Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron has announced that Pope Benedict XVI has conferred the title of “Monsignor” upon eight Detroit-area priests: Fathers Ronald Browne, John Hall, Timothy Hogan, Michael Hrydziuszko, Thomas Johnson, Russell Kohler, Gary Smetanka and Daniel Trapp.
A prayer service to mark this occasion will be held at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 23, with a reception following.
The honorary title of “monsignor” is given to Roman Catholic priests as a sign of appreciation and recognition of the service they have rendered, both locally and in the world. Including those newly named, 34 of the Archdiocese of Detroit’s 400-plus active and retired diocesan priests hold the title of “monsignor.” There are three ranks of monsignors. The newly named monsignors are designated at the first rank of “Chaplain to His Holiness.”
“The eight priests honored by Pope Benedict XVI have given the Church many years of faithful service in fulfilling a variety of pastoral responsibilities,” said Archbishop Vigneron. “In that they represent the whole Detroit presbyterate, this recognition honors all of our priests for their generous self-sacrifice in working in communion with the Holy Father and the College of Bishops to share Christ with those to whom they have been sent.”
Monsignor Ronald T. Browne, 56, since 2009 has been serving as moderator of the curia for the Diocese of Marquette, Michigan. Prior to his current assignment, Monsignor Browne had served as judicial vicar of the Archdiocese of Detroit’s Metropolitan Tribunal, and on the Archdiocesan Presbyteral Council and the Priest Assignment Board. He holds a civil law doctorate from Wayne State University and a license in canon law from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit in June 1991.
Monsignor John F. Hall, 84, a senior priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit since 1998, had served ten parishes and as a hospital chaplain during his active priestly ministry, as well as terms on the Archdiocesan Presbyteral Council, the Priest Senate and Priest Pension Board. Since attaining senior status, Monsignor Hall has served a number of temporary assignments as administrator of parishes and presently also serves as a spiritual director for seminarians at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit in June 1955.
Monsignor Timothy D. Hogan, 61, presently serves as the archbishop’s vicar for Clergy and Consecrated Life and as a weekend assistant at St. Regis Parish in Bloomfield Hills. Monsignor Hogan has served as a chaplain to the U.S. Navy Reserve, a ministry during which he was deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Europe and Japan. He also has served as regional moderator for the Northeast Region of the Archdiocese of Detroit and on the Archdiocesan Presbyteral Council. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit in December 1982.
Monsignor Michael G. Hrydziuszko (RA-dis-co), 61, presently serves as pastor of St. Andrew Parish in Rochester, the Archdiocese’s largest parish, and on the College of Consultors and as chair of the clergy ownership committee for Changing Lives Together. Monsignor Hrydziuszko has served on the Archdiocesan Presbyteral Council, the Priest Assignment Board, and the Priest Pension Board. He also was a founding member of Austin Catholic Academy in Ray Township. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit in June 1995.
Monsignor H. Thomas Johnson, 61, presently serves as pastor of St. Kieran Parish in Shelby Township, in the Archdiocese of Detroit College of Consultors, on the Archdiocesan Finance Council, and on the St. John Center Board of Directors. Monsignor Johnson also has served as an auditor for the Archdiocese of Detroit’s Metropolitan Tribunal, as a delegate on the restructuring of the Archdiocese, and as executive producer of events preceding Pope John Paul II’s Mass at the Pontiac Silverdome in 1987. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit in June 1978.
Monsignor Russell E. Kohler, 69, has served as pastor of Most Holy Trinity Parish in Detroit’s Historic Corktown District since 1991 and this year also became pastor of Ste. Anne de Detroit Parish, the Archdiocese’s oldest parish. Alongside pastoral duties, Monsignor Kohler also has served as chaplain to hospitals, law enforcement agencies and the Apostleship of the Sea; has hosted the annual St. Patrick’s Day Mass at Most Holy Trinity; and has spearheaded a number of charitable initiatives in the city. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit in January 1973.
Monsignor Gary T. Smetanka (smeh-TANK-ah), 56, serves as pastor of Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish in Grosse Pointe Woods, as chairman for the Archdiocese of Detroit Worship Commission, and as a coordinator of priest funeral liturgies. Monsignor Smetanka also has served as the Archdiocese of Detroit’s assistant master of ceremonies, on the Archdiocesan Presbyteral Council, and as a faculty member at Sacred Heart Major Seminary. He was ordained for the Archdiocese of Detroit in December 1982.
Monsignor Daniel J. Trapp, 54, serves as spiritual director and associate professor for the School of Theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, and as pastor of St. Augustine & St. Monica Parish in Detroit. Monsignor Trapp also serves on the seminary’s priestly formation team and has conducted numerous retreats and seminars for priests, seminarians and laypeople. He has served on the Archdiocesan Presbyteral Council and has served as the Archdiocese of Detroit’s Director for the Office of Religious Education in the early 1990s. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit in December 1984.
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