Saint Meinrad Archabbey

A catholic monastery devoted to the teachings of St. Benedict

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Seven monks celebrate priesthood anniversaries

June 01, 2016

160529_Priesthood _Jubilarians -for -webThe Benedictine monks at Saint Meinrad Archabbey, St. Meinrad, IN, celebrated the jubilees of priesthood ordination of seven of their confreres on May 29, 2016. Honored were Fr. Mel Patton, 60 years; Fr. John McMullen and Fr. Warren Heitz, each 50 years; and Fr. David Rabenecker, Fr. Edward Linton, Fr. Patrick Cooney and Fr. Joseph Cox, each 25 years.

Fr. Mel, a native of Fairview Village (now Fairview Park), OH, made his first profession of vows on July 31, 1953, and was ordained to the priesthood September 22, 1956. He earned his BA from John Carroll University, a Master of Divinity from Saint Meinrad School of Theology and did post-graduate work at Marquette University.

Prior to coming to Saint Meinrad, Fr. Mel served in the Army from 1944-46, where he received the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. He taught Latin, English, music and journalism at Saint Meinrad's high school and college. He was also organist for the monastic community for many years. He has been director of retreats and director of public relations at Saint Meinrad and served as a chaplain at Fort Knox, KY, for many years.

After his career as a teacher, he was the chaplain for Holy Angels Convent in Jonesboro, AR, and, later, the infirmary chaplain at Sacred Heart Monastery in Yankton, SD. He resides in the monastery infirmary.

Fr. John is a native of Vincennes, IN. He became a monk of Blue Cloud Abbey, Marvin, SD, on August 1, 1960, and made his first profession of vows on August 15, 1961.

He studied at Saint Meinrad's high school and college from 1955-60, completing college at Blue Cloud Abbey. He studied theology at St. Bede Abbey, Peru, IL, and was ordained a priest on May 29, 1966. He did graduate studies at The Catholic University of America from 1967-69. He holds a master's degree in library science.

As a monk of Blue Cloud, he served in various assignments, including 40 years as the abbey librarian. He also served in area parishes and as the abbey treasurer. He served the Native Americans at St. Ann's Indian Mission, Belcourt, ND, for three years. When Blue Cloud Abbey closed, Fr. John transferred to Saint Meinrad Archabbey in 2013.

He currently serves as an adjunct priest at St. Meinrad Parish in St. Meinrad and St. Boniface Parish in Fulda, IN, and as a commuting chaplain for Monastery Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand, IN. ​

Fr. Warren is a native of Huntingburg, IN, coming to Saint Meinrad as a high school student in 1954. He completed high school, college and theology studies at Saint Meinrad. He joined the monastery in 1960 and made his first profession of vows on August 15, 1961. He was ordained a priest on May 1, 1966.

He also studied at the University of Notre Dame, earning a master's in institutional administration in 1972. Fr. Warren served in a variety of assignments, including assistant business manager, purchasing agent, director of corporate services, director of alumni relations, and parish assistance.

He currently serves as the editor of the Ordo  ​for the Swiss-American Benedictine Congregation.

Fr. David made his first profession of vows on August 6, 1986, and was ordained a priest on May 4, 1991. He is a native of Louisville, KY. He earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Saint Meinrad College and a Master of Divinity from Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology.

From 1991-94, Fr. David served as associate pastor at St. Benedict Parish in Evansville. In 1994, he became associate dean of students for Saint Meinrad College, as well as director of service formation, part-time instructor and part-time spiritual director.

In recent years, he has worked in prison ministry. He is currently a religious services evaluation specialist with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Fr. Edward  is a native of Louisville, KY. He joined the monastery in 1985 and professed his first vows on August 6, 1986. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 4, 1991. He has a bachelor's degree in history from Saint Meinrad College and a Master of Divinity from Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology.

He earned a master's in English literature from Middlebury College and taught English at Saint Meinrad College from 1992-98. He then earned a doctorate in speech communication at Southern Illinois University.

He served as associate pastor at St. Benedict Parish in Evansville and as pastor of St. James Parish in Chicago, IL. He returned to Saint Meinrad in 2014 to serve as director of Saint Meinrad's Institute for Priests and Presbyterates. Currently, he is director of international Benedictine formation at Collegio Sant' Anselmo in Rome.

Fr. Patrick is a native of Evergreen Park, IL. After earning degrees in electronic technology at Purdue University, he entered the Air Force as a research and developmental engineer for five years.

He then studied for the priesthood at Saint Meinrad School of Theology. He earned a Master of Divinity in 1991 and was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Belleville on June 1, 1991. He later earned a licentiate in canon law from The Catholic University of America.

In 1994, he decided to join the monastery at Saint Meinrad and made his first profession of vows on August 6, 1995. At Saint Meinrad, he has served as director of academic and administrative computing, and associate formation dean, director of human formation, director of pastoral formation and assistant professor of canon law in the Seminary and School of Theology.

He also served as a chaplain (lieutenant colonel) in the Kentucky Air National Guard, retiring in 2014 after 21 years of active duty in the Air Force and Air National Guard. He currently is assigned to the Archdiocese of Indianapolis Tribunal as the defender of the bond.

Fr. Joseph, a native of Peoria, IL, earned a bachelor's degree in international business from Quincy Universityand a Master of Divinity from Saint Meinrad School of Theology. He was ordained a priest on May 25, 1991, for the Diocese of Peoria, where he served as assistant pastor and pastor in parishes until 1997.

In 1997, Fr. Joseph joined the monastery at Saint Meinrad and made his first profession of vows on August 6, 1998. He then earned a master's degree in library science from Indiana University.

He is the library cataloger in the Archabbey Library, assistant director for the Benedictine Oblate community, and serves as secretary for the Archabbot's Council and the Archabbey Chapter.

Photo: Seated in front: Fr. Mel Patton, OSB. Standing, from left: Fr. Joseph Cox, OSB; Fr. John McMullen, OSB; Fr. Patrick Cooney, OSB; Fr. David Rabenecker, OSB; Fr. Edward Linton, OSB; and Fr. Warren Heitz, OSB.