DETROIT (CBS Detroit) A special honor came to eight metro Detroit priests Thursday when Pope Benedict XVI  conferred on them the title of “Monsignor.”

The region’s newest monsignors include: Fathers Ronald Browne, John Hall, Timothy Hogan, Michael Hrydziuszko, Thomas Johnson, Russell Kohler, Gary Smetanka and Daniel Trapp.

A prayer service to mark this occasion will be held at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 23, with a reception following.

The honorary title of “monsignor” is given to Roman Catholic priests as a sign of appreciation and recognition of the service they have rendered, both locally and in the world. Including those newly named, 34 of the Archdiocese of Detroit’s 400-plus active and retired diocesan priests hold the title of “monsignor.” There are three ranks of monsignors. The newly named monsignors are designated at the first rank of “Chaplain to His Holiness.”

“The eight priests honored by Pope Benedict XVI have given the Church many years of faithful service in fulfilling a variety of pastoral responsibilities,” said Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron. “In that they represent the whole Detroit presbyterate, this recognition honors all of our priests for their generous self-sacrifice in working in communion with the Holy Father and the College of Bishops to share Christ with those to whom they have been sent.”

Browne, 56, since 2009 has been serving as moderator of the curia for the Diocese of Marquette;  Hall, 84, a senior priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit since 1998, had served 10 parishes and as a hospital chaplain during his active priestly ministry, as well as terms on the Archdiocesan Presbyteral Council, the Priest Senate and Priest Pension Board; Hogan, 61, presently serves as the archbishop’s vicar for Clergy and Consecrated Life and as a weekend assistant at St. Regis Parish in Bloomfield Hills; Hrydziuszko, 61, presently serves as pastor of St. Andrew Parish in Rochester, the Archdiocese’s largest parish, and on the College of Consultors and as chair of the clergy ownership committee for Changing Lives Together.  Johnson, 61, presently serves as pastor of St. Kieran Parish in Shelby Township, in the Archdiocese of Detroit College of Consultors, on the Archdiocesan Finance Council, and on the St. John Center Board of Directors.

Kohler, 69, has served as pastor of Most Holy Trinity Parish in Detroit’s Historic Corktown District since 1991 and this year also became pastor of Ste. Anne de Detroit Parish, the Archdiocese’s oldest parish; Smetanka, 56, serves as pastor of Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish in Grosse Pointe Woods, as chairman for the Archdiocese of Detroit Worship Commission, and as a coordinator of priest funeral liturgies. Trapp, 54, serves as spiritual director and associate professor for the School of Theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, and as pastor of St. Augustine & St. Monica Parish in Detroit.


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