On this day, June 12th, two men who touched my life as a priest died, four years apart. I took note of that in the Necrology (list of the deceased priests and their date of death) found in the Ordo (the little book that tells priests what feast it is, what mass to say, and other important info). We rely on the Ordo in a great way.
On June 12 in 1995 Bishop William G. Connare, the retired second bishop of the Diocese of Greensburg, died peacefully. Bishop Connare had served as our bishop from May 4, 1960 until his retirement in 1987. He lead the Diocese in expansion and growth, and brought us through the Second Vatican Council reforms into the present age. He did many things in his twenty-seven years as our bishop, but most importantly he brought a pastoral and fatherly (then grandfatherly) spirit to the diocese. During his time we expanded parishes and schools, he established the Diocesan Newspaper, The Catholic ACCENT in 1961, he established our Catholic Charities Office, the Minor Seminary at Saint Joseph Hall (where I attended high school) and renovated the Cathedral for the new liturgy in 1972. He nationally worked with the Catholic Missions as well as Catholic Scouting. He attended all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council (1961-1965) and represented the U.S. Bishops at the funeral of the martyred Archbishop Oscar Romero in 1980. But I am sure that his greatest achievement was when he ordained me a priest in 1973! He will always have a special place in my heart and memory.
On June 12, 1991, Monsignor Augustine C. Marzhauser, retired pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Irwin, went home to heaven. He was my first pastor as a priest. I have spoken of him in previous posts. He served as pastor at IC from 1967 to 1974. May he and Bishop Connare rest in peace and enjoy the rewards of their fruitful priesthood.