By Ruby Thomas, Record Staff Writer
Priests of the Archdiocese of Louisville gathered May 22 at the Cathedral of the Assumption to honor 12 fellow priests celebrating jubilees.
The annual liturgy, celebrated by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, honored priests marking 25th, 50th and 60th anniversaries of ordination.
Conventual Franciscan Father Dismas Veeneman, who celebrated his 50th jubilee, delivered the homily.
Father Dismas shared with his fellow priests that as a young man he had big aspirations, but God led him where he really needed to be.
Father Veeneman drew laughter from the congregation of priest as he described his young man’s fantasy of being appointed bishop almost immediately after becoming a priest. In his “grandiose” plan, he’d even become pope, recalled Father Veeneman.
“In some ways, I find that being in this cathedral in the Archdiocese of Louisville is a bit ironic, because my journey to the priesthood, at least in my plan, was to begin at St. Thomas Seminary,” said Father Veeneman. That didn’t happen, he explained. Instead, he met a Franciscan brother and joined that congregation.
“What I have learned in the reality of how my life has played out is that God really does know what he is doing,” said Father Veeneman. “The path he chose for me being a Franciscan living in community is really where I should have been all along.”
Father Veeneman reminded his listeners to “leave a little space in our plan for God’s love.”
Father Veeneman was ordained Jan. 4, 1969. He served as associate pastor at Our Lady of Consolation Church. Father Veeneman currently serves as pastor of St. Paul Church on Dixie Highway.
In addition to Father Veeneman, the following priests were recognized:
Father Leon C. Spalding was ordained May 23, 1959. Father Spalding served as pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in LaGrange, Ky., and St. Dominic Church in Springfield, Ky. He also served as chaplain in the U.S. Army and at St. Joseph’s Infirmary. Father Spalding also served at the Kentucky Correctional Institute for Women and the Kentucky State Reformatory. He retired in 2003.
Dominican Father Luke Tancrell was ordained June 5, 1959. Father Tancrell currently serves in parochial ministry at St. Rose Church in Springfield, Ky.
Father Patrick D. Delahanty was ordained May 17, 1969, and served as pastor administrator of St. Charles Borromeo and Holy Cross churches. He served as administrator of St. Paul and St. Peter Claver churches and sacramental moderator at St. Joseph Church in Butchertown. Father Delahanty served as associate director and then executive director of the Catholic Conference of Kentucky. He also served as director of community services and director of migration and refugee services at Catholic Charities. He retired in 2014.
Father Kenneth R. Fortener was ordained May 17, 1969. Father Fortener served as pastor of Holy Name of Mary Church, in Calvary, Ky. He also served as pastor at St. Ann and St George churches before they merged to form St. Andrew Church where he also served. Father Fortner served as a judge on the Archdiocese of Louisville’s tribunal. He retired in 2018.
Conventual Franciscan Father Maurice C. Hayes was ordained Jan. 4, 1969. Father Hayes served as pastor of St. Paul Church on Dixie Highway. He currently serves as pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church. He will become pastor of St. Teresa of Calcutta Church starting June 19 while remaining pastor at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.
Father Robert E. Ray was ordained May 17, 1969. Father Ray served as pastor of St. John Vianney Church. He also served as pastor of St. Jerome and St. Mary churches before they merged to become Blessed Teresa of Calcutta where he also served. Father Ray served as director of the priests’ review board and spiritual director of the office of spirituality.
Passionist Father David Colhour was ordained April 17, 1994. In the Archdiocese of Louisville, Father Colhour is pastor of St. Agnes Church. He also has served in retreat ministry.
Father Mark M. Hamilton was ordained Aug. 6, 1994. Father Hamilton served as pastor of St. Martha Church, St. Augustine in Lebanon, Ky., and Holy Name of Mary Church in Calvary, Ky. He also served as an educator teaching at the Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Mich.
Father Donald M. Hill was ordained May 21, 1994. Father Hill served as associate pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church and as pastor of St. Albert the Great Church and St. Raphael Church. He also served as co-chaplain at Assumption High School.
Father Anthony C. Ngo was ordained May 17, 1994. Father Ngo serves as pastor of St. John Vianney Church where he also served as associate pastor. He also served as associate pastor of St. Jerome Church.
Father Joel S. Panzer was ordained May 21, 1994. Father Panzer serves as a chaplain in the U.S. Army. He is currently stationed in Ft. Knox.