Dominicans offer their lives to preach the Gospel and dedicate their lives in service to God and the Church. The vast majority of Dominican friars are ordained as priests, and like all Dominicans they are commissioned to preach the fruits of their contemplation. As we enter the final months of 2022, we take a moment to celebrate our jubilarians -- priests who celebrated 10, 25, 50, and 60 years of priesthood this year! Below are reflections from each of our jubilarians, along with photos collected from their celebrations and years of priestly service.
Thank you to all who graciously support our friars through decades of priesthood. Please join us in a prayer of thanksgiving for these priests as they celebrate the anniversaries of their priestly ordination, and years of service to God and you!
Fr. Thomas Benedict DeMan, O.P. - 60 years
Fr. Thomas DeMan was ordained to the priesthood on December 22, 1962 and celebrates 60 years of priesthood this year. In 2006, he wrote and published Into the Deep: A Journey Through Turbulent Times in Church and Society, an autobiography that covers his ordination in 1962 and his ministry as a priest and campus chaplain over the next five decades. Fr. Thomas is now retired from active ministry, but assists at the St. Thomas More Newman Center in Tuscon, Arizona, which serves the college students at University of Arizona and Pima Community College.
As he celebrated Mass for his diamond jubilee (photos below), Fr. Thomas looked back on his 60 years of priesthood and encouraged younger generations of priests with this reflection:
The church of today is very different from the church of sixty years ago. And yet a new foundation has been begun. The words of Jesus were life giving then and remain so today. Unlike Queen Elizabeth, I doubt I will celebrate my platinum jubilee, but if the priests now being ordained are faithful to the words of Jesus they too will celebrate silver, golden and perhaps even diamond jubilees.
Fr. David Kevin O'Rourke, O.P. - 60 years
Fr. David O'Rourke was ordained to the priesthood on June 9, 1962 and celebrates 60 years of priesthood this year. He's served in many roles over the years, including parish priest and professor, and is also known as an artist, gardener, teacher, translator, and licensed marriage & family therapist. Fr. David is an accomplished author and editor, published extensively in the area of cultural history and current affairs. He's authored several books, including A Process Called Conversion, his memoir The Story of an Accidental Outsider, and How America's First Settlers Invented Chattel Slavery on cultural history. He's also the Executive Director of The Tatra Project, an educational program focused on the Baltic Republics and the impact of years of Soviet repression. Fr. David is currently the Parochial Administrator at our Lady of Mercy Parish in Point Richmond, California.
Fr. David's work in the Baltics has greatly impacted his sentiments surrounding the current situation in Ukraine. He gives this reflection about his diamond jubilee:
I did not have a celebration for my 60th anniversary. With people being so horribly slaughtered in Ukraine I decided that celebrating is not appropriate for me. I worked for years in what was the old Soviet Union - in the Baltics - after the Soviet tanks finally pulled out in 2004. And I went there in 2009 at the request of the head of the Order, to help rebuild the Dominican communities. My years of work there did not leave me with a desire to celebrate this hallmark in my life given the current conflict. Instead, I am simply thankful for what I may have been able to do for the people I worked and lived with every day. More, it is truly a great gift to continue my work here for which I am every-day grateful.
Photo credit: Dominique Ghekiere-Mintz, The Catholic Voice
Fr. Brian Thomas Becket Mullady, O.P. - 50 years
Fr. Brian Mullady was ordained to the priesthood on June 16, 1972 and celebrates 50 years of priesthood this year. He has served in many roles within and beyond the province, including parish priest, teacher, retreat master, itinerant preacher, and university professor. Fr. Brian has published many books and video series, and is well-known by his television and radio roles on EWTN and other national catholic networks.
Fr. Brian is currently a member of the Western Dominican Itinerant Preachers who hosts mission talks and events throughout the country. He's an adjunct professor, active with EWTN as a radio host, and was recently awarded the 2022 Pro Fideliate et Virtute Award from the Institute on Religious Life.
When reflecting on his 50 years as a priest, Fr. Brian says:
"As someone who came from UC Santa Barbara in 1966, it's simply a marvel of God's grace that I have been a part of the mission of the Order. As a priest on EWTN, to the Seminary in Cromwell Connecticut, with a stopover for a few years in Rome -- it has been a marvelous ride which hopefully will end in heaven. Non nobis te Domine!
Fr. Christopher John Renz, O.P. - 25 years
Fr. Christopher Renz was ordained to the priesthood on May 31, 1997 and celebrates 25 year of priesthood this year. He is currently a Professor of Liturgical Studies and Science & Theology at the Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology. To read more about Fr. Chris' publications, view video content, and learn more about his background, visit www.dspt.edu/chris-renz.
Fr. Chris reflects on his 25 years as a priest with these words:
Having been ordained on the Feast of the Visitation, May 31st, the Magnificat, the prayer uttered by Mary (Luke 1: 46-55), has served as a guiding principle throughout my twenty-five years of priestly ministry to the Mystical Body of Christ. In particular, the reality that Mary sees herself as "lowly" and is aware that God has favored this lowliness that reminds me of the same lowliness that her son, Jesus, assumed in becoming one like us in order to suffer and die for us. It is this lowliness which I hope and pray will be the foundation for my own ministry.
Fr. Bartholomew Hutcherson, O.P. - 25 years
Fr. Bart Hutcherson was ordained on May 31, 1997 and celebrates 25 years of priesthood this year. The majority of his assignments have involved working with young people at Newman Centers and university parishes, and he also served as a parish priest. Fr. Bart is currently one of our Western Dominican Itinerant Preachers, offering retreats, parish missions, pilgrimages, and special programs throughout the country. He's also an adjunct professor of homiletics at the Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology.
As he looks back on his 25 years as a priest, Fr. Bart provides this reflection:
The celebration of the 25th anniversary of my ordination has given me a lot of opportunities to reflect on the many blessings God has afforded me in exercise of my responsibilities and ministries as a priest. The Order and the Province has called me to stretch myself in many different ministries through the years and each has been a source of grace. I find that grace mostly in the wonderful people with whom and to whom I have ministered. I am blessed to have beautiful relationships all over the world because of my many assignments and ministries, and my life is richer for each of them. I look forward to what God has in store for the next 25 years!
Photo Credit: Br. Anthony Cherian, O.P.
Fr. Emmanuel Taylor, O.P. - 10 years
Fr. Emmanuel Taylor was ordained on May 26, 2012 and celebrates 10 years of priesthood this year. His first assignment was as a parish priest at St. Dominic Church in San Francisco, and he also ministered to people in Silicon Valley in an effort to use technology for evangelization. Since then, Fr. Emmanuel has moved into campus ministry at Stanford University, University of Arizona, and University of Oregon. He is currently assigned to St. Thomas More Newman Center in Tuscon, Arizona.
Reflecting on 10 years as a priest, Fr. Emmanuel imparts the following reflection:
Ten years of Ordination -- mandated to mission as a Friar Preacher! Interacting with holy people in our parishes and campus ministries has led me to desire more deeply holiness as a priest in union with Christ and effectiveness as a preacher like St. Dominic.
Interested in supporting the formation of more great Dominican preachers? Consider a gift to the Rosary Sunday Dominican Student Appeal!