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Father Angel Dy honored for 40

years of service to God's people

(Click here for photos from the celebration.)

By David Myers

Three parishes joined together to honor their shared pastor, Father Angel Dy, for his 40 years of priesthood, at a special Mass and banquet March 21.
    Parishioners of St. Anthony, Fowler, St. John the Baptist, Meade, and St. Patrick, Plains, joined for Mass in Fowler and then for lunch at the Forst Center in Meade.

    The Mass was celebrated by Bishop Ronald M. Gilmore, who said that “Father Angel has been drawn to the Light as the moth to the flames, all these 40 years of his priestly life. Angel has spent himself to call attention to the Light, and I thank his previous bishop, Bishop [Jesus Y.] Varela, and his present bishop, Bishop [Arturo M.] Bastes, for sharing him for a time with us.”
    Father Dy came to the Diocese of Dodge City nearly 11 years ago. He was born April 24, 1944 and was ordained to the priesthood March 23, 1969.
    After arriving in the Diocese of Dodge City, Father Dy was in residence at St. Mary, Garden City, for a period of orientation. His first assignment was as parochial vicar at St. Rose of Lima, Great Bend, where he later was named pastor (1998-2003). He then was assigned to the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe for joint pastoral care with Father Ted Skalsky. He has been pastor of St. John, Meade; St. Patrick, Plains; and St. Anthony, Fowler, since 2004.
    “Above all,” Bishop Gilmore said, “I thank Father Angel for spending himself so generously, so recklessly in order to draw people to the light.
    “But when I thank him today, it’s a bittersweet thank you,” the bishop said, referring to Father Angel moving back to the Philippines later this year, “Father Angel arrived in Dodge City in the middle of a fierce thunderstorm a few weeks after I arrived in Dodge as your bishop. All the years of my bishoping have been done in Father Angel’s company. And your leaving, Angel, is a personal loss for me. I’m not at all sure that I know how to bishop without you giving me the guidance. …
    “I shall pray for you, Father Angel, on each day of my soldiering throughout the rest of my time in Dodge City. And so, Angel, in the name of your people, in the name of all the diocese, I salute you and I thank you for your wonderful ministry among us.”
    Just prior to the conclusion of Mass, Father Dy told those gathered that he had once dreamt of serving as a missionary priest.
     “When I was studying in the seminary,” Father Dy said, “…I was inspired to go to the missions -- like in the mountains of Asia, the jungles of Africa, the shores of the Pacific, and in the hinterlands of South America. But as fate would have it, I had only the chance to minister to my own people in Sorsogon. …So when [former Dodge City Bishop Stanley Schlarman] asked for an assistance of priests to come from other places to help in … southwest Kansas, I applied in that missionary spirit. I was able to realize my dream as a boy of serving in the missions.
    “Now I am in the missions in the wilds of southwest Kansas,” he said to laughter.
    “Thank you very much for receiving me and for allowing me to help you in somehow responding to the word of God, and becoming more conformed to Jesus.”
    In July, both Father Dy and Bishop Gilmore will celebrate 11 years in the Diocese of Dodge City. And like Father Dy, Bishop Gilmore will celebrate 40 years of priesthood on June 7.
    “I am honored and happy to celebrate this grace of God’s gift of the priesthood together with our bishop. So bishop, congratulations,” he said to applause.
    “And thank you for honoring us this day,” added Father Dy, who recently returned from a two-week trip to the Philippines. “I have still some jet lag, so it is very nice that you did all the work -- being celebrant and preacher as well.”
    He also thanked Deacon Martin Hermocillo, who assisted at the Mass, the choir which was made up of members of the different parishes, and all the parishioners, and others who have offered their support.

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