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Archdiocese celebrates 515 years of priesthood

15 priests marking ordination anniversaries to be honored at annual chrism Mass

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MIAMI | As is the custom every year at the Chrism Mass, archdiocesan priests will renew their vows, and those marking 25th, 50th and higher anniversaries of ordination will receive special recognition.

The Chrism Mass, which is open to the public, will take place Tuesday of Holy Week, March 27, beginning at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary Cathedral, 7525 N.W. Second Ave., Miami.

During the Mass, Archbishop Thomas Wenski will bless the holy oils that will be used throughout the year at all archdiocesan parishes: the oil of catechumens, used in baptisms; the oil of chrism, used in confirmations; and the oil used for the anointing of the sick.

Following are brief biographies of the priests who are marking anniversaries of ordination this year:

 

 
 

 

65 YEARS

Father George Cardona

Father George Cardona, ordained May 31, 1953.

Photographer: FILE

Father George Cardona, ordained May 31, 1953.

Father Cardona was born in Mataró, Catalonia, Spain and ordained for the Piarist Fathers in Barcelona on May 31, 1953. He studied in Havana and Los Angeles before arriving in Miami in September 1966. He taught at Cardinal Gibbons High School, Fort Lauderdale, from 1966 to 1968 and again from 1973 to 1976. He worked as a chaplain at Mercy Hospital from 1976 until 1980, when he was appointed parochial vicar at St. Augustine, Coral Gables. On Oct. 21, 1981, he became a priest of the archdiocese. After St. Augustine, he served at St. Agnes in Key Biscayne (1985) and St. Hugh in Coconut Grove (1986). He then became parochial vicar at St. James, North Miami, until 1988, when he moved to St. John the Apostle, Hialeah. He remained there as parochial vicar until his retirement in 1995.

 

 
 

 

50 YEARS

 

Father Andres Coucelo

Father Andres Coucelo, ordained March 9, 1968

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Father Andres Coucelo, ordained March 9, 1968

Father Coucelo was born in Marianao, a suburb of Havana, Cuba, and entered the seminary in exile in 1961, studying in Ponce, Puerto Rico, and the Colegio Hispano Americano in Spain. He was ordained in Spain for the Archdiocese of Havana March 9, 1968 and worked there for a few months, until coming to South Florida in November 1969. He was incardinated (became a priest of) the Archdiocese of Miami June 20, 1988. He has served as parochial vicar at St. John Bosco, Miami (1970-72), St. John the Apostle, Hialeah (1972-76), Corpus Christi, Miami (1978-79), Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, Fort Lauderdale (1979-83), St. Hugh, Coconut Grove (1983-96), and Nativity, Hollywood (1996-99). He retired from active ministry in 1999 but continues to help at Mother of Christ, Miami. In June 2008, he was named chaplain to Nueva Vida, a movement for those dealing with addictions.

 

 
 

 

Msgr. James Fetscher

Msgr. James Fetscher, ordained May 25, 1968

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Msgr. James Fetscher, ordained May 25, 1968

Although he was born in New York, Father Fetscher grew up in Holy Family Parish in North Miami and was ordained May 25, 1968 for the Archdiocese of Miami. He served in the religious education department from 1969 to 1971, and became founding director of the archdiocesan Office of Worship from 1978 to 1984. Concurrently, he served as parochial vicar at St. Mark in Boynton Beach, Visitation Church in North Miami, teacher at Msgr. Edward Pace High School in Miami Gardens, member of the faculty at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, parochial vicar at St. Lawrence Church in North Miami Beach and associate rector at St. Mary Cathedral in Miami. From 1976 to 1980 he served as parochial vicar at St. Louis Church in Pinecrest, where he would return as pastor in 1982. He remained at St. Louis until September 2010, when he was named to his current post as pastor of St. Sebastian in Fort Lauderdale.

 

 
 

 

Father Michael Kelly

Father Edward Michael Kelly, ordained June 16, 1968

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Father Edward Michael Kelly, ordained June 16, 1968

Father Kelly was born in County Westmeath, Ireland, and ordained there June 17, 1968 for the Archdiocese of Miami. His first assignment was as parochial vicar at Holy Family, North Miami, followed by stints at Little Flower, Hollywood (1970-73), Holy Name of Jesus, West Palm Beach (1973-78), and St. Joseph, Stuart (1978-80). In 1980, he was named pastor of St. James in North Miami, where he served until 1985, at which point he was named to his current position as pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Coral Springs. Father Kelly also has served as spiritual director of the Legion of Mary, and chaplain to the Boy Scouts and Knights of Columbus.

 

 
 

 

Father Thomas Mullane

Father Thomas Mullane, ordained June 8, 1968

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Father Thomas Mullane, ordained June 8, 1968

Father Mullane was born in County Limerick, Ireland, and ordained there June 8, 1968 for the Archdiocese of Miami. He served as parochial vicar at St. Thomas the Apostle, Miami (1968-69), Immaculate Conception, Hialeah (1969-71) St. Brendan, Miami (1971-73), St. Helen, Fort Lauderdale (1973-77), St. Edward, Palm Beach (1977-78), and administrator of St. Bede in Key West from 1978 to 1987. After taking a sabbatical, he was named administrator of St. Peter Church, Big Pine Key, in April 1988, and installed as pastor in 2000. He served at St. Peter until his retirement in July 2014.

 

 
 

 

25 YEARS

 

Father Rolando Cabrera

Father Rolando Cabrera, ordained July 6, 1993

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Father Rolando Cabrera, ordained July 6, 1993

Born in Havana, Cuba, Father Cabrera was ordained for the Archdiocese of Havana July 6, 1993. Sent to study at the Gregorian University in Rome, he received his licentiate in theology in 1995 and his doctorate in 2003. In between his studies, from 1995 to 2000 and again from 2000 to 2003, he served as rector of Havana’s cathedral, secretary to Cardinal Jaime Ortega and professor at the San Carlos and San Ambrosio seminary in Havana. After coming to Miami in April 2007, he served as parochial vicar at Epiphany, South Miami, until 2011, when he was named parochial vicar at St. Mark, Southwest Ranches. Since September 2013 he has served as administrator, and now pastor, of St. Catherine of Siena, Miami.

 

 
 

 

Father Angel R. Calderon

Father Angel Calderon, ordained Dec. 12, 1993

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Father Angel Calderon, ordained Dec. 12, 1993

Born in Ecuador, Father Calderon studied for the priesthood in Quito, Ecuador, and Lima, Peru, as well as Rome, Italy. He was ordained Dec. 12, 1993 for the Franciscans and worked in formation for the order, as well as in parishes in Peru and Ecuador. In December 2003, he was incardinated in the Apostolic Vicariate of Galapagos. He served as pastor of two parishes there, Cristo Salvador from 2003 to 2013, and Sagrada Familia from 2013 to 2014. He came to Miami and served at Little Flower, Hollywood, from February 2015 until his current appointment, in June 2015, as parochial vicar at St. Stephen in Miramar.

 

 
 

 

Father Enrique Estrada

Father Enrique Estrada, ordained April 16, 1993

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Father Enrique Estrada, ordained April 16, 1993

Born in Nicaragua, Father Estrada came to Miami with his family and graduated from Miami Senior High. He studied English at Miami Dade College before entering the seminary and was ordained April 16, 1993 for the Archdiocese of Miami. He served as parochial vicar at St. Vincent, Margate (1993-95) and St. Patrick, Miami Beach (1995-96) before being sent to higher studies at the Gregorian University in Rome. When he returned in 1998, he was named parochial vicar at St. Catherine of Siena, Miami (1998-2000), Our Lady of Lourdes, Miami (2000-01), and again at St. Patrick, (2001-03). He served as pastor of St. Joseph, Miami Beach, from 2003 until 2010. He then served as parochial vicar at St. John Neumann, Miami (2010-11), and administrator of St. Raymond, Miami (2011-14). In July 2014 he was named to his current post as pastor at pastor at Our Lady of Divine Providence, Miami.

 

 
 

 

Bishop Fernando Isern

Bishop Fernando Isern, ordained April 16, 1993

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Bishop Fernando Isern, ordained April 16, 1993

Bishop Isern is a native of Cuba who moved to Venezuela at the age of 5, and then Miami at age 9. He studied marketing and international business at Miami Dade College and Florida International University, and worked in the marketing department of a bank until entering the seminary. Ordained for the Archdiocese of Miami on April 16, 1993, he served as parochial vicar at St. Mark, Southwest Ranches, (1993-96), St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Pompano Beach (1996-99), and St. Agnes, Key Biscayne (1999-2002). He also served as adjunct professor at St. Vincent de Paul Seminary (1999), assistant chaplain for Encuentros Juveniles (1999), and president of Archbishop Coleman Carroll High School, Miami (2008-09). He was named parochial vicar of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Kendall, in June 2002, becoming pastor in March 2003. He served there until his appointment as bishop of Pueblo, Colo., on Oct. 15, 2009. He retired from active ministry in June 2013 but continues to help with confirmations throughout the archdiocese.

 

 
 

 

Father Franky Jean

Father Franky Jean, ordained April 16, 1993

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Father Franky Jean, ordained April 16, 1993

A native of Haiti, Father Jean studied in his native Cap Haïtien until entering St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach. He was ordained for the Archdiocese of Miami April 16, 1993 and assigned as parochial vicar to Holy Family, North Miami (1993-95), and St. Bartholomew, Miramar (1995-98). He served as administrator of Divine Mercy Haitian Mission in Fort Lauderdale from 1998 to 2004, and administrator and pastor of Holy Family, North Miami, from 2004 until July 2016, when he was named to his current post as pastor of San Pedro Church in Tavernier.

 

 
 

 

Father Christopher Marino

Father Christopher Marino, ordained April 16, 1993

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Father Christopher Marino, ordained April 16, 1993

Father Marino is a New York native who graduated from Chaminade College Preparatory (now Chaminade-Madonna College Prep) in Hollywood after moving to South Florida. He studied one year at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., before entering the seminary, and was ordained for the Archdiocese of Miami April 16, 1993. His first assignment was as parochial vicar at Immaculate Conception, Hialeah (1993-95), followed by work as parochial vicar at St. Agatha, Miami (1995-97). From 1996 to 1997, he taught at Christopher Columbus High School, Miami, and from 1997 to 2002, he served as chaplain and religion teacher at Archbishop Curley Notre Dame High School, Miami, while helping at Sacred Heart, Homestead, St. James, North Miami and Holy Family, North Miami. He served as administrator and later pastor of Visitation, North Miami, from 2002 to 2008, and then as pastor of St. Michael the Archangel, Miami from 2008 to 2012, when he was named to his current assignment as rector of St. Mary Cathedral.

 

 
 

 

Father Juan Carlos Ríos

Father Juan Carlos Rios, ordained April 16, 1993

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Father Juan Carlos Rios, ordained April 16, 1993

Father Ríos was born in Nicaragua but completed high school in South Miami. He earned some college credits in business administration before entering the seminary. He was ordained for the Archdiocese of Miami April 16, 1993. His first assignment was as parochial vicar at St. Kevin, Miami, and part-time vocations recruiter for the archdiocese. In 1996, he was sent to pursue higher studies at the Gregorian University in Rome. After his return in 1998, he served as parochial vicar at St. Gregory in Plantation until 2001, when he returned to Rome to pursue a doctoral degree at the Gregorian. He returned to Miami in 2003 and served as director of spiritual formation at St. John Vianney Seminary until 2012, when he was appointed to his current position as a member of the faculty at St. Vincent de Paul Seminary in Boynton Beach.

 

 
 

 

Father Julio Solano

Father Julio Solano, ordained April 16, 1993

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Father Julio Solano, ordained April 16, 1993

Father Solano was born in Colombia and worked there as an accountant until coming to the U.S. He worked as a waiter here and was commissioned as an ecclesial lay minister before entering the seminary. He was ordained for the Archdiocese of Miami April 16, 1993. He has served as parochial vicar at St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Pompano Beach (1993-96 and 1991-2001), St. Patrick, Miami Beach (1996-98), St. Coleman, Pompano Beach (1998-99), St. Vincent, Margate (2001-02), and administrator and then pastor of Our Lady Queen of Heaven, North Lauderdale (2002-06). He then served as parochial vicar at Little Flower, Hollywood (2006-09), Mother of Christ, Miami (2009-12), and St. Agnes, Key Biscayne (2012-17). Since August 2017, he has served as parochial vicar at St. Anthony, Fort Lauderdale.

 

 
 

 

Father Marcos Somarriba

Father Marcos Somarriba, ordained April 16, 1993

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Father Marcos Somarriba, ordained April 16, 1993

Father Somarriba is a native of Nicaragua who came to Miami with his family, then studied printing and worked in various printing companies before entering the seminary. Ordained for the Archdiocese of Miami April 16, 1993, he served as parochial vicar at Good Shepherd, Miami (1993-94), then spent the summer studying at Boston College before being named parochial vicar at St. Bartholomew, Miramar (1994-95). In August 1995, he was named spiritual director of the Youth Center in Miami and a member of the faculty at Our Lady of Lourdes Academy, Miami. In 1998, he was assigned as parochial vicar St. Timothy, Miami, until 2001, when he was named administrator, and then pastor, of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Opa-Locka. He served there until 2005, when he was named pastor of St. Kieran, Miami. In 2013, he was named to his current assignment as pastor of St. Agatha in Miami.

 

 
 

 

Father Gabriel Vigues

Father Gabriel Vigues, ordained April 16, 1993

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Father Gabriel Vigues, ordained April 16, 1993

Father Vigues was born in Cuba and came to Miami in 1969. He worked as a bank manager for 14 years before entering the seminary, and was ordained for the Archdiocese of Miami on April 16, 1993. He served as parochial vicar at St. Thomas the Apostle, Miami (1993-96) and St. Andrew in Coral Springs (1996-2001) until being named administrator, and later pastor, of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Pompano Beach, in July 2001. He served at St. Elizabeth until August 2009, when he was named to his current assignment as pastor of St. Francis de Sales, Miami Beach.

 

 
Msgr. Emiliano Ordax appeared on this list as printed in the March 2018 edition of the Florida Catholic. He died just days before the chrism Mass, March 12, 2018.

 

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