By ERIKA ANDERSON, Staff Writer | Published March 3, 2005
As Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory praised this year’s jubilarians, he encouraged the priests to modestly give thanks for allowing God to “have His way” with them, according to His own plan.
On June 1 Archbishop Gregory, along with over 40 priests of the archdiocese, gathered at the Cathedral of Christ the King to celebrate the golden and silver jubilees of several archdiocesan and Religious order priests.
Those celebrating their 50th anniversary of ordination were Archbishop-emeritus John F. Donoghue; Father James Harrison, pastor of St. Marguerite D’Youville Church, Lawrenceville; Father Richard Morrow, retired priest-in-residence at the Cathedral of Christ the King; Father James Hartnett, SM, former president of Marist School, Atlanta; and Father Malachy Corley, OCSO, a monk of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, Conyers. This year’s silver jubilarians, celebrating 25 years as priests, included Father James Henault, MS, pastor of St. Oliver Plunkett Church, Snellville, and Father Charles Zell, OCSO, a monk of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, who was recognized, although unable to attend the Mass due to illness. Father Zell died June 16.
In his homily, Archbishop Gregory said that occasions such as anniversaries often cause people to look back at what they’ve accomplished and also to ponder those things that they have not yet accomplished. God has designed both situations, he said.
“Each of us began the Priesthood with very lofty dreams, noble intentions, and perhaps infectious enthusiasm. As we pause this day to give thanks for what God has accomplished within us, we ought to be modest enough to acknowledge that God has had His way with each one of us,” he said. “Perhaps what we have been able to accomplish as Priests may not have been according to our planning and designs, but it was what God wanted from us—it was what God’s Providence had in mind for His Church and for us. And for all of that, we say thank you.”
Whether ordained for a short time or for many years, all priests must acknowledge the divine hand of God guiding their ministry, the archbishop said.
“Whether we celebrate six years or 56 years in Christ’s Priesthood we must acknowledge that the Lord has used us according to His plans,” Archbishop Gregory said. “We must also recommit ourselves to being available to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. We renew our desire to make ourselves receptive to God’s Wisdom, perhaps most especially when it may not coincide with our own designs and our hearts’ longing.”
Archbishop Gregory took the opportunity to thank all of the priests in attendance for their service, and mentioned specifically those priests who have retired.
“In addition to the priests who are observing special anniversaries this year, I want to welcome and acknowledge the priests of the Archdiocese of Atlanta who are here as our retired brothers,” he said. “Your great years of kindness have enriched our community in ways that perhaps even you never envisioned. Our retired brothers still support the works of the Church in their prayers and self offering, in the Sacramental supply services that they offer so generously, and in their warm and affectionate presence among us.”
He also mentioned the priests of the Redemptorist order who recently completed their many years of service to the Archdiocese of Atlanta, affirming their hard work in the archdiocese.
The Mass also gave the archbishop the chance to acknowledge the special bond afforded him through the priesthood.
“On this Jubilee Day, I renew my own personal and sincere thanks for the fellowship and love that is found so visibly among this Presbyterate,” he said. “May God have His way in all of our lives as we seek to be more perfectly the priests that His Son has chosen and His Holy Spirit has confirmed in Grace.”
The golden jubilarians for 2005 are:
Archbishop-emeritus John F. Donoghue
Born in 1928 in Washington, D.C., Archbishop Donoghue was ordained June 4, 1955, for the Archdiocese of Washington. His first assignment was as a parish priest at St. Bernard’s Church in Riverdale, Md., where he served until 1961 when he was transferred to Holy Face Parish in Great Mills, Md. He then went on to study canon law at Catholic University in Washington, from which he earned his licentiate in 1965. He was then appointed vice-chancellor in the Archdiocese of Washington, and began over 19 years of chancery service, serving also as secretary to the archbishop, vicar general and chancellor. He served successively under the late Cardinal Patrick O’Boyle, Cardinal William Baum and the late Cardinal James Hickey. In 1984 he was named the bishop of Charlotte, N.C. He became Atlanta’s fifth archbishop with his installation in August 1993 at the Cathedral of Christ the King, Atlanta, and his resignation, required by canon law on an archbishop’s 75th birthday, was accepted by Pope John Paul II on Dec. 9, 2004. Archbishop Donoghue will be 77 in August.
Father Richard Morrow
Father Morrow, a native of Stamford, Conn., was ordained May 19, 1955, and served his first permanent assignment as a parochial vicar at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, Atlanta. After serving there for five years, he was named pastor of St. Bernadette Church in Cedartown and also of its mission, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Carrollton. In 1966 he began serving fulltime as Our Lady of Perpetual Help’s first pastor. He then went on to start a new parish in Smyrna, St. Thomas the Apostle Church, and its mission, St. John Vianney in Lithia Springs. After serving in Smyrna for six years, Father Morrow was named pastor of St. John the Evangelist Church in Hapeville, where he stayed until 1978. He then went to Rome to study for four months and upon his return became pastor of St. Jude the Apostle Church, Atlanta. In 1986 he was named pastor of Prince of Peace Church in Buford, and also served as the vicar for clergy, a position he held for 13 years. In 1992 he was named pastor of Good Shepherd Church in Cumming, where he stayed until his retirement in 1996. In addition to serving as a vicar for clergy, Father Morrow has held numerous positions on archdiocesan boards, including the priest consulters, Priest Senate and the Council of Priests. Though retired, Father Morrow remains very active at the Cathedral of Christ the King, where he is in residence.
Father James Harrison
Though a graduate of Marist School, Father Harrison served as St. Pius X High School’s first principal from 1958-64. He then went on to serve as pastor of St. Michael’s Church in Gainesville. A native of Atlanta, he also studied at Catholic University of America and at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He was ordained in Rome in 1955. He has also served as an assistant at the Cathedral of Christ the King, Atlanta, and as pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Church, Kennesaw, from 1997-2005. During that time the parish opened an elementary school utilizing existing parish buildings and the lay faculty has now been augmented by women Religious from the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia of Nashville, Tenn. He is now pastor of St. Marguerite D‘Youville Church in Lawrenceville.
Father Malachy Corley, OCSO
Ordained to the priesthood on June 5, 1955, Father Malachy will celebrate his 93rd birthday on July 10. Father Malachy is a native of Indian Creek, a small rural town in Missouri. A World War II veteran, Father Malachy entered Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery in Conyers on June 22, 1949, at the age of 37.
Father James Hartnett, SM
A Philadelphia native, Father Hartnett made his first vows as a Marist on Sept. 8, 1949. He was ordained a priest in 1955 and spent much of his priestly career at Marist School in Atlanta. He was first assigned to the school as a teacher and after several assignments throughout the country came back to the school in 1965 to serve as its business manager. He left the school in 1967 and returned again in 1971, this time as the principal of the school, a position he held until 1982. In 1982, Father Hartnett took a year’s sabbatical in Rome. From 1983-84 he attended Duquesne University in Pittsburgh where he received his master’s degree in ongoing formation. He served as the vocations director for the Marists from 1984-88 when he returned to Atlanta to serve as the president of Marist School. He retired in June 2001.
This year’s silver jubilarians are:
Father James Henault, MS
Father Henault made his first vows as a Missionary of Our Lady of LaSalette on Aug. 15, 1976. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 17, 1980, after receiving a master’s degree in sacred theology from Catholic University. The native of Fitchburg, Mass., served his first priestly assignment as a parochial vicar at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Hartford, Conn., from 1980-83. He then served as co-pastor of St. Peter’s Church in Dagenham Essex, England, until June 1991, when he made his way to Georgia to serve as pastor of St. Clement’s Church in Calhoun. In 1993, he was appointed pastor of Blessed Trinity Church in Orlando, Fla., where he served until 1997. He was elected vicar provincial of the LaSalette Province of Seven Dolors in Hartford, Conn., and served a term of three years. He was appointed pastor of St. Oliver Plunkett Church in Snellville in December 2001.
Father Charles Zell, OCSO
Father Charles, who died on June 16 at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, was one of the pioneer members of the monastery, which was founded in 1944. Born in 1912 in Mecca, Ind., Father Charles arrived at the Conyers monastery on April 17, 1944, after making his simple monastic vows at the Gethsemani Monastery in Kentucky. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 1, 1980. Much of the monastery reflects his work as a carpenter. He made forms that were used in the pouring of concrete to build the monastery. He also designed and built the cabinets and furniture in the monastery. In recent years after he was unable to continue carpentry he regularly greeted visitors to the monastery and told of its history.