Thank you, Fathers: 44 priest jubilarians celebrate combined 1,971 years in ministry

Forty-four priests of the Archdiocese of Detroit celebrated a combined 1,971 years of priestly service during a Mass with Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron at Sacred Heart Major Seminary on Tuesday, June 20. (Photos by Gabriella Patti | Detroit Catholic)

Archbishop thanks priests celebrating 25, 30, 40, 50, 60 years and greater for 'your service to the death and rising of Jesus'

DETROIT Forty-four priests of the Archdiocese of Detroit (list below) celebrated a combined 1,971 years of priestly service during a Mass with Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron at Sacred Heart Major Seminary on Tuesday, June 20.

In his homily, the archbishop thanked his brother priests for their sacrifice on behalf of God's people, their imitation of the sacrifice of Christ and sharing it with his people, acknowledging “the price (paid) in order to be faithful to the pascal mystery.”

“We thank you for it, for having — as the bishop said to you on the day you were ordained — ‘imitated the mystery of the paschal blood and body of Jesus,’“ Archbishop Vigneron said. “And we give thanks with you for your service to the death and rising of Jesus in the lives of the people of Jesus. We give thanks for the fruit it has borne in them, and we join with you in giving thanks for the fruit it has borne in your life. For the fruit of the Paschal mystery is an indestructible and immortal and eternal fruit.”

Fr. Chris Maus, of Thomas a’Becket Parish in Canton, celebrated his 30th anniversary alongside his fellow jubilarians. He told Detroit Catholic he would attend the jubilee Mass as a young priest since he was first ordained in 1993.

“I would come to these even though I wasn't a jubilarian just to support the brotherhood,” Fr. Maus said. “The next time I came was my 25th anniversary, and I couldn't believe, over the space of maybe 20 years, the numbers how they had gone down.”

Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron celebrates Mass with priests celebrating jubilees June 20 at Sacred Heart Major Seminary.
Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron celebrates Mass with priests celebrating jubilees June 20 at Sacred Heart Major Seminary.

Despite the jubilee Mass reflecting the dwindling number of priests in the Church, Fr. Maus said it is nice to see the younger priests as they celebrate their first milestone anniversaries.

“There's hope for the future,” Fr. Maus said. “I'm very grateful to God for the opportunity to be chosen to be a priest and to serve His people.”

He said that with age and time, God has given him tremendous grace and taught him humility through the priesthood.

“You come across so many different situations (as a priest), and I guess when I was ordained, I had a high opinion of myself,” Fr. Maus said. “‘I'm gonna go out there and shake things up,' (I thought). But I think the grace that I most had was the grace of humility because so many times I would get there and I'd be humbled, which was a good thing, and I learned from it. Now I try to be much more humble going into things that Jesus tries to teach me, through obedience, and through ministry.”

Fr. John Leo Phalen, who served as pastor of St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Lake Orion from 1990 to 2003, celebrated 64 years of priesthood. Now 92 years old, Fr. Phalen said he tried to use his vocation to help bring the people of God together. He said he finds consolation in quiet time with God.

“Day by day, (I am) motivated by some quiet time with the Lord," Fr. Phalen said. "He comes and lets me know it's all right.”

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story misidentified Fr. Chris Maus of St. Thomas a’Becket Parish in Canton.

60th Anniversary - Class of 1963

Fr. Stephen Reckker

Fr. Reckker, 86, was born in Port Huron and was ordained June 1, 1963.

He attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, and St. John Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township, and celebrated his first Mass at St. Joseph Parish, Port Huron.

Fr. Reckker served as assistant pastor at St. Mary Parish, Royal Oak, from 1963-68. He was in residence at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, Farmington, and also at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, Birmingham. He went on to serve as chaplain at Sancta Maria from 1977-82.

Fr. Reckker celebrated Mass at Brother Rice High School for eight years and also served as a chaplain and teacher for 14 years, including at Lawrence Institute of Technology, Wayne County Community College and Oakland Community College (where he was the first chaplain to serve at OCC-Orchard Ridge). He also taught at Henry Ford Community College.

Fr. Reckker served at the Newman Apostolate at Oakland Community College from 1968-82, and he served two terms as vicar of the North Macomb Vicariate, from 1985-88 and again from 1988-91.

In 1982, he was named pastor of St. Clement of Rome Parish, Romeo, where he still serves today as a member of the In Solidum team of priests who pastor the North Macomb 3 Family of Parishes.

Fr. Joseph Romano

Fr. Romano, 85, was born in Braddock, Pa., and was ordained June 1, 1963.

He attended St. John Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township, and celebrated his first Mass at St. Gregory Church.

Fr. Romano served as assistant pastor at St. Elizabeth Parish, Wyandotte (1963-69) and St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Detroit (1969-74). In 1974, he was named co-pastor of St. Agatha Parish, Redford Township, serving until his appointment as pastor of St. Linus Parish, Dearborn Heights (1979-91).

In 1991, Fr. Romano was appointed pastor of St. Sabina Parish, Dearborn Heights, where he served until being granted senior priest status in 2007. In 2010, he briefly served as administrator of St. John Neumann Parish in Canton.

Fr. James Scheick

Fr. Scheick, 86, was born in Monroe and was ordained June 1, 1963.

He attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, and St. John Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township, and celebrated his first Mass at chapel of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in Monroe.

Fr. Scheick served as assistant pastor at St. Brigid Parish, Detroit (1963-73), and was co-pastor of St. Gerard Parish, Detroit (1973-80). He was pastor of St. Edith Parish, Livonia, from 1980 to 2000, when he was named pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Grosse Ile, where he served until being granted senior status in 2008.

50th Anniversary - Class of 1973

Fr. Ronald DeHondt

Fr. DeHondt, 77, was born in Mount Clemens and was ordained Nov. 3, 1973. He attended Sacred Heart Seminary and St. Paul’s Seminary.

Fr. DeHondt served as associate pastor at St. Mary of Redford Parish, Detroit (1973-79), before becoming temporary administrator of St. Michael Parish, Monroe, briefly in 1979. He then served as associate pastor of St. Lawrence Parish, Utica (1979-80), and Our Lady of Loretto Parish, Redford (1980-81). He was appointed pastor of St. Gregory the Great Parish, Detroit, in 1981, and in 1998 the pastorate of Church of the Madonna in Detroit was also entrusted to him.

In 2003, Fr. DeHondt became pastor of St. Margaret of Scotland Parish, St. Clair Shores, where he remains today as a member of the In Solidum team of priests serving the SERF 1 Family of Parishes.

Fr. DeHondt also served as a spiritual director at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in 1979, as an auditor on the Metropolitan Tribunal from 1981-82, and taught as a member of the seminary’s faculty from 1988-93. He served as vicar of the Old Northwest Detroit Vicariate from 1993-96, and served on the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council from 2004-08.

Fr. Richard Hartmann

Fr. Hartmann, 79, was born in Detroit and was ordained April 7, 1973. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Detroit, and also attended Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit and St. John Provincial Seminary in Plymouth Township.

After ordination, Fr. Hartmann’s first assignment was as associate pastor of Presentation-Our Lady of Victory Parish, Detroit, from 1973-75. He became pastor of Presentation-Our Lady of Victory in 1975, and from 1981-91 was pastor of All Saints Parish, Detroit. In 1988, he was also given care of St. Gabriel Parish, Detroit, as administrator. Fr. Hartmann was appointed pastor of St. Christopher Parish, Detroit, from 1991-2001, before being named pastor of St. Roch Parish, Flat Rock, where he served until being granted senior status in 2014.

Fr. Hartmann also served as vicar of the Old Southwest Vicariate from 1983-85, and served two terms on the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council, from 2002-09.

Fr. Dennis Nowinski

Fr. Nowinski, 77, was born in Hamtramck and was ordained Feb. 17, 1973. He attended St. Mary’s College in Orchard Lake and St. John Provincial Seminary.

Fr. Nowinski served as associate pastor of Our Lady Queen of Apostles Parish, Hamtramck (1973-76), and then as associate pastor of St. Clement Parish, Warren (1976-79), before being named pastor of St. Christine Parish, Detroit, from 1979-80. He served as associate pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Detroit, from 1980-84. In 1984, Fr. Nowinski was appointed to serve as pastor of St. Francis D’Assisi Parish, Detroit, until 1989. He then served as pastor of All Saints Parish, Memphis, until 2001. For a brief period in 2001, Fr. Nowinski also served at Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish, Grosse Pointe Woods.

Fr. Nowinski served one term as vicar of the Old Southwest Vicariate from 1985-87, and spent many years as a hospital chaplain at DMC-Harper Hospital, Detroit; St. John Oakland Hospital, Madison Heights; St. John Macomb Hospital, Warren; and Botsford General Hospital in Farmington Hills until he was granted senior status in 2017.

Fr. Stanley Ulman

Fr. Ulman, 76, was born in Detroit and was ordained Aug. 25, 1973. He attended the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, St. Mary’s College in Orchard Lake, and St. Mary’s University in Baltimore.

After ordination, Fr. Ulman’s first assignment was as associate pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Wyandotte (1973-74). He then served as associate pastor of St. Gertrude Parish, St. Clair Shores (1974-79), and as associate pastor and then administrator of St. Ladislaus Parish, Hamtramck (1979-81). Fr. Ulman served briefly as administrator of St. Stanislaus and St. Bartholomew parishes, both in Detroit, before being named pastor of St. Ladislaus in 1982. Fr. Ulman served in that role until 2004, when he was appointed pastor of St. Mary of the Hills Parish, Rochester Hills, where he still serves today as a member of the In Solidum team of priests who serve the Paint Creek 1 Family of Parishes.

Over his years of ministry, Fr. Ulman also served the archdiocese in various other capacities, including as vicar of the Old SERF Vicariate, the Old North Vicariate, and currently for the Pontiac Area Vicariate. He also served terms on the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council, and two terms on the College of Consultors as an adviser to the archbishop.

40th Anniversary - Class of 1983

Fr. John Esper

Fr. Esper, 70, was born in Detroit. He studied geography at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo before studying at Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, and St. John Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township.

He was ordained Dec. 10, 1983, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Detroit. He celebrated his first Mass at Our Lady of Victory Parish, Northville. Since ordination, he’s also studied at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb.

Fr. Esper served as associate pastor at St. Sylvester Parish, Warren (1983-84), St. Frances Cabrini Parish, Allen Park (1984-87) and Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, Farmington (1987-88). He then served as spiritual director at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit (1988-97) and as pastor of St. Lucy Parish, St. Clair Shores (1997-2005).

In 2005, he began serving as pastor of St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in Madison Heights, where he continues to serve as a member of the In Solidum team of priests who pastor the South Oakland 4 Family of Parishes. In 2012, Fr. Esper also served briefly as pastor of St. Dennis Parish in Madison Heights.

Fr. Zbigniew Grankowski

Fr. Grankowski, 65, was born in Warsaw, Poland. He attended the Academic University of Catholic Theology in Warsaw, and was ordained May 29, 1983, for the Archdiocese of Warsaw. He was incardinated into the Archdiocese of Detroit in 1990.

Fr. Grankowski served as associate pastor of St. Alphonsus Parish, Dearborn (1987-89); St. Martin de Porres Parish, Warren (1989-93); and St. Clement Parish, Center Line (1993-94); he then served as temporary administrator of St. Barbara Parish, Dearborn (1994), before becoming pastor there.

He began serving as pastor of St. Barbara Parish in 1994, and as pastor of St. Cunegunda Parish, Detroit, in 2000. He continues to serve both parishes as a member of the In Solidum team of priests who pastor the West Wayne 3 Family of Parishes.

Fr. Charles Morris

Fr. Morris, 73, was born in Pontiac and attended the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, before attending St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township. He was ordained Dec. 10, 1983, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Detroit.

He served as associate pastor of St. Agatha Parish, Redford (1983-84), St. Joan of Arc Parish, St. Clair Shores (1984-88) and St. Ephrem Parish, Macomb (1988-89). He then served as pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Pontiac (1989-93) and as administrator of St. Joseph Parish, Pontiac (1989-93), before serving as pastor of St. Elizabeth Parish, Wyandotte (1993-2003, 2004-10).

Fr. Morris served as administrator of St. Patrick Parish, Wyandotte (2008-10), St. Christopher Parish, Detroit (2010-13), St. Henry Parish, Lincoln Park (2013), and St. Mary of Redford Parish, Detroit (2017-19). Fr. Morris served as a weekend support priest at St. Henry (2013-14) and Christ the Good Shepherd Parish in Lincoln Park (2013-14). From 2019-20, Fr. Morris was associate pastor of St. Genevieve-St. Maurice Parish, Livonia. Fr. Morris has also served as vicar of the former Downriver Vicariate (1997-2000).

Since 2013, he has been on the faculty of Madonna University in Livonia, and ministers to the Archdiocese of Detroit’s Native American Catholic population.

Fr. Stanley Pachla

Fr. Pachla, 72, was born in Hamtramck and attended the University of Detroit and St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township. He was ordained Dec. 10, 1983, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Detroit.

He served as associate pastor of St. Martin de Porres Parish, Warren (1983-84); associate pastor of St. Mary Parish, Royal Oak (1984-87); administrator of St. Benedict Parish, Highland Park (1987-87); associate pastor of St. Malachy Parish, Sterling Heights (1987-92); associate pastor of St. Jane Frances de Chantal Parish, Sterling Heights (1992); administrator of St. Barnabas Parish, Eastpointe, (1992-93); associate pastor of St. Edmund Parish, Warren (1993-95); administrator of Our Lady of the Lakes Parish, Waterford (1993-94); administrator of St. Kieran Parish, Shelby Township (1995); administrator of St. Leonard of Port Maurice Parish, Warren (2007); and administrator of St. Peter the Apostle Parish, Harper Woods (2012-14).

Since 1996, in addition to his other assignments during that time, Fr. Pachla has served as pastor of St. Veronica Parish in Eastpointe, where he continues to serve as a member of the In Solidum team of priests who pastor the SERF 2 Family of Parishes. He’s also a board member of Gianna House, a home for pregnant teenagers in Eastpointe.

Fr. Pachla also served as vicar of the former SERF Vicariate (2000).

Fr. Randall Phillips

Fr. Phillips, 66, was born in Detroit. He attended Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit and the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. He was ordained Dec. 19, 1983, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Detroit, and celebrated his first Mass at St. Philomena Parish, Detroit.

He served as associate pastor of St. Philomena Parish (1983-84), and Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Detroit (1984-85). He then left to do further studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University. He served as associate pastor of St. Jane Frances de Chantal Parish, Sterling Heights (1988-89), and St. Ephrem Parish, Sterling Heights (1989-92). He then served as pastor of Presentation/Our Lady of Victory Parish, Detroit (1992-95), and St. Linus Parish, Dearborn Heights (1995-2003).

Fr. Phillips has also served as vicar of the former Dearborn Vicariate (1998-2003), and on the Presbyteral Council (2005-07). He’s also done further studies at Pontifical Gregorian University.

In 2003, he became pastor of St. Blase Parish, Sterling Heights, where he continues to serve as a member of the In Solidum team of priests who pastor the Central Macomb 4 Family of Parishes.

Fr. Joseph Plawecki

Fr. Plawecki, 68, was born in Detroit and attended the University of Michigan, Dearborn, and St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township. He was ordained Dec. 10, 1983, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Detroit, and celebrated his first Mass at St. Frances Cabrini, Allen Park.

He has served as associate pastor at St. Germaine Parish, St. Clair Shores (1984); St. Genevieve Parish, Livonia (1984-88); and Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Plymouth (1988-92). He then served as pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Erie (1992-2005).

Fr. Plawecki served as pastor of St. Augustine Parish, Richmond (2005-11); as associate pastor of St. Clare of Assisi Parish, Farmington Hills (2013-16); associate pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, Farmington (2012-16); administrator of SS. Simon and Jude Parish, Westland (2020-21); and as a member of the In Solidum team of priests who pastor the West Wayne 4 Family of Parishes (2021-23).

From 2018 to 2020, Fr. Plawecki served as chaplain at St. John Macomb Hospital in Warren.

30th Anniversary - Class of 1993

Fr. Douglas Bignall

Fr. Bignall, 57, was born in Detroit and attended Sacred Heart Major Seminary. He was ordained June 12, 1993, for the Archdiocese of Detroit at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

Fr. Bignall served his first assignments as associate pastor of St. Sylvester Parish, Warren (1993-95), and Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, Farmington (1995-98). He has served as pastor of St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish in Algonac (1998-2004); St. Angela Parish in Roseville (2004-07); and St. Thecla Parish, Clinton Township (2011-16), where he previous served as weekend associate from 2007-11. In 2003-04, he served as administrator of St. Mark Parish on Harsens Island.

In 2017, Fr. Bignall was named pastor of St. Hubert Parish in Harrison Township, and he added responsibility as administrator of St. Louis Parish in Clinton Township in 2019. He continues to serve both parishes as a member of the In Solidum team of priests who pastor the Central Macomb 1 Family of Parishes. Fr. Bignall also was temporary administrator of St. Peter Parish in Mount Clemens (2020-21).

He served as a member of the archdiocesan Presbyeral Council (2018-21), and as vicar of the Central Macomb Vicariate (2018-21).

Fr. Festus Ejimadu

Fr. Ejimadu, 60, was born in Owerri, Nigeria, and was ordained June 12, 1993.

He has served as associate pastor of Our Lady of Refuge Parish, Orchard Lake (1993-95); Holy Family Parish, Inkster (1995-98); and St. Frances Cabrini Parish, Allen Park (1998-2000); before becoming pastor of St. Aloysius Parish in Romulus from 2000-09. From 2009-16, he was pastor of St. Gerald Parish in Farmington, serving briefly as administrator of St. Alexander Parish, Farmington, from 2014-15.

In 2016, Fr. Ejimadu was appointed pastor of SS. John and Paul Parish in Washington Township, where he continues to minister today as a member of the In Solidum team of priests who pastor the North Macomb 3 Family of Parishes.

Msgr. John Kasza

Msgr. Kasza, 59, was born in Dearborn and attended Wayne State University and Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. After his ordination on June 12, 1993, he continued his education, earning an S.T.L. and S.T.B. from the Pontifical Atheneum of St. Anselm in Rome.

After ordination, then-Fr. Kasza served as associate pastor of St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Allen Park (1993-94); administrator of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish, Wyandotte (1994-95); and associate pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Dearborn (1995-96).

From 1999-09, he was on the faculty of Sacred Heart Major Seminary, and from 2009-12, was academic dean of SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake. He was named a monsignor by Pope Benedict XVI on Sept. 30, 2005. During that time, he also ministered at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Troy; St. Clement of Rome Parish, Romeo; and St. Aidan Parish, Livonia.

In addition to his pastoral and educational roles, Msgr. Kasza also served as vice chancellor for the Archdiocese of Detroit, as priest-secretary to Cardinal Adam J. Maida, as a consultant to the archdiocesan Christian Worship Office, and as a member of the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council.

Msgr. Kasza served as pastor of St. James Parish in Novi (2012-19), and in 2019 was named pastor of St. Therese of Lisieux Parish in Shelby Township, where he continues to serve as moderator of the In Solidum team of priests who pastor the North Macomb 2 Family of Parishes.

In 2017, Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron appointed Msgr. Kasza to minister as ecumenical and interfaith officer for the Archdiocese of Detroit, a role in which he continues. He’s also served as a member of the archdiocesan Presbyeral Council (2014-18), Priests Pension Board (2018-21), and as vicar of the Northwest Wayne Vicariate (2014-18).

Fr. Eugene Katcher

Fr. Katcher, 77, attended SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake and was ordained June 5, 1993, for the Diocese of Fargo, N.D. He was incardinated into the Archdiocese of Detroit in 2000.

He served as associate pastor of St. Edmund Parish, Warren (1996-98); St. Joan of Arc Parish, St. Clair Shores (1998-99); and St. Patrick Parish, White Lake (1999-2001).

From 2001-04, Fr. Katcher served as pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Yale, and from 2003-04 was administrator of Sacred Heart Mission in North Branch. From 2004-14, he was pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Roseville, also serving briefly as administrator of St. Athanasius Parish (2012-14) in the same city. From 2014-17, he was pastor of Resurrection Parish in Canton, and was granted senior status in 2017.

Fr. H. Thomas Kuehnemund

Fr. Kuehnemund, 57, was born in Bay City and attended Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. He was ordained June 12, 1993, for the Archdiocese of Detroit at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit.

He served his first assignments as associate pastor of St. Andrew Parish, Rochester (1993-96); St. Theodore of Canterbury Parish, Westland (1996-97); and St. Michael Parish, Sterling Heights (1997-99).

From 1999-2010, Fr. Kuehnemund served as pastor of St. Benedict Parish in Waterford. In 2011, he was appointed pastor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Emmett and Sacred Heart Parish in Yale, as well as temporary administrator of Sacred Heart Mission in North Branch (2011-12). He continues to serve as moderator of the Thumb 1 Family of Parishes, serving alongside an In Solidum team of priests who pastor Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Sacred Heart and St. John the Evangelist Parish in Allenton. He is also vicar of the Thumb Vicariate (2021-23).

Fr. Gerard LeBoeuf

Fr. LeBoeuf, 58, was born in Dearborn and attended Michigan State University and Sacred Heart Major Seminary. He was ordained June 12, 1993, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit.

Fr. LeBoeuf served as associate pastor of St. Joan of Arc Parish in St. Clair Shores (1993-96), and St. Frances Cabrini Parish, Allen Park (1996-99), before being named pastor of St. Jane Frances de Chantal Parish in Sterling Heights from 1999-2005. He served as pastor of Guardian Angels Parish in Clawson (2005-18), and as president of Bishop Foley High School in Madison Heights (2008-18). In 2020, Fr. LeBoeuf began serving as pastor of St. Irenaeus Parish in Rochester Hills, where he continues to serve as a member of the In Solidum team of priests who pastor the Paint Creek 1 Family of Parishes.

Fr. LeBoeuf has also served as a member of the Presbyteral Council and as chaplain to the Michigan Knights of Columbus State Council.

Fr. Christopher Maus

Fr. Maus, 65, was born in Detroit and earned degrees from Michigan State University and Sacred Heart Major Seminary. He was ordained June 12, 1993, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit.

Fr. Maus first served as associate pastor of St. John Neumann Parish, Canton (1993-96), and St. Jude Parish, Detroit (1996-98). He served as pastor of St. Hedwig Parish in Detroit (1998-2004), St. Daniel Parish in Clarkston (2004-14), and starting in 2014 served as pastor of St. Thomas a’Becket Parish in Canton, where he continues to serve today as a member of the In Solidum team of priests who pastor the Northwest Wayne 4 Family of Parishes.

Fr. Maus also was vicar of the Lakes Vicariate from 2007-09, and currently serves as vicar of the Northwest Wayne Vicariate (2021-23).

Fr. Stanislaw Obloj

Fr. Obloj, 56, was born in Jasienica Rosielna, Poland, and after attending SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake, was ordained a priest on June 12, 1993, for the Archdiocese of Detroit at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit.

Fr. Obloj has served as associate pastor of St. Florian Parish, Hamtramck (1993-95); St. Sylvester Parish, Warren (1995-98); St. Edmund Parish, Warren (1998-99); St. Joan of Arc Parish, St. Clair Shores (1999-2003); St. Joseph the Worker Parish, Lake Orion (2003-05); St. Anastasia Parish, Troy (2005-08); and Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Plymouth (2011-12).

In 2012, he was named administrator of St. Mark Parish in Warren, and in 2013, was named pastor. He continues to serve St. Mark today as a member of the In Solidum team of priests who pastor the Central Macomb 3 Family of Parishes.

Fr. Darrell Roman

Fr. Roman, 61, was ordained a priest on May 25, 1993, for the Society of Christ. He was incardinated into the Archdiocese of Detroit in 2014.

Fr. Roman served as associate pastor of St. Florian Parish, Hamtramck, and later as its pastor from 2001-03. From 2010-11, Fr. Roman was associate pastor of St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Lake Orion. He was named administrator of the clustered parishes of Sweetest Heart of Mary, St. Josaphat and St. Joseph in Detroit from 2011-12. From 2013-14, Fr. Roman was pastor of St. Angela Parish in Roseville, and from 2013-18, served as pastor of St. Isaac Jogues Parish in St. Clair Shores.

Fr. Stan Tokarski

Fr. Tokarski, 58, was born in Twardogora, Poland, and attended Salesian Seminary in Krakow. After coming to the United States, he studied at SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake, and was ordained June 12, 1993, for the Archdiocese of Detroit at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit.

After ordination, Fr. Tokarski served as associate pastor of St. Veronica Parish, Eastpointe (1993-96); St. Michael Parish, Sterling Heights (1996-97); and Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Plymouth (1997-98).

Fr. Tokarski served as pastor of SS. Peter and Paul (Westside) Parish in Detroit from 1998 to 2010, when he was appointed pastor of St. Joseph Parish in South Lyon, where he continues to serve as a member of the In Solidum team of priests who pastor the Northwest Wayne 1 Family of Parishes.

Fr. Zbigniew Zomerfeld

Fr. Zomerfeld, 57, was ordained June 26, 1993.

After arriving in the Archdiocese of Detroit in 2007 from the Diocese of Salseians of Don Bosco, South African Province, Fr. Zomerfeld was appointed associate pastor of St. Therese of Lisieux Parish in Shelby Township from 2007-09.

He served as administrator of St. Mary Parish in Port Huron (2009-10), and was incardinated into the Archdiocese of Detroit in 2010. He began serving as pastor of St. Mary Parish in 2010, and continues to serve there as moderator of the Blue Water 3 Family of Parishes, serving alongside an In Solidum team of priests who pastor four parishes in the Blue Water Vicariate.

25th Anniversary - Class of 1997

Auxiliary Bishop Gerard W. Battersby

Bishop Battersby, 63, was born in Detroit and attended Wayne State University and Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. He was ordained a priest on May 30, 1998, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit.

Then-Fr. Battersby served in parish ministry for about a decade, including as associate pastor of St. Thecla Parish in Clinton Township (1998-2000), St. Gerald Parish in Farmington (2000-02), Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Detroit (2000-02), and Presentation/Our Lady of Victory Parish in Detroit (2000-02).

In 2002, he was named pastor of St. Christopher Parish in Detroit, and in 2007, was appointed to Sacred Heart Major Seminary, where he received a Licentiate in the New Evangelization in 2008. While serving as director of graduate seminarians and graduate pastoral formation at the seminary, Fr. Battersby also served concurrently as administrator of St. Leo Parish in Detroit.

In 2009, Fr. Battersby was assigned to graduate studies at the Angelicum in Rome, Italy. In 2011, Fr. Battersby was appointed vice rector and dean of seminarian formation at Sacred Heart Major Seminary. In 2015, Fr. Battersby was concurrently appointed pastor of St. Mary of Redford, Detroit.

He was appointed auxiliary bishop of Detroit on Nov. 23, 2016, and was ordained to the episcopacy on Jan. 25, 2017, by Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit.

Since serving as an auxiliary bishop, Bishop Battersby has chaired the Archdiocese of Detroit’s Unleash the Gospel Pastoral Council, which is charged with implementing the vision of Synod 16 according to Archbishop Vigneron’s pastoral letter, “Unleash the Gospel.” Bishop Battersby has also served as temporary administrator of St. Anne Parish, Monroe (2018); St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Newport (2018); and St. Perpetua Parish, Waterford (2019). He serves as episcopal moderator for the archdiocese’s South Region.

Fr. Timothy Birney

Fr. Birney, 52, was born in Royal Oak and attended Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. He was ordained May 30, 1998, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit.

He served as associate pastor of St. Lawrence Parish, Utica (1998-2001), and Divine Child Parish, Dearborn (2001-03), before being named administrator and later pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Marine City (2003-07), St. Mark Parish on Harsens Island (2004-07), and St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish in Algonac (2004-07). During the same time, he served as chaplain to Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Marine City, and briefly served as administrator of Our Lady on the River Parish in Marine City (2007).

In 2007, Fr. Birney was named director of priestly vocations for the Archdiocese of Detroit, a role in which he served until 2016. He also served terms on the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council (2001-03, 2012-14, 2014-19), and Assignment Board (2002-04).

In 2016, Fr. Birney was named pastor of St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Allen Park, where he continues to serve as moderator of the Downriver 1 Family of Parishes, serving seven parishes alongside an In Solidum team of priests.

Fr. John Currin

Fr. Currin, 59, was born in Germany and attended Grand Valley State University in Allendale and Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit on May 30, 1998, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

Fr. Currin served as associate pastor of Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish in Grosse Pointe Woods (1998-2001), as weekend support at St. Aidan Parish in Livonia (2002), and as administrator of St. Luke Parish in Detroit (2002-04). He served as associate pastor of St. Raphael Parish in Garden City (2007), Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Temperance (2007-09), and as temporary administrator of St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Newport (2009). From 2009-16, Fr. Currin served as pastor of St. Aloysius Parish in Romulus.

Fr. Andrew Czarnecki

Fr. Czarnecki, 55, was born in Nowy Sacz, Poland, and attended SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake. He was ordained for the Archdiocese of Detroit on May 30, 1998, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

He served as associate pastor of Holy Family Parish in Novi (1998-2001), Sacred Heart Parish in Dearborn (2001-03), and St. Martin de Porres Parish in Warren (2003-04). From 2004-05, he was administrator of St. Ladislaus Parish in Hamtramck.

Fr. Czarnecki served as pastor of St. Paschal Baylon Parish in Taylor (2005-07), St. Angela Parish in Roseville (2007-11), Our Lady of the Woods Parish in Woodhaven (2011-19), and St. Louise de Marillac Parish in Warren (2019-22), where he continues to serve as a member of the In Solidum team of priests who pastor the Central Macomb 3 Family of Parishes.

Fr. Robert LaCroix

Fr. LaCroix, 70, was born in Midland and attended the University of Michigan and Sacred Heart Major Seminary. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit on May 30, 1998, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit.

Fr. LaCroix served as associate pastor of Christ the Good Shepherd Parish in Lincoln Park (1998-2001), Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Farmington (2001-02), and St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Allen Park (2002-05). He served as pastor of St. Linus Parish in Dearborn Heights (2003-11), and Holy Family Parish in Novi (2011-22), where he continues to serve as a member of the In Solidum team of priests who pastor the Northwest Wayne 1 Family of Parishes.

Fr. Jaroslaw Pilus

Fr. Pilus, 51, was born in Hrubieszow, Poland, and studied at the Catholic University of Lublin (Poland). He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Zamosc-Lubaczow, Poland, on June 6, 1998. He arrived in the Archdiocese of Detroit in 2004, and was incardinated into the archdiocese in 2012.

Fr. Pilus served as associate pastor of St. Angela Parish in Roseville (2007), St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Livonia (2007-09), and St. Therese of Lisieux Parish in Shelby Township (2009-10). He served as administrator of St. Suzanne-Our Lady Gate of Heaven Parish and SS. Peter and Paul (Westside) Parish in Detroit from 2010-12, and was named pastor of both parishes in 2012.

Fr. Pilus served at St. Suzanne-Our Lady Gate of Heaven until 2015, and continues to serve at SS. Peter and Paul (Westside) as a member of the In Solidum team of priests who pastor the Trinity 1 Family of Parishes.

Fr. Scott Thibodeau

Fr. Thibodeau, 51, was born in Detroit and attended the University of Michigan-Dearborn and Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit on May 30, 1998, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

He served as associate pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Farmington (1998-2001), and the National Shrine of the Little Flower Parish, Royal Oak (2001-03). Fr. Thibodeau was named pastor of St. Raphael Parish in Garden City (2003-09), and briefly served as administrator of St. Dunstan Parish in Garden City in 2007. He was pastor of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish in Beverly Hills (2009-17). In 2017, Fr. Thibodeau began serving as pastor of Our Lady of the Lakes Parish in Waterford, where he continues to serve as moderator of the Lakes 1 Family of Parishes. He also briefly served as administrator of St. Perpetua Parish in Waterford (2019-20), and St. Daniel Parish in Clarkston (2020).

Fr. Thibodeau has served as a member of the Priest Assignment Board (2011-13) and College of Consultors (since 2022).

Other jubilarians this year

In addition to those celebrating milestone jubilee years in 2023, Detroit Catholic and the Archdiocese of Detroit also honor all of those priests celebrating jubilees greater than 60 years. They are:

  • Fr. Francis Weingartz (69 years)
  • Fr. Daniel Complo (69 years)
  • Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton (67 years)
  • Cardinal Adam J. Maida (67 years)
  • Msgr. James Moloney (67 years)
  • Fr. Leo Sabourin (65 years)
  • Fr. Donald Walker (65 years)
  • Fr. Arnold D'Achille (64 years)
  • Fr. John Leo Phalen (64 years)
  • Fr. Lawrence Jackson (63 years)
  • Fr. Thomas Sutherland (63 years)
  • Fr. Joseph Gagnon (62 years)
  • Fr. Donald Worthy (61 years)


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