NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The Congregation of Holy Cross, United States Province of Priests and Brothers, last month celebrated the lives and ministries of members who have reached milestone anniversaries of their ordination.

The jubilee included a Mass of Thanksgiving May 23 at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.  

Among those honored were six priests with Oregon connections.

Celebrating 65 years is Father George Bernard. After ordination, he taught at Notre Dame and served as a vice president before becoming president of Holy Cross College in Washington, D.C. He came west in 1969 to teach theology at the University of Portland. He has remained ever since, serving as theology chair and as academic vice president of the college. He assisted at the parish in Camas, Wash., and its mission in Stevenson, Wash.

“My day begins with praying the Divine Office, Rosary, meditation and Mass,” he says. “The Sacrifice of the Mass has always been most important to me. It is such a great privilege that I am reluctant to pass it up. It is a good thing that God isn’t finished with me yet because I am still learning to pray.”

Marking 50 years is Father James Thornton. Ordained near the start of the Second Vatican Council in a high school gym, he helped train Catholics for changes in the liturgy. He has served as a teacher, administrator, parish priest and addiction counselor for street people in Portland. He is now a helper in Worldwide Marriage Encounter, “a movement that changed my whole view of the Church for the better.” He calls the past 50 years “a blessing for me.”

Ordained 25 years is Father Michael Belinsky, who served on campus ministry staff at UP. After  ordination, he served in parishes in South Bend, Ind. He also worked for FEMA 2003-’06 before coming to Portland and Holy Redeemer Parish and then the university’s chapel of Christ the Teacher. Father Belinsky is now associate pastor at Christ the King Church, in South Bend. “Thanks be to God who gives me life and enables me to offer the ministry of Word and Sacrament in Jesus Christ through the Congregation of Holy Cross,” he says.

Also celebrating 25 years is Father Pat Hannon, a University of Portland graduate who has served at St. André Bessette Parish and on the University of Portland faculty.  

“I’ve been born into stories,” says the priest, a writer who has published books based on family and parish life. He says he pretended to say Mass for the first time at age 6. He calls his confreres in the Congregation of Holy Cross “holy, wounded, fierce and lovely men who left their footprints for me to follow.”

Marking 25 years as a priest is Father Robert Loughery, former pastor of St. André Bessette Parish in Portland. C.S.C. He is now rector of a dormitory at Notre Dame. He also helped in the Holy Cross Mission Office and directed the former André House homeless shelter in Oakland, Calif.

Father Stephen Newton, another former pastor of St. André Bessette, also has been a priest for 25 years. A founder of DePaul treatment centers in Portland, he earned a doctorate in public service from UP in 1986. He directed a center for the homeless in South Bend, Ind. and was rector of a University of Notre Dame residence hall. He also was executive director of Life Treatment Centers and served for a year in Kenya. He is now a teacher at St. Joseph High School in Westchester, Ill.

The U.S. Province is a community of about 500 priests, brothers and men in formation. The Congregation of Holy Cross was founded in France in 1837 by Blessed Basil Moreau.