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Priests host Mass of thanksgiving, dinner for Archbishop Pilarczyk

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

ST. FRANCIS DE SALES DEANERY — A Mass and dinner to give thanks for retired Archbishop of Cincinnati Daniel E. Pilarczyk drew about 150 archdiocesan and religious order priests who wanted to express their appreciation for the archbishop’s 50 years of service to the local church.

Archbishop Pilarczyk
A Mass and dinner honoring retired Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk was hosted by priests of the archdiocese at the Athenaeum of Ohio in April. (CT/E.L. Hubbard)

The event was held at the Athenaeum of Ohio in April after having been rescheduled from February due to bad weather. Priests from across the archdiocese attended, said Father Mike Pucke, who, along with Athenaeum staff, organized the dinner.

The priests wanted to “honor our brother for his many years of service and leadership from which we all benefited,” said Father Pucke, pastor of St. Julie Billiart Parish in Hamilton and chair of the Presbyteral Council. “The fact that we did have a good turnout says much to the respect and affection priests have for Archbishop Pilarczyk.”

The event included evening prayer in the Athenaeum chapel and dinner in the Athenaeum dining hall. A gift of $17,000 from the priests was acknowledged. The money is part of a burse in the archbishop’s name that will be used for the education of future priests. The priests also thanked Archbishops Pilarczyk and Dennis M. Schnurr for a smooth transition in leadership.
“I was very moved by it,” Archbishop Pilarczyk said of the evening. “I was pleased with the turnout. It’s nice to know you have so many friends.”

Father Pucke said Archbishop Pilarczyk brought continuity to the archdiocese and was a great teacher.

“I think there was genuine priestly fraternity and affection,” Father Pucke said of the gathering. “Priests of the archdiocese always express our appreciation that he would trust us to do the job. He never looked over our shoulders.”

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