By Marnie McAllister, Record Assistant Editor
Local clergy honored the ministry of nine priests Tuesday evening, May 20, during an intimate liturgy at the Cathedral of the Assumption.
The annual Presbyteral Jubilee Mass — attended primarily by clergy members — honors priests celebrating 25, 50 and 60 years of priesthood. This year’s honorees include Fathers John J. Butler and Robert E. Osborne who are marking 60 years since their ordinations.
Golden jubilarians this year are Fathers Joseph F. Hayden, Thomas A. Hommrich, James T. Mudd and J. Roy Stiles.
Three priests are celebrating their 25th anniversaries this year: Fathers Anthony L. Chandler, Expedito Muwonge and Troy D. Overton.
Father Overton, who delivered the homily at the celebration, spoke about the vocation of priests.
He called his listeners to contemplate the words spoken by Jesus in the day’s Gospel, words repeated during liturgies: “My peace I give you; peace be with you.”
“Jesus says it’s not the peace that the world gives you, it’s a peace that can only come from God,” he noted. “The world
seems to talk about peace as an absence of war, conflict. To be a part of the peace of God is to experience his divine love.
“And every time that we pray, every time we act on our vocation, not just as priests, but as Christians, we live out what it means to be a part of the peace of God,” he said. “It is the great vocation of all of us, particularly those of us who are priests, to see the peace that we bring by our ministry is always done in connection with the power of God.”
Father Overton added that a special part of the Christian vocation also is reconciliation — something that was important to him as he prepared for ordination 25 years ago.
“We’re all in need of reconciliation that only Christ can bring. And as priests, we are privileged ministers of that reconciliation, not just in the sacrament of reconciliation, but in the very life of the community, in our presence in the world, within the church and among God’s people,” he said.
Father Overton currently serves as pastor of St. Catherine Church in New Haven, Ky., and Immaculate Conception Church in Culvertown, Ky. He was ordained on Sept. 1, 1989, as a Conventual Franciscan. He was incardinated as a priest of the Archdiocese of Louisville in 2011. He also has served as associate pastor of the Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral in Bardstown, Ky.
Following is information about the other jubilarians honored during the Mass:
Father John J. Butler served as a teacher throughout his priestly life. He was ordained 60 years ago on May 8, 1954. He taught at Trinity High School, St. Thomas Seminary and Sacred Heart Academy. He also served as chaplain at the Ursuline Motherhouse and as associate pastor of St. Aloysius Church, Pewee Valley, Ky., and Immaculate Conception Church, LaGrange, Ky. He retired in June of 1997.
Father Robert E. Osborne was ordained on May 8, 1954. He served as a pastor throughout his ministry and taught at Trinity High School. He served as associate pastor of the old St. Benedict Church, St. Barnabas Church, the Cathedral of the Assumption, St. Martha Church and Our Lady of Lourdes Church. He served as pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Church in Louisville, St. Lawrence Church and Our Lady of Lourdes. He retired in 1998.
Father Joseph F. Hayden, ordained July 14, 1963, has served as a pastor, missionary, a teacher at Trinity High School and St. Thomas Seminary and on the Archdiocese of Louisville’s Metropolitan Tribunal. He served as associate pastor of St. Edward Church, Ascension Church and St. James Church in Louisville. He also served as judicial vicar of the Archdiocese of Louisville and as pastor of St. Dominic Church in Springfield, Ky. In 1993, he went to Peru as a missionary. He retired in 2008 and returned to Peru in 2009.
Father Thomas A. Hommrich, ordained July 25, 1964, served primarily as a pastor before his retirement in 2008. He served as associate pastor of Holy Family Church, St. Vincent de Paul in Louisville, St. Augustine Church in Lebanon, Ky., Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church, Holy Spirit Church, St. Ignatius Martyr Church, St. Leonard Church, Our Mother of Sorrows Church and St. Rita Church. He served as pastor of Holy Family, Holy Spirit Church in Jamestown, Ky., St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, St. Mary Church in Hillview and St. Luke Church.
Father James T. Mudd, ordained May 23, 1963, has served as a pastor, a spiritual director and a teacher at Trinity High School. He was assigned as associate pastor to St. Bernard Church in Louisville, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Campbellsville, Ky., St. Margaret Mary Church, Christ the King Church and St. Gabriel Church. He served as pastor at Our Lady of the Hills in Finley, Ky., Incarnation Church and Our Lady of Mercy Church in Hodgenville, Ky. He also served as administrator of St. Ann Church in Howardstown, Ky. As a spiritual director, he served divorced Catholics. He retired in 2007.
Father J. Roy Stiles, ordained Dec. 18, 1963, studied at the North American College in Rome and witnessed the early public proceedings of the Second Vatican Council. In the Archdiocese of Louisville, he served as associate pastor of St. Thomas More, St. Rita, Mother of Good Counsel and St. Athanasius churches. He served as pastor of St. Stephen Martyr,
St. John Vianney and St. Elizabeth of Hungary churches. He served as administrator of St. Leo the Great and St. Jerome churches.
Father Stiles also taught at St. Thomas, was chaplain for Holy Rosary Academy and directed the permanent diaconate program. He retired in 2009, but currently serves as the vicar for senior priests.
Father Anthony L. Chandler, ordained May 27, 1989, is currently the pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in LaGrange, Ky. After ordination, he served as associate pastor of St. Martha Church. He also served as pastor of Holy Family, St. Bartholomew, St. John the Apostle in Brandenburg, Ky., and St. Martin of Tours Church in Flaherty, Ky. He has served as administrator of St. Raphael Church, as co-chaplain of St. Xavier High School and served briefly with the Archdiocese for the Military.
Father Expedito Muwonge, a native of Uganda, was ordained on Aug. 20, 1989. He came to the United States as a supplying priest for the Diocese of South Bend, Ind., in 2004. He was experienced in working with those with diseases and those who are dying, a background which led him to train as a hospital chaplain, he told The Record during an interview in 2011. He has served in the Archdiocese of Louisville since 2009 as a chaplain at Norton, Kosair Children’s and Norton Suburban hospitals. He also has assisted with Masses at St. James and St. Brigid churches.