The Message photo by Tim Lilley
Bishop Joseph M. Siegel hosted a dinner Jan. 6 to recognize priests of the Diocese of Evansville who celebrated significant anniversaries during 2021. In the past, dinners recognizing priests with significant anniversaries have occurred during the annual Convocation, which occurs in the fall. However, COVID-19 forced the Convocation to become a virtual retreat the past two years, so Bishop Siegel invited priests of the diocese to join him for evening prayer and a dinner celebrating significant anniversaries. Shown with Bishop Siegel, standing at right, are the honorees. They include Bishop-Emeritus Gerald A. Gettelfinger (seated at left), who celebrated the 60th anniversary of his priestly ordination. He was ordained to the priesthood May 7, 1961, at St. Meinrad Archabbey. Next to him is Rev. Bill Dietsch, who celebrated his 50th anniversary. He was ordained to the priesthood December 18, 1971. Very Rev. Kenneth Walker, standing at left, celebrated his 40th anniversary. He was ordained to the priesthood May 29, 1981. He serves as Judicial Vicar for the Diocese of Evansville and Pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Loogootee. Next to Father Ken is Rev. Frank Renner, who celebrated his 40th anniversary. He was ordained a priest May 22, 1981. Father Frank serves as Pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Oakland City and Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Petersburg. To his left his Father Donald Ackerman, senior priest of the Diocese of Evansville, who celebrated his 60th anniversary. He was ordained to the priesthood March 18, 1961. Father Don gave a talk after dinner. More than 30 priests of the diocese attended the celebration.