Bishop Celebrates Priests' Jubilee Mass

Parish and order priests greeted each other warmly in the vestibule of Blessed Sacrament Church in Alexandria on May 25 as they gathered for the annual Priests’ Jubilee Mass. The theme of the Mass, which was celebrated by Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde, was "Gift and Mystery." Accompanied by organ music and singing by Blessed Sacrament school children and vocalist Linda Wells, more than 35 priests came to honor the service of the 24 jubilarians, four of whom were present: Msgr. Frank E. Mahler, Msgr. Edward P. Browne, Father Joseph Loftus and Father Paul G. Wynants. In his homily Bishop Loverde greeted his "brother priests" and thanked them for their years of service. He referenced Pope John Paul II’s, Gift and Mystery, a book of reflections written on the 50th anniversary of his own priestly ordination. "Gift and mystery, this is our theme as we rejoice with the jubilarians and with them each of us gives thanks for the gift of our ordination and each continues to ponder the mystery of our call." "Today’s jubilee celebration links two millenniums. All of the jubilarians were ordained in the last millennium. And all of us are serving in this, the new millennium." Bishop Loverde noted that the plan for serving in this new millennium has been outlined in the pope’s Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte. The bishop urged further reading and reflection on this Apostolic Letter and quoted the pope’s own urging to go back to documents of Vatican Council II for guidance. Bishop Loverde concluded by quoting from Gift and Mystery, "Love your priesthood. Be faithful to the end. Learn to see in your priesthood the Gospel treasure for which it is worth giving up everything." Celebrating 60 years in the priesthood was Third Order Franciscan Father James Cleary. Marking golden jubilees were Msgr. Edward P. Browne, Cistercian of the Strict Observance Father Edward McCorkell, and Missionhurst Fathers Roger Van Cauwenbergh and Paul G. Wynants. Father Joseph J. Loftus, Msgr. Frank E. Mahler, and Missionhurst Fathers Frank Holscher, Howard Picard and Marcel Van Thillo celebrated their 45th anniversaries in the priesthood. Marking his 40th anniversary was Father Robert C. Brooks. Father Richard B. Martin was recognized for 35 years of service. Celebrating 30 years in the priesthood were Fathers J. Stewart Culkin, Richard Ley, Franklyn M. McAfee, Tran Dinh Nhi, John T.B. Trong as well as the following order priests: Third Order Franciscan Father James Angert, Franciscan Father Arthur J. Espelage, Atonement Father Edward F. Gallagher, Oblate of St. Francis de Sales Father William J. Metzger, and Franciscan Father Ronald J. Mohnickey. A 25th anniversary was observed by Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity Father Gary Banks, and Oblate of St. Francis de Sales Father John W. Crossin. A lunch for the celebrants was held at Blessed Sacrament after the Mass.

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© Arlington Catholic Herald 2001