Newly-ordained priest cherishes chalice, paten donated by family

By Marnie McAllister, Record Assistant Editor

Father Nicholas Brown
Father Nicholas Brown

Father Nicholas Brown, who was ordained to the priesthood in May, has received a special chalice and paten from the family of a deceased priest. It’s a gift, he says, he cherishes.

The late Father Thomas P. Filiatreau, who was a native of Bardstown, Ky., was ordained to the priesthood on May 25, 1963. He died just 10 days later, on June 4, in a car accident. He and his mother were killed in a collision with a train after Mass at St. Aloysius Church in Pewee Valley, Ky.

Father Filiatreau’s family saved his chalice and paten these 50 years and presented them to the Archdiocese of Louisville Vocation Office during the presbyteral assembly in early June. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz celebrated Mass in memory of Father Filiatreau during the assembly and used this chalice.

Father Jeffrey Shooner, director of the Vocation Office and vicar for priests, said it took just a couple of hours to decide to give the chalice to Father Brown.

“I was very honored and privileged to get it,” Father Brown said last week. “It’s a real cool thing. It’s nice to have that tradition and continuity.”

It’s especially significant, Father Brown noted, because he discovered that he and Father Filiatreau were ordained on the same date, May 25, 50 years apart.

“I Googled his name and I found out this priest had the same ordination date as me 50 years ago,” Father Brown said. “That’s just an amazing coincidence.”

Father Brown has had the chalice and paten restored and engraved. The engraving includes his own name and that of Father Filitreau plus their dates of ordination.

Father Brown added that he’d like to see more priests leave their chalices for younger priests who succeed them, both because of the continuity such a gift represents and because chalices are expensive. He said a new chalice today — “a nice fancy one to use on Easter and other celebrations” — costs about $2,000.

“I’m making an arrangement so that when I die or retire it can go back into the archives” and be given to a priest who needs a chalice, he said.

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