Diocesan Priests Mark Jubilees
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
May 10, 2018
ROCKFORD—Priests from across the diocese gathered to honor priest jubilarians and to celebrate the priesthood itself at a Mass and luncheon on May 1 at St. Rita Parish.
 
It was the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, and Bishop David Malloy brought thoughts about the saint and the priesthood together in his homily.
 
In looking at the life and work of St. Joseph, the bishop noted that “until that time when he was called home, he worked.”
2018 Priest Jubilarians
 
Priests of the Rockford Diocese celebrating are:
 
60 years: Father James McKitrick, Msgr. Thomas Monahan, Father Frank Timar, MSC
 
50 years: Father William Budden, Father Karl Ganss, Father Jerome Leake
 
25 years: Father Howard Barch, Msgr. Glenn Nelson, Father Andres Salinas
 
10 years: Father Matthew DeBlock, Father Thomas Doyle, Father John Gow, Father Adrian Ladines, SSS, Father David Reese, Father Slawomir Zimodro
He reflected on a thought he once read, which asked if Joseph was “one of those exceptional kinds of carpenters” or if he was “just a very average carpenter?” 
 
From that angle, Bishop Malloy pondered Joseph’s more important qualities: “that effort then of his constant faithfulness, of his responsiveness in his work, of his being on time, of all of those other elements that make one the truly loyal and faithful servant, but not the most heralded.”
 
The work of priests have similarities to that of the saint, he explained.
 
“Joseph was first and foremost the foster father, the guardian to whom Jesus was entrusted,” the bishop said. “Our priesthood ... first and foremost receives Jesus entrusted to us for all of those years, especially in the Eucharist.  (It is) Jesus Himself, to be loved, to be adored, to be cared for, and to be given to others.”
 
Such a reflection is interesting, Bishop Malloy continued, “because ... if we hold ourselves up to be only the one with the most effective programs and projects, it would overlook the greater gift, the greater calling that has been given to us as priests — which is to be faithful, which is to pray, which is to be available to the people and to love them.”
 
He pointed also to the “humility of Joseph.” 
 
For priests, he said, “It can’t just be an internal humility, as important as that is. It’s a humility that is meant to be seen and recognized, especially by the faithful ...
 
“There may be great stories ... really important projects ... all kinds of accomplishments, but the greatest gift of priesthood is one of fidelity, trustworthiness, always available, always on time, always praying —  that’s what unifies us in this month of St. Joseph.
 
“We all share this. We all, whatever our years of service, need to foster that. But especially this morning, brother jubilarians, thank you for living and displaying in your priesthood the sincere love that Joseph had for Christ and for the Church.”