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placeholder July 10, 2017   •   VOL. 55, NO. 13   •   Oakland, CA

Salute to our veteran priests
With this issue, The Catholic Voice salutes and thanks the religious men who have devoted their lives to serving the people of God. In the following pages, we honor parish priests who have given anywhere from 25 to 60 years in service of the Lord. Join us in offering them our thanks.

60 Years of Priestly Ministry

Rev. Msgr. Daniel E. Cardelli

Birthplace: Fall River, Massachusetts

Ordination: June 15, 1957
St. Mary's Cathedral, San Francisco

Present ministry: Pastor Emeritus

Past service: Parochial vicar, St. John Vianney Church, San Jose; St. Leo Church, San Jose; Santa Maria Church, Orinda; St. Bede Church, Hayward; Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Oakland. Pastor, St. Peter Martyr of Verona Church, Pittsburg; St. Isidore Church, Danville. Vicar for Retired Priests, Diocese of Oakland. Founding member of Presbyteral Council, Diocese of Oakland. Diocesan Consultor. Founded SOS (Sources of Support), ministry to divorced men and women. Diocesan Chaplain, Italian Catholic Federation, Oakland. Chaplain, Italian Catholic Federation Branch 352, Danville; Knights of Columbus, Council 4060; Young Ladies Institute, Pittsburg and Danville; Young Men's Institute, Pittsburg. Spiritual Director (National Chaplain), Italian Catholic Federation. 4th Degree Knight of Columbus. Knights of Holy Sepulchre. Member of Young Men's Institute, Pittsburg.

With great insight into his priestly vocation at the occasion of his fiftieth anniversary of ordination, Monsignor Cardelli exclaimed: "The life of a priest is hard work, but most fulfilling. I cannot think of anything else I would rather be than a priest of Jesus Christ. The role is never boring or dull. It is exciting because, as a priest, I deal with peoples' lives from the moment of birth to the day of death. My greatest joy and strength come from the privilege and awe of celebrating Mass. I said 'Wow' 50 years ago and I still say 'Wow' today!"

As I celebrate 60 years of service to the Lord, the "wow factor" still remains my strength and my joy every day.

Biography written by Monsignor Raymond Breton on the occasion of Father Cardelli being made a Prelate of Honor by Pope Benedict XVI (edited)

Monsignor was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of San Francisco on June 15, 1957 by the Most Reverend Hugh A. Donohoe, Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco. The roots of his outstanding priestly qualities can be traced to the very beginning of his life. His parents, Angelo and Faustina (Chicca) Cardelli, were both devoted Italian Catholics who imbued their son with a love for the Church and with pride in his Italian heritage. Both traits would flower in the exercise of his priesthood.

Monsignor Cardelli began his early education in Fall River, Massachusetts, where he was born. When his family moved to California in 1946, he was enrolled in Serra Catholic High School in San Mateo. He quickly demonstrated his leadership and his natural camaraderie as his fellow students elected him senior class president and captain of the varsity football team. Monsignor is noted for being the very first vocation to the priesthood from Serra.

Prayerfully attentive to the Lord's call, Monsignor Cardelli entered St. Joseph College Seminary in Mountain View in 1948 at the age of seventeen. In 1951 he continued his preparation for the priesthood at St. Patrick Major Seminary in Menlo Park.

Monsignor Cardelli served as Parochial Vicar in five successive parishes between 1957 and 1970. He assumed the office of Pastor of St. Peter Martyr Parish in Pittsburg in 1970. He served multiple terms as a member of the Presbyteral Council, the College of Consultors, the Priests' Personnel Board, the Priests' Retirement Board and Vicar Forane. In addition, he served, and still serves, as Chaplain and Spiritual Director of the Italian Catholic Federation, the Knights of Columbus, the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, Young Men's Institute, Young Ladies Institute and the Ministry to Priests Program.

Rev. Thomas Lester

Birthplace: Portland, Oregon

Ordination: July 2, 1957
Redemptorist, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

Incardinated: January 17, 1985
Diocese of Oakland

Present ministry: Retired

Past service: Redemptorist: Teacher/missionary work, Holy Redeemer College, Oakland. Working with the Cursillo movement in the Bay Area. Chaplain, Saint Mary's College, Moraga. Campus ministry, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho and Billings, Montana. Pastor, St. Alphonsus Liguori Parish, San Leandro

Diocese of Oakland: Associate pastor, St. Leo Parish, Oakland; St. Joachim Parish, Hayward; Santa Maria Parish, Orinda; St. Leander Parish, San Leandro. Pastor, St. Leo Parish, Oakland.

In the Latin Mass which we said when I was first ordained, after the priest took the host and prepared to receive the precious blood, he said, quietly to himself,

What shall I give to the Lord in return for all that He has given to me?

I shall accept the chalice of salvation and call on the Lord's name.

With Praise I shall call on the Lord's name and I shall be saved from my enemies.

It was left to the priest to identify "his enemies," as, for instance, my own recalcitrant inclinations.

Those Latin words still come to my lips and stir my heart as I complete 60 years as a priest. I have so much for which to thank the Lord! Take three examples, symbols of the ministry that has defined my priesthood.

There is Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, John XXIII, a man whose Christian faith and love and warmth immediately captured the affection of the world. Through Pope John, the Lord has given us the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, the challenge to learn again what it means to be a follower of Christ in a new and different age.

As we grow stale and our response to the challenge of reform bogs down, the Lord gives us Jorge Mario Bergoglio who introduces himself by his first title, Bishop of Rome. These popes called us to fidelity to our Christian Tradition as faithfully as the other popes of our modern times. But John and Francis have spoken with their way of living as truly as with their words. They call us to the continuing change of heart that moves us to our renewal and reform, to a deeper change of heart in a way that moves us to an eager response.

In this praise and thanks to the Lord for these 60 years of priestly ministry, I include my thanks to you, his holy people who have so often taught me how to live his Gospel and have supported me through its challenges and joys. I include my deep gratitude to the priests of our diocese and priests of the dioceses around the area who have challenged me with their example and have supported me with their friendship.

Thanks to the Lord and praise his holy name!

50 Years of Priestly Ministry

Rev. Ronald Clemo, SJ

Birthplace: San Francisco

Ordination: June 2, 1967
St. Ignatius Church, San Francisco

Present ministry: Chaplain, St. Elizabeth High School, Oakland

Past service: Teacher, St. Ignatius College Preparatory, San Francisco. Assistant principal, Student Affairs, Bellarmine College Preparatory, San Jose; College guidance director, Bellarmine College Preparatory, San Jose; teacher, Bellarmine College Preparatory, San Jose.

The Priesthood has been an amazing ride over these 50 years. I have been inspired to always do better by so many students and penitents. I have always enjoyed the sacramental experiences in baptizing children, officiating at weddings, especially those of my former students, hearing confessions, and leading liturgies in various settings. Learning to help others is a big part of this vocation. I have found out how important it is to be a listener in meeting with people seeking guidance, spiritual or otherwise. Pope Francis has missioned us to stress the joy of the Gospels in our ministry, which I think is important in today's world. As priests we have to be conscious of how vital it is to make a difference in peoples' lives, in my case especially the young, working with them has been my role in life for nearly 50 years. I pray for more vocations, and for my fellow priests.

Rev. Paul Conner, OP

Birthplace: Leadville, Colorado

June 16, 1967
St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, Oakland

Present ministry: Retired, St. Albert's Priory, Oakland

Past service: Assistant and associate professor, Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, Berkeley. Associate professor, University of San Francisco; Silver Lake College, Manitowoc, Wisconsin; The University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome, Italy; Providence College, Providence, Rhode Island.

My experience of being a priest has been very peaceful and positive. I have been a college teacher of moral and spiritual theology most of my 50 years as a priest. Students have been very interested in coming to grasp the Catholic faith on an adult level. They have been happy to discover answers to their questions that are objective and satisfying. My goal has been to offer them a setting respectful of their questions and the opportunity to investigate their questions in a spirit of intellectual honesty. They have come to respect the centuries-old Catholic wisdom that is open to continual harmonious unfolding. The student response over the years has been a source of priestly contentment.

I have also enjoyed a briefer parochial ministry. To celebrate daily Mass and to preach. To prepare people for marriage, baptism, and the Eucharist has been very satisfying. To counsel people struggling in one way or another to develop the virtues that will let them live the Catholic life has been rewarding. I can imagine no other life calling that offers such fulfillment, and I thank God for my vocation.

Rev. Seamus J. Farrell

Birthplace: Ireland

Ordination: March 18, 1967 Birmingham, England

Present ministry: Pastor, St. Bede Parish, Hayward

Past service: Associate pastor, All Saints Parish, Hayward; St. John the Baptist Parish, San Lorenzo. Administrator, St. John the Baptist Parish, San Lorenzo.

My personal sense of awe and wonderment at the mystery of the Priesthood has increased over the years. The realization that it is Christ's priesthood that I and many others share in, is a constant reminder that it is a privilege given, not a right, and with it a corresponding responsibility and accountability to the Lord Himself. It is an essential gift of service to His people on a shared journey of faith toward the eternal destiny, God has called us to. To be God's instrument in this sacred way, which encompasses our own individuality, limitations, weaknesses and sinfulness is a most profound mystery. To be a laborer in the Lord's vineyard has become increasingly a labor of love, rather than a burden.

To be a priest today, like many before us, does face new challenges – yet, as always, the permanence and transcendence of the Lord mysteriously brings us through with confidence and hope. His Eucharistic presence is an essential part of this. The love of His Mother, Mary cannot but give us hope and comfort. I thank the Lord for this and for those with whom I have journeyed with over these past 50 years.

Rev. Msgr. Joseph Ferraro

Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Ordination: May 20, 1967
Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, Baltimore, Maryland

Present ministry: Retired, assists at Holy Cross Parish, Palmetto, Florida.

Past service: Teacher, DeMatha Catholic High School, Hyattsville, Maryland. Commissioned an Officer in the USN followed by Chaplains School, Newport, Rhode Island. Ordered to the Third Marine Division, Vietnam, followed by duty with the 3rd Battalion 4th Marines, Okinawa. Chaplain, Rahway State Prison, Rahway, New Jersey; US Coast Guard Training Center, Petaluma; Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni, Japan; Construction Battalion Center-Seabees, Port Hueneme, California; Naval Support Activity, Naples, Italy; Oakland Naval Hospital, Oakland; (aircraft carrier) USS Carl Vinson, Alameda. Promoted to Captain (1986). Command Chaplain, US Pacific Submarine Force, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego; Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, California; US Naval Forces, Rota, Spain.

"Seasoned traveler" might be an understatement to describe Rev. Msgr. Ferraro. Born in Philadelphia in 1942, as a young man he attended Holy Trinity College and St. Mary's Seminary, both in Baltimore. He was ordained to the priesthood May 20, 1967, at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore, Maryland.

But it would seem he did not set down an anchor in one place. His curriculum vitae includes service at Rahway State Prison, which is now known as East Jersey State Prison in Rahway, New Jersey, St. James Parish in Trenton, New Jersey and DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland.

In 1969 he was commissioned an officer in the U.S. Navy, which led to a 30-year career as a Naval chaplain. After Chaplains School in Newport, Rhode Island, he was ordered to the Third Marine Division in Vietnam. After duty there, he followed the 3rd Battalion 4th Marines to Okinawa, Japan.

From 1971 to 1973, he was ordered to serve as chaplain to the U.S. Coast Guard Training Center in Petaluma. From there he served three years as chaplain to Marine Corps Air Station in Iwakuni, Japan.

From 1976 to 1979, he served as chaplain to Construction Battalion Center — Seabees — in Port Hueneme, California, then was selected for postgraduate studies in counseling at University of California, Berkeley.

After that year, he served two years as chaplain at the naval Support Activity in Naples, Italy. He returned stateside in 1982 to serve as chaplain at Oakland Naval Hospital, and after a year, was selected to serve as chaplain on the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in Alameda.

His orders then took him to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where he served as command chaplain to the U.S. Pacific Submarine Force from 1986 to 1990. In 1989, he was promoted to the rank of captain.

From 1990 to 1993, he was selected to serve as command chaplain for the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, and then served for three years as command chaplain for the Marine Corps Air Station in El Toro, California.

His last assignment before retiring from the U.S. Navy was 1996 to 1999, when he served as command chaplain for U.S. Naval Forces in Rota, Spain. It was in 1999 that he was selected by St. John Paul II as honorary prelate, garnering the title of monsignor. That year he was also awarded the Legion of Merit, a military award of the U.S. armed forces that is given for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements.

One of the highlights of Monsignor Ferraro's career happened in 1979 when, in his words, "with God's help" Navy Lt. Cmdr. Ferraro saved the lives of three members of a Philippine family. An Oxnard woman barricaded herself in her home and held three family members hostage for hours. The police tried unsuccessfully to contact the woman. Rev. Joseph Ferraro was called in and credited with disarming the distraught woman and the incident ended peacefully. He was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps medal for heroism.

Rev. Msgr. Ferraro continues to serve the Church in his retirement by assisting at Holy Cross Parish in Palmetto, Florida.

Rev. Richard A. Mangini

Birthplace: Concord

Ordination: May 17, 1967
Most Precious Blood Church, Concord
(now known as St. Francis of Assisi Church)

Present ministry: Pastor, St. Bonaventure Church, Concord

Past service: Director of Strategic Planning, Diocese of Oakland. Pastor, St. Leander Church, San Leandro. Administrator, St. Charles Borromeo Church, Livermore. Editor, The Catholic Voice newspaper, Diocese of Oakland. Journalism Studies UCB, St. Patrick, Rodeo. Parochial vicar, Santa Maria Church, Orinda; Church of the Assumption, San Leandro.

"I would have to blame, God." I received my vocation as a small child, perhaps when I started Sunday morning Catechism classes in the old wooden Queen of All Saints Church, Concord in the early 1940s. Those were very pious days of a "settled church." Everything in its proper place until the Free Speech Movements of the mid-sixties.

I breathed in the fresh air of the Second Vatican Council. I have championed innovative church thinking, bringing lay men and women into ministry, enabling Catholics to think, inviting Catholics into a more profound faith and personal relationship with Jesus.

Over the years, I have tried to meet the spiritual and personal needs of thousands of people. I have worked hard and long hours. I see the role of the priest to be a channel of God's life, love and mercy and to encourage the Catholic faithful to be and to do the same. I have enjoyed every moment as a priest and a pastor.

40 Years of Priestly Ministry

Rev. Robert W. Charm

Birthplace: Oakland

Ordination: April 22, 1977
St. Lawrence O'Toole Church, Oakland

Present ministry: Retired, San Francisco

Past service: Associate pastor, St. Joseph Parish, Pinole; St. Leander Parish, San Leandro; Church of the Good Shepherd, Pittsburg; St. Joachim Parish, Hayward. Pastor, St. Lawrence O'Toole Church, Oakland.

The greatest development in my life of faith was coming to an understanding of the enlightened teachings of the second Vatican Council. The wisdom of these reforms became clear to me: as Chair of my parish Liturgy Committee and member of the Liturgical Commission of the Diocese of Peoria; through the implementation of each of the liturgical reforms; the explanation of them to the people, and the joy and enthusiasm with which they were received.

However, I realized that I was called to expand this ministry as a member of the clergy. As such I was able to share in the joy of God's people when they celebrated the great events of their lives in the context of the renewed Rites — through which they celebrated the presence of the risen Lord in their lives and in the Church.

The most complex of this renewal were the Rites of Christian Initiation. Having learned the process that these rites celebrated from Dr. Christiane Brusselmans, and with the encouragement of Rev. R. Mangini, we at St. Leander's were the first parish in Northern California to enroll parishioners into the Order of Catechumens in 1979. Through this experience I was able to explain Christian Initiation to parishes in this and other dioceses.

As chair of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission's Committee on Christian Initiation we were able to publish the first diocesan guidelines on the process of Christian Initiation in the U.S.

Bringing the celebration of the renewed Liturgy to the People of God was of great spiritual enrichment to me personally, and in times of ministerial difficulties — it has always been the Lord and His people who have supported me.

When the leadership of the Church decided to return to a medieval perspective, I realized that my mission had ended and I retired.

I live now in joyful hope for the return of the Liturgy to the vernacular and the Coming of the Lord.

Rev. Fernando J. Cortez

Birthplace: Oakland

Ordination: October 21, 1977
St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, Oakland

Present ministry: Pastor, St. Jerome Parish, El Cerrito

Past service: Pastor, St. Anthony Parish, Oakley; St. Lawrence O'Toole Parish, Oakland; St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Concord; St. Albert Parish, Alameda. Parochial vicar, St. John the Baptist Parish, El Cerrito; St. Bede Parish, Hayward; St. Peter Martyr Parish, Pittsburg; St. Agnes Parish, Concord; St. Leander Parish, San Leandro; All Saints Parish, Hayward. Vocations director, Diocese of Oakland. Diocesan spiritual director, Cursillo Movement, Diocese of Oakland.

Thank you, family and priests, for supporting my priestly vocation. Thank you, Sulpician Priests of St. Patrick Seminary, for accepting me. I was educated in public schools. Most of my classmates were "lifers," men who entered at fourteen years of age! I had to learn fast.

The Seminary Pastoral Formation program provided the full energy of the Second Vatican Council in action. At Our Lady of the Rosary, Fathers George Crespin and Tony Valdivia provided inspiration to commit to the priesthood. Gracias!

Parish ministry is my vocation, but I want to acknowledge the power of the Cursillo Movement. Thank you Cursillo community for your friendship! I thank Sister Felicia Sarati, CSJ Orange, for her welcome to the Chautauqua liturgies and the Ethnic Catholic communities of Oakland.

Priesthood develops through challenges and opportunities. I prepared to serve English- and Spanish-speaking faithful. Thanks to the Portuguese faithful who accepted me as well. Finally, my gratitude to all the women leaders of the Church for your collaboration and leadership over the years!

Rev. Michael J. Dodds, OP

Birthplace: Des Moines, Iowa

Ordination: April 23, 1977
St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, Oakland

Present ministry: Vicar Provincial, Western Dominican Province. Professor of Theology, Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, Berkeley.

Past service: Teacher, Saint Mary's College, Moraga. Academic Dean, Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, Berkeley. Student Master, Western Dominican Province, Oakland.

When I think of my vocation, the word that comes to mind is "service" — following Christ, the high Priest, who came "not to be served but to serve." I have found priestly ministry both exulting and humbling. Often, I have been awed to see the power of the Spirit reaching out through the sacraments (and sometimes through what seems a rather patched together homily) to touch God's people deeply. At such moments, it is not hard to see one is a mere instrument, a stub of pencil God picks up to write a word of love to his people. I have a deep gratitude for my vocation to Dominican life and priesthood and for the many ways I have been nourished through the deep faith, wisdom and love of those whom I am called to serve.

Rev. John Fernandes

Birthplace: Woburn, Massachusetts

Ordination date: April 22, 1977
St. Lawrence O'Toole Church, Oakland

Present ministry: Retired (assist in the Diocese of Oakland and Diocese of Las Vegas)

Past service: Pastoral Year, St. Edward Church, Newark. Deacon, St. Clement Church, Hayward. Parochial vicar, St. Anthony Church, Oakland; St. Leo the Great Church, Oakland; St. Paul Church, San Pablo; St. John the Baptist Church, San Lorenzo; Immaculate Mary Cathedral, St. George, Grenada; Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Brentwood. Parochial administrator, Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Union City; St. Anne Church, Byron; St. Benedict Church, Oakland. Pastor, St. Peter Martyr of Verona Church, Pittsburg; St. Cyril Church, Oakland; St. Paschal Baylon Church, Oakland. Diocese of Montego Bay: Pastor, Holy Name of Jesus Church, Bamboo; Holy Spirit Church, Clardeon; Sacred Heart Church, Concord; St. Anthony Church, Moneaque.

"Aspire to Inspire . . . . Before You Expire," Rev. John Fernandes

I recall my mother's memory of a childhood experience. "John, you played being a priest with your younger brothers and sisters." At the age of nine, I remember a religious order sister who gave me a first communion picture, which featured Christ offering communion to a young boy. It was framed in blue glass and imprinted in my memory. As a young adult, arriving late for the midnight Christmas Mass, I tried to make my way through a crowd in the vestibule. As I approached the entrance of the nave, an elderly lady stepped aside, greeted me as "Father" and excused herself. After serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer, a middle-aged-priest asked me to consider priestly service. All of these experiences and many more, supported my call to consider priesthood as a lifestyle. To this day, my heartfelt joy and spiritual stability are reflections of God's Will, Christ's Call and The Holy Spirit's Guidance's through the "People of God." Therefore, I am thankful for all who have and continue to support vocations for the needs of The Church.

25 Years of Priestly Ministry

Rev. Eduardo Fernandez, SJ

Birthplace: El Paso, Texas

Ordination date: July 25, 1992
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, El Paso, Texas

Present ministry: Professor of Pastoral Theology and Ministry at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University, Berkeley

Past service: Parochial vicar, Sacred Heart Church, El Paso, Texas.

As I look back to the graces of the last twenty-five years of priesthood, I am immediately taken back to the eve of that jubilant occasion when, in making a list of those receiving invitations, I was tearfully overcome by an immense feeling of gratitude to God for all the people whose lives had touched mine, vividly revealing the face of a faithful God. Twenty-five years later, from the blessed family who raised me, to teachers, friends and companions on the journey, I feel the same gratitude, only times twenty-five! The peace and consolation I experience presiding at Jesus' Eucharistic table, preaching the Word, baptizing with life-giving waters, hearing confessions, witnessing the holiness of the sacrament of matrimony, anointing the sick and dying, the holy energy in the classroom, and simply being invited to walk with people as they encounter the Spirit in their lives, have all been sheer, unmerited, seamless, grace.

Rev. Joseph Antony Sebastian, SVD

Birthplace: Kadiapatanam, Tamil Nadu, India

Ordination: May 2, 1992
Kadiapatanam, Tamil Nadu, India

Present ministry:
Pastor, St. Joachim Church, Hayward

Past service:
Co-pastor, Motakondur, Nalgonda (Diocese) A.P., India. Visiting lecturer in Philosophy, Vidya Niketan, Mysore, India. Pastor, St. John De Britto Church, Bayyaram, Hyderabas (Diocese), India. Principal, St. Arnold's Jr. College, Mederametla, India; St. Mary's High School, Sadashivpet, Medak (Dt), A.P., India; St. Clare High School, Ramagundan, A.P., India. Pastor, St. Thomas Church, Sadashivpet, Hyderabad (Diocese), A.P., India. SVD District Superior, Sangareddy region, A.P., India. Pastor, Kundrathur Catholic Mission, Chenglepet (Diocese), T.N., India. Co-pastor, Mission San Antonio de Pala, Pala, California (San Diego Diocese).

I was born in Kadiapatanam, located in the southern-most part of India. It is a big village of fishermen who are Catholics. The entire village was converted to Catholicism by St. Francis Xavier in 1544. Since the entire village is Catholic, the pastor is not only the head of the church but also of the entire village. Like most children in the village, I too, went regularly for the daily Mass. When I was studying 4th standard, one day while waiting for the daily Mass to begin, our pastor, coming from the confessional asked me to stand up. With fear I stood up thinking that he was going to punish me for some mischief I must have done the previous day. Contrary to my thinking, he told me to go to the sacristy to dress up and serve at the Mass. From that day on until I finished VII grade, I served as an altar boy every day with so much of dedication. Immediately after I completed my VII grade, an SVD priest who was assigned to our village to undergo pastoral experience asked me whether I wanted to become a priest. When I expressed my desire to go to seminary to my family, they reluctantly agreed to my wish since I was the last of the five children.

Taking into consideration my excellent academic performance in different universities, our Society wanted me to be a professor in the seminary and began to train me. I was given the task of teaching Philosophy to our seminarians even while studying Theology. However, immediately after my ordination, when one of our mission parishes was closed due to some problem, I was requested by my superiors to go there for a year and to revive the parish. With the grace of God, when I succeeded to solve the problem, my superiors requested me to take up educational apostolate so that I could be always available in the mission. That proposal took me to a new direction in my field of ministry — to the field of school education and parish ministry, which I truly enjoyed. I am so grateful to my superiors who, right from the beginning of my priesthood, felt confident in me and entrusted to me important parishes and schools. And I think I did not disappoint them.

While serving as the principal of one of our high schools in India I was asked by the provincial here in California whether I would be interested to come to the United States and work. As usual I said "yes" and that brought me to the U.S. I served as an associate pastor for a year and a half in Pala, San Diego diocese. In June 2011 I was transferred to St. Joachim Church in Hayward as the pastor. It is such a joy to serve as the pastor of St. Joachim Church where people are so affectionate, generous and full of faith. To be a priest and to lead the people in prayer and worship is what I enjoy the most. And I thank God for choosing me and providing me that exceptional opportunity.

Other Jubilarians

The following priests who have served in the Oakland diocese are also observing a major anniversary of ordination this year:

60 years
Rev. Sean Murray, CSSR

50 years
Rev. Michael A. Joyce

40 years
Rev. Michael Robert Carey, OP
Rev. Edward Leo Krasevac, OP
Rev. Henry Ormond, O Carm
Rev. Fred A. Riccio

25 years
Rev. Bruce Kevin Cecil, CSC
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