Last of the old, first of the new’: Archdiocesan Golden Jubilarians for 2014
“Supported only by the weapons of truth and charity, we intend to pursue the dialogue that has begun and to advance, as much as it will be in our power, the work that has been undertaken.”
Not long after he succeeded Pope John XXIII in 1963, Pope Paul VI issued this statement to verify that the work of the Second Vatican Council started by John in 1962 would continue. Indeed, in 1964 the third session was held with three documents issued on Nov. 21: Lumen Gentium (the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church), Orientalium Ecclesiarum (the Decree on the Catholic Churches of the Eastern Rite), and Unitatis Redintegratio (the Decree on Ecumenism).
Locally in 1964, Cardinal James Francis McIntyre was in the 16th year of his 22-year term as Archbishop of Los Angeles. The archdiocese was comprised of four counties (Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura and Santa Barbara) covering 9,508 square miles with a Catholic population of 1,477,408, 303 parishes and 350 schools.
On April 30, Cardinal McIntyre ordained the members of St. John’s Seminary’s 1964 class in St. Vibiana Cathedral. The class was known as “the last of the old and the first of the new” since their priestly duties would reflect the innovative liturgical changes mandated by Vatican II. By the first Sunday of Advent in late November, parts of the Mass would be in English.
Seven members of the St. John’s class celebrate golden jubilees of priesthood this year (an eighth died in March), as do others who have since become incardinated in the archdiocese, and several religious order priests. Following are brief summaries of the jubilarians’ years of ministry in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
Priests of the Archdiocese
Msgr. Peter Amy is a native Angeleno, born in 1938, and a member of St. John’s class. His associate assignments were St. Joseph, Santa Ana; Beatitudes of Our Lord, La Mirada; and (in 1975) St. Didacus, Sylmar. He was appointed St. Didacus’ administrator in 1979 and pastor in 1981, serving until he retired as pastor emeritus in 2011 (36 years total). He was a member of the Archdiocesan Youth Commission, a member of the Priests’ Senate Committee for Pastoral Ministry, and the first dean of Deanery 8 when pastoral regions were created in 1986 (the parish is now in Deanery 7).
Msgr. Clement Connolly, a native of Limerick City, County Limerick, Ireland, was born Jan. 12, 1940 and ordained at St. Patrick College, Thurles, Ireland, June 14, 1964. Before his appointment as secretary to Cardinal James Francis McIntyre in 1968, he was an associate at St. Vibiana and St. Cyril, Encino. In 1970 he was named secretary to Cardinal Manning and served until 1985, when the cardinal retired. In 1984, Msgr. Connolly began a quarter century as pastor at Holy Family in South Pasadena; he retired and became pastor emeritus in 2010.
Msgr. Charles Hill served for 25 years as an educator in nine archdiocesan high schools as both teacher and principal. He earned a master’s degree in education and completed graduate theology courses in Rome. A native of San Diego, he was born Feb. 12, 1938, attended St. Anthony School in Long Beach, and is a member of St. John’s jubilee class. In 1989 he was named pastor of St. Genevieve, Van Nuys, and in 1999 appointed pastor at St. Basil, L.A. He retired in 2007 as pastor emeritus and lives privately.
Father Rock Janowski was born Dec. 12, 1928 in Kewaunee, Wis., and ordained Nov. 24, 1964 from the Capuchin Seminary. He served in education at San Lorenzo Seminary in Santa Ynez, and was incardinated for the archdiocese April 2, 1991. Parish assignments include ministry at Santa Clara, Oxnard; St. Joseph, Long Beach; Our Lady of the Assumption, Ventura; and St. Peter Claver, Simi Valley. Father Janowski retired in 2001 and lives privately.
Father James Kavanagh is a native of County Kerry, Ireland, born Nov. 29, 1939 and ordained June 21, 1964 at All Hallows Seminary, Dublin. During his first 24 years of ministry in the archdiocese, he served the parishes of St. Philomena, Carson; St. Eugene, St. Brendan and Visitation in L.A.; St. Irenaeus, Cypress; and Holy Trinity, San Pedro. In 1988 Father Kavanagh was named pastor of St. Jerome, L.A., and in 2002 became pastor at St. James, Redondo Beach. He retired as pastor emeritus there in 2011.
Father Thomas King, a member of St. John’s 1964 class, was born August 18, 1938 in Venice, and attended St. Augustine School in Culver City. He served as associate at St. Louise de Marillac, Covina; Immaculate Conception, Monrovia; and Our Lady of Lourdes, Tujunga. For 12 years Father King was administrator at Transfiguration, L.A., and served in ecumenical ministry. He was pastor at St. Luke, Temple City, for 12 years; St. Bernadette, L.A., for four years; and St. Anastasia, L.A., for seven years, retiring in 2010 as pastor emeritus.
Father Jules Mayer, a native Angeleno, was born April 25, 1937, attended San Gabriel Mission High School and is a member of St. John’s 1964 class. His early assignments were Cathedral Chapel, L.A.; Santa Clara, Oxnard; Our Lady of the Rosary, Paramount; and St. Cyprian, Long Beach. He was pastor for four years at St. Columbkille and 12 years at St. Marcellinus, City of Commerce, where he retired as pastor emeritus in 2007. Father Mayer is a resident at Nazareth House in Los Angeles.
Father Joseph Moniz, a native of Goa, India, Father Moniz was born June 2, 1941 and ordained May 10, 1964 at the Papal Seminary in India. He has a master’s degree from Loyola Marymount University. In 1974 he was incardinated for the archdiocese and served at St. Raymond, Downey; St. Rose of Lima, Simi Valley; and St. Catherine of Siena, Reseda. In 1988 he was assigned in team ministry at St. Joseph Church in Hawthorne and served for 10 years. Since 1998 he has been the pastor of St. Philip the Apostle, Pasadena.
Msgr. Terrence Richey, technically retired since 2008, continues as director of the Alcohol/Substance Abuse Ministry in the archdiocese that he started part-time in 1976. He was born Aug. 2, 1938 in Inglewood, and is a member of St. John’s class. Associate pastor assignments include Our Lady of Peace, North Hills; St. Robert Bellarmine, Burbank; St. Anslem, Immaculate Conception, Holy Name of Jesus and Cathedral Chapel, all in L.A.; St. Raphael, Goleta; and St. John Eudes, Chatsworth. He conducts over 30 retreats a year and lectures extensively in his special ministry.
Father Juan Romero was born Aug. 31, 1938 in Taos, N.M., attended Sacred Heart School in Lincoln Heights, and is a member of St. John’s class. As an associate he served at St. Alphonsus, East L.A.; Our Lady of Guadalupe, Santa Barbara; St. Linus, Norwalk; and St. Margaret Mary, Lomita. His pastorates include St. Martha, La Puente; St. Clement, Santa Monica; and San Francisco, East L.A. Father Romero was the national coordinator for the Hispanic Encuentro and director of the national association of Padres.
Msgr. Royale Vadakin, a native of Detroit, was born March 27, 1938 and is a member of the 1964 St. John’s class. He was an associate at All Souls, Alhambra, and St. Anthony, San Gabriel. Pastorates include St. Paul, St. Vibiana Cathedral and St. Anastasia, in L.A. A local pioneer in ecumenical and interfaith relations, for 20 years he headed the Ecumenical Commission and in 2003 was appointed Vicar General/Moderator of the Curia for the archdiocese. Named Protonotary Apostolic in 2005, Msgr. Vadakin retired in 2013 as pastor emeritus of St. Anastasia.
Religious Order and Extern Priests
—Redemptorist Father William Adams was born in Fairbanks, Alaska, in 1937 and ordained July 2, 1963 at Immaculate Conception Seminary in Oconommowoc, Wis. He is in residence at St. Mary of the Assumption in Whittier.
—Rogationist Father Rodolfo D’Agostino was born in Italy in 1937 and ordained Aug. 8, 1964 at the Pontifical University in Rome. He has been associate pastor at St. Elizabeth, Van Nuys, since 2001.
—Salesian Father Carmine Vairo was the president of Don Bosco Tech, Rosemead, for 10 years and served at the Salesian Boys Club. He was born in Ohio, 1934 and ordained March 19, 1964.
—Claretian Father George Whedbee was born in New York, 1925 and ordained Feb. 22, 1964 at St. Paul the Apostle, New York City. He is a resident of St. John of God Retirement Center in L.A.
—Father Jerome Cummings died in 1997 at age 63. Father Cummings was born in Monterey in 1934 and celebrated his first Mass at Carmel Mission. A member of the 1964 St. John’s class, he was associate pastor at St. Joseph in Pomona for 23 years, but was primarily involved in education. His high school assignments included Pomona Catholic; Mater Dei, Santa Ana; St. Bernard, Playa Del Rey; Bishop Montgomery, Torrance; St. Paul, Santa Fe Springs; Notre Dame, Sherman Oaks. He also was chaplain at Marymount College, Rancho Palos Verdes.
—Msgr. Louis Gutierrez was born in Los Angeles in 1933, was ordained from St. John’s, and taught at St. Paul High School in Santa Fe Springs and Santa Clara High in Oxnard where he was the principal. In 1979 he was appointed pastor at Sacred Heart Church in Lincoln Heights and 1984 named pastor at St. Paul in Los Angeles. Msgr. Gutierrez was a member of the Priests’ Senate, the Advisory Board of Education, Catholic Big Brothers and the Olympics Organizing Committee. He died in 1994 at age 61.
—Msgr. Hugh McSorley was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, April 21, 1941 and ordained June 21, 1964 at All Hallows Seminary, Dublin. His first assignment was St. Mariana de Paredes, Pico Rivera, where later he served as pastor (1981-93). His other associate work included Holy Angels, Arcadia; St. Timothy, L.A.; and St. Barnabas, Long Beach. From 1993 to 2011, Msgr. McSorley was pastor at St. Bernard, L.A., and retired as pastor emeritus. He died March 28 of this year.
—Father Dorian Rowe was a native of Denver, born in 1938, and moved with his family to Los Angeles in 1941. A member of St. John’s 1964 class, he served as associate pastor at St. Catherine of Siena, Reseda; St. Teresa of Avila, L.A.; Sacred Heart, Lancaster and St. Genevieve, Panorama City. In 1980 he was named pastor of St. Camillus, which served the L.A.County/USC Medical Center, and in 1987 named administrator of St. Mary, Palmdale and then pastor in 1989. A master catechist known for his work in clown ministry, especially teaching youth, Father Rowe died at age 53 on Christmas Day, 1991 after a long illness.