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 | Staff Report

Priests to be Recognized for Decades of Devoted Service

March 22, 2023 | At this year's Chrism Mass on Tuesday, April 4, 2023,  Bishop Gregory Parkes will recognize priests who are celebrating special anniversaries of their ordination. This year, 23 priests will be honored for their 25th, 40th, 50th, 60th and 65th anniversary.

In this article, we highlight the priests who will commemorate their 25th, 40th, 60th, and 65th years of ordination.

All are invited to attend the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle, or pray along online through live video stream at www.dosp.org/livestream or www.facebook.com/DioStPete. You can also listen to a live radio broadcast on Spirit FM 90.5.

We are pleased to share the background stories of our Jubilarians with you below:


25 YEARS:

Rev. Richard C. Hermes, S.J.

Since 2008, Father Hermes has served as the President of Jesuit High School, in Tampa.  He was born in Shreveport, Louisiana and was ordained to the priesthood in New Orleans on August 1, 1998, for the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).  He studied at the Pontifical Biblical University in Rome, from where he received his Licentiate in Sacred Scripture (S.S.L.) in 2000.  He has also studied at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, in Jerusalem.  Before coming to Tampa, Father Hermes served as Chair of the Theology department at Jesuit High School, in New Orleans.

Rev. Saji James, M.S.T.

Father James was born in Josegiri, Kerala, India, later joining the Missionary Society of St. Thomas the Apostle.  He was ordained to the priesthood on May 4, 1998, after which he was assigned to a local parish, and later to a minor seminary in India, where he served as Vice-Rector.  After being sent for continuing studies in Rome (2003-2005), Father James accepted the responsibility of Principal of St. Thomas Catholic School, in Ujjain, India, where he served from 2005 to 2010.  He was then assigned by his Superior as Parochial Vicar of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, New Port Richey, where he has provided outstanding ministry to English- and Spanish-speaking parishioners for the past 13 years.

Rev. Theobald Z. Weria, A.L.C.P.

Born in Moshi, Tanzania, Father ‚ÄúTheo‚ÄĚ Weria was ordained to the priesthood for the Apostolic Life Community of Priests, Africa Province, on July 4, 1998.¬† After three years of various assignments in his native Tanzania, Father Weria came to the Diocese of St. Petersburg in 2001, serving as Parochial Vicar of Sacred Heart Parish, Pinellas Park (2001-2007), Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Dunedin (2007-2008), and St. Joseph Parish, Zephyrhills (2008-2011, 2012-2015), where he also served as Parochial Administrator from 2011 to 2012, following the death of the community‚Äôs beloved pastor, Father George Rozycki.¬† Father Weria took a four-year break from full-time ministry to earn a degree in mathematics from Saint Leo University (2015-2019), after which he served the parish community of St. Peter Claver, Tampa, as Parochial Administrator (2019-2021).¬† In 2021, he was appointed to his current post as Parochial Vicar of St. Cecelia Parish, Clearwater.


40 YEARS:


Rev. Ralph Intranuovo, S.C.J.

Father Intranuovo came to the Diocese of St. Petersburg in 2006, as a semi-retired member of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, being assigned by his superior to the community‚Äôs retirement residence in Pinellas Park.¬† Over the past 17 years, he has provided ministry to the residents of Bon Secours Place, Bon Secours Maria Manor, St. Anthony‚Äôs Hospital, Mease Countryside Hospital, and to parishes in Pinellas County, particularly St. Matthew, Largo, and Most Holy Name of Jesus, Gulfport.¬† ‚ÄúFather Ralph‚ÄĚ was born in Brooklyn, New York and was ordained to the priesthood for the Sacred Heart Congregation on June 10, 1983.¬† Prior to religious life, he taught Social Studies to Catholic high school students in New York.¬† At age 39, he discovered an advertisement about adult vocations to the Priests of the Sacred Heart and chose to pursue a vocation to the priesthood.

Rev. Ronald A. Marecki

Born in Erie, Pennsylvania, Father Marecki eventually moved to Florida with his family, and graduated from Bishop Barry High School (now St. Petersburg Catholic H.S.), in 1971.  He received his Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary, Boynton Beach, and his Master’s degree in Divinity from the Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, Ohio, after which he was ordained to the priesthood on June 4, 1983, for the Diocese of Charlotte.  Father Marecki worked in parishes in North Carolina and in the Diocese of St. Petersburg.  He has also provided ministry as Chaplain at Bay Pines VA Hospital, St. Petersburg (1994-1995) and Bath VA Medical Center, Bath, New York (1995-1997).  He located permanently to our Diocese in 1999, to be closer to his family and was accepted as a priest of our Diocese in 2001.  Father Marecki has served as Parochial Vicar of the following parishes: Christ the King, Tampa (1991-1992), St. Patrick, Largo (1992-1994), St. Michael the Archangel, Clearwater (1999-2001), the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle (2001-2003), and Pastor of St. Anne, Ridge Manor (2003-2007), and St. Thomas the Apostle, Homosassa (2007-2018).  He was granted retirement status on September 1, 2018.

Rev. Msgr. Michael G. Muhr

A product of Chicago, and a ‚Äúdie-hard White Sox fan,‚ÄĚ Monsignor Muhr was 13 when he and his family moved to Florida, where he graduated from Leto High School, in Tampa.¬† As a teenager, he discerned a vocation to priestly ministry and was ordained for the Diocese of St. Petersburg on May 21, 1983, after which he served as Parochial Vicar of St. Lawrence, Tampa (1983-1986) and St. Ignatius of Antioch, Tarpon Springs (1986-1990).¬† From 1990 to 1992, he was Pastor of St. Ignatius of Antioch and was later assigned as Pastor of Christ the King Parish, Tampa (1992-2001).¬† For the next 14 years, he would serve as Dean of Spiritual Formation at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary, Boynton Beach (2001-2015).¬† Upon returning to Tampa, ‚ÄúFather Mike‚ÄĚ returned to St. Lawrence, serving as Pastor from 2015 to 2018, when, after a nearly unanimous vote by his brother priests, he was elected as the first-ever Director of Ministry to Priests for the Diocese of St. Petersburg, providing outstanding support to the presbyterate for four years until once again being appointed as Pastor of St. Lawrence Parish in September 2022.¬† Honors include the Father Luis de Cancer Distinguished Priestly Service Award, in 2007, and, in 2011, he was named Chaplain of His Holiness by Pope Benedict XVI, having been granted the title of ‚ÄúMonsignor.‚ÄĚ

Rev. Ryszard J. Stradomski

Father Stradomski was born in Bielawa, Poland and was ordained to the priesthood on June 29, 1983, for the Diocese of Rzeszow. Following ordination, he served as Parochial Vicar of four parishes in Poland between 1983 and 1992.  After one year of missionary training, Father Stradomski went to Guatemala, where he was Pastor of three parishes (1993-2000).  In 2000, he came to the Diocese of St. Petersburg and was incardinated into our Diocese in 2005.  Since his arrival, he has been served as Parochial Vicar of Corpus Christi Parish, Temple Terrace (2000-2006), and Nativity Parish, Brandon (2006-2009).  In 2009, Bishop Robert Lynch appointed Father Stradomski to the office of Pastor of St. Benedict Parish, Crystal River, where he has served the local community faithfully for the past 14 years.


60 YEARS:

Rev. Bernard MacAdam

Born in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada, Father MacAdam has made the Diocese of St. Petersburg his seasonal home since 2005, following his retirement two years earlier.

He was ordained to the priesthood on June 8, 1963 for the Diocese of Antigonish, initially working as Parochial Vicar of four different parishes in Nova Scotia between 1963 and 1971.  Discerning a call to missionary work, he served as Superior of a diocesan mission in Honduras (1971-1982), after which he spent two years at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, receiving an M.A. degree in Religious Leadership in 1984.  Father MacAdam returned to Canada, where he served as Pastor in two parishes in the Diocese of Antigonish (1984-2003).  After purchasing a seasonal residence in Largo, he has provided assistance to St. Justin, Martyr Parish, Seminole for more than 18 years, along with assistance to other local parishes.  During the summer months, Father MacAdam continues to fill in for vacationing pastors in his home diocese.

Rev. Anthony H. Plathe

Father Plathe is a native of Madison, Minnesota and was ordained to the priesthood on February 3, 1963 for the Diocese of New Ulm.  For the first 26 years of his priestly ministry, he served his home diocese as Parochial Vicar of two parishes, and later as Pastor of five different parishes.  He also served a brief stint as diocesan Director of Adult Education.  He came to the Diocese of St. Petersburg in the 1980s and worked as Parochial Vicar of St. Catherine of Siena Parish, Clearwater from 1989 to 1991.  Discerning a call to Prison Ministry, Father Plathe moved to the Diocese of Las Cruces, New Mexico, where he worked as a Chaplain in correctional facilities in from 1991 to 1999.  Shortly thereafter, he returned to our Diocese and has provided ministry to Hospice facilities, nursing homes, hospitals, and parishes in Pinellas County for nearly 25 years. 


65 YEARS:

Rev. Thomas K. Murphy, O.F.M.

Born in Arlington, Massachusetts, Father Murphy joined the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor in 1953 and will celebrate the 70th anniversary of his first profession as a Franciscan in August 2023.  He was ordained to the priesthood on April 25, 1958. 

His ministry experiences include teaching in Catholic high schools in Callicoon and Buffalo, NY (Latin, French, math, religion, tennis) from 1959-1965, serving as an active-duty Chaplain for the U.S. Army in Texas, Georgia, and Vietnam (1966-1969), followed by 20 years as a reserve duty Chaplain (1969-1989).  Father Murphy also worked in college campus ministry, parish ministry, and retreat ministry in New York and New Jersey between 1970 and 1990, after which he moved to Florida, where he served as a Spiritual Assistant from 1991 to 2013.  He currently resides at St. Anthony Friary, in St. Petersburg.  Father Murphy is also a published author.  His works include Praying the Psalms in the Light of the Lord’s Prayer (2015) and The Cradle of the Catholic Church and the Franciscan Order in the U.S.A. (1998).

Rev. Msgr. Frank M. Mouch

Born in Sandusky, Ohio, Monsignor Mouch discerned a call to priestly ministry, completed his Philosophy and Theology studies, and was ordained for the Diocese of St. Augustine on June 10, 1958.  He spent many of his early years in academia, including as a faculty member of the Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, Ohio (1958-1963), and later as Rector of the Josephinum (1974-1984), and as President of Saint Leo College (1987-1996).  During the intervening years, Monsignor Mouch worked as temporary Administrator and Pastor of parishes in the Dioceses of St. Augustine, Venice, and St. Petersburg, including a brief assignment as Administrator of the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle, St. Petersburg.  He has also worked as Vice-Chancellor for the Diocese of St. Augustine (1963-1964) and as Director of Campus Ministry, for the University of Florida (1964-1966), from where he earned an M.A. degree in Education in 1965.  From 1968 to 1974, he served as Superintendent of Catholic Education for the newly established Diocese of St. Petersburg (1968-1974), and later as Director of Communications, Planning, Development, and Building for the Diocese of Venice, where he is currently incardinated.  He served as Secretary for Pastoral Programs for the Diocese of St. Petersburg from 1999 until his retirement in 2002.  Since then, Monsignor Mouch has provided assistance to St. Mary Parish, Tampa and to other local parishes until 2021.  He was named Prelate of Honor by Pope St. Paul VI in 1975, with the honorary title of Monsignor.


Editor's Note: On March 29th, we will highlight the priests who will be celebrating 50 years of service.