Directory offers priests' biographies
'In His Vineyard: 1868-2008' gives comprehensive listing of diocesan priests, bishops
By Tony Staley
GREEN BAY -- Twenty-five years after it was last published, the revised edition of a book listing the priests who serve and have served in the Diocese of Green Bay has just been released.
The third edition of "In His Vineyard: 1868-2008" was compiled and edited by Fr. James P. Massart, Ph.D., diocesan special projects coordinator in the chancellor's office. Its Aug. 28 release coincided with Bishop David Ricken's installation as the 12th Bishop of Green Bay.
The book was printed by Allegra Print and Imaging in Green Bay and comes in a three-ring binder to allow for future updates. It includes biographies on all the diocese's bishops and active priests, including several members of religious orders. It also has listings for all diocesan priests and deacons who have served in the diocese.
The section on each active priest includes a photo, date and place of birth and ordination, name of parents, education and assignments. In both the 1962 edition (compiled by Msgr. Orville Griese) and the 1983 edition (compiled by Franciscan Sr. Brideen Long), the biographical information was in paragraph form and there were no photos of priests. The new edition uses a list format. The earlier hardbound editions were printed by Franciscan Publishers in Pulaski.
For the new edition, Fr. Massart wrote biographies of Bishop Ricken, the diocese's first nine bishops and three auxiliary bishops. Msgr. Paul Koszarek wrote the biography of Bishop Robert Banks and Deacon Tim Reilly wrote the one for Bishop David Zubik.
Fr. Paul Demuth, diocesan director of ministry personnel, initiated and oversaw the project.
The new edition is dedicated to Cardinal Adam J. Maida (1984-1990) and Bishops Banks (1990-2003) and Zubik (2003-2007), the three most recent former diocesan bishops, for their dedicated ministry.
Fr. Massart began the project more than three years ago and worked on it when he wasn't doing research projects for Bishop Zubik. During the last year he was able to concentrate on the book, compiling data, including going directly to the priests and religious orders for information, Fr. Massart said.
"I got a very good response from everybody in parish ministry as well as the diocesan retired priests and the religious priests. I wanted it to be as inclusive as possible," Fr. Massart said. That meant including information on inactive priests.
While the diocese has records on all diocesan priests it does not have comparable records for religious order priests so Fr. Massart depended on them to provide it. Those who did not supply information are not in the book.
Sometime in 2009, Fr. Massart plans to revise the deacon section to include photos and biographical, educational and ministerial information, which could be inserted into the book's final section.
"I think it was worthwhile to have a historic and accurate picture of the priests of the diocese from 1868 to the present," Fr. Massart said. "I think everybody who chooses to read it will find it shows a diverse history of leadership by the priests, bishops and, in 2009, the permanent deacons. I think it will be a benefit to the people of the Diocese of Green Bay."
"It was a monumental task," Fr. Demuth said. "Fr. Massart should be proud of the wonderful work he and the support staff at the Chancery have accomplished."
"I hope that the efforts put into this book, which have been massive and long-term, benefit priests and laity alike with the wealth of information included in the book," Fr. Demuth said. "Having received one of the first copies off the press, I have used it multiple times in the last few weeks. It is really helpful."
The binder format allows regular updates, which is not possible with a hardbound edition, Fr. Demuth said. "We hope to do an annual update."
Here's an overview of the book's contents:
- "User-friendly" three-hole binder format, containing a table of contents and six sections, plus a page on the diocesan coat of arms, dedication, preface and foreword.
- Section 1, photos and biographical articles on the 12 diocesan and three auxiliary bishops.
- Section 2, photos, biographical, education and ministerial information on the priests.
- Section 3, alphabetical listing of all diocesan priests who died between 1983 and July 15, 2008, plus information on priests not included in the 1983 edition.
- Section 4, alphabetical listing of all diocesan priests from 1868-1983 who died before the 1983 edition.
- Section 5, alphabetical listing of all diocesan priests who have left the priesthood.
- Section 6, alphabetical listing of all living and deceased permanent deacons, including date of birth, ordination and assignments.
- The cover is a recent color photo by Rick Evans of the interior of St. Francis Xavier Cathedral. Each section opens with a stylized exterior photo of various churches in the diocese - the cathedral, Prince of Peace in Green Bay, St. Mary Magdalene in Waupaca, St. Stanislaus Kostka in Armstrong Creek, St. Michael in Keshena and St. Gregory in St. Nazianz.
Cost of the book is $25. More information is available in an order form printed at the bottom of this page [see print edition].