Several priests and religious are observing special anniversaries of their ordinations and a few have had connections with the Greenbrier Valley Catholic Churches, according to Perk Berry of White Sulphur Springs, grand knight of the Alleghany Highlands Council 8689 Knights of Columbus.
Father Leo Lydon is observing his 65th anniversary as a priest in the Diocese of Wheeling/Charleston and he was pastor of St. Catherine of Siena parish in Ronceverte from 1957-60.
Sister Molly Bauer is observing her 50th anniversary as a member of the Congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph. Among her service responsibilities in those 50 years, she served as pastoral associate for the former St. Andrews Church in Union, the former St. Peter’s Church in Peterstown, St. John, the Evangelist, Church, Sweet Springs, St. Catherine of Siena Church, Ronceverte, and St. Louis, King of France, Church, Lewisburg. During her career she also helped initiate the Monroe County Coalition for Children and Families and the Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for abused and neglected children in Greenbrier and Pocahontas counties.
Also observing her 50th anniversary with the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph is Sister Rose Ann Hefner who graduated in the Class of 1965 from Lewisburg High School and grew up as a member St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Ronceverte. Her years of service include five years in parish ministry at St. Patrick’s Church in Hinton and its mission, St. Mary’s of the Greenbrier in Alderson as well as a religious counselor at the Federal Corrections Institution for Women at Alderson. In 1977, she became the first person hired in the Federal Prison Service as a Chaplaincy Services coordinator, a position created to enable the hiring of women religious in the chaplain’s department.
Another sister observing her 50th anniversary is Sister Susanne K. Keszler, SAC, who is a member of the Pallottine Missionary Sisters and who served in a nursing ministry in various capacities at, among other hospitals, the former Sacred Heart Hospital in Richwood.
Observing his 25th anniversary this year is Father That Son Ngoc Nguyen who served part of his internship at St. Catherine of Siena parish in Ronceverte and its missions in Lewisburg, Union, Peterstown and Sweet Springs; as well as administrator at Our Lady of Victory parish in Gary; Ss. Peter and Paul parish in Oak Hill; pastor of St. John Neumann parish in Marlinton and its missions, St. Mark, the Evangelist, in Bartow and St. Bernard Chapel at Snowshoe. He also returned to McDowell County to serve as pastor of St. Peter’s in Welch; Our Lady of Victory in Gary; Sacred Heart in Powhatan and Christ the King parish in War. He also officiated at a special Mass in 1992 in the state’s oldest Catholic Church, St. John, the Evangelist, Church in Sweet Springs, observing the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, a celebration coordinated by and hosted by the Alleghany Highlands Council 8689 Knights of Columbus.