Jubilarians 2017

The Michigan Catholic is proud to publish this special section honoring priests, religious and deacons who are celebrating milestone jubilees in 2017. Throughout this section, we honor 118 religious men and women, 56 priests and 46 deacons who have given a combined 10,740 years of service to God’s Church. For all they continue to do, we say thanks.

‘In persona Christi’

Local priests the face of Christ to their flocks

In the Catholic world, there is no life without the sacraments. And there are no sacraments without priests. But while priests across the Archdiocese of Detroit bring those sacraments daily to their parishioners, their service goes well beyond that. They are comforters, friends, advisers, shepherds, leaders, listeners and sometimes even handymen. This year, we honor 34 local priests — and one local bishop — who are celebrating milestone anniversaries of their priestly ordination, as well as 21 priests and bishops celebrating anniversaries greater than 60 years. For all they do, and for their lifelong commitment to Christ’s flock, we say thanks and offer our prayers.

60 years

Fr. William Murphy

Fr. Murphy, 85, was born in Windsor, Ontario, and attended Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, the University of Detroit, and St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth Township.

He was ordained June 1, 1957, in Detroit, and celebrated his first Mass at St. Rita Church in Detroit’s north end.

Fr. Murphy served as an associate pastor at St. Philomena Parish, Detroit (1957-61); and Shrine of the Little Flower Parish, Royal Oak (1961-65). He became principal of Gabriel Richard High School, Riverview, in 1965.

Fr. Murphy served as vicar of the Downriver Vicariate (1973-74), Northwest Wayne Vicariate (1985-86), and Vicariate of the Lakes (1990-93) as well as director of the archdiocesan Department of Education (1974-79). He was appointed pastor of St. Agatha Parish, Redford Township (1979-86), and also served as vicar of the Northwest Wayne Vicariate (1985-88). He was pastor of Our Lady of Refuge Parish, Orchard Lake Village (1986-2004), and also served as vicar of the Lakes Vicariate (1990-93). He was granted senior priest status in 2004. Since 2011, he has served as a weekend associate at St. Thomas a’Becket Parish in Canton.


Fr. William Petron

Fr. Petron, 86, was born in Highland Park and attended Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit and St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth Township, as well as the University of Detroit.

He was ordained June 1, 1957, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit, and celebrated his first Mass at St. Rita Church, Detroit.

Fr. Petron served as an associate pastor at Guardian Angels Parish, Detroit (1957-62); St. Peter Parish, Mount Clemens (1962-64); St. Christine Parish, Detroit (1964-65); St. Gertrude Parish, St. Clair Shores (1965-67); and Ascension Parish, Warren (1967-70). He was also a Family Life Bureau speaker.

Fr. Petron later served as pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish, Detroit (1970-76). He completed clinical pastoral education training in 1976, and became chaplain at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Clinton Township (1977-78), and at Bon Secours Hospital in Grosse Pointe (1978-81).

He was pastor of St. Mel Parish in Dearborn Heights (1981-97), and was granted senior priest status in 1997.


Fr. Ronald Sayes

Fr. Sayes, 85, was born in Detroit and attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, St. Mary’s College in Orchard Lake Village and St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth Township.

He was ordained June 1, 1957, and celebrated his first Mass at St. Raymond Church in Detroit.

Fr. Sayes served as an associate pastor at St. Benedict Parish, Highland Park (1957); and at St. Frances Cabrini Parish, Allen Park (1957-58). He was an associate at the Detroit parishes of St. Thomas Aquinas (1958-63); St. Catherine (1963-65); and Mother of Our Savior (1965-70).

In 1970, Fr. Sayes was involved with the campus ministry at Monroe Community College as well as with the Shalom Community in Monroe. He was appointed pastor of St. Patrick Parish, Carleton, in 1971, and served as vicar of the Monroe Vicariate (1973-76). He became co-pastor of St. James Parish, Ferndale, in 1975.

In 1980, Fr. Sayes was appointed pastor of SS. John and Paul Parish in Washington Township, where he had begun working to establish a parish in 1978, and continued there until 1990. He served as pastor of St. Perpetua Parish, Waterford Township (1990-95); and was appointed pastor of St. Bernadine of Siena Parish, Westland (1995-2001). He was granted senior priest status in 2001.


Fr. Richard Schmidberger

Fr. Schmidberger, 87, was born in Detroit and attended Maryknoll-Glenn Ellyn and Maryknoll-New York seminaries.

He was ordained June 8, 1957, in Maryknoll, N.Y.

Fr. Schmidberger’s first assignment was as a Maryknoll priest in Bolivia in 1957. He then served as an associate pastor at St. Genevieve Parish, Livonia (1969-72); and at St. Mark Parish, Warren (1972-73). He returned to St. Genevieve Parish as an associate pastor (1973-77), and in 1977 was appointed an associate pastor at St. Gabriel Parish in southwest Detroit. That year, Fr. Schmidberger was incardinated into the Archdiocese of Detroit.

In 1980, he was named temporary associate pastor at St. John the Baptist Parish in Monroe. He became pastor of St. Anthony Parish in Temperance in 1981. In 1986, Fr. Schmidberger was named pastor of St. Nicholas Parish in Capac. He served as vicar of the Thumb Vicariate (1986-89).

He was pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish, Lapeer (1987-90), and St. Henry Parish, Lincoln Park (1990-96). In 1996, Fr. Schmidberger became pastor of St. Mary Burnside Parish in Burnside Township, as well as of Sacred Heart Mission in Brown City, and served there until he was granted senior priest status in 2000. From 2004-07, Fr. Schmidberger served as administrator of Sacred Heart Mission.


Fr. Eugene Wojtewicz

Fr. Wojtewicz, 86, was born in Detroit and attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit; SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake Village; and St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth Township.

He was ordained June 1, 1957, in Detroit, and celebrated his first Mass at St. John Cantius Church in Detroit’s Delray district.

Fr. Wojtewicz served as an associate pastor at St. Francis d’Assisi Parish, Detroit (1957-62); St. Hyacinth Parish, Detroit; and Our Lady Queen of Apostles Parish, Hamtramck (1962-70).

He was pastor of St. Casimir Parish, Detroit (1970-89), also serving as vicar of the Core City Vicariate (1988-91). He was later pastor of St. Cyril of Jerusalem Parish, Taylor (1989-93); and of St. Hugh Parish, Southgate (1993-2009), when he was granted senior status.


50 years

Fr. George Askar

Fr. Askar, 83, is an extern priest from Lafayette, Ind., who has assisted at parishes in the Blue Water Area, including Holy Trinity Parish and St. Mary Parish in Port Huron.

Fr. Askar was ordained for the Diocese of Lafayette on May 20, 1967. He moved to Michigan in 2007, and currently lives and assists at St. Mary Parish in Port Huron.


Fr. Anton Kcira

Fr. Kcira, who turns 78 on June 17, was born in Djakavic, Kosova, Yugoslavia.

He was ordained in Skopje, Yugoslavia, on June 29, 1967. In Yugoslavia, Fr. Kcira served as associate pastor at Distrazhi (1967-69) before becoming pastor of Gusi in Montenegro (1969-70) and later Gllagjam in Kosova (1970-89).

He came to the Archdiocese of Detroit in 1989 and was named associate pastor of St. Paul Albanian Parish in Rochester Hills. In 1991, he was named administrator of St. Paul Albanian and served there until 2011, when he was granted senior status. He was incardinated into the Archdiocese of Detroit on April 25, 1995.


Fr. Richard Leliaert

Fr. Leliaert, 76, made his first profession into the Crosier Fathers and Brothers in 1961, and was ordained a priest June 3, 1967.

He had served the Archdiocese of Detroit as a Crosier for 16 years before being incardinated into the archdiocese on June 25, 2004.

Fr. Leliaert served as chaplain at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Pontiac (1988-92) and director of pastoral care at Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn (1993-2006). He also was a sacramental minister at Holy Family Parish in Inkster (2004-2006).

Fr. Leliaert was named pastor of St. Robert Bellarmine Parish in Redford in 2006, and he continues to serve in that role today.


Fr. Giuseppe Licciardi

Fr. Licciardi, 72, is a priest of the Diocese of Monreale, Italy, who is serving in the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Fr. Licciardi was born in Altofonte, Italy, and was ordained for the Diocese of Monreale on June 28, 1967. He ministered there for many years. He earned a licentiate in sacred theology (S.T.L.) from the Pontifical Lateran University in 1970.

Fr. Licciardi arrived in Detroit in 2011, and since then has served as pastor of Holy Family Parish in downtown Detroit, where he continues to minister.


Fr. Donald MacLennan

Fr. MacLennan, 77, was born in Charleroi, Pa., and attended St. Joseph Seminary in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

He was ordained in the Diocese of Kitchener, Ontario, June 3, 1967.

While serving as associate pastor of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in Harper Woods (1971-75), he was incardinated into the Archdiocese of Detroit by Cardinal John Dearden on July 29, 1974. He also had been coadjutor pastor of Ascension Parish in Warren in 1975.

Fr. MacLennan then served as associate pastor of St. Anastasia Parish in Troy (1975-80) before serving as pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Lake Orion (1980-87), and later St. Kieran Parish in Shelby Township (1987-95). He was granted leave for medical disability in 1995, and attained senior priest status in 2005.


Fr. Gary Tierney

Fr. Tierney, 76, was born in Detroit and attended St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth Township.

He was ordained June 3, 1967, by Archbishop John Dearden.

Following ordination, Fr. Tierney earned a master of divinity degree from St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth Township (1983), and a licentiate and master’s degree in canon law from St. Paul University in Ottawa (1984).

Fr. Tierney was associate pastor at St. Regis Parish in Bloomfield Hills (1967-69). From 1969 to 1971 he served in the archdiocesan Metropolitan Tribunal. In 1972, he began work in the clergy office, where he ministered in the permanent diaconate program and then served as personal secretary for Cardinal Dearden. During that time, he also served as vicar of the Core City Vicariate (1972-73). Fr. Tierney then was made pastor of St. Clement in Dearborn, where he served from 1976-80. He also was vicar of the Dearborn Vicariate (1977-80).

From 1980-82, Fr. Tierney pursued his master’s degree in canon law full time at St. Paul University in Ottawa. He returned to the Metropolitan Tribunal in 1982, where he served as a defender of the bond and as a judge. He also returned to parish ministry, becoming pastor of Our Lady Queen of Hope Parish in Detroit (1985-86), St. Anne Parish in Monroe (1986-89), and Guardian Angels Parish in Clawson (1989-98). For two months, he was administrator of St. Colman Parish in Farmington Hills in 1984.

From 1998 to 2007, Fr. Tierney was pastor of St. Alan Parish in Troy. He was granted senior status in 2007.


Fr. Terence Treppa

Fr. Treppa, 75, was born in Detroit and attended St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth Township.

He was ordained June 3, 1967, by Archbishop John Dearden.

Following ordination he earned a master’s degree in philosophy from Central Michigan University (1977), a master of divinity from St. John’s Provincial Seminary (1981), and a doctorate in theology from Walden University (1994).

Fr. Treppa served as associate pastor at St. Gregory the Great (1967-69) and Guardian Angels (1969-71) parishes in Detroit, before becoming co-pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Roseville (1971-73).

After a brief assignment in the Diocese of Toledo, Fr. Treppa returned to the Archdiocese of Detroit to become pastor at St. Mary Parish in Wayne (1977-78). He then was pastor of St. Norbert Parish in Inkster (1978-94) and SS. John and Paul Parish in Washington Township (1994-98).

For the next 17 years, Fr. Treppa served as pastor of St. Richard Parish in Westland, until being granted senior priest status in 2015.


Fr. James Wieging

Fr. Wieging, 75, was born in Monroe and attended St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth Township.

He was ordained June 3, 1967, by Archbishop John Dearden.

Following his ordination, Fr. Wieging did postgraduate theological studies at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, Md., and earned a master of divinity from St. John’s Provincial Seminary (1982).

Fr. Weiging served as associate pastor of St. Lawrence Parish in Utica (1967-71) and St. David Parish in Detroit (1971-73). In 1973, he was appointed pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in River Rouge, serving there until 2012. In 2010, Fr. Wieging took on additional responsibilities as pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Ecorse for two years.

Fr. Weiging also has served as vicar of the old Downriver Vicariate (1980-82) and as administrator of Our Lady of the Woods Parish in Woodhaven (1999, 2014), St. Elizabeth Parish in Wyandotte (2003-04), and St. Timothy Parish in Trenton (2015). He was on the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council from 1999 to 2003.

In addition to his ministry in parishes, Fr. Weiging has taught as an adjunct professor at Madonna University in Livonia, and served as chaplain for the Michigan State Circle of the Daughters of Isabella, the FBI, the Federal Air Marshals, and Wayne County Metropolitan Airport. He was granted senior priest status in 2012.

40 years

Fr. Ronald Babich

Fr. Babich, 67, was born in Detroit and attended St. Mary’s College in Orchard Lake and St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth Township.

He was ordained a priest on March 5, 1977, in Detroit.

Fr. Babich served as associate pastor at the parishes of St. Veronica, East Detroit (1977-80); SS. Peter and Paul (West Side), Detroit (1980-81); St. Rene Goupil, Sterling Heights (1981-85); and Guardian Angels, Clawson (1985-87). He also served as parochial administrator at St. John the Baptist in Monroe in 1985, and as pastor of St. Hilary Parish in Redford Township (1987-94).

From 1994 to 2014, Fr. Babich served as pastor of Our Lady Queen of All Saints Parish in Fraser. In 2014, he was appointed pastor of St. Daniel Parish in Clarkston, where he continues to serve today.


Msgr. John Budde

Msgr. Budde, 66, was born in Dearborn Heights and attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit; St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township; and American College, Louvain.

He was ordained Aug. 6, 1977, at Sacred Heart Seminary.

He served as associate pastor at the parishes of St. Christopher, Detroit (1977-80), and St. Angela, Roseville (1981-83). From 1980-81, he studied at the University of Louvain.

Then-Fr. Budde was on the faculty of St. John’s Provincial Seminary from 1983-88, and also at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in 1988. From 1994-2001, he served as ecumenical officer for the Archdiocese of Detroit.

In 1989, he was named pastor of Holy Family Parish in Novi, where he ministered until 2007. From 2007-13, he was pastor of the fledgling Divine Mercy Parish in Davisburg, and since 2013 has been pastor of St. Mary Parish in Milford. He also served from 2003-07 on the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council.

Msgr. Budde was named a “chaplain to His Holiness” (monsignor) by Pope Benedict XVI on Sept. 30, 2005.


Fr. Brian Chabala

Fr. Chabala, 66, was born in Detroit and attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, and St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township.

He was ordained June 11, 1977, at St. Agatha Parish in Redford Township.

He served as associate pastor at the parishes of St. Basil, East Detroit (1977-80); St. Frances Cabrini, Allen Park (1980-84); and St. Mary, Wayne (1984-87). He served as temporary parochial administrator at St. Mary Parish, Monroe, in 1987, and was then named its pastor that same year. He served there until 1996, when he was named pastor of St. Fabian Parish, Farmington Hills.

In 2011, Fr. Chabala was named pastor of St. Irenaues Parish in Rochester Hills, where he continues to serve today.

In addition, he served on the clergy assignment board from 2001-05 and 2008-12.


Fr. Loren Connell, OFM

Fr. Connell, 74, is celebrating his 40th year as a priest, being ordained Nov. 20, 1976.

He has served as pastor of St. Aloysius Parish in downtown Detroit since 2013.

A priest of the Franciscan Province of St. John the Baptist, based in Cincinnati, Fr. Connell previously served as pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Detroit (2013-15), and as administrator of both St. Patrick and St. Aloysius parishes from 2012-13.

Fr. Connell joined the Franciscans in 1967 and has also served in Ohio, Indiana and Louisiana.


Fr. Joseph Dailey

Fr. Dailey, 66, was born in Toledo, Ohio, and attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, and St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township.

He was ordained Sept. 10, 1977, at St. Agatha Parish, Redford Township.

He served as associate pastor of St. Genevieve Parish, Livonia (1977-78); St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Detroit (1978-82); and St. Edith Parish, Livonia (1982-85). In 1985, he was released to serve in the Diocese of Kalamazoo as associate pastor at St. Thomas More (Student) Parish until 1988.

Upon returning to the Archdiocese of Detroit, Fr. Dailey served briefly as associate pastor of St. Matthias Parish in Sterling Heights (1988) and as temporary administrator of St. Valerie of Ravenna Parish, Clinton Township.

In 1989, he was appointed pastor of Christ the Redeemer Parish in Orion Township, where he remains today.


Fr. James Jagielski,
CH(COL) USA Ret.

Fr. Jagielski, 72, was born in Detroit and attended Wayne State University in Detroit and St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth Township.

He was ordained March 5, 1977, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

Fr. Jagielski served as associate pastor at the parishes of St. Ladislaus, Hamtramck (1977-80); Our Lady of Good Counsel, Plymouth (1980-83); and St. Margaret of Scotland, St. Clair Shores (1983-84). He was an auditor in the archdiocesan Metropolitan Tribunal from 1981-82.

He served as military chaplain for the U.S. Army (1984-90), and served in Fort Polk, La.; Fort Monmouth, N.J.; Ansbach, Germany; and Fort Stewart, Ga. Fr. Jagielski returned home to serve as pastor of St. Mary Queen of Creation Parish, New Baltimore, from 1990-93, before again serving as military chaplain from 1993-2001 at Fort McClellan, Ala.; and Heidelberg, Germany. He was episcopal vicar for the U.S. Army in Europe from 1998-2000. In 2001, he took a sabbatical at the Catholic Theological Union.

He served briefly as administrator and pastor of St. Margaret of Scotland Parish in St. Clair Shores in 2002, and from 2005-07 served as chaplain at the U.S. Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. He currently resides in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.


Fr. Thomas Kramer

Fr. Kramer, 67, was born in Royal Oak and attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit; St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township; and Detroit College of Law.

He was ordained Feb. 12, 1977, in Detroit.

Fr. Kramer served as associate pastor at the parishes of St. Regis, Birmingham (1977-79); St. Clement, Center Line (1979); and St. Matthew, Detroit (1979-81). He was named an auditor for the archdiocesan Metropolitan Tribunal from 1981-82, and again in 1983. He also served as associate pastor at the parishes of St. Alphonsus, Dearborn (1982-83); St. Louise de Marillac, Warren (1983-86); and St. Joseph, Port Huron (1986-90), also serving as administrator of Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission in Port Huron.

He then went on to help at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish, Detroit, until 1991, and served as temporary associate pastor at St. Thecla Parish, Mount Clemens, for a year after that.

After a leave of absence, Fr. Kramer was appointed pastor of St. Mel Parish in Dearborn Heights in 2001, and continues to serve there today.

Fr. Kramer also served as vicar of the Dearborn Vicariate (2003-04) and West Wayne Vicariate (2004-07, 2007-09).


Msgr. Thomas Rice

Msgr. Rice, 66, was born in Dearborn and attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit; St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township; and St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore.

He was ordained Oct. 8, 1977, in Detroit.

Then-Fr. Rice served as associate pastor at the parishes of St. Mark, Warren (1977-79); St. Joan of Arc, St. Clair Shores (1979-85); and St. Agatha, Redford Township (1985-88). He was named temporary parochial administrator at St. Clare of Assisi Parish, Farmington (1988) and at St. Mary Parish, Wayne (1988-89). In 1989, he was named pastor of St. Louise de Marillac Parish in Warren, where he ministered for 25 years. In 2014, Msgr. Rice was named pastor of St. Thomas More Parish in Troy, where he remains today.

On Sept. 30, 2005, he was named a “chaplain to His Holiness” (monsignor) by Pope Benedict XVI.

In addition to his pastoral responsibilities, Msgr. Rice served for 13 years (1999-2012) as editor-in-chief of The Michigan Catholic newspaper.


Fr. C. Michael Verschaeve

Born Aug. 3, 1950, Fr. Verschaeve, 66, attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit; the University of Detroit and St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township.

He was ordained March 19, 1977, at St. Stephen Parish, Port Huron, and celebrated his first Mass at St. Joseph Parish, Lake Orion.

Fr. Verschaeve served as associate pastor at the parishes of St. Frances Cabrini, Allen Park (1977-80), and St. Linus, Dearborn Heights (1980-82). From 1981-82, he was an auditor at the archdiocesan Metropolitan Tribunal before being assigned as pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Monroe from 1982-87. From 1987-2000, he was pastor of St. Alfred Parish in Taylor, and then at St. Anne Parish in Ortonville from 2000-03.

In 2003, Fr. Verschaeve was named pastor of his boyhood parish, St. Joseph the Worker in Lake Orion, where he continues to serve today.

In addition to his pastoral responsibilities, Fr. Verschaeve has served as a member of the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council (1997-99, 2002-06), on the priests pension board (2012-15), and as vicar of the old Monroe Vicariate (1985-88).

30 years

Fr. Robert Bauer

Now 58, Fr. Bauer was born in Monroe. He attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, and St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township.

He was ordained Nov. 14, 1987, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Detroit.

Fr. Bauer has served as associate pastor of St. Agatha Parish, Redford Township (1987-88); and of St. Colette Parish, Livonia (1994-95).

He became pastor of St. Patrick Parish, Carleton, in 1995, serving there until 2012. Additional duties as administrator of St. Joseph Parish, Maybee, were added in 2004, and he served as that parish’s pastor from 2009-12. In 2012, Fr. Bauer became pastor of St. Mary, Our Lady Queen of Families Parish in Warren, where he continues to serve today.


Fr. Richard Cavellier

Now 73, Fr. Cavellier was born in Detroit. He attended Wayne State University and Sacred Heart Seminary, both in Detroit, and St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township, from which he earned a Master of Divinity degree.

He was ordained Nov. 14, 1987, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Detroit.

Fr. Cavellier was associate pastor of St. Clement Parish, Center Line (1987-88); and of St. Edmund Parish, Warren (1988-90); before becoming temporary administrator of St. Christopher Parish, Detroit, for a brief time in 1990.

He served on the archdiocesan Metropolitan Tribunal (1992-96), and was administrator of St. Valerie of Ravenna Parish (1995-96), later becoming its pastor (1996-2008).

Fr. Cavellier was pastor of St. Alan Parish, Troy, and St. Columban Parish, Birmingham (2008-09); and has been pastor of Sacred Heart of the Hills Parish, Auburn Hills, since 2009. Fr. Cavellier served on the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council from 2014-16, while at the same time serving as vicar of the Pontiac Area Vicariate.


Fr. Gregory Deters

Now 60, Fr. Deters was born in Detroit. He attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, and St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township.

He was ordained Nov. 14, 1987, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Detroit.

Fr. Deters has served as associate pastor of St. Mary Parish, St. Clair (1987-88); and of Divine Child Parish, Dearborn (1988-89).

He served as pastor of St. Anthony Parish, Temperance (1995-2006), and of St. Mary Parish, St. Clair (2006-12). In 2014, Fr. Deters was named associate pastor of the clustered parishes of the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Our Lady of the Rosary and St. Moses the Black in Detroit, serving there until 2016. Since 2016, Fr. Deters has served as associate pastor of St. James Parish in Novi.


Fr. Joseph Gembala

Now 60, Fr. Gembala was born in Ypsilanti. He attended the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; University of Arkansas Law School; St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana; and St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township.

He was ordained Nov. 14, 1987, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Detroit.

Fr. Gembala has served as associate pastor of Divine Child Parish, Dearborn (1987-88); Christ the Good Shepherd Parish, Lincoln Park (1988-91); St. Gabriel Parish, Detroit (1992-93); and St. Stephen/Mary, Mother of the Church Parish, Detroit, in 1993, before becoming its pastor (1993-96).

For the past 21 years, Fr. Gembala has served as pastor of St. Malachy Parish, Sterling Heights.


Fr. John Hedges

Now 60, Fr. Hedges was born in Trenton. He attended Madonna University, Livonia, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree; Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit; and St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree.

He was ordained Nov. 14, 1987, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Detroit.

Fr. Hedges served as associate pastor of St. Thomas More Parish, Troy (1987-88); Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Detroit (1988-92); Sacred Heart Parish, Dearborn (briefly during 1992); and at St. Linus Parish, Dearborn Heights (1992-95).

He was pastor of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish, Wyandotte (1995-2005), during which time he also served as a chaplain to Henry Ford-Wyandotte General Hospital. Since 2005, Fr. Hedges has been pastor of St. Stephen Parish in New Boston, where he continues to serve. Fr. Hedges has also served as spiritual director to the Riverview-based Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima.


Fr. Walter Ptak

Now 55, Fr. Ptak was born in Wyandotte. He attended St. Mary’s College, Orchard Lake (Bachelor of Arts), and St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township (Master of Divinity).

He was ordained Nov. 14, 1987, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Detroit.

Fr. Ptak served as associate pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish, Monroe (1987-88); and St. Alfred Parish, Taylor (1988-90); before joining the faculty of SS. Cyril & Methodius Seminary, Orchard Lake (1991-92).

He was named associate pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Wyandotte, in 1992, becoming the parish’s administrator in 1993, and its pastor from 1994-2013.

During his time at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, he has also served as administrator of St. Helena Parish, Wyandotte (2003-04 and 2007-08); and as pastor of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish, Wyandotte (2009-13), also filling the roles of parish business manager and director of religious education. In 2013, Fr. Ptak was assigned as dean of SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake, where he continues to serve. Fr. Ptak is also finishing a term as president of the Polish American Priests Association.

In 1999, Fr. Ptak was honored as the Orchard Lake Schools’ Alumnus of the Year.

25 years

Fr. James Bilot

Fr. Bilot, 55, was born in Detroit and attended Wayne State University (bachelor’s in business administration) and Sacred Heart Major Seminary, graduating with a Master of Divinity in 1992.

He was ordained June 27, 1992, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit and celebrated his first Mass at St. Germaine Parish, St. Clair Shores.

Fr. Bilot served as associate pastor of Divine Child Parish in Dearborn (1992-96), where he would later return as pastor in 2007.

Fr. Bilot also served as associate pastor of St. Hugo of the Hills Parish, Bloomfield Hills, from 1996-98. In 1998, he was named pastor of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in Harper Woods for two years until Cardinal Adam J. Maida appointed him as director of priestly vocations for the Archdiocese of Detroit. Fr. Bilot served in this role for seven years, counseling future priests, until his return to Divine Child Parish as pastor. Fr. Bilot has also served terms on the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council and Clergy Assignment Board.


Fr. Mark Brauer

Fr. Brauer, 60, was born in Detroit and attended the city’s Sacred Heart Major Seminary.

He was ordained a priest on June 27, 1992, and was assigned as associate pastor of St. Ephrem Parish in Sterling Heights.

In 1995, Fr. Brauer was assigned as pastor of both St. Catherine of Siena and St. Gemma parishes in Detroit, and he ministered in both roles for a decade. In 2005, he was named pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Farmington, where he continues to serve today. For a brief time, Fr. Brauer served as temporary administrator of St. Clare of Assisi Parish in Farmington Hills (2013-14).

In addition to his pastoral duties, Fr. Brauer has served on the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council (2004-08, 2012-14), and as vicar of the North Macomb Vicariate (1994-95), West Detroit Vicariate (1996-2002), Farmington-Southfield Vicariate (2007-09) and South Oakland Vicariate (2012-16).


Fr. Patrick Connell

Fr. Connell, 54, was born in Chicago. He attended Sacred Heart (Major) Seminary in Detroit and was ordained a priest at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament on June 27, 1992.

Fr. Connell was assigned as associate pastor of St. Thecla Parish in Clinton Township (1992-95), and St. Regis Parish in Bloomfield Hills (1995-97). During the latter ministry he also served as chaplain to the all-boys Brother Rice High School and all-girls Marian High School near St. Regis Parish.

In 1998, Fr. Connell began an 18-year ministry as pastor of Our Lady of La Salette Parish in Berkley, serving in that role until 2016. From 2006-09, he served as vicar of the Southeast Oakland Vicariate.


Bishop Robert J. Fisher

Bishop Fisher, 57, was born in Detroit. He earned a bachelor’s degree in management science from the University of Detroit in 1983 before entering Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit. He graduated from Sacred Heart Major Seminary in 1992 with a Master of Divinity degree and was ordained a priest at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament on June 27, 1992. He celebrated his first Mass at St. Bede Parish in Southfield.

Then-Fr. Fisher’s first assignment was as associate pastor of Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish in Grosse Pointe Woods, where he served from 1992-95.

In 1995, he was appointed by Cardinal Adam J. Maida to be director of priestly vocations for the Archdiocese of Detroit, helping young men discerning their call to the diocesan priesthood. After serving in this role for five years, he later served as pastor of St. Angela Parish in Roseville (2000-03), St. Lawrence Parish in Utica (2003-14) and rector and pastor of the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Royal Oak (2014-17). From 2002-04, he served on the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council.

On Nov. 23, 2016, Pope Francis appointed Fr. Fisher to the ministry of auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Detroit. Bishop Fisher was consecrated and ordained a bishop at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament by Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron on Jan. 25, 2017.

Bishop Fisher is currently finishing his assignment as pastor and rector of the Shrine Basilica, which will conclude on June 30, when he will assume his full-time duties as regional moderator of the Archdiocese of Detroit’s Northeast Region.

Bishop Fisher also serves as an adviser to Sacred Heart Major Seminary and is on the board of trustees for the Catholic Youth Organization.


Fr. Michael Loyson

Fr. Loyson, 57, attended Sacred Heart (Major) Seminary and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament on June 27, 1992.

He served as associate pastor of St. Rene Goupil Parish in Sterling Heights from 1992-94.

Fr. Loyson studied for a canon law licentiate at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and since 2000 has worked with the Metropolitan Tribunal in the Archdiocese of Detroit’s Central Services. Fr. Loyson also has served as a weekend associate at St. Colette Parish in Livonia since 2010.


Fr. Joseph Mallia

Fr. Mallia, 54, was born in Malta and moved as a young boy with his family to Allen Park, growing up in St. Frances Cabrini Parish. He attended Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth Township and Sacred Heart School on Theology in Hales Corners, Wis.

Fr. Mallia was ordained on June 27, 1992, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit, celebrating his first Mass at St. Frances Cabrini.

Fr. Mallia served as associate pastor of St. Joseph the Worker Parish, Lake Orion, and chaplain to Oakland Catholic High School in Pontiac (1992-94); associate pastor of St. Michael Parish, Sterling Heights (1994-96); and associate pastor of St. Martin de Porres Parish, Warren (1996-97), serving concurrently as chaplain to Warren De La Salle High School.

From 1997-2003, Fr. Mallia served as pastor of St. Kenneth Parish in Plymouth. In 2003, he was appointed pastor of his hometown parish, St. Frances Cabrini in Allen Park, serving there for 13 years. In 2016, he was appointed pastor of the clustered parishes of St. Augustine in Richmond and Holy Family in Memphis.

Over the years, Fr. Mallia has also served as vicar of the Northwest Wayne Vicariate (1998-2004), Downriver Vicariate (2006-13) and as a member of the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council (2005-07, 2008-14).


Fr. John Wynnycky

Fr. Wynnycky, 56, was born in Detroit and attended Sacred Heart (Major) Seminary.

He was ordained on June 27, 1992, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament and was assigned briefly as associate pastor of St. Veronica Parish in Eastpointe.

Fr. Wynnycky served for five months at the St. John Deaf Center in Warren before being assigned as associate pastor of St. Paul on the Lake Parish in Grosse Pointe Farms (1993-95).

He was named pastor of St. Michael Parish in Pontiac from 1995-2001, and administrative responsibility for the city’s St. Vincent de Paul and St. Joseph parishes was added in 1996. In 1997, Fr. Wynnycky became pastor of both parishes.

Fr. Wynnycky later served as associate pastor of St. Lawrence Parish in Utica (2002-03) and a second stint at St. Paul on the Lake (2003-12), while serving on the clergy assignment board from 2008-10.

He served for a year as administrator of Holy Innocents-St. Barnabas Parish in Eastpointe before becoming pastor of that parish in 2013. He continues to serve there today.

A Special Calling

Religious jubilarians celebrate decades of service

This year, 118 religious sisters, brothers and priests are celebrating milestone jubilees in the Archdiocese of Detroit. The calling to religious life takes many forms, and no two vocations are exactly alike. But some of the common threads that unite these selfless ministers include a commitment to the evangelical counsels — their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience — and a passion for serving others. Many serve as educators in local schools, universities and institutions, while others serve as health care workers in hospitals and clinics. Still others served as missionaries, carrying the Gospel to faraway places and sharing the love of Christ with all who would listen. For their sacrifices and ministries, we give thanks for them and pray that God continues to bless them.

Adrian Dominican Sisters

70 years

Sr. Shirley Mary (James Barbara) Heymes, OP, has ministered as an educator and hospital volunteer in the Archdiocese of Detroit, including as a teacher at St. Jude, Detroit (1965-67), and St. Peter, Harper Woods (1972-95). She also volunteered at the Dominican Literacy Center (1995-2006) and St. John Hospital in Detroit (2006-15). She is now retired and resides in Roseville.


Sr. Noreen (Rita Mary) O’Connell, OP, has served in education and pastoral ministry in the Archdiocese of Detroit for many decades. Among her ministries she served as a teacher at St. Mary, Rockwood (1951-53); St. Lawrence, Utica (1953-56); St. Norbert, Inkster (1956-57); St. Mary, Royal Oak (1957-62); Aquinas, Southgate (1967-68, 1974-75); St. Gabriel, Detroit (1968-71, as principal); and Rosary, Detroit (1971-74). She served as pastoral minister at Our Lady Gate of Heaven (1975-77) and St. Suzanne in Detroit (1978-81, 1982-85); St. Rene Goupil, Sterling Heights (1985-95); and St. Pius X, Southgate (1995-2001). She was director of the resource center at St. Mary of Redford Parish from 1977-78, and from 2002 until the present has served as an annulment consultant in Detroit.

60 years

Sr. Barbara (James Annette) Cervenka, OP, has served in education and art ministry throughout her years in the Archdiocese of Detroit. She taught at St. Joseph, Maybee (1959-62); St. Lawrence (1962-66) and Bishop Borgess, Detroit (1966-67); and Bishop Foley, Madison Heights (1967-69), before spending seven years on the staff of the Dominican Center for Religious Development in Detroit (1982-89). Sr. Cervenka co-founded and co-directed Con/Vida – Popular Arts of the Americas, from 2000 until the present.


Sr. Bernitha (Ann Gertrude) Glombowski, OP, ministered in education and parish ministry in the Archdiocese of Detroit, including teaching at St. Mary, St. Clair (1968-70); St. Peter, Harper Woods (1972-77); and Our Lady Star of the Sea, Grosse Pointe (1978-89). She was a dental assistant at the office of Dr. James Morris in East Detroit from 1977-78, and served as bookkeeper for St. Sylvester Parish in Warren from 1989-2005. From 2005-15, she volunteered at St. John Macomb Hospital in Warren.


Sr. Janet (James Kathleen) Traut, OP, has ministered in education for many decades in the Archdiocese of Detroit, including teaching at St. Theresa (1963-69), St. Leo (1969-72, 1973-81, 1983-93) and St. Gerard, Detroit (1981-83); St. Agatha, Redford (1993-98); St. Alphonsus, Dearborn (1998); St. Albert the Great, Dearborn Heights (1999-2001); and Bishop Borgess High School and Academy, Redford (2002-03). She served in adult education at the Siena Literacy Center in Redford from 2001-02, and again from 2003-06 in Redford and 2006-07 in Detroit. She retired to Dearborn in 2007.


Sr. Mary (Michael Bridget) Ward, OP, served in administration and clerical support in Detroit, including as an administrator for the Dominican Center for Religious Development (1989-91); as secretary and typist for the Archdiocese of Detroit (1991); registrar for Sacred Heart Seminary (1992-2000); and coordinator of fund data for the Congregation Development Office in Detroit (2001-02). She was executive assistant to the chapter prioress for the Great Lakes Dominican Chapter Office from 2002-08, when she retired to volunteer work while residing in Warren.


50 years

Sr. Eileen (Mary Jennifer) Burkhardt, OP,served in education and pastoral ministry in the Archdiocese of Detroit, including as a teacher at Dominican High School and Academy in Detroit (1990-97); as pastoral associate at St. Augustine Parish, Richmond (2000-03), and St. Jude Parish, Detroit (2003-04); and as registrar for the Dominican Literacy Center in Detroit, where she continues to serve today.


Bernardine Franciscan Sisters

60 years

Sr. Jeanne Marie Budd, OSF, is celebrating 60 years of religious profession with the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters. She is currently retired and residing in Farmington Hills.


50 years

Sr. Elena Sabalausky, OSF, has ministered in education for several schools, including Divine Child High School in Dearborn, where she served as principal for many years, and as a counselor at Brother Rice High School in Bloomfield Hills.

Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph

60 years

Fr. Daniel Crosby, OFM Cap., has served the Archdiocese of Detroit since 2014 with parish help-outs and as a confessor at the Solanus Casey Center at St. Bonaventure Monastery in Detroit. He also travels the U.S. and Canada providing parish missions and retreats.


Fr. Albert Sandor, OFM Cap., is a native of Detroit and served in the archdiocese from 1967-75 at the Capuchins’ St. Bonaventure Monastery and as director of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. He also served at St. Mary Magdalen Parish (1982-84) and St. John’s Hospital (1985-90). Since 1990, he has been providing weekend parish help-outs and has served as a confessor at the Solanus Casey Center. He assisted the Secular Franciscans from 1992-97.


25 years

Fr. Raymond Stadmeyer, OFM Cap., has been an integral part of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen since 1998. He assisted in the founding of the Soup Kitchen’s On the Rise Bakery program that assists individuals “re-entering” society after bouts of incarceration or substance abuse. He is also pastor of St. Charles Borromeo (2008-present) and Nativity of Our Lord (2015-present) parishes in Detroit.


Congregation of Christian Brothers

60 years

Bro. Ross E. Wielatz, CFC, has taught math, science and religion and coached sports in schools across the United States, and currently teaches at Brother Rice High School in Bloomfield Hills. He also has ministered in addiction counseling and in ministry to the homeless.


Congregation of St. Basil

65 years

Fr. Joseph Moffatt, CSB, has been involved in a number of ministries, including in the field of education. In the Archdiocese of Detroit, Fr. Moffatt has served as principal of Detroit Catholic Central High School, in liturgical music and in parish ministry for a number of local parishes.


60 years

Fr. Richard Elmer, CSB, has been a strong proponent of Catholic education throughout his ministry, having served as teacher, counselor, vice principal, principal, athletic director, director of alumni relations and development, and finally as president of his alma mater, Detroit Catholic Central High School in Novi from 2008-10. Fr. Elmer also served as principal of St. Catherine of Siena Academy in Wixom from 2010-11. Fr. Elmer also ministered at the Basilian Fathers’ men’s religious house in Novi, and currently serves as chaplain to St. Catherine of Siena Academy.


25 years

Fr. John Huber, CSB, is the current president of Detroit Catholic Central High School in Novi, where he also served as principal from 2010-14. Before then, he served as vice principal of Holy Redeemer High School in Detroit. Fr. Huber also helps celebrate Mass at nearby St. Fabian Parish in Farmington Hills, and serves on the board of Detroit Cristo Rey High School. Fr. Huber was ordained to the priesthood in 1992 and also spent time ministering in California and Texas.


Congregation of St. Joseph of Nazareth

65 years

Sr. Consuelo Alcala, CSJ, has ministered in education and social work with the Congregation of St. Joseph of Nazareth. She has worked to defend the right to public education in the city of Detroit and encourages women in leadership roles.


60 years

Sr. Mary Ann Ankoviak, CSJ, entered the Congregation of St. Joseph of Nazareth from St. Bernard Parish in Detroit and has serving as a teacher, youth and young adult minister and in parish administration. In the Archdiocese of Detroit, she has served at Our Lady on the River Parish in Marine City and St. Veronica Parish in Eastpointe.


Sr. Valerie Binder, CSJ, entered the Congregation of St. Joseph of Nazareth from Guardian Angels Parish in Detroit. She has served in education, teaching young children, special needs students, adults and Title I participants. She currently teaches English as a second language and volunteers as a tutor at the Dominican Literacy Center and Freedom House in Detroit.


50 years

Sr. Diane Densmore, CSJ, entered the Congregation of St. Joseph of Nazareth from Portland, Mich., and has taught middle and junior high school students in language arts and religion in the Detroit and Kalamazoo areas for the majority of her ministry.


Daughters of Mary, Mother of Mercy

25 years

Sr. Marie Michelle Ezenwokemodo, DMMM, ministers in health care, caring for the sick as a licensed nurse in Canton. As a Daughter of Mary, Mother of Mercy, she directs her ministry especially toward the poor and underprivileged.

Discalced Carmelite Nuns

25 years

Sr. Mary of the Angels Kleman, OCD, serves as a cloistered nun in contemplative prayer ministry at the Monastery of St. Therese in Clinton Township.


Cloistered Dominican Nuns

60 years

Sr. Mary Vincent Wagner, OP, entered the Monastery of the Holy Name in Cincinnati in 1953, making perpetual vows Aug. 22, 1957. She transferred to the Monastery of the Blessed Sacrament in Farmington Hills in 1989 after the Cincinnati monastery closed. In addition to her primary ministry of prayer, she is a self-described “jack-of-all-trades” at the monastery and has “enjoyed filling in the cracks where a little putty might be helpful.”


Dominican Sisters of Peace

60 years

Sr. Lois White, OP, is a resident of the Oxford Motherhouse, where she serves as a volunteer. She also volunteers at the St Mary’s Retreat House in Oxford, a founded ministry of the Dominican Sisters of Peace.

Sr. Colette Heck, OP, is a resident of the Oxford Motherhouse. For almost 45 years, she served at St. Alexander Parish in Farmington Hills, where she was an active member of the parish and community, especially in interfaith affairs.


65 years

Sr. Virginia Marie Butler, OP, is a resident of the Oxford Motherhouse, where she continues with her ministry of prayer and community service.

Felician Sisters

85 years

Sr. Mary Idalia Konopka, CSSF, 102, has served as a teacher at a number of Detroit-area schools, including Queen of Apostles, Hamtramck (1935-39); St. Casimir, Detroit (1940-42; 1948); Sacred Heart, Detroit (1942-43); St. Florian, Hamtramck (1948-50); Our Lady of Refuge, Orchard Lake (1953-56, as principal); St. John Cantius, Detroit (1962-63); St. Christine, Detroit (1963-64); St. Andrew, Detroit (1964-65); St. Valentine, Detroit (1966-67); and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Wyandotte (1968-70).


75 years

Sr. Mary Ursula Dzienis, CSSF, has ministered as a teacher and principal at a number of schools in the Detroit area, including Sacred Heart, Detroit (1945-47); St. Stanislaus, Detroit (1947-49); St. Michael, Livonia (1953-54, 1963-66 as principal); St. Valentine, Redford (1958-60); Our Lady Help of Christians, Detroit (1960-61); St. Thecla, Mt. Clemens (1966-72 as principal); St. Anne, Monroe (1973-74); St. Hilary, Detroit (1974-78); Our Lady Queen of Apostles, Hamtramck (1978-84 as principal); St. Michael, Southfield (1986-92 as principal); Our Lady of Refuge, Orchard Lake (1992-93); and St. Sabina, Dearborn Heights (1993-2006 as principal).


70 years

Sr. Mary Honoria Bartoszek, CSSF, has taught at the schools of St. Louis the King (1950-52); Our Lady Help of Christians (1952-53) and Sacred Heart (1957-58, 1960-61), all in Detroit; and St. Michael, Southfield (1996-99).


Sr. Maristella Nowakowski, CSSF, has served in education and prison ministry in the Archdiocese of Detroit, including as a teacher at St. Hyacinth, Detroit (1950-52); Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Wyandotte (1953-54, 1955-58); St. John Cantius, Detroit (1954-55); St. Hilary, Detroit (1958-59); St. Leonard, Warren (1959-60); St. Michael, Livonia (1961-62); St. Edith, Livonia (1968-69, 1992-94); St. Stephen, New Boston (1972-73, 1983-85); St. Florian, Hamtramck (1975-78); Our Lady Queen of Apostles, Hamtramck (1979-83); Our Lady Help of Christians, Detroit (1994-97); Our Lady of Refuge, Orchard Lake (1997-2000).


Sr. Mary Mercita Kula, CSSF, has served as a teacher at the Detroit-area schools of  Corpus Christi, Detroit (1950-52); St. Louis the King, Detroit (1952-53); Assumption, Detroit (1953-54); Resurrection, Detroit (1954-56); St. Josephat, Detroit (1956-58); Patronage of St. Joseph, Detroit (1958-59); Felician Academy, Detroit (1961-62; 1964-65); St. Florian, Hamtramck (1962-64); Ladywood High School, Livonia (1965-67); St. Ignatius, Detroit (1972-73); St. Genevieve, Livonia (1976-79, as principal); St. Thecla, Mt. Clemens (1991-92).


65 years

Sr. Mary Agnestine Rosinski, CSSF, has served as a teacher at the Detroit-area schools of St. Stanislaus, Detroit (1955-56); Patronage of St. Joseph, Detroit (1956-59); Immaculate Conception, Detroit (1961-62); Our Lady of Refuge, Orchard Lake (1972-75); St Hilary, Detroit (1975-80); St. Christine, Detroit (1980-86, as principal); St. Stephen, Detroit (1986-87); St. Damian, Westland (1999-2001); St. Thecla, Mt. Clemens (2001-02); St. Damian, Westland (2002-09).


50 years

Sr. Mary Thaddea Meyers, CSSF, has served as a teacher and principal at the Detroit-area schools of Our Lady of Refuge, Orchard Lake (1968-69); St. Edith, Livonia (1969-70); St. Genevieve, Livonia (1970-71); Montessori Center of Our Lady, Livonia (1980-81, 1983-89); St. Florian, Hamtramck (1981-83, 2003-05, including as principal); St. Christine, Detroit (1992-94, as principal); St. Christine/St. Gemma, Detroit (1994-96, as principal); St. Thecla, Mt Clemens (2005-07); and St. Stephen, New Boston (2007-11, as principal).


25 years

Sr. Mary Anthony Kubat, CSSF,has ministered in education throughout her service in the Archdiocese of Detroit.


Franciscan Province of St. John the Baptist

50 years

Fr. Michael Lenz, OFM, serves in a number of ministries in the Detroit area, including primarily assisting with Masses and confessions at a number of Roman and Byzantine-rite parishes. In addition, Fr. Lenz, who professed vows in Catskill, N.Y., in 1967 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1976, ministers with grieving families by assisting with funerals and burial services at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Southfield. He is also a spiritual assistant to the Secular Franciscans.

Marist Sisters

60 years

Sr. Frances Feeley, SM, has taught elementary education, primarily second grade, at three Detroit-area schools: St. Barnabas in Eastpointe, St. Peter in Harper Woods and St. Albert the Great in Dearborn Heights. Sr. Feeley also ministered in West Virginia and in Quebec, Canada.


Marist Brothers

50 years

Bro. Louis Plourde, SM, has served for 35 years in the Archdiocese of Detroit, first at Notre Dame High School in Harper Woods and later at Notre Dame Preparatory School in Pontiac, where he serves in clerical and administrative work. Before then, Bro. Plourde served for 15 years in retreat house and school maintenance in the Archdiocese of Boston, where he was born. He currently assists as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion at St. Mary of the Hills Parish in Rochester Hills.


Passionist Fathers

60 years

Fr. Peter Berendt, CP, grew up in Detroit and has ministered as a teacher and retreat leader for the majority of his 60 years in religious life and

50 years

as a priest. Fr. Berendt currently serves at St. Paul of the Cross Passionist Retreat Center in Detroit, helping as a confessor, and also serves occasionally as a weekend celebrant at nearby parishes, including St. William in Walled Lake, which he said is “something I enjoy, to be in touch again with parish families.” He has also served in many other places, including California, Missouri and Pennsylvania as a Latin teacher and retreat leader, working with groups of men, women, teenagers and young adults, among others. He returned to Detroit in 2014, where he still has family.


Racine Dominican Sisters

70 years

Sr. Dolores (Andre) Enderle, OP, has taught in several schools and colleges in Michigan, including Nativity in Detroit (1956-61) and Siena Heights College in Adrian (1977-83) before serving as president of St. Catharine College in St. Catharine, Ky.


Sr. Bernadine (Bernita) Pohl, OP, served as a teacher, staff chaplain, parish visitor and hospice counselor. She worked at Assumption Grotto in Detroit, St. Mary in Paw Paw, and St. Gregory in Newberry.


60 years

Sr. Ruthanne Reed, OP, served as pastoral associate at St. Paul on the Lake Parish in Grosse Pointe Farms from 1996-2005 and is now director of formation and co-director of associate relationship for the Racine Dominicans.


Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati

60 years

Sr. Noreen Ellison, SC, served as religious education coordinator for St. Basil Parish in Detroit (1971-73), and from 1973-79 served two terms as assistant provincial of the Sisters of Charity’s Detroit Province. In 2004, she returned to Michigan after ministering in the American southwest and south to serve as pastoral associate at the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Royal Oak, where she served until her retirement in 2015.


Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary

60 years

Sr. Barbara Dakoske, HVM, has served in pastoral ministry, formation and community ministry and served several parishes, including St Catherine-St. Edward (1963-73), St. Margaret Mary (1973-77), Dukette Intercultural Center, Flint (1977-81), Home Visitors of Mary administration (1981-89, 1997-2000), Presentation, Our Lady of Victory (1985-91), and St. John Berchmans-St Juliana (1991-2000). Sr. Dakoske served the Home Visitors of Mary’s Nigerian Mission from 2001-17, including at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Convent and St. Mary’s Day Care, and the HVM Formation Centre in Abuja, Nigeria, before returning to Detroit in February.


65 years

Sr. Mary Finn, HVM, has spent the majority of her ministry in the city of Detroit on the faculty of Sacred Heart Major Seminary, where she has worked since 1969 to help form seminarians and students in spiritual and pastoral ministry. She currently serves as director of supervised ministry/integrating studies and is an assistant professor of theology. Sr. Finn has given numerous retreats, seminars and talks throughout her ministry, and has served on formation programs for religious men and women. Before her work at the seminary, Sr. Finn did door-to-door evangelization work in Detroit, focusing on inner-city neighborhoods in transition, including at St. Catherine Parish and St. Augustine and St. Monica Parish.


Sisters of Jesus the Savior

25 years

Sr. Mary Isidore Ibeawuchi, SJS, has ministered in the Archdiocese of Detroit for the past 16 years. She has served in several parishes in a number of roles, including SS. Simon and Jude Parish in Westland, Old St. Mary’s Parish in (Greektown) Detroit, and St. Scholastica Parish in Detroit. Sr. Ibeawuchi has helped minister to people with disabilities, including children with special needs, in Wayne and Livonia and taught preschool for seven years. She also assists with bringing Communion to the sick and homebound.


Sr. Josephanne Obi, SJS, has ministered in the Archdiocese of Detroit since 2013, helping prepare children for first Communion and preparing parents for their children’s baptisms at Old St. Mary’s Parish in (Greektown) Detroit. She also works as a caregiver and extraordinary minister of Holy Communion at St. Aloysius Parish in Romulus. Before coming to Michigan, Sr. Obi ministered in her native Nigeria, including as vicar general for her congregation, and in St. Lucia in the Caribbean.


Sisters of Mercy

75 years

Sr. Martina Begin, RSM, taught at many schools in the Detroit archdiocese, including at Our Lady of Mercy High School, Farmington Hills. She was registrar for seven years at Mercy College of Detroit and after retirement served in accounting and as a computer science teacher.


70 years

Sr. Mildred Streif, RSM, has ministered in teaching and educational leadership in Michigan and in Iowa, including at Our Lady of La Salette in Berkley and St. Anselm in Dearborn Heights.


Sr. Margaret Weber, RSM, served at St. Michael School in Remus; St. Francis School in Holland; St. Patrick School in Parnell; Immaculate Heart of Mary and St. Monica School in Detroit. She also ministered at Mercy Center and Mercy Provincial in Farmington Hills. She completed her ministry in Mercy Hospital, Port Huron, from 1990-95, retiring there and moving to the Mercy Life Center in Farmington Hills, where she now volunteers.


60 years

Sr. Eileen Marie Cordes, RSM, served as an educator and principal in schools throughout Michigan, including St. Mary in Hemlock and Bay City; St. Andrew, Saginaw;  Immaculate Conception, Traverse City; and St. Michael in Coopersville. She was a founder of “My Sister’s House” in Grand Rapids, providing housing for women in need of safe shelter from 1991-95. She served as pastoral minister, director of parish religious education and volunteer.


Sr. Mary Corita Heid, RSM, has a long history of ministry in health care, including nursing, health care administration and corporate office leadership. She served in several nursing service positions in Ann Arbor from 1963-68. She was president of the Sisters of Mercy Health Corporation in Farmington Hills from 1986-93. Sister served as a full time trustee of the Mercy Health System from 1994-2015.


Sr. Mary Stephanie Holub, RSM, taught elementary school for 10 years in Dearborn, Cheboygan, and Traverse City and then in 1972 became principal of Immaculate Heart of Mercy in Detroit. She continued to serve on the pastoral team of Corpus Christi Parish for 11 years until retirement in 2012. She completed five years of volunteering in December 2016.


Sr. Julia Mary Madden, RSM, ministered as a nurse practitioner in various hospitals in Michigan and Iowa. She particularly treasures her time at Mount Carmel Mercy Hospital in Detroit from 1966-82. She retired in 2013 and moved to McAuley Life Center, Farmington Hills.


Sr. Maureen McGarrigle, RSM, taught mathematics in various private, diocesan and parish secondary schools in Michigan, including Bay City, Ludington, Cadillac and Grand Rapids. In 1980, she became the Provincial Secretary for the Detroit Province of the Sisters of Mercy. In 1990, she served as administrative assistant at McAuley Center and in religious education at St. Thomas More in Troy. In 2002, she began her 10-year ministry as the archivist for the Sisters of Mercy, Detroit community.


Sr. Jean Umlor, RSM, served as a nursing supervisor in Pontiac and Bay City. After years on the community leadership team, working with the young sisters, and completing a master’s degree in Christian Spirituality at Creighton University, she served in Palau and the Marshall Islands. She went back to nursing in Detroit and in 1989 to Grayling at River House Shelter, parish nursing and certification and practice in holistic nursing. In 2002, she started a practice of spiritual direction and the program “Wisdom of Women: A Holistic Approach to Health and Spirituality” in Grayling.


50 years

Sr. Judith Marie Frikker, RSM, studied medicine and trained as an internist after entering the Sisters of Mercy. While ministering at Mount Carmel Hospital in Detroit, she was invited to help at the Mercy hospital in Georgetown, Guyana. This led to 12 years of service as a physician in Chile. Since 2002 she has been on the leadership team of the Sisters of Mercy, first in Detroit and then in Omaha for the West Midwest Community.


Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

75 years

Sr. Annette Boyle, IHM, has served in education and pastoral ministry in the Archdiocese of Detroit, including at Holy Redeemer (1944-47), St. Charles Borromeo (1947-48) and Gesu  (1963-66), all in Detroit; St. Patrick, Carleton (1960-62); St. Columban, Birmingham (1962-63); and St. Frederick Mission/St. Vincent de Paul, Pontiac (1967-69, as principal). She also served as councilor for the IHMs’ Northwest Province in Troy (1969-1972), and in prayer ministry and as retreat director at Visitation Center in Monroe (1972-75, 1976-77). From 1997 until her retirement, she served in pastoral care and volunteer work at the IHM Motherhouse.


Sr. Kathleen Israel, IHM, has served in education and pastoral ministry in the Archdiocese of Detroit, including teaching at St. Joseph, Monroe (1943-44); St. Frederick Mission/St. Vincent de Paul, Pontiac (1944-45, 1963-69); Gesu, Detroit (1945-47); Epiphany, Detroit (1947-50); St. Catherine, Detroit (1950-51); St. Mary, Mt. Clemens (1952-53); St. Raymond, Detroit (1953-56); St. Vincent de Paul, Detroit (1956-58); and St. Bede, Southfield (1969-71). She served for two years as ward clerk at Mt. Carmel Hospital in Detroit (1971-72) before transitioning to parish ministry, where she served multiple parishes, including St. Ephrem, Sterling Heights (1973-75); St. Joseph, Lake Orion (1975-80); St. Linus, Dearborn Heights (1981-89); and St. Louise de Marillac, Warren (1989-97). She served as a volunteer at Norman Towers and the IHM Motherhouse in Monroe from 1997 until her retirement.


Sr. Jean Laubacher, IHM, has served as a teacher and principal at several Detroit-area schools, including St. Hugo of the Hills, Bloomfield Hills (1943-44); St. Francis de Sales, Detroit (1944-47); Holy Redeemer, Detroit (1947-50); Our Lady of Good Counsel, Detroit (1956-61); St. Michael, Monroe (1961-66); St. Joseph, Trenton (1966-73, as principal); and Holy Name, Birmingham (1973-77). She served as a driver and Eucharistic minister for the IHM Motherhouse from 1997-2010, and volunteered there in retirement.


Sr. Theresa Milne, IHM, has served as a teacher and principal at several Detroit-area schools, including St. Mary, Monroe (1943-44, 1950-54); St. Frederick Mission/St. Vincent de Paul, Pontiac (1944-45); St. Matthew, Detroit (1945-46); Gesu, Detroit (1946-50, 1967-68 as principal); Our Lady of Good Counsel, Detroit (1954-57); Mother of Our Savior, Detroit (1957-66, including as principal); and St. Agnes, Detroit (1966-67, as principal). She retired to the IHM Motherhouse in 2006.


Sr. M. Lurana Sankovic, IHM, has served as a teacher at several Detroit-area schools, including St. Mary, Monroe (1943-44); Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Emmett (1944-46); Annunciation, Detroit (1946-48); Holy Trinity, Detroit (1948-50); St. Patrick, Wyandotte (1950-51); St. Gregory, Detroit (1951-53); St. Stephen, Port Huron (1953-55); St. Raymond, Detroit (1955-58); St. Patrick, Detroit (1958-60); Epiphany, Detroit (1961-66); St. Hugo of the Hills, Bloomfield Hills (1966-69); and Holy Redeemer High School, Detroit (1971-76). Sr. Sankovic later served as activities coordinator at Kundig Center in Detroit (1976-87, 1989-92), and in library work at St. Cyril School and St. Stanislaus, Detroit (1988-89, 1992-93). From 1993-2000 she served in physical therapy at the St. Mary Health Care Center in Monroe, where she volunteered from 2000-06. She retired to the IHM Motherhouse in 2006.


Sr. Helen Walling, IHM, has served as a teacher at several Detroit-area schools, including Sacred Heart, Dearborn (1944-45); Epiphany (1945-50), St. Cecilia (1950-51), St. Gregory (1951-56) and Gesu (1956-60), all in Detroit; St. Michael, Monroe (1960-61); St. Francis de Sales, Detroit (1961-64); St. Mary of Redford, Detroit (1964-68); and St. Frederick Mission/St. Vincent de Paul, Pontiac (1968-69).


70 years

Sr. Frances Chirco, IHM, has served as a teacher at several Detroit-area schools, including St. Joseph, Monroe (1948-49); All Saints, Detroit (1949-50); Sacred Heart, Roseville (1950-55); St. Matthew, Detroit (1955-56); Holy Trinity, Detroit (1956-61); Hall of the Divine Child, Monroe (1964-67); Sacred Heart, Roseville (1967-69); and East Catholic High School, Detroit (1973-74). She ministered in adult education in Detroit from 1988-93, and then in Hispanic ministry at St. Clement Parish in Romeo from 1995-96. She served as pastoral associate at Sacred Heart Parish in Roseville from 1996-97, and as assistant to the pastor at Our Lady of Grace Church in Warren from 2012-16.


Sr. Ann Currier, IHM, has served as a teacher and pastoral administrator at several Detroit-area schools, including St. Rose, Detroit (1949-55); Hall of the Divine Child, Monroe (1955-56); Holy Trinity, Detroit (1958-69); and Holy Redeemer, Detroit (1969-71). She served the inner-city poor in pastoral ministry at Holy Trinity for more than three decades, from 1971-2004, and later served as an advocate and guardian for senior citizens in Detroit. She retired to the IHM Motherhouse in Monroe, where she assistant with gardening and landscaping.


Sr. M. Eileen Denomme, IHM, served as a teacher at St. Michael, Monroe (1952-57), and St. Gregory, Detroit (1957-58), before beginning her ministry at Marygrove College, where she ministered in the reading clinic (1958-69), as chair of the psychology department (1969-70) and as dean

(1970-75). She served at the IHM Motherhouse in the health care center from 2011-16.


Sr. Anne Durack, IHM, served as a teacher at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Emmett (1951-54); St. Mary, Monroe (1959-64); St. John, Monroe (1964-65); St. Gemma, Detroit (1989-91); and St. Mary of Redford, Detroit (1991-2004). Sr. Durack volunteered in lunch program at St. Mary of Redford from 2004-07, and at St. Christopher in Detroit from 2007-11.


Sr. Margaret Ann Henige, IHM, served as a teacher at Holy Redeemer, Detroit (1949-55); Our Lady of Lourdes, River Rouge (1955-59); Holy Name, Birmingham (1961-63); Gesu, Detroit (1962-64); Hall of the Divine Child, Monroe (1966-72, 1972-78 as principal); and St. Cyprian, Riverview 1978-82). From 1982-92, Sr. Henige served as secretary in the communications office of the central administration for the IHM Sisters in Monroe, and was office manager of St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Allen Park from 1994-2000. She served as general secretary for the IHM Sisters from 2000 until 2012, when she retired to the motherhouse.


Sr. Suzanne Molloy, IHM, served as a teacher at Holy Trinity, Detroit (1949-53); St. Cecilia, Detroit (1957-58); Holy Name, Birmingham (1958-59, 1972-75); St. John, Monroe (1959-64); St. Cyprian, Riverview (1964-70 as principal, 1971-72 as teacher); and St. Patrick, Carleton (1985-86). Sr. Molloy served at the IHM Motherhouse in Monroe as director of the Pagani Center (1983-84), receptionist at Norman Towers (1984-85), switchboard operator and driver (1986-95), St. Mary Center staff (1995-97), assistant sacristan (1997-2000), video camera operator (2000-07) and at the motherhouse infirmary (2007-16).


Sr. Anne Pauline O’Connor, IHM, was assistant provincial of the IHM Motherhouse Province from 1988-94. Before then, she served as a teacher at several schools, including St. Joseph, Monroe (1948-49); St. John, Monroe (1949-50); Gesu, Detroit (1950-56); St. Stephen, Port Huron (1956-57); Sacred Heart High, Dearborn (1957-67); St. Mary Academy, Monroe (1979-82, as principal); and Holy Redeemer, Detroit (1995-2011).


Sr. Mary T. Pipis, IHM, served as a teacher at several Detroit-area schools, including Holy Rosary, Detroit (1949-50); St. George, Detroit (1955-57); St. Charles, Newport (1957-60, 1965-66); Holy Trinity, Detroit (1960-62); Holy Redeemer, Detroit (1966-67); St. Agnes, Detroit (1967-71); and St. Cecilia, Detroit (1972-75). She served in pastoral care for the elderly at St. Agnes in Detroit from 1971-75, and later served the poor and homeless in Detroit and Clinton Township. Sr. Pipis served in the soup kitchen and visiting the sick at the IHM Motherhouse from 2009-12, when she retired.


Sr. Josephine M. Sferrella, IHM, served as an educator at many Detroit-area schools and institutions, including St. Catherine, Detroit (1949-50); St. Joseph, Trenton (1950-52); St. Hugo of the Hills, Bloomfield Hills (1952-55); St. Joseph, Erie (1955-60); Our Lady of Good Counsel, Detroit (1960-63); St. Patrick/Girls’ Catholic Central, Detroit (1949-50, including as principal and assistant principal); Holy Trinity, Detroit (1966-68); and St. Boniface, Detroit (1968-70, as principal). From 1970-73, she served as dean of students at Marygrove College. After pursuing doctoral studies at Wayne State University, she served as principal of Holy Redeemer High School in Detroit from 1978-82. From 2003-16, she was co-director of congregational learning processes for the IHM Sisters in Monroe.


Sr. Beth Wood, IHM, served as an educator for multiple Detroit-area schools, including St. Boniface, Detroit (1949-50); Our Lady of Lourdes, River Rouge (1950-53); St. Mary of Redford, Detroit (1953-54); St. Joseph; Trenton (1954-56); St. Raymond, Detroit (1961-63); St. Martin, Detroit (1963-64); and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Emmett (1964-71, including as principal). Sr. Wood later served as a librarian for nearly three decades, first at St. Mary Academy and St. Mary Catholic Central in Monroe and later for the Mardigian Library at the University of Michigan-Dearborn (2000-08). She retired in 2008, but continued serving as a volunteer in Detroit and Monroe.


60 years

Sr. Elizabeth Chmielewski, IHM, has served as a teacher and in various ministries for the IHM Sisters in Monroe. In her teaching ministry, she served at Holy Name, Birmingham (1961-64); Our Lady Queen of Hope, Detroit (1964-65); St. Francis de Sales, Detroit (1965-67); and St. Regis, Bloomfield Hills (1975-76). She later served in a number of administrative roles for the congregation, including in the business offices in Monroe, at the Hall of the Divine Child (1976-80); as general ledger supervisor for Mercy College in Detroit (1980-88); accountant and bookkeeper for Mercy Bellbrook in Rochester Hills (1988-91); business assistant at Marian High School in Bloomfield Hills (1992-95); accounting clerk for the congregational business office (1995-2011) and as shoppe manager and Amazon.com assistant (2012-17).


Sr. Carol Janowiak, IHM, has served as a teacher and in various administrative ministries for the IHM Sisters in Monroe. She taught at St. Mary of Redford (1961-66) and Gesu (1972-74) in Detroit before being assigned as treasurer for the congregation’s Northwest Province from 1974-82. She later served as fleet manager for medical insurance and as financial assistant for the congregation’s congregational business office from 1994 until 2017.


Sr. Mary Ann Mahoney, IHM, taught at St. Raymond, Detroit (1960-63); St. Stephen, Port Huron (1963-68); and St. Charles Borromeo, Detroit (1968-69). She volunteered at the IHM Motherhouse in Monroe from 2014-16.


Sr. Marilynn Mechtenberg, IHM, taught at St. Mary, Monroe (1958-59); St. Mary of Redford, Detroit (1959-62); St. John Vianney, Highland Park (1962-63); and St. Regis, Bloomfield Hills (1966-71). She later served in multiple ministries for the IHM community, including as secretary for the social justice office in Detroit (1973-74) and apostolate office in Monroe (1974-75); in parish ministry for St. Mary of Redford Parish in Detroit (1975-79); as teacher in the IHM Adult Center in Monroe (1979-82); tutor at Marygrove College (1982-83); and bilingual teacher for the Detroit Board of Education (1983-87). She volunteered in the library and as a tutor at the IHM Motherhouse from 1994 until her retirement in 2016.


Sr. Mary Catherine Quick, IHM, ministered in education for many years, including at St. Joseph, Erie (1961-64); Sacred Heart, Dearborn (1981-85); St. Hilary School, Redford (1985-92, in administration); Redford Union Community Education Center, Redford (1992-93); and the Dominican Literacy Center, Detroit (2006-07). She served at the IHM Motherhouse in Monroe from 2007-11 as a guardian, and spent the next five years volunteering at the motherhouse.


Sr. Donna Marie Schroeder, IHM, served in education and overseas parish ministry throughout her ministry. She served at Blessed Sacrament, Detroit (1960-61); Our Lady of Good Counsel, Detroit (1961-63); and St. Mary Academy, Monroe (1980-82, as residence director). From 1982 until her retirement in 2014, she served in a number of roles in Monroe, including at the Monroe County Opportunity Program, the St. Mary Conference Center, the IHM Motherhouse and Health Care Center.


Sr. Mary Ellen Sheehan, IHM, taught at St. Catherine, Detroit (1961-63), and on the faculty of Marygrove College’s Monroe campus (1965-67) and St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth (1974-78).


Sr. Barbara Weigand, IHM, ministered in education at St. Martin, Detroit (1961-64); St. Mary, Monroe (1964-67); St. Michael, Monroe (1967-69); and St. Charles Borromeo, Newport (1976-81, as principal). In 1976, she began a nine-year ministry as assistant, treasurer and secretary of the IHM Sisters’ Southeast Province in Taylor. She served on the staff of the Visitation center in Monroe from 1986-93 and as a mission councilor of the sisters from 2000-06. From 2008-16, she served as part-time chaplain to Mercy Memorial Hospital in Monroe, and from 2016-17 as pastoral care volunteer with Mercy Memorial Health System.

50 years

Sr. Margaret Chapman, IHM, served in parish ministry in ministry to the elderly throughout her

50 years

in ministry. She served at St. Boniface Parish, Detroit (1972-74); coordinator of Christian service for the Archdiocese of Detroit’s Grand River Vicariate (1974-75); chaplain to Providence Hospital, Southfield (1975-77); as pre-admissions and candidate director for the IHM Sisters in Monroe (1987-94); in senior housing management in Detroit (1995-96); development director for the IHM Sisters in Bloomfield Hills (1996-2005); and in guardianship ministry in Royal Oak and Monroe from 2006-09. From 2009-17, she has served as president of Compassionate Companions home care services in Warren and Allen Park.


Sr. Marge Fogarty, IHM, ministered as coordinator of religious education at St. Joseph Parish, Monroe (1984-86); kindergarten teacher at St. Patrick, Carleton (1986-94), and St. Albert the Great, Dearborn (1994-2000). She later served as activities assistant and assisted activities director of the IHM Health Care Center in Monroe and at the IHM Motherhouse from 2000-16.


Sr. Ellen Rinke, IHM, served in parish ministry and social work for many years, including at St. Mary of Redford Parish’s Emmaus House in Detroit (1972-75); Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Detroit (1975-79); and Christ the King Parish, Detroit (1981-83). She was a full-time student at SS. Cyril & Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake from 1979-81 and served on the formation team for the novitiate house in Monroe from 1983-89.


Sr. Nancy Sylvester, IHM, taught at Marian High School, Bloomfield Hills (1971-75), and Immaculata High, Detroit (1975-77) early in her ministry. She later became vice president of the IHM Sisters in Monroe from 1994-2000 and director and president of Engaging Impasse: Circles of Contemplation and Dialogue from 2001-16. In 2016, she became president and executive of the Institute for Communal Contemplation and Dialogue in Detroit.


Sisters of St. Joseph, Third Order of St. Francis

75 years

Sr. Mary Lydia Mergel, SSJ-TOSF, of Hamtramck, ministered in homemaking and culinary arts to many of the community’s missions, parishes and institutions. Her final years of ministry and service of 34 years were spent at Regina High School in Harper Woods (1976-2001). Today, she is retired in Hamtramck and remains as active as she can be in St. Florian Parish.


70 years

Sr. Juliana Sobieski, SSJ-TOSF, currently is a pastoral minister and RCIA teacher at St. Anthony Parish in Belleville, where she has served since 1987. Her ministries through the years have included primary teacher, provincial administration, school principal and working with the RCIA program. She resides in Belleville.


60 years

Sr. Juanita Gwisdela, SSJ-TOSF, has served for many years in the ministry of teaching. In Michigan, this included St. Thomas Elementary (1961-62, 1970-71), SS. Peter and Paul (2000-01) and Our Lady of Victory (1992-2000) in Detroit, and St. John the Baptist (1971-95) in Dearborn. She was a resource coordinator at St. Cyprian Parish in Riverview. Since 2005, she has been with St. John the Baptist Parish in Dearborn Heights, teaching and taking the lead in some of the school’s fundraising.


Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth

60 years

Sr. Angelica Zajkowski, CSFN, served for more than 20 years as principal of Transfiguration School in Hamtramck until the school’s closure in 2004. Since then, she has served as pastoral associate at St. John Paul II Parish in Hamtramck, where she has ministered in religious art with a focus on Polish folk arts and Christian-themed artwork.


Society of Jesus (Jesuits)

75 years

Fr. James E. Chambers, SJ, celebrating 75 years as a Jesuit, has spent most of his ministry outside the Archdiocese of Detroit. In the Archdiocese of Detroit, Fr. Chambers has ministered at Manresa Jesuit Community in Bloomfield Hills and currently resides at Colombiere Center in Clarkston.


75 years

Fr. Frank M. Oppenheim, SJ, celebrating 75 years as a Jesuit, has spent most of his ministry outside the Archdiocese of Detroit. He currently resides at Colombiere Center in Clarkston.


70 years

Fr. Thomas F. Ankenbrandt, SJ, celebrating 70 years as a Jesuit, has spent most of his ministry outside the Archdiocese of Detroit. He served as a professor at the University of Detroit from 1962-65 and again from 1968-69, and currently resides at Colombiere Center in Clarkston.


Fr. James J. Creighton, SJ, celebrating 70 years as a Jesuit, has spent most of his ministry outside the Archdiocese of Detroit. He currently resides at Colombiere Center in Clarkston.


Fr. Daniel L. Flaherty, SJ, celebrating 70 years as a Jesuit, has spent most of his ministry outside the Archdiocese of Detroit. He currently resides at Colombiere Center in Clarkston.


Fr. Bernard J. Streicher, SJ, celebrating 70 years as a Jesuit, served as a teacher at University of Detroit Jesuit High School from 1954-57, but has spent most of his ministry outside the Archdiocese of Detroit. He currently resides at Colombiere Center in Clarkston.


65 years

Fr. John T. Dillon, SJ, celebrating 65 years as a Jesuit, served as a teacher at University of Detroit Jesuit High School from 1957-60, but has spent most of his ministry outside the Archdiocese of Detroit. He currently resides at Colombiere Center in Clarkston.


Fr. Edward J. Mattimoe, SJ, celebrating 65 years as a Jesuit, has spent most of his ministry outside the Archdiocese of Detroit. He served as assistant to the Jesuit provincial from 1978-83. He currently resides at Colombiere Center in Clarkston.


Bro. James E. Small, SJ, celebrating 65 years as a Jesuit, has spent most of his ministry outside the Archdiocese of Detroit.


Fr. John H. Kleinhenz, SJ, celebrating 65 years as a priest, served as secretary to the Jesuit provincial from 1956-57, and taught at University of Detroit Jesuit High School from 1960-62. He currently resides at Colombiere Center in Clarkston.


60 years

Fr. Dennis P. Ahern, SJ, celebrating 60 years as a Jesuit, has spent most of his ministry outside the Archdiocese of Detroit. He currently resides at Colombiere Center in Clarkston.


Fr. John P. Coakley, SJ, celebrating 60 years as a Jesuit, has spent most of his ministry outside the Archdiocese of Detroit. He currently resides at Colombiere Center in Clarkston.


Fr. Denis A. Dirscherl, SJ, celebrating 60 years as a Jesuit and

50 years

as a priest, has spent most of his ministry outside the Archdiocese of Detroit as a military chaplain and officer.


Fr. Peter J. Fennessy, SJ, celebrating 60 years as a Jesuit, has served in retreat ministry at Manresa Jesuit Retreat Center in Bloomfield Hills since 2001.


Fr. Charles A. Hofmann, SJ, celebrating 60 years as a Jesuit, has spent most of his ministry outside the Archdiocese of Detroit. He currently resides at Colombiere Center in Clarkston.


Fr. Joseph B. Kappes, SJ, celebrating 60 years as a Jesuit, taught at University of Detroit Jesuit High School from 1957-60 and again from 1992-95. He has spent most of his ministry outside the Archdiocese of Detroit. He currently resides at Colombiere Center in Clarkston.


Fr. John F. Libens, SJ, celebrating 60 years as a Jesuit, has served as assistant to the Jesuit provincial from 1983-88 and as superior of the Colombiere Center in Clarkston, where he currently ministers. He also served as director of the Jesuit First Studies Program at Loyola University, Chicago.


Fr. John M. Staudenmaier, SJ, celebrating 60 years as a Jesuit, has served at the University of Detroit Mercy since 1981, first in a teaching capacity and later, since 2005, as assistant to the president of the university. He continues to serve there today.


Fr. Raymond C. Baumhart, SJ, celebrating 60 years as a priest, has spent most of his ministry outside the Archdiocese of Detroit. He currently resides at Colombiere Center in Clarkston.


Fr. Matthew E. Creighton, SJ, celebrating 60 years as a priest, has spent most of his ministry outside the Archdiocese of Detroit. He currently resides at Colombiere Center in Clarkston.


Fr. James E. O’Reilly, SJ, celebrating 60 years as a priest, served from 1996-2015 as chaplain of Detroit Loyola High School, where he also served as acting president for one years from 1995-96. From 1995-2015, he also served as pastor of St. Francis de Sales and St. Peter Claver parishes in Detroit. He currently resides at Colombiere Center in Clarkston.


50 years

Fr. Gary R. Wright, SJ, celebrating

50 years

as a Jesuit, has served at SS. Peter and Paul (Jesuit) Parish in downtown Detroit since 2013, including as the parish’s pastor since 2015. He has also served as pastor of Gesu Parish in Detroit (1986-87), as novice director of the Midwest Jesuits (1988-96), and as director of university ministry at the University of Detroit Mercy (1997-2011).


Fr. Francis E. Canfield, SJ, celebrating

50 years

as a priest, has served as a teacher, counselor and principal of University of Detroit Jesuit High School. He served at the school from 1961-64, and again from 1970-89. Fr. Canfield served as the school’s principal from 1975-76. He currently resides at Colombiere Center in Clarkston.


Fr. M. Joseph Casey, SJ, celebrating

50 years

as a priest, has spent most of his ministry outside the Archdiocese of Detroit. He currently resides at Colombiere Center in Clarkston.


Fr. Frederick J. Deters, SJ, celebrating

50 years

as a priest, has spent most of his ministry outside the Archdiocese of Detroit. He currently resides at Colombiere Center in Clarkston.


Fr. George A. Lane, SJ, celebrating

50 years

as a priest, has spent most of his ministry outside the Archdiocese of Detroit. He currently resides at Colombiere Center in Clarkston.


Fr. Theodore C. Ross, SJ, celebrating

50 years

as a priest, taught at University of Detroit Jesuit High School from 1962-64, but has spent most of his ministry outside the Archdiocese of Detroit. He currently resides at Colombiere Center in Clarkston.


Fr. Robert J. Welsh, SJ, celebrating

50 years

as a priest, taught at University of Detroit Jesuit High School from 1961-64, but has spent most of his ministry outside the Archdiocese of Detroit. He currently resides at Colombiere Center in Clarkston.


Voluntas Dei Institute

50 years

Fr. George Hazler, I.V. Dei, has assisted with Masses and sacraments at St. Hugo of the Hills Parish in Bloomfield Hills since 2007. He also serves as chaplain to Lake Orion-based Guest House, a ministry to clergy and religious struggling with substance abuse.

Serving at the table of the Lord

Deacons mark milestones

This year, 46 permanent deacons will celebrate milestone anniversaries of their ordination. These deacons, who are assigned to parishes across the Archdiocese of Detroit, minister to the faithful in a multitude of ways, from proclaiming the Gospel and assisting during Masses to celebrating the sacraments of baptism and matrimony. Permanent deacons often serve the faithful as counselors, marriage preparation coordinators, as religious educators, chaplains and outreach ministers to the most vulnerable in the community, including the sick, elderly and imprisoned. Many deacons also care for wives and children, and some hold full-time jobs outside the parish community as well. For all they do, the faithful of the Archdiocese of Detroit offer their gratitude and prayers for many years of blessings ahead.

45 years

Deacon Jesus Vasquez

Deacon Vasquez, 89, of Rochester, began his ministry beside his wife, Victorina, when he was ordained May 20, 1972. He served at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Pontiac and is currently a senior deacon of the Archdiocese of Detroit.


Deacon Rafael Rivera

Deacon Rivera, 91, of Pontiac, was ordained May 20, 1972. He served at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Pontiac and is currently a senior deacon of the Archdiocese of Detroit.


Deacon Archie Noon

Deacon Noon, 98, of Milford, was ordained July 15, 1972. He served at St. Mary Parish in Milford and is currently a senior deacon of the Archdiocese of Detroit.


40 years

Deacon James Gennette

Deacon Gennette, 77, of East Jordan, began his ministry beside his wife, Joanne, when he was ordained May 7, 1977. He has served at Assumption Grotto Parish in Detroit and SS. Cyril and Methodius Parish in Sterling Heights and is currently a senior deacon of the Archdiocese of Detroit.


Deacon Michael Ingels

Deacon Ingels, who turns 79 on June 20, was ordained May 7, 1977. He lives in Monroe and has served at St. Michael Parish and St. Mary Parish there. He is currently a senior deacon of the Archdiocese of Detroit.


Deacon Lawrence Sullivan

Deacon Sullivan, 76, of Troy, began his ministry beside his wife, Andrea, on May 7, 1977. He has served at Sacred Heart Parish in Roseville, St. Edmund Parish in Warren and St. Martin de Porres Parish in Warren. He is currently a senior deacon of the Archdiocese of Detroit.


Deacon Edward Gergosian

Deacon Gergosian, 95, began his ministry in the Archdiocese of Detroit beside his wife, Sally, when he was ordained May 7, 1977. He served at the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Royal Oak, but now lives in Mesa, Ariz.

35 years

Deacon Ronald Channell

Deacon Channell, 82, began his ministry beside his wife, Nancy, when he was ordained June 12, 1982. He currently lives in St. Clair Shores and serves at St. Margaret of Scotland Parish there.


Deacon Douglas Jackson

Deacon Jackson, 75, of Detroit, was ordained June 12, 1982. He currently serves at St. Charles Lwanga Parish in Detroit, and has formerly ministered at Martyrs of Uganda Parish and St. Cecilia Parish in Detroit.


Deacon Wilhelm Kessler

Deacon Kessler, 76, of Washington Township, began his ministry beside his wife, Nancy, when he was ordained June 12, 1982. He currently serves at St. Louise de Marillac Parish in Warren.


Deacon Paul Pelchat

Deacon Pelchat, 78, of Livonia, began his ministry beside his wife, Joanne, when he was ordained June 12, 1982. He has served at Divine Savior Parish in Westland, and is currently a senior deacon of the Archdiocese of Detroit.

30 years

Deacon Robert DeWitt

Deacon DeWitt, of Northville, who will turn 72 on June 22, began his ministry beside his late wife, Mary, when he was ordained Oct. 17, 1987. He currently serves at Our Lady of Grace Parish in Dearborn Heights.


Deacon Anthony Morici

Deacon Morici, 71, of Clarkston, began his ministry beside his wife, Elizabeth, when he was ordained Oct. 17, 1987. He currently serves at St. Anne Parish in Ortonville and has served in the past at St. Louise de Marillac Parish in Warren, St. Lawrence Parish in Utica and Notre Dame Preparatory School in Pontiac.


25 years

Deacon Valere Buyle

Deacon Buyle, 76, of Fraser, began his ministry beside his wife, Joan, when he was ordained Oct. 17, 1992. He currently serves at St. Margaret of Scotland Parish in St. Clair Shores and has served in the past at St. Edmund Parish in Warren, St. Hubert Parish in Harrison Township and St. Jude Parish in Detroit.


Deacon John Connors

Deacon Connors, 78, of Marysville, began his ministry beside his wife, Carolyn, when he was ordained Oct. 17, 1992. He currently serves at Holy Trinity Parish in Port Huron.


Deacon William Jamieson

Deacon Jamieson, 68, of Grosse Pointe Woods, began his ministry beside his wife, Rosanne, when he was ordained Oct. 17, 1992. He currently ministers at St. Paul on the Lake Parish in Grosse Pointe Farms and has formerly served at Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish in Grosse Pointe Woods.


Deacon Richard Shubik

Deacon Shubik, 67, of Roseville, began his ministry beside his wife, Diana, when he was ordained Oct. 17, 1992. He currently serves at St. Clare of Montefalco Parish in Grosse Pointe Park and has formerly served at St. Paul on the Lake Parish in Grosse Pointe Farms.


Deacon William Thome

Deacon Thome, 85, of Allen Park, was ordained to the diaconate on Oct. 17, 1992. He currently serves at Our Lady of the Angels Parish in Taylor and has formerly served at St. Cyril of Jerusalem Parish in Taylor.


15 years

Deacon Andrew Fairbanks

Deacon Fairbanks, 79, of Clawson, began his ministry beside his wife, Patricia, when he was ordained Oct. 5, 2002. He currently serves at St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in Madison Heights and has formerly served at Guardian Angels Parish in Clawson.


Deacon Kenneth Fry

Deacon Fry, 60, of South Lyon, began his ministry beside his wife, Anne-Marie, when he was ordained Oct. 5, 2002. He currently serves at Our Lady of Victory Parish in Northville and has formerly ministered at Guardian Angels Parish in Clawson, St. Joseph Parish in South Lyon, and on the diaconal formation team with the Archdiocese of Detroit.


Deacon Steven Mitchell

Deacon Mitchell, 62, of New Boston, began his ministry beside his wife, Jean, when he was ordained Oct. 5, 2002. He currently serves at St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Lake Orion and as a member of the Archdiocese of Detroit’s diaconal formation team. Deacon Mitchell formerly ministered at Sacred Heart Parish in Auburn Hills. He is the national director of Alpha for Catholics.


Deacon Robert Schwartz

Deacon Schwartz, 80, of Chesterfield, began his ministry beside his wife, Barbara, when he was ordained Oct. 5, 2002. He currently serves at Guardian Angels Parish in Clawson and has formerly ministered at St. Jane Frances de Chantal Parish in Sterling Heights, St. Joan of Arc Parish in St. Clair Shores and on the Archdiocese of Detroit’s diaconal formation team.


Deacon Kenneth Trabbic

Deacon Trabbic, 65, of Erie, began his ministry beside his wife, Sharon, when he was ordained Oct. 4, 2002. Deacon Trabbic currently serves at St. Joseph Parish in Erie and as youth ministry coordinator of St. Stephen Parish in New Boston. He has also served at St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in Wyandotte.


10 years

Deacon Thomas Avery

Deacon Avery, 57, of Troy, began his ministry alongside his wife, Barbara, when he was ordained on Oct. 6, 2007. He currently serves at St. Mary Parish in Royal Oak and has also ministered at the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Royal Oak and SS. Cyril and Methodius Parish in Sterling Heights.


Deacon John Burke

Deacon Burke, 71, of Belleville, began his ministry beside his wife, Starr, when he was ordained Oct. 6, 2007. He currently serves at St. Mary, Cause of Our Joy Parish in Westland and has formerly ministered at St. Theodore of Canterbury Parish in Westland and St. Anthony Parish in Belleville.


Deacon Jerome Campernel

Deacon Campernel, 74, of Shelby Township, began his ministry beside his wife, Judith, when he was ordained Oct. 6, 2007. He currently serves at St. John Vianney Parish in Shelby Township and has also served at St. Therese of Lisieux Parish in Shelby Township.


Deacon George Cousino

Deacon Cousino, 74, of Maybee, began his ministry beside his wife, Judith, when he was ordained Oct. 6, 2007. He currently serves at Divine Grace Parish in Carleton, which merged from the parishes of St. Patrick in Carleton and St. Joseph in Maybee, where he also served.


Deacon C. Robert Dreyer

Deacon Dreyer, 80, of Wixom, began his ministry beside his wife, Mary Kay, when he was ordained Oct. 6, 2007. He currently serves at St. William Parish in Walled Lake and has formerly ministered at St. Maurice Parish in Livonia and St. Patrick Parish in White Lake.


Deacon Robert Gajda

Deacon Gajda, 68, of Livonia, began his ministry beside his wife, Deborah, when he was ordained Oct. 6, 2007. He currently serves at St. Perpetua Parish in Waterford and has formerly ministered at St. Mary Parish in Wayne.


Deacon Franz Hoffer

Deacon Hoffer, 63, of Sterling Heights, began his ministry beside his wife, Arlene, when he was ordained Oct. 6, 2007. He currently serves at St. Michael Parish in Sterling Heights and Sacred Heart Major Seminary. He has formerly ministered at St. Ronald Parish in Clinton Township and St. Anastasia Parish in Troy.


Deacon Scott LaForest

Deacon LaForest, 46, of Southgate, began his ministry beside his wife, Juanita, when he was ordained Oct. 6, 2007. He currently serves at St. Mary, Our Lady of the Annunciation Parish in Rockwood and has formerly served at St. Martha and St. Joseph parishes in Dearborn and St. Pius X Parish in Southgate.


Deacon Glenn Melenyk

Deacon Melenyk, 65, of Novi, began his ministry alongside his wife, Sharon, when he was ordained Oct. 6, 2007. He currently serves at St. James Parish in Novi.


Deacon Paul Mueller

Deacon Mueller, 75, of Farmington Hills, began his ministry alongside his wife, Patricia, when he was ordained Oct. 6, 2007. He currently serves at Corpus Christi Parish in Detroit, and formerly served on the Archdiocese of Detroit’s diaconal formation team.


Deacon Gerald Schiffer

Deacon Schiffer, 70, of Southfield, began his ministry beside his wife, Mary Kathleen (Kathy), when he was ordained Oct. 6, 2007. He currently serves at St. Linus Parish in Dearborn Heights and has formerly ministered at St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Allen Park.


Deacon James Thibodeau

Deacon Thibodeau, 54, of Pinckney, began his ministry beside his wife, Jennifer, when he was ordained Oct. 6, 2007. He currently ministers at St. Fabian Parish in Farmington Hills as well as in the Diocese of Lansing. He has formerly served at St. Sebastian Parish in Dearborn Heights and Divine Child Parish in Dearborn.


Deacon Michael Von Ende

Deacon Von Ende, 73, of Franklin, began his ministry alongside his wife, Beverly, when he was ordained Oct. 6, 2007. He is a senior deacon of the Archdiocese of Detroit and currently serves at St. Owen Parish and Prince of Peace Parish in Bloomfield Hills.


Deacon John Wright

Deacon Wright, 67, of Shelby Township, began his ministry beside his wife, Annette, when he was ordained Oct. 6, 2007. He currently serves at St. Irenaeus Parish in Rochester Hills and formerly served at SS. John and Paul Parish in Washington Township.


5 years

Deacon Timothy Maxwell

Deacon Maxwell, 55, of Fort Gratiot, began his ministry alongside his wife, Martha, when he was ordained Oct. 6, 2012. He currently serves at St. Mary Parish in Port Huron.


Deacon Michael Houghton

Deacon Houghton, 54, of Rochester Hills, began his ministry alongside his wife, Anita, when he was ordained Oct. 6, 2012. He currently serves at St. John Vianney Parish in Shelby Township and has formerly served at St. Anastasia Parish in Troy.


Deacon Dominick Pastore

Deacon Pastore, 60, of St. Clair Shores, began his ministry alongside his wife, Teresa, when he was ordained Oct. 6, 2012. He currently serves at St. Isaac Jogues Parish in St. Clair Shores and has formerly ministered at St. Angela Parish in Roseville and St. Joan of Arc Parish in St. Clair Shores.


Deacon Thomas Mohan

Deacon Mohan, 57, of Grand Rapids, began his ministry alongside his wife, Julie Ann, when he was ordained Oct. 6, 2012. He currently serves in the Diocese of Grand Rapids at the Shrine of St. Francis Xavier/Our Lady of Guadalupe in Grand Rapids, while he remains incardinated in the Archdiocese of Detroit. He has formerly served at the Church of the Transfiguration in Southfield and St. Regis Parish in Bloomfield Hills.


Deacon Martin Selmek

Deacon Selmek, 61, began his ministry on Oct. 6, 2012, when he was ordained at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit. He lives in Temperance and currently serves at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish there.


Deacon David Carignan

Deacon Carignan, 59, of Plymouth, began his ministry alongside his wife, Elizabeth, when he was ordained Oct. 6, 2012. He currently serves at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Plymouth and formerly ministered at St. Maurice Parish in Livonia, St. Genevieve Parish in Livonia and Sacred Heart Parish in Dearborn.


Deacon Dennis Crimmins

Deacon Crimmins, 67, of Lexington, began his ministry alongside his wife, Jolanta, when he was ordained Oct. 6, 2012. He currently serves at Holy Trinity Parish in Port Huron.


Deacon Francis King

Deacon King, 67, of Bloomfield Hills, began his ministry beside his wife, Lucy, when he was ordained Oct. 6, 2012. He currently ministers at St. Regis Parish in Bloomfield Hills and to the Our Lady of China Chinese Catholic Community in Westland.


Deacon John Manera

Deacon Manera, 60, of Waterford, began his ministry alongside his wife, Laura, when he was ordained Oct. 6, 2012. He currently serves at St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Lake Orion and formerly ministered at Our Lady of the Lakes Parish in Waterford.