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Sunday, April 26, 2020

Father Francis Voellmecke Celebrates 60 Years of Priesthood

Father Francis Voellmecke, center, is the celebrant at the Mass honoring the 60-year anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. Ed Smith, left, Pastor of Christ the King Church, was concelebrant.

Recently the Reverend Francis Voellmecke celebrated the 60-year anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. He celebrated this remarkable accomplishment with his parish family at Our Lord Christ the King Church. After celebrating the 4:30 p.m. Mass, Father Voellmecke was feted by family and friends at a reception.

Father Voellmecke grew up in Price Hill, where his family was actively involved in Resurrection Church. After entering St. Gregory Seminary in Mt. Washington at the age of 13, he departed for Rome in 1954. He lived at the North American College and studied philosophy and theology at the Gregorian University. He was ordained in Rome on December 20, 1959. Later, Father Voellmecke would earn a doctoral degree in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame.

During his career as a diocesan priest, Father Voellmecke has served in a variety of capacities: pastor, religion teacher and seminary professor. His greatest joy was being a parish priest -  parish life meant being a part of families' lives.

"To watch parents having a baby baptized and to see the care and love showered upon the baby is always touching. It just shows how powerful the responsibility is and how seriously the parents take it. Having to sacrifice for a child is such a great example of the cross and the crown."

Growing up in a family of seven, Father Voellmecke knew well the joys and struggles of family life.  His own family always remained an important part of his life.

Father Voellmecke is currently the retired priest in residence at Our Lord Christ the King Church, where he still celebrates Mass and is a beloved part of the parish community. At the Mass celebrating his anniversary, he gave his homily to a packed house. He said he was grateful to reach the 60-year milestone.

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