Eight men, representing 320 years of ministry celebrate their anniversaries of ordination in 2017. Bishop Edward K. Braxton, principal celebrant and homilist, celebrated a special liturgy, honoring those men June 5 at the cathedral.
Priests from around the diocese joined the jubilarians at the liturgy and then later at a dinner honoring them with their families and friends.
Msgr. Vincent Haselhorst, the 60-year jubilarian, brought 61 of his nieces and nephews to the liturgy and the dinner.
Msgr. Haselhorst is justifiably proud of the overwhelming size of his immediate family, and they enjoyed visiting with him and the rest of the guests at the dinner.
Following are the highlights of the priests’ ministries through their years of service.
Msgr. Vincent Haselhorst
Ordained June 1, 1957 by Bishop Albert Zuroweste, Msgr. Vincent Haselhorst’s early parish ministries included associate assignments at the former St. Elizabeth Parish in East St. Louis, St. Luke Parish in Belleville and Holy Rosary Parish in Fairmont City. He also served as a guidance director at the former Assumption High School in East St. Louis.
In 1964 Msgr. Haselhorst volunteered for a Guatemala mission assignment and was named the pastor of Jesus Crucificado in Guastatoya, formerly El Progreso, Guatemala. His ministry in Guatemala initiated the relationship between the Belleville diocese and the Jesus Crucificado parish, and the continuing more than 30 sister parish relationships between Belleville diocesan parishes and Guatemalan parishes.
Returning from Guatemala in 1970, he served as the pastor of five diocesan parishes in the next 30 years: St. Joseph Parish in Olney (1970-1973); St. Augustine Parish in Breese (1973-1978); Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Sparta (1979-1985, after being granted a nine-month leave of absence); Immaculate Conception Parish in Columbia (1985-
in 2000 to devote his time, talent and energy to children and aged by soliciting sponsorships in a weekend national preaching ministry for the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging, now called Unbound, continuing that ministry until several years ago. He also served as the temporary parochial administrator of St. George Parish in New Baden.
Msgr. Haselhorst was named a monsignor in 2000. He was appointed to a number of diocesan boards and councils, including as a diocesan counselor, the Personnel and Clergy Aid boards, and The Messenger Advisory Council.
He continues his residency at the Hincke-Sense Home for retired priests.
Four diocesan priests are celebrating 50-year anniversaries of their ordinations May 13, 1967 by Bishop Albert R. Zuroweste. They were ordained at St. Henry Church in Belleville. (The cathedral church was undergoing reconstruction.)
Msgr. Theodore Baumann
Msgr. Theodore Baumann’s first pastoral assignment was as an associate at St. Mary Parish in Carlyle. Five years later he was appointed the superintendent of the former St. John Children’s Home in Belleville.
In 1977 he began his first pastorate at St. Joseph Parish in Cobden until 1981. After a two-year assignment as the pastor of St. Anthony Parish in Lively Grove and the former St. Anthony Parish in Coulterville, he began an eight-year tenure as the pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Murphysboro.
In 1991 Msgr. Baumann assumed the pastorate of St. Cecilia Parish in Bartelso. As the dean of the North Central Deanery (1994-1999), he was the temporary canonical administrator, usually for several months each, for several North Central Deanery parishes.
After his pastorate at St. Cecilia’s he was assigned to the pastorate of St. Joseph Parish in Freeburg in 1999, continuing until 2006. For two years (2002-2004) he was also the parochial administrator of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Sparta. His last assignment as a pastor was at St. Mary Parish in Valmeyer (2006-2008).
Among diocesan roles, Msgr. Baumann served on the Priests Personnel Board, the Priest Senate and as a diocesan consultor for over 20 years. He was named a monsignor in 2000.
He retired in 2008 and resides at the Hincke-Sense Retirement Home in Belleville.
Msgr. William Hitpas
After his ordination, Msgr. Hitpas began his diocesan ministry as an associate at the former Immaculate Conception Parish in Centreville (1967-1972).
In 1970 he enrolled in a graduate program at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Mo., completing a doctorate in Historical Theology.
In 1973 he was named the associate director and later the director of the former diocesan Religious Education Office until 1978. In 1978 he was named the diocesan director of the newly organized diocesan Office of Catholic Education.
Msgr. Hitpas was assigned as the founding pastor of St. Nicholas Parish in O’Fallon in 1982. He continues as the pastor of St. Nicholas and in 2014 was also named the pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Lebanon. He was named a monsignor in 2000.
In diocesan roles Msgr. Hitpas has served on the Diocesan College of Consultors, the Presbyteral Council and the Priests’ Personnel Board.
St. Nicholas Parish was included in Paul Wilkes’ 2001 publication of “Excellent Catholic Parishes,” an identification of several hundred “excellent” U.S. parishes in the U.S. In 2016 Msgr. Hitpas was awarded St. Louis’ Aquinas Institute of Theology’s Great Preaching Award.
Father Stephen Humphrey
After his ordination, before his first parish assignment as an associate at St. Peter Cathedral in Belleville, Father Stephen Humphrey spent the summer months as an associate chaplain at the diocesan Camp Ondessonk.
A year later he was assigned as an associate at St. Andrew Parish in Murphysboro. During his tenure there he was also the chaplain at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Mursphysboro and at the Anna State Hospital.
In 1971 Father Humphrey began his first pastorate assignment at St. Joseph Parish in Cobden.
Six years later he began a team ministry with Father Clyde Grogan at St. Patrick Parish in East St. Louis. They also served the nonstaffed parishes of Holy Angels and Sacred Heart, also in East St. Louis.
In 1981 Father Humphrey was assigned as the pastor of St. Barbara Parish in Okawville. Four years later he began a pastorate assignment at Sacred Heart Parish in Du Quoin.
Before beginning his next pastoral assignment in 1983 at Immaculate Conception Parish in Columbia, he was granted an educational sabbatical, attending the Institute of Liturgy and Spirituality at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, Calif., and assisted at the Worker Parish there.
In 2000 he began his final pastorate assignment at St. Boniface Parish in Germantown. He retired from assigned ministry in 2007.
Residing in St. Louis, Mo., he continued his ministry as the weekend celebrant at St. Joseph Parish in Lebanon until 2016.
Father Richard Mohr
After a temporary assignment as an associate at the former Holy Angels Parish in East St. Louis, Father Richard Mohr began a seven-year tenure as a member of the Althoff Catholic High School faculty and was the faculty moderator of the Althoff Crusader, the student newspaper. During his final year at Althoff (1973-1974) he served as an associate at St. Mary Parish in Belleville.
In 1974 Father Mohr was named the director of the Diocesan Communications Commission and published regular columns in the Belleville diocesan newspaper, The Messenger, continuing in the role as director of the diocese’s Communications Commission until 1981.
His first pastorate assignment in 1975 was at St. Patrick Parish in Ruma and St. Leo Parish in Modoc, also serving as the chaplain at the Adorers’ religious community in Ruma. The following year he was named the pastor at St. Anthony Parish in Lively Grove and the former St. Anthony Parish in Coulterville.
In 1981 he began a nine-year pastorate at St. Augustine Parish in Breese, followed by an assignment as the pastor at St. Joseph Parish in Marion in 1990.
He retired from assigned ministry in 2009. For a number of years he was a weekend celebrant at St. Paul Parish in Johnston City and has also served as the sacramental minister at Holy Spirit Parish in Carterville.
Father George Mauck
After his ordination May 5, 1977 by Bishop William Cosgrove, Father George Mauck was assigned as a full-time staff member at the former Assumption High School in East St. Louis, including serving as the director of pastoral services ((1977-1981) and director of student personnel (1981-1986).
After initial residency at Holy Family Parish in Cahokia, and continuing as a member of the Assumption High School staff, he was assigned as the administrator of St. Regis Parish in East St. Louis (1978-1983) and as pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Dupo (1983-1986).
In 1986 he began his eight-year pastorate at St. Joseph Parish in Olney and St. Joseph Parish in Stringtown (1986-1994). During that tenure he was also the temporary administrator at Holy Cross Parish in Wendelin (1988-1989).
After a sabbatical (August 1994-December 1994), Father Mauck began his current pastorate at St. Mary Parish in Carlyle on Dec. 16, 1994. In 2004 he was named the canonical pastor of St. Teresa Parish in Marydale.
Diocesan committee assignments have included the Review Board and the Personnel Board.
Two diocesan priests, ordained May 26, 2007 by Bishop Edward K. Braxton, are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their ordinations.
Father Steven Beatty
Father Steven Beatty’s first pastoral assignment was as a parochial vicar at St. Peter Cathedral in Belleville for a period of three years.
In 2010 Father Beatty was named the administrator of the four Gallatin County parishes: St. Joseph Parish in Equality; St. Patrick Parish in Pond Settlement; St. Joseph Parish in Ridgway and St. Mary Parish in Shawneetown. He was also named the chaplain at the diocese’s Camp Ondessonk.
A 2012 tornado destroyed the St. Joseph Ridgway church, and damage to the parish rectory precluded continued residence there.
In 2014 the four Gallatin parishes were suppressed and a new parish, St. Kateri Tekakwitha: Lily of the Mohawks was established in Ridgway., with Father Beatty as the pastor. The former parishes in Equality, Pond Settlement and Shawneetown continue as chapels.
The newly-constructed St. Kateri Tekakwitha Church was dedicated in 2016. Father Beatty continues his residency in the Shawneetown priest residence.
Father Benjamin Stern
Father Benjamin Stern began his pastoral ministry in the Belleville diocese as a parochial vicar at St. Dominic Parish in Breese.
After three years he was assigned the administrator of St. Boniface Parish in Evansville. In 2014 he was named the pastor of the Evansville parish and also of St. Mary Parish in Ellis Grove and St. Joseph Parish in Willisville, continuing until 2016.
In 2016 he was named the pastor of St. Theresa Parish in Salem and Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Kinmundy. He continues in that pastoral assignment.