This year’s jubilarians will celebrate at a later date, but their sacrifice for God and the Archdiocese of Detroit has stood the test of time

DETROIT — Normally, the month of June is a celebration for priests celebrating milestone jubilees of their ordination in the Archdiocese of Detroit. 

This year was no different. 

What is different is that this year’s 48 jubilarians weren’t able to gather for a traditional Mass and in-person celebration — at least not yet — because of the ongoing pandemic.

In a letter written to this year’s jubilarians, Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron said these priests “have used the gifts with which the Lord Jesus endowed them for decades, and I am confident that God will reward them for their service.”

The archbishop said the annual celebratory Mass “is one of the more important times we gather as a presbyterate,” and said he looks forward to gathering “sometime in the future, when this disturbing time is behind us.”

“Our brothers are making a great sacrifice, since they cannot celebrate with a parish community and with their family and friends,” the archbishop said. 

For their many decades of selfless sacrifice and counsel, for their celebration of countess sacraments on behalf of the faithful, and for their friendship to the people of God in the Archdiocese of Detroit, Detroit Catholic honors this year’s priest jubilarians and thanks them for answering God’s call.

This year’s priests are celebrating a combined 2,395 years of service in the Lord’s vineyard. They are:

60th Anniversary – Class of 1960

Fr. Thomas Flynn

Fr. Flynn, 85, was born in Detroit. He attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, University of Detroit, and St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth Township. He was ordained June 4, 1960, and celebrated his first Mass at St. Catherine Parish, Detroit.

He served as associate pastor at St. Joan of Arc Parish, St. Clair Shores (1960-65) and St. Leonard of Port Maurice Parish, Warren (1965-72). Fr. Flynn then served as pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Oak Park (1972-79), St. Eugene Parish, Detroit (1979-88), and Sacred Heart Parish, Grosse Ile, where he served from 1988 until his retirement in 2000.

Fr. Flynn also served as vicar of the Old Southeast Oakland Vicariate (1973-74) and on the Presbyteral Council.

Fr. Lawrence Jackson

Fr. Jackson, 85, was born in Detroit. He studied at Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township, and the University of Detroit. He was ordained June 4, 1960, in Detroit and celebrated his first Mass at St. Margaret Parish, St. Clair Shores.

He served as associate pastor at St. Gabriel Parish, Detroit (1960-65) and St. Peter Parish, Mount Clemens (1965-70). During that time, he also served as a faculty member of Sacred Heart School, Dearborn (1963-66).

Fr. Jackson then served as pastor of St. Dennis Parish, Royal Oak (1970-74) and St. Michael Parish, Sterling Heights (1975-2004), as well as administrator of St. Rene Goupil Parish in Sterling Heights briefly in 2004 until his retirement. During that time, he also served as vicar of the old North Macomb Vicariate (1981-84) and on the Presbyteral Council. Since his retirement, he served as a member of the archdiocesan pension board from 2007-10.

Fr. James Meyer

Fr. Meyer, 86, was born in Detroit. He studied at Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, and St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township. He was ordained June 4, 1960, and celebrated his first Mass at St. Mary of Redford Parish, Detroit.

Fr. Meyer served as associate pastor at Sacred Heart Parish, Dearborn (1960-64) and at St. Benedict Parish, Waterford Township (1966-71) before serving as chaplain at Kensington Academy, Beverly Hills, and Hutzel Hospital and Children’s Hospital, Detroit. He then served as the campus ministry coordinator for the Wayne State University Medical School campus (1999-2007) until his retirement.

Msgr. Richard Osebold

Msgr. Osebold, 86, was born in Detroit. He studied at Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township, and the State University of Iowa, Iowa City, and at the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. He was ordained June 4, 1960, and celebrated his first Mass at St. Jude Parish, Detroit.

He served as associate pastor at St. Mary of Redford Parish, Detroit (1960-62), and became a faculty member at Sacred Heart Seminary (1968-75) before serving as the seminary’s rector (1975-76).

He served as pastor of St. John Bosco Parish in Redford from 1984 until his retirement in 2018.

On May 8, 2019, Pope Francis named Msgr. Osebold a “chaplain to His Holiness” (monsignor), an honorary title in recognition of his service to the Church.

Fr. Daniel O’Sullivan

Fr. O’Sullivan, 86, was born in Detroit. He studied at Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, St. John Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township, and the University of Detroit, as well as later at the Marianella Institute in Dublin, Ireland. He was ordained June 4, 1960, and celebrated his first Mass at St. David Parish, Detroit.

Fr. O’Sullivan served as associate pastor at St. Dennis Parish, Royal Oak (1960-65); Patronage of St. Joseph Parish, Detroit (1965-67); Our Lady of Refuge Parish, Orchard Lake (1967-72); Sacred Heart Mission, Brown City (1974-79); and St. Dorothy Parish, Center Line (1981) before serving on special assignment at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak (1981-85).

He then served as pastor at St. Vincent Parish, Detroit (1985) and St. Boniface Parish, Detroit (1985) before serving as chaplain at Children’s Hospital, Detroit (1985-91). He then served as pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Ray Township, from 1991 until his retirement in 2000.

Fr. Robert Singelyn

Fr. Singelyn, 85, was born in Highland Park. He studied at Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township, and the University of Detroit. He was ordained June 4, 1960, and celebrated his first Mass at St. Mary Parish, St. Clair.

He served as associate pastor of St. Benedict Parish, Highland Park (1960-63), and served as a counselor at Bishop Gallagher High School, Harper Woods (1963-70), while serving as an Army Reserve chaplain (1965-69). He then served as pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Recife, Brazil (1969-2006).

Fr. Singelyn is a 1989 recipient of the Cardinal Szoka Award and a 1990 Sacred Heart Alumni Medal recipient.

Since his retirement in 2006, Fr. Singelyn regularly assists at St. Mary and St. John the Baptist parishes in Monroe, Holy Family Parish in Novi, and the chapel on the campus of the former Marygrove College.

Fr. Thomas Sutherland

Fr. Sutherland, 85, was born in Detroit. He studied at Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit and Gregorian University, Rome, Italy. He was ordained Dec. 18, 1960, in Rome and celebrated his first Mass at St. Paul on the Lake Parish, Grosse Pointe Farms.

He served as associate pastor at Sacred Heart Parish, Dearborn (1961-65), and St. Christopher Parish, Detroit (1965-70); and administrator of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Detroit (1970-72). He also served as vicar of the old West Detroit Vicariate during that time (1970-73).

Fr. Sutherland then served as pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Detroit (1972-81), St. Matthias Parish, Sterling Heights (1981-89), and Most Holy Trinity Parish, Detroit (1989-91), in addition to serving as vicar of the old Hub Vicariate (1990-91). He served as pastor of St. Therese of Lisieux Parish, Shelby Township (1991-2005) while serving as vicar of the old North Macomb Vicariate (1991-94), as a member of the College of Consultors (2002-07) and on the Presbyteal Council (2002-04).

After being granted senior status in 2005, Fr. Sutherland has served as temporary administrator of St. Dunstan Parish, Garden City (2007-08); St. Therese of Lisieux Parish, Shelby Township (2010-11); St. Sylvester Parish, Warren (2011-13); and St. Lawrence Parish, Utica (2014). 

He currently assists at St. Peter Parish, Mt. Clemens; St. Hubert Parish, Harrison Township; and the Carmelite Monastery of St. Therese in Clinton Township.

50th Anniversary – Class of 1970

Fr. Donald Archambault

Fr. Archambault, 75, was born in Detroit. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, a Master of Divinity degree from St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth Township, and went on to also earn master’s degrees from the University of Detroit and Creighton University in Omaha, Neb.

He was ordained June 7, 1970, in Detroit, and celebrated his first Mass at St. Louise Church, Warren.

Fr. Archambault served as an associate pastor at St. Bede Parish in Southfield (1970) and Ascension Parish in Warren (1971-75), before spending two years as director of the archdiocesan Vocation Office (1975-77).

He was director of the Office of Pre-Formation (1977-81), then was appointed pastor of Presentation /Our Lady of Victory Parish, Detroit (1981-83).

In 1983, Fr. Archambault joined the formation team at St. John’s Provincial Seminary, where he served until being named pastor of St. Gerard Parish in Detroit in 1988. He was also temporary administrator of St. Eugene Parish in Detroit (1988-89).

In 2000 he also took on the pastorate of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, in addition to St. Gerard, and then both parishes were merged to form Corpus Christi Parish in 2006. Fr. Archambault served as pastor of Corpus Christi until 2019, when he was granted senior status.

Over the years he has served as vicar of the old Northwest Detroit Vicariate, and has been vicar of the Trinity Vicariate from 2008 to 2012. He also has served on the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council.

Fr. Thomas Puzio

Fr. Puzio, 77, was born in Detroit. He attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, and St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township.

He was ordained June 19, 1970, in Detroit.

Fr. Puzio was an associate pastor of St. Philomena Parish, Detroit (1970-74); St. Frances Cabrini, Allen Park (1974-78); St. Mary Parish, St. Clair (1978-79); and Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Wyandotte (1979-83). In 1981, he served as temporary administrator of St. Helena Parish, Wyandotte, in addition to his duties at Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

He was named pastor of St. Andrew Parish, Detroit, in 1983, continuing in that role until 1987. Since then, he has served as associate pastor of St. Louise de Marillac Parish, Warren (1987); St. Christopher Parish, Detroit (1987-89); National Shrine of the Little Flower Parish, Royal Oak (1989-92); St. Dorothy Parish, Warren (1992-2007); St. Teresa of Avila Parish, Warren (2007-10); St. Clement Parish, Center Line (2007-10); St. Raymond Parish, Detroit (2010-11); Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Detroit (2010-11); St. Raymond-Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Detroit (2011-13); St. Bartholomew-St. Rita Parish, Detroit (2013-14); and Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish, Detroit (2010-14). 

Fr. Puzio was granted senior status in 2014.

40th Anniversary – Class of 1980

Fr. Gerard Bechard

Fr. Bechard, 73, was born in Detroit and attended St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth Township and Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit.

He was ordained a priest on June 21, 1980, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit.

Fr. Bechard served as associate pastor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Temperance (1980-81), St. William Parish in Walled Lake (1981-83), Sacred Heart Parish in Dearborn (1983-88) and St. Agatha Parish in Redford (1988-89). 

In 1989, Fr. Bechard was named pastor of SS. Simon and Jude Parish in Westland, where he has ministered ever since. He was granted senior status and is scheduled to retire on Sept. 1, 2020. 

Fr. Bechard earned the Cardinal Szoka Award in 2005.

Fr. Thomas Belczak

Fr. Belczak, 66, was born in Dearborn and attended Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit for undergraduate studies, the University of Detroit (master’s in religious studies) and St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth Township, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree in 1979.

He was ordained a priest on May 31, 1980, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit.

Fr. Belczak served as associate pastor of Our Lady of the Lakes Parish in Waterford (1980-84) and St. John Neumann Parish in Canton (1984-89), before being named pastor of St. Valentine Parish in Redford in 1989. 

Fr. Belczak continued to serve at St. Valentine until 2004, before being named pastor of St. Kenneth Parish in Plymouth, where he continues to serve today. Fr. Belczak also has served as a member of the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council.

Fr. David Buersmeyer

Fr. Buersmeyer, 66, was born in Dearborn and attended the University of Michigan and University of Detroit before entering seminary at St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth. He later completed post-graduate theology work at the Catholic University in Louvain, Belgium. 

Fr. Buersmeyer was ordained a priest on June 21, 1980, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit.

He served as associate pastor of St. William Parish in Walled Lake (1980-81) and St. Christopher Parish in Detroit (1981-84) while also serving as chaplain of Bishop Borgess High School (1982-84) in Redford.

Fr. Buersmeyer briefly served as administrator of St. Luke Parish in Detroit (1984) before joining the faculty of SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake (1986-90). During his time teaching, he also served as weekend associate at Our Lady of Refuge Parish in Orchard Lake.

Fr. Buersmeyer was pastor of Christ the Good Shepherd Parish in Lincoln Park (1990-2002), SS. John and Paul Parish in Washington Township (2002-16), and since 2016 has served as pastor of St. Regis Parish in Bloomfield Hills. 

Over the years, Fr. Buersmeyer has served on the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council (2002-06, 2009-12, 2018-20), as vicar of the North Macomb Vicariate (2009-14), on the priest pension board (2008-14, 2016-19) and on the clergy assignment board (2014-16). 

Fr. Ronald Essman

Fr. Essman, 71, was born in Burlington, Wis., and attended Villanova University and the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.

He was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee on June 1, 1980, and was incardinated into the Archdiocese of Detroit on June 8, 1986.

Fr. Essman served as associate pastor of St. Clare of Montefalco Parish in Grosse Pointe Park (1980-83), St. Alphonsus Parish in Dearborn (1983-84), St. Dennis Parish in Royal Oak (1984-86), St. Hugo of the Hills Parish in Bloomfield Hills (1986-89), and St. Margaret of Scotland Parish in St. Clair Shores (1992-95). 

Fr. Essman served as pastor of Our Lady of Loretto Parish in Redford (1990-92), St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Troy (1995-2003), and St. Paul of Tarsus Parish in Clinton Township (2003-17). He was granted senior status in 2017, but continues to celebrate Masses and assist at St. Paul of Tarsus and nearby St. Therese of Lisieux Parish in Shelby Township. 

Fr. Gary Michalik

Fr. Michalik, 67, was born in Detroit and attended the University of Detroit and St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth Township.

He was ordained a priest on June 21, 1980, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit. 

Fr. Michalik served as associate pastor of St. Agatha Parish in Redford (1980-81), Our Lady Queen of Apostles Parish in Hamtramck (1981-85), and St. Mark Parish in Warren (1985-87). 

He served as pastor of St. Stephen/Mary, Mother of the Church (1987-93) in Detroit, Our Lady Queen of Apostles Parish in Hamtramck (1993-98), St. Theodore of Canterbury Parish in Westland (1998-2010), and St. Colette Parish in Livonia (2010-present). 

Over the years, Fr. Michalik has been vicar of the Southwest (1989-95), North Central (1994-96) and Northwest Wayne (2007-09) vicariates, and has served as a member of the priest assignment board (2011-14).

Fr. Michael Nkachukwu

Fr. Nkachukwu, 69, was born in southern Nigeria and studied at Sacred Heart Seminary and Stella Maris College in Port Harcourt, Nigeria; Bigard Memorial Seminary and Bigard Major Seminary in Enugu, Nigeria. 

Fr. Nkachukwu was ordained a priest on July 26, 1980, in Enugu, Nigeria. After his ordination, he served in numerous pastoral capacities in Nigeria while continuing educational pursuits that included the University of Nigeria (Nsukka, Enugu State); Bigard Memorial Major Seminary (Enugu, Enugu State), in affiliation with the Pontifical Urban University (Rome); Catholic Institute of West Africa (CIWA), in affiliation with the University of Calabar (Cross River).

He arrived in the United States in 1989, serving in New Jersey. He was officially incardinated into the Archdiocese of Detroit on March 14, 2000.

In southeast Michigan, Fr. Nkachukwu has served as associate pastor of Our Lady of Victory Parish in Northville (1994-95) and St. Cecilia Parish in Detroit (1995-97). 

He served as administrator of St. Anthony Parish in Detroit (1997-2006) and Annunciation/Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Detroit (1998-2006). In 2006, he was named pastor of Good Shepherd Parish in Detroit, and in 2015, of Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish. The two Detroit parishes merged in 2016, and Fr. Nkachukwu continued as pastor of Our Lady Queen of Heaven-Good Shepherd Parish, in addition to St. Raymond-Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Detroit, of which he became pastor in 2016. In 2019, he was asked to take on additional responsibility as pastor of St. Jude Parish in Detroit, and he continues to serve all three communities today.

Over the years, Fr. Nkachukwu has been vicar of the Renaissance Vicariate (2008-12), a member of the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council (2009-12, 2014, 2019-present). He will began serving as vicar of the Genesis Vicariate on July 1, 2020. 

Fr. Roman Pasieczny

Fr. Pasieczny, 64, was born in Poland and studied at the Catholic University of Lublin, Poland. 

He was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Zamosc-Lubaczow, Poland, on June 15, 1980. He arrived in the United States in 1993, and was incardinated into the Archdiocese of Detroit on March 26, 1999.

Fr. Pasieczny served as associate pastor of St. Cunegunda Parish in Detroit (1994-95), St. Louis the King Parish in Detroit (1995-96), St. Joan of Arc Parish in St. Clair Shores (1996-98), and St. Isidore Parish in Macomb (1998-2000). 

From 2000-14, he was pastor of St. Martin de Porres Parish in Warren, before he was asked to take over as pastor of St. Lawrence Parish in Utica. He continues to serve as pastor of St. Lawrence today, in addition to being vicar of the North Macomb Vicariate and a member of the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council. Fr. Pasieczny previously served as vicar of the Genesis Vicariate.

Fr. Andrew Wesley

Fr. Wesley, 72, was born in Detroit and attended Wayne State University in Detroit and St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth Township, in addition to studies with the Sylvestrian Benedictines.

He was ordained on June 21, 1980, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit. 

Fr. Wesley served as associate pastor of St. Mary Parish in Milford (1980-81), St. Louise de Marillac Parish in Warren (1981-83), and St. Florian Parish in Hamtramck (1983-86). He also was a member of the Metropolitan Tribunal from 1981-82.

From 1986 to 2006, Fr. Wesley served as pastor of Transfiguration Parish in Detroit. In 2004, he took on additional responsibility as administrator of Our Lady Help of Christians Parish in Detroit, and the two parishes merged in 2006. At that time, Fr. Wesley was asked also to serve as administrator and later pastor of St. Ladislaus Parish in Hamtramck. When St. Ladislaus merged with Transfiguration and St. Louis the King parishes in 2012, they became known as Blessed John Paul II Parish (later St. John Paul II Parish). 

Fr. Wesley continues to serve as pastor of St. John Paul II Parish today. He also serve previously as vicar of the North Central Vicariate (1987-93) and Genesis Vicariate (2005-09). 

Fr. Daniel Zaleski

Fr. Zaleski, 73, was born in Ohio but moved to Wyandotte after high school. He attended the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome, studying there for the priesthood. He was incardinated into the Archdiocese of Detroit on Oct. 13, 1998.

Fr. Zaleski was ordained a priest on June 13, 1980, by his late uncle, Bishop Nicholaus Sasinowski of the Diocese of Lomza, Poland. Before arriving in the Archdiocese of Detroit, Fr. Zaleski served as a religious superior, director of the St. Francis Chapel in Boston and director of the pastoral care department of St. Anthony and St. Clare Hospital in Alton, Ill. 

In 1996, Fr. Zaleski was asked to serve as associate pastor of St. Veronica Parish in Eastpointe for a year, and later served as associate pastor of St. Theodore of Canterbury Parish in Westland (1997-99) and St. Pius X Parish in Southgate (1994-2018). From 1999 to 2019, he served as pastor of St. Albert the Great Parish in Dearborn Heights. He was granted senior status in 2019.

30th Anniversary – Class of 1990

Fr. Jerome Slowinski

Fr. Slowinski, 66, was born in Detroit and attended Wayne State University and Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth Township, and earned a licentiate in canon law at the University of Ottawa/St. Paul University in Ontario, Canada.

Fr. Slowinski was ordained June 9, 1990, and celebrated his first Mass at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Church in Detroit. 

Fr. Slowinski was associate pastor at Holy Family Parish, Novi (1990-93), St. Patrick Parish, White Lake (1993-94), and St. Anne Parish, Warren (1996-2005). He was pastor of St. Jane Frances de Chantal Parish in Sterling Heights (2005-17), and temporary administrator of St. Ephrem Parish in Sterling Heights from 2014-15. In 2017, he was appointed pastor of St. Paul of Tarsus Parish in Clinton Township, where he continues to serve today.

In addition to his pastoral responsibilities, Fr. Slowinski has served on the archdiocesan assignment board (2003-05), Metropolitan Tribunal (2005-10), the priests’ pension board (2013-16) and as chaplain to the Knights of Columbus (2008-17). He earned the Cardinal Szoka Award in 2006.

Fr. Denis Theroux

Fr. Theroux, 59, attended Oblate College and the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C. He later earned graduate certificates in chaplaincy. 

He was ordained May 24, 1990, at St. Dominic Church in Washington, D.C. 

Fr. Theroux served in a special assignment at St. Dominic Parish in Detroit from 1992-93, becoming administrator and then pastor there from 1993-96. He served as associate pastor of Holy Family Parish, Novi (1996-98), and St. Edith Parish, Livonia (1998-2000), before being incardinated into the Archdiocese of Detroit on April 5, 2000. 

Fr. Theroux served as pastor of St. Robert Bellarmine Parish in Redford from 2000-06, serving briefly as administrator of St. Valentine Parish in Redford in 2004. He became pastor of Our Lady of Victory Parish in Northville in 2006, where he continues to serve today. Fr. Therous has also served as a clergy representative to the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council and as vicar of the Northwest Vicariate (2003-10).

Fr. Wayne Ureel

Fr. Ureel, 59, was born in Mt. Clemens and attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, and St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth Township. 

He was ordained June 9, 1990, and celebrated his first Mass at St. Peter Parish, Mt. Clemens.

Fr. Ureel was associate pastor of St. Edmund Parish, Warren (1990-93), and St. Jane Frances de Chantal Parish, Sterling Heights (1993-95), while at the same time serving as chaplain to Warren De La Salle High School (1993-95). He was named temporary administrator of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Allenton in 1995, before becoming pastor of St. Cornelius Parish in Dryden (1995-2013). In addition to his responsibilities there, Fr. Ureel was also named pastor of St. Nicholas Parish in Capac and St. John the Evangelist Parish in Allenton from 2007-13. In 2013, he was named pastor of Holy Spirit Parish in Highland, where he still serves today. 

Fr. Ureel has also been vicar of the Thumb Vicariate (1999-07).

Fr. Wojciech Wojcicki

Fr. Wojcicki, 83, was born in Warsaw, Poland, and attended SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake and the University of Warsaw, where he studied law and economics. 

He was ordained June 9, 1990, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit.

Fr. Wojcicki served as associate pastor at St. Thecla Parish, Clinton Township (1990), St. Frances Cabrini Parish, Allen Park (1990-91), Our Lady Queen of Apostles Parish, Hamtramck (1991-99), and St. Edmund Parish, Warren (1999-2006). He was granted senior priest status in 2006.

Fr. Edward Zaorski

Fr. Zaorski, 68, was born in Detroit and attended Sacred Heart Major Seminary and Wayne State University in Detroit and the University of Windsor, Ontario.

He was ordained June 9, 1990, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Detroit.

Fr. Zaorski served as associate pastor of St. Florian Parish, Hamtramck (1990-93), and St. Paul of Tarsus Parish, Clinton Township (1993-95). In 1995, he was made pastor of All Saints Parish in Detroit, where he served until 2008, and SS. Andrew and Benedict Parish in Detroit, where he served until 2019. 

In addition to those pastoral responsibilities, Fr. Zaorski was asked to serve as administrator of a number of other parishes, including St. John Cantius (2002-07), St. Stephen/Mary, Mother of the Church (2006-10), St. Anthony (Lithuanian) (2009), St. Francis D’Assisi (2011) and St. Hedwig (2011), all in Detroit; and St. Mary Magdalen in Melvindale (2011-13). From 2013-19, he served as pastor of St. Mary Magdalen in addition to his continuing responsibilities at SS. Andrew and Benedict. Fr. Zaorski has also been vicar of the old Southwest Vicariate (2004-09).

In 2019, Fr. Zaorski took on a new assignment as pastor of St. James Parish in Novi, where he continues to serve today.

In May 2020, he was asked to serve as chairman of a committee advising Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron on matters related to “mission support” as the archdiocese transitions to a new “families of parishes” model in Advent 2020.

25th Anniversary – Class of 1995

Msgr. Michael Hrydziuszko

Msgr. Hrydziuszko, 69, was born in Hamtramck. He attended Michigan State University, earning a master’s in business administration before later attending Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.

He was ordained June 24, 1995, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit. 

Msgr. Hrydziuszko served as associate pastor of St. Thecla Parish in Clinton Township (1995-98) and St. Therese of Lisieux Parish in Shelby Township (1998-2000).

In 2000, Msgr. Hrydziuszko was named pastor of St. Isidore Parish in Macomb, serving there until 2012. In 2012, he was named a “chaplain to His Holiness” (monsignor) by Pope Benedict XVI. Since 2012, he has served as pastor of St. Andrew Parish in Rochester. 

Over the years, Msgr. Hrydziuszko has also served various terms as a member of the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council, priest assignment board and priest pension board.

Msgr. Todd Lajiness

Msgr. Lajiness, 52, was born in Monroe and studied at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome (Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology) and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome (Licentiate in Sacred Theology) before his ordination to the priesthood on June 24, 1995, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit.

After his ordination, Msgr. Lajiness served as associate pastor of Our Lady of Victory Parish in Northville (1995-97) and a theology instructor at Sacred Heart Major Seminary. In 1997, Cardinal Edmund C. Szoka appointed Msgr. Lajiness to serve as his secretary while Cardinal Szoka was president of the Pontifical Commission of Vatican City State. While serving in that capacity in Rome, Msgr. Lajiness completed a licentiate in philosophy from the Angelicum in 2000, and a doctorate in philosophy from the same institution two years later. 

In 2002, Msgr. Lajiness returned to the Archdiocese of Detroit and was appointed director of undergraduate formation at Sacred Heart Major Seminary. One year later, Cardinal Adam J. Maida named him dean of studies at Sacred Heart. 

For the next decade, Msgr. Lajiness continued in that role while also serving as a weekend associate pastor of St. Mary Queen of Creation Parish in New Baltimore (2002-09) and Holy Family Parish in Novi (2009-11). He also served as a board member for the Catholic Youth Organization, Madonna University, as a member of the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council and state chaplain to the Knights of Columbus (2007-09). 

On Feb. 13, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI named him a “chaplain to His Holiness” (monsignor), and three months later, on May 5, 2012, assumed responsibilities as the 13th rector of Sacred Heart Major Seminary at the appointment of Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron.

Msgr. Lajiness continues to serve as Sacred Heart’s rector, and has also served as a board member of the Association of Theological Schools, and as president of the National Association of Catholic Theological Schools. 

Fr. Timothy Mazur

Fr. Mazur, 56, was born in Detroit and attended Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit (later Sacred Heart Major Seminary), and St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth Township.

He was ordained to the priesthood on June 24, 1995, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit.

Fr. Mazur served as associate pastor of St. Ephrem Parish in Sterling Heights (1995-97) and St. Martin de Porres Parish in Warren (1997-99), while also serving as chaplain to De La Salle High School in Warren (1997-99). 

In 1999, Fr. Mazur became pastor of St. Isaac Jogues Parish in St. Clair Shores, serving in that capacity until 2010. In was at that time that he was appointed pastor of St. John Vianney Parish in Shelby Township, where he continues to serve today. 

Fr. Mazur also has served on the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council.

Fr. Robert McCabe

Fr. McCabe, 67, was born in Chicago. He entered the seminary in 1989 as a parishioner at Sacred Heart Parish in Dearborn, and was ordained June 24, 1995, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit.

Upon his ordination, Fr. McCabe served as associate pastor at St. Colette Parish in Livonia (1995-97), at his home parish of Sacred Heart in Dearborn (1997-99), and at St. Paul on the Lake Parish in Grosse Pointe Farms (1999-2003). 

In 2003, he became pastor of St. Mary of Redford Parish and St. Suzanne/Our Lady Gate of Heaven Parish in Detroit, and a year later also took on responsibilities as administrator and later pastor of nearby St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Detroit (2004-06). 

In 2008, Fr. McCabe became pastor of St. Pius X Parish in Southgate, and continued serving there until 2019, when he was named pastor of Divine Child Parish in Dearborn. He continues to serve as Divine Child’s pastor today.

Fr. McCabe also served on the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council from 2003-07. An avid photographer, Fr. McCabe’s work has been featured in several publications, including The Michigan Catholic newspaper.

Fr. John Joseph (J.J.) Mech

Fr. Mech, 52, was born in Southfield and attended Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit before his ordination to the priesthood on June 24, 1995, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit.

After his ordination, Fr. Mech served as associate pastor of Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish in Grosse Pointe Woods (1995-98) and Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Plymouth (1998-2000). 

Fr. Mech later served as pastor of Our Lady of Loretto Parish in Redford (2000-07), St. Anastasia Parish in Troy (2007-15). In 2015, Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron named him rector of the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit, while at the same time pastor of nearby Our Lady of the Rosary Parish (2015-17) and St. Moses the Black Parish (2015-19). He also has served as a member of the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council (2004-08) and on the priest assignment board (2014-16).

Fr. Mech continues to serve as rector of the cathedral, which he is working to develop into an apostolic center of arts and culture. During his time as rector, Fr. Mech has overseen the development of several new art installations at the cathedral, including a custom-designed tympanum depicting Jesus, Mary and Ste. Anne, the patroness of the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Fr. Grzegorz Tokarski

Fr. Tokarski, 52, was born in Poland. After graduating from high school, he entered the seminary in Krakow where he studied philosophy and theology at the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome. 

He was ordained a priest on June 16, 1995. In 1997, Fr. Tokarski became an assistant professor of classical languages and linguistics at the Pontifical Institute of Higher Latinity, Rome.

Fr. Tokarski arrived in the Archdiocese of Detroit in 2004, where his brother, Fr. Stan Tokarski, was a pastor. He served as associate pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Livonia (2004-06) and Our Lady of Refuge Parish in Orchard Lake (2006-07) while teaching Biblical Greek, Ecclesiastical Latin, and Ancient Christian Literature (Patrology and Spiritual Masters) at SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake. From 2007-09, Fr. Tokarski served as academic dean of SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary.

Fr. Tokarski later served as pastor of St. Clare of Assisi Parish in Farmington Hills (2009-13) before becoming pastor of the merged parish of Mother of Divine Mercy in Detroit, which encompassed St. Joseph (made its own parish in 2016), St. Josaphat and Sweetest Heart of Mary churches. Today, he continues to serve as pastor of Mother of Divine Mercy. 

Other jubilarians this year

In addition to those celebrating milestone jubilee years in 2020, Detroit Catholic and the Archdiocese of Detroit also honor all of those priests celebrating jubilees greater than 60 years. They are:

  • Fr. Lawrence Fares (70 years)
  • Msgr. Robert Monticello (69 years)
  • Fr. Daniel Complo (66 years)
  • Fr. Francis Weingartz (66 years)
  • Msgr. John Hall (65 years)
  • Fr. Norman Thomas (65 years)
  • Bishop Thomas Gumbleton (64 years)
  • Fr. George Kowalski (64 years)
  • Cardinal Adam J. Maida (64 years)
  • Msgr. James Moloney (64 years)
  • Fr. Leon Page (64 years)
  • Fr. William Murphy (63 years)
  • Fr. Ronald Sayes (63 years)
  • Fr. Leo Sabourin (62 years)
  • Fr. Donald Walker (62 years)
  • Fr. John Child (61 years)
  • Fr. Arnold D'Achille (61 years)
  • Fr. John Phalen (61 years)
  • Fr. Richard Rakoczy (61 years)