Priests celebrate jubilees

First slide
First slide
First slide
First slide
First slide
First slide
First slide
First slide
Previous Next

The following diocesan and religious order priests are celebrating milestone anniversaries in 2011:

25 YEARS

Father Eric J. Albertson grew up in Springfield and attended Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria. He studied business at West Virginia University and graduated with a bachelor's of science in 1981. While in college, he signed up for ROTC in the hopes of pursuing a career as an Army officer, but he then discerned a call to the priesthood. He studied at Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md., and received his master's in divinity May 1985.

He was ordained by the late Arlington Bishop John R. Keating May 10, 1986, and was assigned to be parochial vicar of Holy Spirit Church in Annandale, where he served until 1991. During his next assignment, as parochial vicar of St. Lawrence Parish in Alexandria, Father Albertson led a pro-life group and was instrumental in starting a young adults ministry. In January 1992, he became a local hero when he rescued a man from drowning in an ice-covered lake in the Franconia section of Fairfax County.

In June 1993, Father Albertson left his position at St. Lawrence to begin training as a chaplain with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Over the years, Father Albertson has served as an Army chaplain in assignments in and out of war zones with units in Bosnia, Iraq, Korea, Kuwait, Italy, Afghanistan and Haiti.

In 1998, Father Albertson received the Military Chaplains Association Distinguished Service Award, one of the most prestigious civilian awards a military chaplain can receive. In 2004, he received a Purple Heart for a concussion he sustained in Iraq while on patrol with a group of soldiers.

Since 2010, Father Albertson has been chaplain and spiritual leader for the 1st Calvary division in Fort Hood, Texas.

Father Alberto F. Bueno, a Third Order Regular of St. Francis, was born June 11, 1955. A native of Havana, Cuba, he received his high school education at Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria and earned his bachelor's from George Mason University in Fairfax and his master's from the University of St. Michael's College in Toronto.

Father Bueno joined the Franciscan community in 1979, professed his first vows in 1981 and made his solemn profession of vows in 1985. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1986 by the late Bishop James Hogan of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

Prior to priestly ordination, he spent internships at St. Francis Prep School and at Sacred Heart Church in Spring Grove, Pa., and served his deacon internship at Holy Spirit Church in Mitchell, S.D. Following ordination, he served in campus ministry at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, and in hospital chaplaincy in Fort Worth, Texas. He became parochial vicar of St. Thomas Church, Fort Worth, in 1990, and after further graduate study at Washington Theological Union in Washington, D.C., he served on the faculty of Conwell-Egan Catholic High School in Fairless Hills, Pa. He became assistant pastor of St. Lawrence Church in Tampa, Fla., in 1996 and in 1998 became chaplain of the New College of Florida, Ringling Arts and Design College, and Manatee College, all in Sarasota, Fla.

In 2003, Father Bueno returned to the Fort Worth Diocese as pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Church in Hillsboro, Holy Angels Church in Clifton and Our Lady of Guadalupe in Morgan.

Since 2008, Father Bueno has been assigned as parochial vicar of St. Joseph Church in Herndon.

Father Paul L. Dudzinski was born March 23, 1959, in Fond du Lac, Wis., one of eight children. He graduated from Princeton High School in Princeton, Wis., in 1977, and St. Francis de Sales College Seminary in Milwaukee in 1981.

After graduating from Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md., in 1986, he was ordained to the priesthood by the late Arlington Bishop John R. Keating May 10, 1986. His diaconate assignment was at St. Mark Parish in Vienna.

Father Dudzinski served as parochial vicar of Holy Family Parish in Dale City,1986-87; St. Leo the Great Parish in Fairfax, 1987-91; St. Ambrose Parish in Annandale, 1991-95; and St. James Parish in Falls Church, 1995-98. He was administrator of St. Clare of Assisi Parish in Clifton, 1998-2004, and pastor of St. Michael Parish in Annandale, 2004-08.

He has served as pastor of St. Peter Parish in Washington, Va., since 2008.

Father John D. Kelly was born in Washington, Pa., July 13, 1958, one of three children of John and Josephine Kelly. He graduated from Hinton High School in Hinton, W.Va., in 1976. After one year studying at Concord State College in Athens, W.Va., he entered the Slavic Studies Department at the University of California in California, Pa.

Accepted as a seminarian for the Greensburg Diocese in 1979, he spent a year at St. Mark's Seminary in Erie, Pa., before transferring to the Seminary of St. Pius in Erlanger, Ky., where he received his bachelor's in 1982. He went to Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md., where he received a master's in theology in 1985.

He was ordained May 10, 1986, by the late Arlington Bishop John R. Keating. He served as parochial vicar of St. Agnes Parish in Arlington, 1986-90; Queen of Apostles Parish in Alexandria, 1990-92; St. James Parish in Falls Church, 1992-95; and St. Luke Parish in McLean, 1996-98. In 1995, he served for a brief time as administrator of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Alexandria. He was administrator of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Winchester, 1998-99. Father Kelly served as pastor of St. Leo the Great Parish in Fairfax, 1999-2007. He was pastor of St. Veronica Parish in Chantilly from June 2007 to November 2007.

He has served as pastor of St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Clifton since November 2007.

Father Robert A. Lange was born June 13, 1944, in Richmond to Joseph and Thelma Lange.

He attended St. Paul School and graduated from Benedictine High School, both in Richmond. After receiving a bachelor's from Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C., in 1967, he spent 15 years working in real estate.

He attended Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md., and was ordained by the late Arlington Bishop John R. Keating May 10, 1986.

Father Lange served as parochial vicar of Queen of Apostles Parish in Alexandria, 1986-90; Church of the Nativity in Burke, 1990-91; St. William of York Parish in Stafford, 1991-94; and Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Arlington, 1994-97. He was rector of St. Peter Mission in Washington, Va., 1997-99, and pastor of Our Lady of Angels Parish in Woodbridge, 1999-2005. Father Lange was appointed pastor of Holy Spirit Parish in Annandale in 2005 and served until his retirement Jan. 22, 2007.

He resides in Shenandoah County.

55 YEARS

Msgr. Frank E. Mahler was born Dec. 15, 1929, on Long Island, N.Y. He attended local schools, graduating from high school in1948. In 1952 he earned a bachelor's from St. Jerome's College in Kitchener, in Ontario, Canada, and entered St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore.

Due to his mother's illness, he moved to New York City, where, with special permission, he was ordained for the Richmond Diocese by Cardinal Francis Spellman May 6, 1956.

His first assignment by the late Richmond Bishop Peter L. Ireton was as parochial vicar of St. Thomas More Parish in Arlington. Prior to the founding of the Arlington Diocese, he served as parochial vicar of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Richmond and St. Bernadette Parish in Springfield, and Our Lady of Nazareth Parish in Roanoke, where he became administrator in 1966. He was appointed founding pastor of St. Lawrence Parish in Alexandria in 1967.

Following a three-year leave of absence, during which the new diocese was formed in Northern Virginia, then-Father Mahler served as parochial vicar of the Cathedral of St. Thomas More, administrator of St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Arlington and administrator of Good Shepherd Parish in Alexandria, all in 1975. The late Arlington Bishop Thomas J. Welsh then named him pastor of Good Shepherd Parish, a post he held until 1979, when he became pastor of St. John Parish in McLean.

In 1982, he was elevated to monsignor.

Msgr. Mahler was pastor of St. John the Apostle Parish in Leesburg, 1986-90, then spent six years as parochial vicar of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Alexandria before the late Arlington Bishop John R. Keating named him founding pastor of St. Clare of Assisi Parish in Clifton in 1996.

In 1998 he was named parochial vicar of St. James Church in Falls Church.

Msgr. Mahler retired Dec. 15, 2004, on his 75th birthday, and is currently residing at St. Rose of Lima Priests' Retirement Villa in Annandale.

60 YEARS

Missionhurst Father Roger Van Cauwenbergh was born Jan. 23, 1924, in Stekene, Belgium. He entered the Missionhurst Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Zuun, Belgium, in 1945 and was ordained in Louvain, Belgium, July 22, 1951.

In 1952, he departed for his first mission province in the Philippines, where he studied the language. Father Van Cauwenbergh served in various positions throughout the Philippines, including as assistant pastor and school director at Bambang Catholic Mission in Nueva Vizcaya; professor at Our Lady of Guadalupe Minor Seminary in Makati, Rizal; assistant pastor and school director of Dupaz Catholic Mission in Nueva Vizcaya; assistant treasurer and professor at St. Louis University in Baguio City; and treasurer and professor at Bacolod Minor Seminary in Negros Occidental.

He returned to Belgium in 1968 and departed for his new mission in the United States in 1969. His first American assignment was as assistant pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Detroit, where he served until 1971.

Throughout the 1970s and '80s, he was assigned as assistant treasurer, house procurator and treasurer at Missionhurst in Arlington; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; and Brussels and as assistant treasurer general in Rome. He returned to Missionhurst and served as assistant treasurer and house procurator, 1988-97. He often celebrated Masses at the Dominican Retreat House in McLean and at Marymount University in Arlington.

After open-heart surgery in November 1997, he retired from full-time service. He resides at Dominion House in Arlington.

Missionhurst Father Paul G. Wynants was born Aug. 2, 1925, in Heverlee, Belgium. He entered the Missionhurst Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1944 and was ordained July 29, 1951.

He departed for his mission assignments in the United States in 1953. He served as assistant pastor of Christ the King Church in Norfolk, 1954-55; professor at Maryhill Seminary in Pinesville, La., 1955-58; assistant pastor of St. Dominic Parish in Columbus, Ohio, 1958-59; and assistant pastor of St. Patrick Church in Detroit, 1959-62.

In 1962, he was sent to Paris for further studies at the Catholic Institute. He returned to the United States and was assigned to the Missionhurst Office of Promotion and as regional vocational director for the New England area, residing in New Haven, Conn., 1963-64. In 1964, Father Wynants was appointed spiritual director and rector for the Missionhurst Seminary in Washington, D.C.

In 1975, he was assigned as director of vocations for the U.S. province. Residing at Missionhurst in Arlington, he also served as rector there until 1981. Under his guidance, Missionhurst evolved into the Missionhurst Mission Center, where he served as coordinator until 1982.

Father Wynants served as the Catholic chaplain at Fairfax Hospital, 1982-2005. Since 1992, he has resided at Mount Tabor Community in Vienna, a house of prayer and Christian community established in 1975 by Missionhurst Father Arthur Verstraete. With the help of Father Wynants, Mount Tabor has continued to grow with an ever-increasing number of members, retreatants and activities.

The following priests also are celebrating milestone anniversaries:

30 YEARS

Father James R. Gould, ordained May 9, 1981, is pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Warrenton.

Father Peter Ho-In Kwak, ordained Feb. 24, 1981, is pastor of St. Paul Chung Parish in Fairfax.

35 Years

Oblate of St. Francis de Sales Father Thomas E. Murphy, ordained May 15, 1976, is pastor of St. John Neumann Parish in Reston.

40 YEARS

Third Order Regular of St. Francis Father James Angert, ordained May 15, 1971, is pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Herndon.

Father Richard J. Ley, ordained May 15, 1971, is parochial vicar of St. John Bosco Parish in Woodstock.

Father Franklyn M. McAfee, ordained May 15, 1971, is pastor emeritus of St. John the Beloved Parish in McLean.

Oblate of St. Francis de Sales Father William J. Metzger, ordained June 5, 1971, is pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Vienna.

Father John T.B. Trong, ordained May 22, 1971, is parochial vicar of St. Michael Parish in Annandale.

45 YEARS

Father Richard B. Martin, ordained May 14, 1966, is pastor of Church of the Nativity Parish in Burke.

Franciscan Father Charles J. Miller, ordained March 5, 1966, is pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Triangle.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2011