastor of Most Holy Trinity, and in 2012, the pastorate of St. Anne de Detroit, the city’s oldest parish, was also entrusted to him.

Msgr. Kohler also currently serves on the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council.

 

Fr. James K. Mazurek

Fr. Mazurek, 65, a native of Pittsburgh, Pa., was ordained May 5, 1973.

Fr. Mazurek, a graduate of St. Mary’s College in Orchard Lake, began serving on the faculty of Orchard Lake Schools in 1976. He was involved in numerous aspects of the administration of SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary, St. Mary’s College and St. Mary’s Preparatory, including in areas of development such as annual giving, permanent endowment, alumni relations and special events. He was named assistant to the chancellor of development for Orchard Lake Schools in 1994.

Fr. Mazurek also served as secretary-general of the Orchard Lake Schools Board of Regents and as dean of men for the Preparatory, director of campus liturgy, director of campus vocations and spiritual director at the seminary. In 2002, Fr. Mazurek was named vice chancellor of Orchard Lake Schools, a post he held until 2011, when he returned to the Pittsburgh diocese.

 

Fr. Dennis J. Nowinski

Fr. Nowinski, 67, was born in Hamtramck and was ordained Feb. 17, 1973. He attended St. Mary’s College in Orchard Lake and St. John Provincial Seminary.

Fr. Nowinski served as associate pastor of Our Lady Queen of Apostles Parish, Hamtramck (1973-76), and then as associate pastor of St. Clement Parish, Warren (1976-79), before being named pastor of St. Christine Parish, Detroit, from 1979-80. He served as associate pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Detroit, from 1980-84. In 1984, Fr. Nowinski was appointed to serve as pastor of St. Francis D’Assisi Parish, Detroit, until 1989. He then served as pastor of All Saints Parish, Memphis, until 2001. For a brief period in 2001, Fr. Nowinski also served at Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish, Grosse Pointe Woods.

Fr. Nowinski served one term as vicar of the Old Southwest Vicariate from 1985-87, and since 2001 has spent many years as a hospital chaplain at DMC-Harper Hospital, Detroit; St. John Oakland Hospital, Madison Heights; St. John Macomb Hospital, Warren; and Botsford General Hospital in Farmington Hills.

Fr. Stanley A. Ulman

Fr. Ulman, 67, was born in Detroit and was ordained Aug. 25, 1973. He attended the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, St. Mary’s College in Orchard Lake, and St. Mary’s University in Baltimore.

After ordination, Fr. Ulman’s first assignment was as associate pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Wyandotte (1973-74). He then served as associate pastor of St. Gertrude Parish, St. Clair Shores (1974-79), and as associate pastor and then administrator of St. Ladislaus Parish, Hamtramck (1979-81). Fr. Ulman served briefly as administrator of St. Stanislaus and St. Bartholomew parishes, both in Detroit, before being named pastor of St. Ladislaus in 1982. Fr. Ulman served in that role until 2004, when he was appointed pastor of St. Mary of the Hills Parish, Rochester Hills, where he still serves today.

Over his years of ministry, Fr. Ulman also served the archdiocese in various other capacities, including as vicar of the Old SERF Vicariate, the Old North Vicariate, and currently for the Pontiac Area Vicariate. He also served terms on the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council, and two terms on the College of Consultors as an adviser to the archbishop.

 

50 years

Fr. Vergil J. Heier, CMM

Fr. Heier, 76, was born in Aberdeen, S.D., and was ordained July 28, 1963. He attended St. Bernard Seminary in Dearborn Heights, St. Meinrad Major Seminary in Indiana and the University of Wuerzburg, Germany.

Fr. Heier taught in the seminary after ordination, then studied ascetical theology at the Gregorian University in Rome. He served as secretary general of Mariannhill at its generalate in Rome for 10 years.  He is the vice-postulator of the cause for the beatification of Fr. Engelmar Unzeitig, CMM, and he has done work with the cause for the beatification of Abbot Francis Pfanner. For some years he assisted Servant of God Fr. John Hardon, SJ, with the spiritual direction of retreatants.

Fr. Heier was assistant novice master once; at various times he was the superior of the Dearborn Heights community, and he has been its vocation director for many years. He helps with pastoral work in nearby parishes.

 

Fr. Stephen C. Reckker

Fr. Reckker, 76, was born in Port Huron and was ordained June 1, 1963.

He attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, and St. John Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township, and celebrated his first Mass at St. Joseph Parish, Port Huron.

Fr. Reckker served as assistant pastor at St. Mary Parish, Royal Oak, from 1963-68. He was in residence at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, Farmington, and also at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, Birmingham. He went on to serve as chaplain at Sancta Maria from 1977-82.

Fr. Reckker celebrated Mass at Brother Rice High School for eight years and also served as a chaplain and teacher for 14 years, including at Lawrence Institute of Technology, Wayne County Community College and Oakland Community College (where he was the first chaplain to serve at OCC-Orchard Ridge). He also taught at Henry Ford Community College.

Fr. Reckker served at the Newman Apostolate at Oakland Community College from 1968-82, and he served two terms as vicar of the North Macomb Vicariate, from 1985-88 and again from 1988-91.

In 1982, he was named pastor of St. Clement of Rome Parish, Romeo, where he still serves today.

 

Fr. Joseph L. Romano

Fr. Romano, 75, was born in Braddock, Pa., and was ordained June 1, 1963.

He attended St. John Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township, and celebrated his first Mass at St. Gregory Church.

Fr. Romano served as assistant pastor at St. Elizabeth Parish, Wyandotte (1963-69) and St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Detroit (1969-74). In 1974, he was named co-pastor of St. Agatha Parish, Redford Township, serving until his appointment as pastor of St. Linus Parish, Dearborn Heights (1979-91).

In 1991, Fr. Romano was appointed pastor of St. Sabina Parish, Dearborn Heights, where he served until being granted senior priest status in 2007.

 

Fr. James C. Scheick

Fr. Scheick, 76, was born in Monroe and was ordained June 1, 1963.

He attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, and St. John Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township, and celebrated his first Mass at chapel of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in Monroe.

Fr. Scheick served as assistant pastor at St. Brigid Parish, Detroit (1963-73), and was co-pastor of St. Gerard Parish, Detroit (1973-80). He was pastor of St. Edith Parish, Livonia, from 1980 to 2000, when he was named pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Grosse Ile, where he served until being granted senior status in 2008.

 

Fr. Jerome C. Singer

Fr. Singer, 76, was born in Detroit and was ordained June 1, 1963.

He attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, and St. John Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township, and celebrated his first Mass at St. Paul on the Lake Parish, Grosse Pointe Farms.

Fr. Singer served as assistant pastor at St. Margaret of Scotland Parish, St. Clair Shores (1963-67); St. John the Baptist Parish, Monroe (1967-69); St. Mary Magdalen Parish, Hazel Park (1969-70); and St. Elizabeth Parish, Detroit (1970-71).

In 1971, Fr. Singer was named pastor of Nativity of Our Lord Parish, Detroit, where he continues to serve today.

Fr. Singer also served as vicar of the Eastside Vicariate from 1998-2001.

 

60 years

Fr. John A. Blaska

Fr. Blaska, 86, was born in Dearborn and was ordained June 6, 1953.

He attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, and St. John Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township, and celebrated his first Mass at St. Alphonsus Parish, Dearborn.

Fr. Blaska served as assistant pastor at St. Mary of Redford Parish, Detroit (1953-58); Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Detroit (1958-61); Our Lady of Loretto Parish, Redford Township (1961-66); and Guardian Angels Parish, Clawson (1966-69).

In 1969, he was appointed pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Monroe, where he served until his appointment as pastor of St. Theodore of Canterbury Parish, Westland (1971-84). He also served as pastor of St. Genevieve Parish, Livonia (1984-90), and St. Ives Parish, Southfield (1990-96).

Fr. Blaska also served as director of continuing education for the Ministry to Priests Program, South Region, during his pastorate at St. Theodore of Canterbury.

He was granted senior priest status in 1996.

 

Fr. Frederick A. Bodde

Fr. Bodde, 86, was born in Goodells and was ordained June 6, 1953.

He attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, and St. John Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township, and celebrated his first Mass at Holy Cross Parish, Marine City.

Fr. Bodde served as assistant pastor at St. Valentine Parish, Redford Township (1953-59); St. Jude Parish, Detroit (1959-63); St. Cecilia Parish, Detroit (1963-65); Epiphany Parish, Detroit (1965-67); and St. Thecla Parish, Clinton Township (1967-70).

Fr. Bodde was named pastor of St. Barnabas Parish, East Detroit, in 1970, serving there until his appointment as pastor of St. Stephen Parish, Port Huron (1985-96). Fr. Bodde also served as vicar for the Port Huron Vicariate from 1986-89.

He was granted senior priest status in 1996.

 

Fr. Donald E. Dacey

Fr. Dacey, 86, was born in Detroit and was ordained June 6, 1953.

He attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, and St. John Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township, and celebrated his first Mass at St. Mary of Redford Parish, Detroit.

Fr. Dacey served as assistant pastor at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Detroit (1953-58); St. Theresa Parish, Detroit (1958-62); St. Frances Cabrini Parish, Allen Park (1962-64); and St. Cletus Parish, Warren (1964-69).

He served as pastor of St. Conrad Parish, Melvindale, from 1969-72. After that, he was co-pastor of St. Frances Cabrini Parish, Allen Park (1972-77), until his appointment as pastor there, which lasted until he became pastor of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish, Birmingham, in 1985, where he served until being granted senior priest status.

 

Fr. Eugene R. Strain

Fr. Strain, 86, was born in Detroit and was ordained June 6, 1953.

He attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, and St. John Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township. Fr. Strain joined the Sulpicians the day of his ordination, and he celebrated his first Mass at St. Benedict Parish, Highland Township.

In 1971, Fr. Strain was appointed assistant pastor at St. Jude Parish, Detroit. In 1972, he was named co-pastor of St. Anselm Parish, Dearborn Heights. He served as pastor of St. Anselm from 1974-78.

In 1978, he was appointed pastor of St. Andrew Parish, Rochester, serving until 1989, when he became the founding pastor of St. Mary of the Hills Parish, Rochester Hills, where he served until 2004, when he was granted senior priest status.

 

62 years

Fr. Thomas F. Esper

Fr. Esper, 87, was born in Dearborn and was ordained June 2, 1951.

Fr. Esper served as assistant pastor at St. Louis Parish, Mount Clemens (1951-54); Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, River Rouge (1954-59); St. Gertrude Parish, St. Clair Shores (1959-64); St. Joseph Parish, Trenton (1964-65); and St. Mary of Redford Parish, Detroit (1965-69).

He served as pastor of Holy Innocents Parish, Roseville (1969-86) and St. Edward on the Lake Parish, Lakeport (1986-96), serving also as vicar of the Port Huron Vicariate from 1993-96. He was granted senior priest status in 1996.

 

Msgr. Robert V. Monticello

Msgr. Monticello, 86, was born in Detroit and was ordained June 2, 1951.

He served as assistant pastor at St. Alphonsus Parish, Dearborn (1951), then at Madonna Parish, Detroit (1951-55). After completing graduate studies at Fordham University, New York, he founded and directed Catholic Social Services of Macomb/Lenawee counties (1957-67).

He was chaplain of the St. Francis Home for Boys, Detroit (1961-71), and also taught at Sacred Heart Seminary (1962-66) and Mercy College, Detroit (1963-66). He was director of Catholic Social Services for the Archdiocese of Detroit (1967-68), director of the archdiocesan Department of Christian Service (1968-70) and deputy delegate for clergy (1970-71).

For most of the 1970s, Msgr. Monticello ministered in Washington, D.C., serving there as executive director for the Campaign for Human Development (1971-73), associate general secretary for the U.S. Catholic Conference (1973), and as assistant treasurer for the conference (1974-78) as well as deputy treasurer for Catholic Relief Services.

In 1979, he returned to Detroit and was made coordinator of planning and services, and an executive assistant to Cardinal John F. Dearden and Cardinal Edmund C. Szoka. He served as pastor of St. Martha Parish, Dearborn (1981-85); St. Frances Cabrini Parish, Allen Park (1985-88); and St. Clare of Assisi Parish, Farmington Hills (1988-94). In 2011, he began serving on the Archdiocesan Presbyteral Council, where he continues to serve.

He was named prelate of honor to His Holiness (monsignor) in 1990. He was granted senior priest status in 1999.

 

Fr. Edward W. Ritter

Fr. Ritter, 87, was born in Detroit and was ordained June 2, 1951.

He was assistant pastor at St. Joseph Parish, Port Huron (1951-56); St. Aloysius Parish, Detroit (1956-61); and St. Francis Xavier Parish, Ecorse (1966-69). He also had been chaplain at Mount Carmel Mercy Hospital starting in 1961.

Fr. Ritter served as pastor of St. Leonard of Port Maurice Parish, Warren (1969-77); St. Christopher Parish, Detroit (1977-82); and St. Mary Parish, St. Clair (1982-2001). He was vicar of the Belle River Vicariate from 1990-93.

Fr. Ritter currently is a senior priest for the archdiocese.

 

63 years

Fr. Lawrence T. Fares

Fr. Fares, 89, was born in northern Lebanon and 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, Clinton Township, in 1989, and continued to serve there until he was granted senior priest status in 1997.

 

Msgr. Peter S. Lentine

Msgr. Lentine, 94, was born in Detroit and was ordained May 20, 1950.

Msgr. Lentine served as assistant pastor at St. Elizabeth Parish, Wyandotte (1950-55); Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Detroit (1955-60); St. Matthew Parish, Detroit (1960-65); and St. Rita Parish, Detroit (1965-66).

The oldest active pastor in the Archdiocese of Detroit, Msgr. Lentine currently serves as pastor of St. Philomena Parish, Detroit, where he has served since 1966. Msgr. Lentine also served as vicar of the Detroit-Grosse Pointe Vicariate and as a member of the archdiocese’s College of Consultors from 1977-80.

 

Fr. Edward L. Scheuerman

Fr. Scheuerman, 87, was born in Detroit and was ordained May 20, 1950.

Fr. Scheuerman served as assistant pastor at St. Bartholomew Parish, Detroit (1950-54), before being 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.

 

64 years

Fr. Edmund D. Muir

Fr. Muir, 89, was born in Detroit and 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 Annunciation Parish (1963-68).

His first pastorate was Epiphany Parish, Detroit (1968-82); and he also served as pastor of St. Clement Parish, Dearborn, from 1982 until attaining senior priest status in 1993.

65 years

Fr. Fabian B. Slominski

Fr. Slominski, 89, was born in Duluth, Minn., and 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, from 1984 until he was granted senior priest status in 1990. He served as a chaplain at St. John-Macomb Health Center in Warren until 2007.

 

66 years

Fr. Erwin J. Bauer

Fr. Bauer, 91, was born in Redford Township and 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.

67 years

Fr. Joseph F. Ryder

Fr. Ryder, 92, was born in Detroit and was ordained June 8, 1946.

Fr. Ryder served as an assistant pastor at Guardian Angels Parish (1946-51) and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (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.

68 years

Fr. Edward F. Konopka

Fr. Konopka, 93, was born in Detroit and 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.

70 years

Msgr. Thomas H. Villerot

Msgr. Villerot, 95, was born in Detroit and 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.