Given to God: 44 priests celebrate a combined 2,085 years of priestly service

Jubilarian priests process into the Sacred Heart Major Seminary chapel June 8 for a celebratory Mass with Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron. This year, 44 priests are celebrating jubilees of 25, 30, 40, 50, 60 years and above, totaling a combined 2,085 years of service. (Valaurian Waller | Detroit Catholic)

During Year of Prayer for Priestly Vocations, Archdiocese of Detroit honors dedication, compassionate service of 2022 jubilarians

DETROIT — They are there during life's best moments, and they are there during life's worst moments. They celebrate baptisms, first Communions, weddings, funerals and confirmations. They spend countless hours in the confessional, in silent prayer, in hospitals with the sick and dying, and counseling parishioners.

They are priests — ordained once for the service of a lifetime.

This year, 44 priests of the Archdiocese of Detroit are celebrating special anniversaries of their ordination, totaling a combined 2,085 years in ministry. If you stacked the years on top of one another, it would stretch back to before the time of Christ.

This year's jubilarians celebrated a special Mass on June 8 with Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron at Sacred Heart Major Seminary.

During this Year of Prayer for Priestly Vocations, join Detroit Catholic and the Archdiocese of Detroit in thanking, celebrating and praying for all our priests, but especially those celebrating 25, 30, 40, 50 and 60 years in the priesthood, as well as those celebrating anniversaries greater than 60 years.

60th anniversary - Class of 1962

Fr. Donald Worthy

Now 89, Fr. Worthy was born in Detroit. He attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, and St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township.

He was ordained June 2, 1962, and celebrated his first Mass at Sacred Heart Church, Imlay City.

Fr. Worthy served as assistant pastor at the parishes of St. Thomas Aquinas, Detroit, (1962-66) and St. Rita, Detroit (1966-69).

He began serving as a Family Life Bureau speaker and as chaplain at Harper and Grace hospitals and the Rehabilitation Institute, Detroit (1969-72); chaplain at Mount Carmel-Mercy Hospital (1972-91); archdiocesan Office for Chaplaincies (1991); South Macomb and Bi-County Hospital, Warren (1991-93), and St. Joseph Mercy-Oakland, Pontiac (1993-2003).

Fr. Worthy is now a senior priest of the archdiocese. He has continued to assist at St. Lucy Parish in St. Clair Shores.

Fr. Francis Zielinski

Now 86, Fr. Zielinski was born in Detroit. He attended Sacred Heart Seminary High School, Detroit; St. Mary’s College, Orchard Lake; and St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township.

He was ordained June 2, 1962, and celebrated his first Mass at Sweetest Heart of Mary Church, Detroit.

He served as assistant pastor at the parishes of St. Florian, Hamtramck (1962-67); Ascension, Warren (1967-71) and Our Lady of Good Counsel, Plymouth (1971-72).

He was appointed pastor at the parishes of St. Mary of the Snows, Milford (1972-79); St. Timothy, Trenton (1979-84); St. Paul of Tarsus, Clinton Township (1984-90); and St. Daniel, Clarkston (1990).

In 1991, Fr. Zielinski served as temporary administrator at St. Colman Parish, Farmington Hills, before he was named pastor at St. Margaret of Scotland Parish in St. Clair Shores.

He was appointed pastor at St. Philip Neri Parish, Richmond, and administrator at Holy Rosary Mission, Smith’s Creek (1992-2001), after which he was granted senior priest status.

50th Anniversary - Class of 1972

Fr. Ronald Anderson

Now 79, Fr. Anderson was born in Rochester, N.Y. He attended the University of St. Thomas in Houston, St. Michael College in Toronto, and Wayne State University in Detroit.

He was ordained May 27, 1972, in Rochester, N.Y., and celebrated his first Mass at Sacred Heart Church there.

Fr. Anderson served as associate pastor of Ste. Anne de Detroit Parish, Detroit (1972-73); at SS. Peter & Paul (West Side) Parish, Detroit (1973-76); and at St. Blase Parish, Sterling Heights (1976-77).

He was appointed associate pastor of St. Andrew Parish, Rochester (1987-89). After being incardinated into the Archdiocese of Detroit, April 29, 1989, he was named pastor of St. Mary of the Snows Parish, Milford, where he served until 2013. He is currently a senior priest of the archdiocese.

Fr. Edward Belczak

Now 76, Fr. Belczak was born in Detroit. He attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, and St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth Township.

He was ordained Sept. 3, 1972, and celebrated his first Mass at Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak.

Fr. Belczak served as an assistant pastor of Shrine of the Little Flower Parish, Royal Oak (1972-75), and became co-pastor (1975-80). He was appointed associate pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, Farmington Hills (1980-81), and served as an auditor on the archdiocesan Metropolitan Tribunal (1981-83).

In 1984 he became pastor of St. Thomas More Parish, Troy, where he served until 2013. He also served as vicar of the Birmingham-Bloomfield-Troy Vicariate (1988-91); and was a member of the archdiocesan Pension Board (2003-06).

Fr. Terrence Kerner

Now 76, Fr. Kerner attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit (Bachelor of Arts), St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth Township, and the University of Detroit.

He was ordained Feb. 4, 1972, in Ypsilanti.

Fr. Kerner served as associate pastor of Presentation Parish, Detroit (1972-73); and associate pastor (1973-75) and then administrator (1975-77) of St. Raymond Parish, Detroit.

He was archdiocesan director of pastoral vocations (1975-80); then associate pastor of St. Lawrence Parish, Utica (1980-82). He was named pastor of St. Christopher Parish, Detroit (1982-86); and became pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish, Monroe (1986-2003), during which time he served as vicar of the Monroe Vicariate (1987-93) and briefly as administrator of St. Michael Parish, Monroe, during 1998.

Fr. Kerner was pastor of Our Lady of Victory Parish, Northville (2003-06); St. Martha and St. Joseph parishes, both in Dearborn (2006-13); and since 2013 has been pastor of St. Kateri of Tekakwitha Parish in Dearborn. In 2022, he became temporary administrator of St. Alphonsus-St. Clement Parish in Dearborn.

Msgr. Gerald McEnhill

Now 76, Msgr. McEnhill was born in Detroit. He attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit (Bachelor of Arts), St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth Township (Master of Divinity), the University of Detroit (Master of Arts), Wayne State University (Master of Business Administration) and the Institute of Continuing Theological Education at the North American College in Rome.

He was ordained June 3, 1972, at St. Frances Cabrini Church in Allen Park.

Msgr. McEnhill served as associate pastor of St. Blase Parish, Sterling Heights (1972-76); and at St. Matthew Parish, Detroit (1976-79).

In 1979, he served as temporary administrator of St. Eugene Parish, Detroit; and was then named associate pastor of St. Regis Parish, Bloomfield Hills (1979-86), during which time he served as vicar of the Birmingham-Bloomfield-Troy Vicariate (1982-86).

He was appointed pastor of St. Gerald Parish, Farmington (1986-2004), serving as vicar of the Farmington-Southfield Vicariate (1995-2002).

From 2004-21, he has been pastor of Our Lady of Refuge Parish, Orchard Lake, and now serves as moderator and priest in solidum for the Lakes Vicariate 3 Family of Parishes, which includes Our Lady of Refuge, St. Benedict in Waterford and Price on Peace in West Bloomfield. In 2019, he was named a monsignor by Pope Francis.

In addition, Msgr. McEnhill has served on the archdiocesan Assignment Board, as supervisor of transitional deacons and a mentor to seminarians, among other duties. He has been a member of the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council and the College of Consultors.

Fr. Theodore Parker

Now 78, Fr. Parker was ordained May 27, 1972, as a member of the Crosier Fathers by Bishop Leo A. Pursley of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Fr. Parker served in parishes, schools and in prison ministry in New York before coming to the Archdiocese of Detroit in 2001. Since his arrival, Fr. Parker has served as pastor of St. Cecilia Parish, Detroit, and since 2008 was pastor of St. Leo Parish, Detroit. The two parishes merged in 2013 to form St. Charles Lwanga Parish, where Fr. Parker serves as pastor today.

He was also administrator of St. Luke Parish, Detroit (2004-07).

In addition, Fr. Parker has served as vicar of the Northwest Detroit Vicariate (2002-04); and of the Trinity Vicariate (2004-08). He has also served two terms on the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council.

40th Anniversary - Class of 1982

Fr. Joseph Esper

Fr. Esper, 67, was born in Mount Clemens and attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, and St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township. He was ordained May 1, 1982, at Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Detroit.

He served as associate pastor at Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish, Grosse Pointe Woods (1982-85); at St. Clement Parish, Center Line (1985-88); at St. Patrick Parish, White Lake Township (1988-89); and at St. Robert Bellarmine Parish, Redford Township (1989-92).

He served as pastor of Our Lady of Loretto Parish, Redford Township (1992-2000). He also served as the vicar of the Port Huron Vicariate from 2002 to 2004 and as temporary administrator of St. Joseph Parish and St. Stephen Parish, both in Port Huron, for a few months in 2005. Fr. Esper served as pastor of St. Edward on the Lake Parish, Lakeport, from 2000-12, and from 2012-21 as pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Ira Township.

Fr. Esper now serves as moderator and priest in solidum for the Blue Water Vicariate 2 Family of Parishes, which includes Immaculate Conception in Ira Township, Our Lady on the River in Marine City, St. Mary Parish in St. Clair and St. Mary Queen of Creation Parish in New Baltimore.

In addition, Fr. Esper has served as vicar of the Blue Water Vicariate and as a member of the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council.

Msgr. Timothy Hogan

Msgr. Hogan, 70, was born in Windsor, Ontario, and attended Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales, Pennsylvania, and St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township. He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit on Dec. 11, 1982, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Detroit.

Then-Fr. Hogan served as associate pastor at the National Shrine of the Little Flower, Royal Oak (1982-83); Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Plymouth (1983-88); and at Sacred Heart Parish, Dearborn (1988-89).

He served as pastor of St. Christopher Parish, Detroit (1989-91), before being released to the United States Navy, where he served as a military chaplain, ministering in Iraq during the Gulf War. He was later deployed to Afghanistan and spent two tours in Iraq with the Marines, retiring from active duty in 2007.

Upon his return to the Archdiocese of Detroit, he served as pastor of Holy Family Parish in Novi from 2007-11. From 2011-17, he was director of the archdiocese’s Department of Clergy and Consecrated Life, while serving as a weekend priest at St. Andrew Parish in Rochester, St. James Parish in Ferndale, and St. Regis Parish in Bloomfield Hills.

In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI named him a chaplain to His Holiness (“monsignor”).

In 2017, Msgr. Hogan became pastor of St. Fabian Parish in Farmington Hills, where he continues to serve today. Msgr. Hogan also was briefly administrator of Guardian Angels Parish in Clawson in 2018. Msgr. Hogan also has served as a member of the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council.

Fr. Steven Koehler

Fr. Koehler, 68, was born in Detroit and attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, and St. John Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township. He was ordained Dec. 11, 1982, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Detroit.

He served as associate pastor at St. Valentine Parish, Redford Township (1982-83); at St. Andrew Parish, Rochester (1983-86); at Holy Family Parish, Novi (1986-87); at St. Mark Parish, Warren (1987-91); at All Saints Parish, Detroit (1991-92); and at St. Lawrence Parish, Utica (1992-93).

He served as administrator at St. John the Baptist Parish, Monroe in 1993; as pastor at St. Vincent Ferrer Parish, Madison Heights (1994-2005); as administrator at St. Mary Parish, Royal Oak (2002); as administrator at St. James Parish, Ferndale (2004-06); and as pastor at St. Rene Goupil Parish, Sterling Heights, since 2005. He also received an award from the St. John Health System as an outstanding benefactor.

Fr. Koehler has also served as chaplain for the Council of Catholic Women, St. John Oakland Hospital, Madison Heights, and Crittenton Hospital, Rochester; as the vicar of the Southeast Oakland Vicariate; and on the priest pension board.

Msgr. Michael LeFevre

Msgr. LeFevre, 65, was born in Grosse Pointe Farms and attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, and St. John’s Provincial College, Plymouth Township. He was ordained to the priesthood Dec. 11, 1982, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Detroit, named a monsignor (chaplain to His Holiness) March 29, 1990, and elevated to prelate of honor to His Holiness on Sept. 30, 2005.

He served as associate pastor at St. Anne Parish, Ortonville (1982-83); and at Shrine of the Little Flower, Royal Oak (1983-86). He studied canon law at Catholic University, Washington, D.C (1986-99) and served as secretary to both Cardinal Edmund Szoka and Cardinal Adam Maida (1988-93).

Msgr. LeFevre served as pastor of St. Blase Parish, Sterling Heights (1993-2003) and as president of Bishop Gallagher School (1994-96). He’s also served as an auditor for the archdiocesan Marriage Tribunal, on the Presbyteral Council, and doing formation work at Sacred Heart Major Seminary.

He served as rector of the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament from 2003-15, and as administrator of the Church of the Madonna Parish and St. Gregory the Great Parish, both in Detroit, from 2004-13. From 2007-13, he was pastor of St. Benedict Parish in Highland Park. In 2013, the three parishes merged to become St. Moses the Black Parish, and Msgr. LeFevre continued to serve as its pastor, along with his role as cathedral rector.

From 2015-20, Msgr. LeFevre was pastor of St. John Fisher Chapel University Parish in Auburn Hills, and since 2020 has been pastor of St. Owen Parish in Bloomfield Hills.

Msgr. LeFevre also has been director of the archdiocesan Clergy Life and Ministry office (2003-09); and as chaplain of the Order of Malta-American Association (2004-18). He currently serves as a member of the archdiocesan College of Consultors.

Fr. Norman Nawrocki

Fr. Norman D. Nawrocki, 76, was born in Detroit and attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He was ordained to the priesthood Dec. 11, 1982, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Detroit.

He served as associate pastor at Guardian Angels Parish, Clawson (1982-83); and as pastor at St. Patrick Parish, White Lake Township (1983-84) before studying canon law in Rome (1984-86). Fr. Nawrocki then served as weekend associate at St. Thomas More Parish, Troy (1986-87); as administrator at St. Christine Parish, Detroit (1987-88); as weekend associate at St. John Bosco, Redford (1988-90); and as associate vocations director (1990). He also served as administrator at St. Aidan Parish, Livonia (1990-99) and on the archdiocesan Marriage Tribunal (1983-99).

Fr. Nawrocki served as pastor of St. Regis Parish, Bloomfield Hills, from 1999-2011, and as pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Troy from 2011-21. Today, Fr. Nawrocki is a priest in solidum for the South Oakland Vicariate 1 Family of Parishes, which includes St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Christ Our Light Parish in Troy, St. Anastasia Parish in Troy, St. Lucy (Croatian) Parish in Troy, and Guardian Angels Parish in Clawson.

Fr. Nawrocki has also served as a member of the Metropolitan Tribunal, and as vicar of the former Birmingham-Bloomfield-Troy Vicariate.

Fr. John Ortman

Fr. John R. Ortman, 66, was born in Detroit and attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, and St. John Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township. He was ordained to the priesthood Dec. 11, 1982, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Detroit.

He served as associate pastor at St. Agatha Parish, Redford Township (1983); at St. Mary Parish, Royal Oak (1983-84); at St. Edmund Parish, Warren (1984-85); at Immaculate Conception Parish, Lapeer (1985-88); at St. Rene Goupil Parish, Sterling Heights (1988-91); at Our Lady of the Lakes Parish, Waterford (1993-94); at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Plymouth Township (1999-2003); at St. Isidore Parish, Macomb Township (2002-04); at St. John Vianney Parish, Shelby Township (2004-11); at St. Clement of Rome Parish, Romeo (2004-11); and at the three parishes of St. Cornelius in Dryden, St. John the Evangelist in Allenton and St. Nicholas in Capac from 2011-18.

Msgr. Gary Smetanka

Msgr. Smetanka, 65, was born in Detroit and attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, St. John Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township, and the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He was ordained to the priesthood Dec. 11, 1982, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Detroit.

He served as associate pastor at St. Martin de Porres Parish, Warren (1982-83); as associate pastor at St. Angela Parish, Roseville (1983-85); as associate pastor at Divine Child Parish, Dearborn (1985-87); as a faculty member at Sacred Heart Major Seminary (1989-96); and as associate director of the archdiocesan Worship Office (1989-96). He also served as vicar of the East Macomb Vicariate (1996-2003) and as vicar of the Central Macomb Vicariate in 2005.

Msgr. Smetanka served as pastor of St. Thecla Parish, Clinton Township (1996-2008), and as administrator of St. Claude Parish, Clinton Township (1999-2007). In 2008, he became pastor of Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish in Grosse Pointe Woods, where he continues to serve today.

In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI named him a “chaplain to His Holiness” (monsignor). Msgr. Smetanka also has served as master of ceremonies for major archdiocesan liturgies at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, and as a member and chairman (2007-09) of the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council.

Fr. Robert Williams

Fr. Robert H. Williams, 66, was born in Detroit and attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, the University of Detroit, and St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township. He was ordained to the priesthood Dec. 11, 1982, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Detroit.

He served as associate pastor at St. Raymond Parish, Detroit (1982-82); as associate pastor at St. Lawrence Parish, Utica (1983-84); as associate pastor at St. Rene Goupil Parish, Sterling Heights (1985-88); and as administrator at St. Mary Parish, Wayne (1988). He has served on the archdiocesan Marriage Tribunal since 1983.

Fr. Williams became pastor of St. Justin Parish in Hazel Park in 1993, and in 2012 added responsibility as pastor of St. Mary Magdalen Parish, also in Hazel Park. When the two parishes merged to become St. Justin-St. Mary Magdalen Parish in 2013, Fr. Williams continued to serve as pastor until 2021.

Today, Fr. Williams is a priest in solidum for the South Oakland 4 Family of Parishes, which includes St. Justin-St. Mary Magdalen, the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Royal Oak, St. Mary Parish in Royal Oak, and St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in Madison Heights.

Fr. Nicholas Zukowski

Fr. Nicholas Zukowski, 67, was born in Detroit and attended the University of Michigan-Dearborn, St. Mary’s College in Orchard Lake, and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He was ordained to the priesthood May 1, 1982, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Detroit.

Fr. Zukowski served as associate pastor at St. Mary Parish, Milford (1982); as associate pastor at Holy Cross Parish, Marine City (1982-85); as associate pastor at Our Lady Queen of Apostles Parish, Hamtramck (1985-1990); and as associate pastor at St. Hugo of the Hills Parish, Bloomfield Hills (1990-93). He received an award in 1987 for serving on the Hamtramck Papal Visit Committee.

Fr. Zukowski served as pastor of St. Mary Queen of Creation Parish, New Baltimore, from 1993 to 2014. Since 2014, he has served as pastor of St. Martin de Porres Parish in Warren, where he remains today.

30th Anniversary - Class of 1992

Fr. James Bilot

Fr. Bilot, 60, 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 to serve as pastor from 2007-19. In 2019, Fr. Bilot was appointed pastor of St. Paul on the Lake Parish in Grosse Pointe Farms, where he still serves today.

Fr. Bilot has also served terms on the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council and Clergy Assignment Board.

Fr. Mark Brauer

Fr. Brauer, 65, 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. From 2005-21, he was named pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Farmington. For a brief time, Fr. Brauer served as temporary administrator of St. Clare of Assisi Parish in Farmington Hills (2013-14). In 2021, Fr. Brauer was named moderator and priest in solidum for the South Oakland 3 Family of Parishes, which includes Sacred Heart Parish in Auburn Hills, St. Damien of Molokai Parish in Pontiac, St. Hugo of the Hills Parish in Bloomfield Hills, and St. Thomas More Parish in Troy.

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, 59, 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 his ministry as pastor of Our Lady of La Salette Parish in Berkley, serving in that role until 2021. In 2021, Fr. Connell was named a priest in solidum for the South Oakland 5 Family of Parishes, which includes Our Lady of La Salette, the Church of the Transfiguration in Southfield, Divine Providence (Lithuanian) Parish in Southfield, and Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish in Oak Park.

From 2006-09, he served as vicar of the Southeast Oakland Vicariate.

Auxiliary Bishop Robert J. Fisher

Bishop Fisher, 62, 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).

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. He is regional moderator of the Archdiocese of Detroit’s Northeast Region.

In 2019, Bishop Fisher served as temporary administrator of St. Kieran Parish in Shelby Township.

Bishop Fisher has also served as an adviser to Sacred Heart Major Seminary and on the board of trustees for the Catholic Youth Organization. From 2002-04, he served on the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council.

Fr. Michael Loyson

Fr. Loyson, 62, 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, 59, 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. From 2016 until 2020, he served as pastor of the clustered parishes of St. Augustine in Richmond and Holy Family in Memphis. In 2020, he was named pastor of St. Kieran Parish in Shelby Township, and in 2021, he was briefly administrator of nearby St. John Vianney Parish. In 2021, Fr. Mallia was named moderator and priest in solidum for the North Macomb 1 Family of Parishes, which includes St. Kieran, St. Matthias Parish in Sterling Heights, and St. Lawrence Parish in Utica.

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, 61, 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.

25th Anniversary - Class of 1997

Fr. David Blazek

Fr. Blazek, 69, was born Berwyn, Ill., and attended Loras College in Dubuque, Ia., the University of Detroit, and Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.

He was ordained May 17, 1997, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

Fr. Blazek served as associate pastor of St. Clement Parish in Warren (1997-2000). From 2000-04, he served as pastor of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in Harper Woods. In 2004, he was appointed pastor of St. Rita Parish in Holly, where he still serves today. In 2021, Fr. Blazek was appointed priest in solidum for the Lakes 1 Family of Parishes, which includes St. Rita, Our Lady of the Lakes Parish in Waterford, St. Anne Parish in Ortonville, and St. Daniel Parish in Clarkston.

In 2013, Fr. Blazek briefly served as administrator of the Church of the Holy Spirit in Highland Township.

Fr. Blazek has also been vicar of the former Detroit/Grosse Pointe Vicariate (2003-04), the Lakes Vicariate (2009-14), and as a member of the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council (2009-14). He has also served as spiritual director at Sacred Heart Major Seminary.

Fr. Joseph Horn

Fr. Horn, 57, was born in New Haven and attended the Franciscan University of Steubenville (Ohio), and Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.

He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit on May 17, 1997, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit.

He served as associate pastor of the National Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak (1997-2001) and Holy Family Parish in Novi (2001-02). From 2002-07, Fr. Horn served as pastor of All Saints Parish in Memphis, adding responsibilities as administrator of St. Philip Neri Parish and Holy Rosary Mission in Columbus from 2004-07. In 2007, he became pastor of Holy Family Parish in Memphis, adding responsibility as pastor of St. Augustine Parish in Richmond in 2012.

He served both parishes until 2016, when Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron asked him to become director of priestly vocations for the Archdiocese of Detroit. After doing so for four years, Fr. Horn was given a new assignment as rector and pastor of the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Royal Oak, where he still serves today.

In 2021, Fr. Horn was named a priest in solidum for the South Oakland 4 Family of Parishes, which includes the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica, St. Mary Parish in Royal Oak, St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in Madison Heights, and St. Justin-St. Mary Magdalen Parish in Hazel Park.

Fr. Horn also has served as vicar of the Blue Water Vicariate (2009-14), South Oakland Vicariate (2021-present), and as a member of the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council (2009-20).

Fr. James Kean

Fr. Kean, 56, was born in Emmett and attended Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.

He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit on May 17, 1997, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit.

He served as associate pastor of Our Lady of Victory Parish in Northville (1997-2000) and Our Lady of the Lakes Parish in Waterford (2000-02). He became administrator of St. Alfred Parish in Taylor in 2002, and a year later became pastor, serving at St. Alfred until 2009. In 2005, he briefly served as administrator of St. Pascal Baylon Parish in Taylor. Fr. Kean later served as pastor of St. Damien of Molokai Parish in Pontiac from 2009-20, before being named pastor of St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Lake Orion in 2020, where he still serves today.

In 2019, Fr. Kean was temporary administrator of St. Perpetua Parish in Waterford, and since 2021 has been administrator of St. John Fisher Chapel University Parish in Auburn Hills.

Fr. Kean also has served as vicar of the former Southland Vicariate (2003-04), the Downriver Vicariate (2004-06), and the Pontiac Area Vicariate (2006-21). He’s also been a member of the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council (2007-09, 2018-21).

Fr. Steven Wertanen

Fr. Wertanen, 58, was born in Dearborn and attended Wayne State University and Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.

He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit on May 17, 1997, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit.

Fr. Wertanen served as associate pastor of St. Rene Goupil Parish in Sterling Heights (1997-2000) and Our Lady of Victory Parish in Northville (2000-02). He served as pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Trenton (2002-09), St. James Parish in Ferndale (2009-12), St. Mary Parish in Royal Oak (2009-15), until his 2015 assignment as pastor of St. Anastasia Parish in Troy, where he still ministers today.

In 2021, Fr. Wertanen was named priest in solidum for the South Oakland 1 Family of Parishes, which includes St. Anastasia, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Troy, Christ Our Light Parish in Troy, St. Lucy (Croatian) Parish in Troy, and Guardian Angels Parish in Clawson.

Other jubilarians this year

In addition to those celebrating milestone jubilee years in 2022, Detroit Catholic and the Archdiocese of Detroit also honor all of those priests celebrating jubilees greater than 60 years. They are:

  • Msgr. Robert Monticello (72 years)
  • Fr. Francis Weingartz (68 years)
  • Fr. Daniel Complo (68 years)
  • Fr. Norman Thomas (67 years)
  • Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton (66 years)
  • Cardinal Adam J. Maida (66 years)
  • Msgr. James Moloney (66 years)
  • Fr. William Murphy (65 years)
  • Fr. Leo Sabourin (64 years)
  • Fr. Donald Walker (64 years)
  • Fr. Arnold D'Achille (63 years)
  • Fr. John Leo Phalen (63 years)
  • Fr. Lawrence Jackson (62 years)
  • Fr. Daniel O'Sullivan (62 years)
  • Fr. Thomas Sutherland (62 years)
  • Fr. Joseph Gagnon (61 years)
  • Fr. Edward Prus (61 years)


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