BAR HARBOR — More than 85 priests and deacons, and several seminarians of the Diocese of Portland, listened as Bishop Robert P. Deeley thanked priests who are celebrating milestone anniversaries since their ordinations to the priesthood at the annual Celebration of the Eucharist Mass for Priest Jubilarians on May 24, at Holy Redeemer Church in Bar Harbor.
During his homily, Bishop Deeley expressed his gratitude to all of the clergy present for answering the call to vocations of service, particularly the four jubilarians in attendance:
* Fr. Raymond D. Auger, a Biddeford native celebrating his 60th anniversary after retiring from active ministry in 2000.
* Monsignor Paul F. Stefanko, judicial vicar, director of the Diocesan Tribunal, and pastor of St. Joseph Parish (St. Joseph Church, Bridgton; St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, Fryeburg) and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish (St. Catherine of Sienna Church, Norway; Our Lady of Ransom Church, Mechanic Falls; St. Mary Church, Oxford), who is celebrating his 40th anniversary.
* Fr. Joseph W. Cahill, parochial vicar of Stella Maris Parish (St. Vincent de Paul Church, Bucksport; Our Lady of Holy Hope Church, Castine; St. Mary Star of the Sea Church, Stonington), St. Joseph Parish (St. Joseph Church, Ellsworth; Blue Hill Mission, Blue Hill; Our Lady of the Lake Mission, Green Lake; St. Margaret Chapel, Winter Harbor), and Parish of the Transfiguration of the Lord (Holy Redeemer Church, Bar Harbor; St. Peter Church, Manset; St. Ignatius Church, Northeast Harbor), who is also celebrating his 40th anniversary.
Fr. Timothy J. Nadeau, pastor of St. Paul the Apostle Parish (St. John Church, Bangor; St. Mary Church, Bangor; St. Joseph Church, Brewer; St. Teresa Church, Brewer; St. Matthew Church, Hampden; St. Gabriel Church, Winterport), who is celebrating his 25th anniversary. Fr. Nadeau will become pastor of Prince of Peace Parish (Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, Holy Cross Church, and Holy Family Church, all in Lewiston) on July 1.
“In a special way, we give thanks for what has been and what will be as you continue to live out your lives in faithful ministry, bringing Jesus to others,” said the bishop. Bishop Deeley also thanked all of the priests present for recognizing that a vocation to the priesthood is a gift from God. “It is not primarily a gift to an individual. It is a gift to the Church. It is a gift given for the good of the Church,” he said.
Fr. Auger, who was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Daniel J. Feeney on May 26, 1956, in Portland, agreed that his 60 years as a priest are a “great gift” and encouraged others who are deciding whether they are being called to the priesthood to engage in an active discernment. “Don’t sit back and wonder. Go talk to a priest,” he said. “When I went to the seminary, I didn’t know for certain that I would reach my goal, but I wanted to know for myself if God was calling me to be a priest. I went in and I was happy. There were struggles along the way, but you have to persevere to reach your goal. I’ve had a wonderful life. It’s not for everybody, but go find out.”
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