Glenmary 2016 in review

Posted: 12/29/2016

A contentious election, political tension and a plethora of celebrity deaths have made 2016 an eventful year. Based on postings throughout social media, some seem ready to wish the year an unceremonious farewell.

For Glenmary, 2016 was a year with its share of loss, but also of God's abundant grace and mercy.

Quantifying the great deal of good done by missioners in 2016 would be impossible. In the words of Glenmary's Director of Development Father Don Tranel, "Glenmary is the best kept secret in the Catholic Church and stands as corrective to the notion that all missions are foreign. The best gift we were able to share in 2016 was the gift of our Catholic Faith."

With that in mind, here's a look back at some key moments for Glenmary in 2016.

In Remembrance

Two Glenmarians went on to their eternal rest in 2016.

Father Robert "Doc" Rademacher was 94 when he died on Sept. 25, while Father Gus Guppenberger died Nov. 6 at age 81.

Both men served the home missions for more than 50 years as Glenmary priests.

Around the Missions

St. Michael the Archangel in Erwin, Tenn., had its first summer festival in June 2016. The event built community and helped raise money for the construction of a permanent church building.

Glenmary First Vice President Father Neil Pezzulo
is now serving a three-parish cluster in the Diocese of Lexington, Ky., on a part-time basis while continuing his administrative duties. The parishes remain under the pastoral care of the Diocese of Lexington, with Father Neil serving effectively as a sacramental minister.

Brother Craig Digmann began a school greeter ministry in Hancock County, Tenn.

Many Glenmarians have begun or continued ministries across the country in 2016, including running food pantries, vacation bible schools, programs of financial assistance to the poor, care for creation and more. Have a special item that belongs on the list? Send us an email.

Vocations Report

The Glenmary Vocations Office hosted 11 Come and See events in 2016, with 32 men participating. Three new students were accepted by Glenmary, four men were accepted into the novitiate and three renewed their Glenmary oaths.

Awards Abound

Glenmary and Glenmarians were recognized several ways in the past year.
Glenmary Challenge magazine won third place in the General Excellence category for Mission Magazines at the 2016 Catholic Press Association Awards. Father John Rausch’s story titled “The Racial Divide” (Winter 2015) won an honorable mention for Best Essay, while Margaret Gabriel’s article,“God Never Leaves” (Spring 2015), earned an honorable mention for Best Feature.

Speaking of Father John Rausch, he also received the Bishop Sullivan Justice and Peace Award for 2016 from the Catholic Committee of Appalachia.

Finally, Father Steve Pawelk was named man of the year in Union County, Tenn.

Glenmary Farm sold

The Vanceburg, Ky., property known in Glenmary circles as "The Farm" was sold Sept. 29, 2016 to Emmaus Farm Inc. For more than 40 years, Glenmary volunteers served the people of Lewis County, Ky., from that site until the Group Volunteer Program was moved to Joppa Mountain in Tennessee, where it continues to thrive. Though not affiliated with Glenmary, Emmaus Farm is a
Catholic organization that will continue to serve the area.


Father Frank Schenk turned 101 on Nov. 8. Father Frank came to Glenmary at age 32, and has served for more than 65 years.

At 101, Father Frank is the oldest living Glenmarian, and the oldest Glenmarian ever.

Also in 2016, Father John Rausch and Brother Curt Kedley celebrated their 50th anniversary as Glenmarians.

New Deacons

The Glenmary mission of St. Teresa of Kokata in Maynardville, Tenn. now has the services Deacon Larry Rossini. A permanent deacon of the Diocese of Knoxville, Deacon Larry was ordained in October and assigned by the diocese to Glenmary's mission.

Deacon Larry isn’t the only permanent deacon working in a Glenmary mission. Deacon Jose Pineda serves Glenmary’s Holy Family Mission in Lafayette, Tenn. Deacon Jose was ordained in 2006 and recently began serving in Lafayette.

Glenmary welcomed these new employees in 2016

Tom Navin - Director of the Commission on Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation
John Stegeman - Manager of Communications/Marketing
Jim Rice - Assistant Director of Development
Molly Williamson - Communications Coordinator
Barbara Hasbach - Administrative Assistant/Vocations Office
Glenda Roediger - Part-Time Accounting Clerk
Nell Woyche - Glenmary Residence Cook


With hope in Christ, we at Glenmary wish everyone a blessed and happy new year in 2017.