Priests gather for presbyteral jubilee Mass

The seven priests marking presbyteral jubilees concelebrated Mass with Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz at the Cathedral of the Assumption May 14. From left, they are Fathers Lawrence J. Gelthaus, Father Gary M. Fukes, Kenneth L. Kamber, Donald L. Ryan, Trumie Culpepper Elliott and Scott J. Wimsett. (Record Photos by Jessica Able)
The seven priests marking presbyteral jubilees concelebrated Mass with Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz at the Cathedral of the Assumption May 14. (Record Photos by Jessica Able)

By Jessica Able, Record Staff Writer

Seven priests serving in the Archdiocese of Louisville celebrated jubilee years in the priesthood May 14 at the Cathedral of the Assumption.

Father Kennth L. Kamber celebrated his 60th year as a priest. Fathers Donald L. Ryan and William F. Wagner were celebrating their golden jubilees.

And, Fathers Trumie Culpepper Elliott, Gary M. Fukes, Lawrence J. Gelthaus and Scott J. Wimsett all marked their silver presbyteral jubilees.

The seven priests marking jubilees concelebrated the annual jubilee Mass with Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz.

The seven priests marking presbyteral jubilees concelebrated Mass with Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, center, at the Cathedral of the Assumption May 14. From left, they are Fathers Lawrence J. Gelthaus, Gary M. Fukes, Kenneth L. Kamber, Donald L. Ryan, Trumie Culpepper Elliott and Scott J. Wimsett. Father William F. Wagner is pictured on page 8.
The seven priests marking presbyteral jubilees concelebrated Mass with Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, center, at the Cathedral of the Assumption May 14. From left, they are Fathers Lawrence J. Gelthaus, Gary M. Fukes, Kenneth L. Kamber, Donald L. Ryan, Trumie Culpepper Elliott and Scott J. Wimsett.

During the homily, Father Wimsett, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church, reflected on the witness of St. Matthias, whose feast day was celebrated Tuesday.

“Tonight as we are gathered to reflect on our priesthood we are called to witness. And in the Gospel tonight, we are called to love,” Father Wimsett said. “He (St. Matthias) followed the example Jesus set and therefore we remember him tonight. And you and I are called to do the very same thing.”

Father Wimsett remarked on the simple life of Matthias and said the saint was a true role model.

“As we hear his words tonight he urges us forth to do what he did. And it’s simple. To love,” said Father Wimsett.

Father Wimsett was ordained to the priesthood on May 28, 1988. He has served as pastor of St. Francis Xavier Church in Mt. Washington, Ky. and All Saints Church in Taylorsville, Ky.

The other jubilarians and their assignments are listed below.

  • Father Kamber was ordained May 30, 1953. In his 60 years of ministry, he has served at a host of parishes.
    He was associate pastor of Holy Cross Church, St. Gregory Church, Samuels, Ky., St. Leonard Church and St. James Church in Elizabethtown, Ky.
    He was the founding pastor of St. Mary Church in Hillview, Ky. Additionally, Father Kamber was pastor of St. Martha Church and St. Benedict Church in Lebanon Junction, Ky.
    He served as administrator of St. John the Baptist Church in Rineyville, Ky., St. Ambrose Church in Cecilia, Ky., and St. Clare Church in Colesburg, Ky.
    Shortly before his retirement in 1997, Father Kamber served as the archdiocese’s Vicar for Clergy. Currently, he is a senior associate at St. Michael Church.
  • Father Ryan was ordained May 25, 1963. He has served as pastor of St. Gregory Church in Samuels, St. Michael Church in Fairfield, Ky., and St. Denis Church.
    Father Ryan also has served as chaplain at Ormsby Village Treatment Center, Sts. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital, Brooklawn Treatment Center and Nazareth Home. He retired in 2008.
  • Father William F. Wagner, left, sat with Father Jeff Nicolas, pastor of the Cathedral of the Assumption, during the annual jubilee Mass for priests. Father Wagner was celebrating his golden jubilee.
    Father William F. Wagner, left, sat with Father Jeff Nicolas, pastor of the Cathedral of the Assumption, during the annual jubilee Mass for priests. Father Wagner was celebrating his golden jubilee.

    Father Wagner also was ordained on May 25, 1963. He was a teacher at Bishop David High School. And he has served as the secretary of the archdiocese at the chancery and later as the chancellor. Father Wagner served as pastor of St. James and Sts. Simon and Jude churches. He retired in 2007.

  • Father Elliott was ordained May 28, 1988. Since 2003, he has served as pastor of St. Dominic Church in Springfield, Ky. He also has served as pastor of St. Gregory Church in Samuels.
  • Father Gelthaus, also ordained May 28, 1988, has served as chaplain of Assumption High School and as pastor of Emmanuel Church in Albany, Ky.
    Father Gelthaus has also ministered to the Hispanic community in Tompkinsville, Ky. He is currently pastor of Christ the Healer Church in Edmonton, Ky., and Christ the King Church in Tompkinsville.
  • Father Fukes was ordinained June 4, 1988, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse, N.Y. He is currently a military chaplain at Fort Knox.

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