Priests celebrate years of service

Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde celebrated the annual jubilee Mass for diocesan and religious order priests to recognize milestone anniversaries of their ordination to the priesthood May 5 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, Md.

55 Years

Father Cornelius O'Brien, ordained June 5, 1955, is retired and living in County Cork, Ireland.

50 Years

Father Francisco Mendez de Dios was born in Galicia, Spain, Aug. 9, 1935, and was ordained June 24, 1960, in Madrid.

Father Mendez moved to the United States in 1979 and was incardinated into the Arlington Diocese April 4, 1986. He served as parochial vicar of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Alexandria, 1979-83; St. Bernadette Parish in Springfield, 1983-88; St. Rita Parish in Alexandria, 1988-90; and St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Arlington, 1995-2004.

Father Mendez was in residence at St. Rita from 1990-95 while working for the Tribunal.

He is currently parochial vicar of All Saints Parish in Manassas.

Father Thomas P. Tunney was born Dec. 12, 1934, in Ambridge, Pa., and ordained as a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit Sept. 21, 1960. In 1961 he went to East Africa, where he served missions in the region for 35 years.

Father Tunney returned to the United States in 1996 and served as director of the Spiritan Foundation, Wheaton, Md., 1996-99, and as a member of the Provincial Council of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, 1997-2000.

In 1999, Father Tunney was appointed pastor of St. Mark the Evangelist Parish, New York, N.Y., where he served for 10 years.

He was named parochial vicar of Our Lady, Queen of Peace Parish in Arlington Oct. 1, 2009.

Bishop Anton Justs was born Nov. 22, 1931, in Varaklani, Latvia. He left Latvia in 1944 to study for the priesthood at the Seminary of Leo XIII, Louvain, Belgium, and at Canisianum, Innsbruck, Austria. Bishop Justs was ordained July 7, 1960, in Belgium and entered the Richmond Diocese in 1962.

He was incardinated into the Richmond Diocese in 1968 and the Arlington Diocese in 1974.

Bishop Justs served at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Alexandria, 1962-68; Star of the Sea Parish in Virginia Beach, 1968-71; St. Francis Parish in Staunton, 1971-73; Blessed Sacrament, 1973-79; St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Great Falls as founding pastor, 1979-89; and St. Mark Parish in Vienna, 1989-92.

He returned to Latvia in 1992 to work in the major seminary in Riga, where he served as spiritual director until 1994, when he was named rector. He was installed as the first bishop of Jelgava, Latvia, on March 25, 1996.

Bishop Justs recently retired as rector of the seminary and currently resides at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Jelgava, Latvia.

Father Ronald J. Naylor was ordained by Richmond Bishop John J. Russell May 3, 1960, in the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond.

His first assignment was St. Bernadette Parish in Springfield. Two-and-a-half years later he was transferred to St. Leo the Great Parish in Fairfax. Father Naylor entered the U.S. Navy in 1971, where he ministered for more than 20 years.

Father Naylor was scheduled to celebrate his golden jubilee May 2 with a Mass of thanksgiving in his home parish of St. Colman in Turtle Creek, Pa.

45 Years

Bishop Paul S. Loverde, ordained Dec. 12, 1965, is bishop of Arlington.

Father Canon Philip S. Majka, ordained May 1, 1965, is parochial vicar of St. James Parish in Falls Church.

Oblate of St. Francis de Sales Father William N. Dougherty, ordained April 3, 1965, is parochial vicar of St. John Neumann Parish in Reston.

Father Lawrence A. Kutz, ordained Aug. 8, 1965, serves at the Opus Dei Study Center in Reston.

40 Years

Father Stanley J. Krempa, ordained Dec. 18, 1970, is pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Winchester.

Father Thomas J. Lehning, ordained Dec. 18, 1970, is pastor of St. Clare of Assisi Parish in Clifton.

Oblate of St. Francis de Sales Father Lewis S. Fiorelli, ordained Sept. 12, 1970, is parochial vicar of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Vienna.

Father Robert A. Finamore, ordained May 16, 1970, is retired from the Washington Archdiocese and lives in Arlington.

35 Years

Father Robert E. Avella, ordained May 10, 1975, is pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Arlington.

Father Dominic P. Irace, ordained June 29, 1975, is retired and living in Florida.

Father Mark A. Pilon, ordained Nov. 29, 1975, is parochial vicar of St. Raymond of Peñfort Parish in Springfield.

Father William B. Schardt, ordained Nov. 29, 1975, is pastor of St. Stephen the Martyr Parish in Middleburg.

30 Years

Father Richard J. Dair, ordained May 10, 1980, is retired and living in Fairfax.

Father John T. O'Hara, ordained May 10, 1980, is parochial vicar of St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Arlington.

25 Years

Father Robert L. Ruskamp was born Nov. 9, 1954, in Omaha, Neb.

He earned a bachelor's in philosophy from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome and a master's in theology from St. Charles Seminary in Wynnewood, Pa.

He was ordained May 11, 1985, by Arlington Bishop John R. Keating. After serving his diaconate at St. John the Beloved Parish in McLean, he was named parochial vicar of Sacred Heart Parish in Manassas, 1985-87; St. Philip Parish in Falls Church, 1987-88; St. Ann Parish in Arlington, 1988-91 (in 1990 Father Ruskamp was granted leave to explore a monastic vocation at Our Lady of Gethsemane Abby in Trappist, Ky.); St. Lawrence Parish in Alexandria, 1991-94; St. Patrick Parish Fredericksburg, 1994-95; and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Lake Ridge, 1995-96.

In 1996, he became pastor of St. John Bosco Parish in Woodstock, where he served for four years before he was named pastor of St. Agnes Parish in Arlington.

Father Ruskamp served as chaplain of Christendom College from 2002-04, when he was appointed parochial vicar of Holy Spirit Parish in Annandale.

He was named parochial vicar of St. Mary Parish in Alexandria in 2005.

Father Jean Vanes Nicolas was born Oct. 25, 1957, in Les Cayes, Haiti. He was ordained for the Cayes Diocese July 7, 1985, and taught high school philosophy and history from 1985-87. He was pastor in Cavaillon, Haiti, 1987-91, and worked to create a secondary school with the help of parishioners from St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Arlington. In 1991, he was named pastor of St. Jean Baptiste Church, Miragoâne, Haiti, where he served until 2004. Father Nicolas was also dean of the Cayes diocesan deanery.

Father Nicolas holds a bachelor's in theology and a licentiate in civil law. He currently is priest in residence at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Falls Church. Father Nicolas is fluent in Spanish, French, Creole and English, and he assists with the needs of large immigrant population at St. Anthony.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2010