Eight priests in the Diocese of Davenport will celebrate milestone anniversaries to the priesthood in 2010.
Father Raymond Ruppenkamp, 84, celebrated his jubilee May 6.
He completed his theology studies at Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis and was ordained May 6, 1950, at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport by Bishop Ralph Hayes. He served as an assistant pastor at St. Joseph in Fort Madison from 1950-51, St. Joseph in East Pleasant Plain from 1951-53, St. James in Washington in 1953, and St. Mary in Clinton from 1953-69. He then served as pastor of Church of the Visitation in Camanche from 1969-70. Fr. Ruppenkamp then took a leave of absence for studies. Upon his return he was temporary administrator, then pastor, at St. James in Toronto and St. Patrick in Big Rock from 1971-73. From 1973-75 he was a part-time associate pastor at St. Boniface in Clinton and worked for the Alcohol and Drug Guidance Commission in Clinton County. He served as chaplain of Mt. St. Clare Convent and The Alverno, both in Clinton, from 1975-96. He retired in 1996.
Father Thomas Stratman, 84, celebrated his jubilee May 6.
He completed his theology studies at Kenrick Seminary and was ordained May 6, 1950, at Sacred Heart Cathedral by Bishop Hayes. He served as an assistant pastor at St. Joseph in DeWitt from 1950-57, substitute pastor at St. Mary in West Burlington in 1957, assistant pastor at St. Peter in Keokuk from 1957-67. While in Keokuk, Fr. Stratman was director of Cardinal Stritch High School there. He then served as pastor of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini in Richland from 1967-69, co-pastor at St. Mary in Albia from 1969-70, pastor of St. Mary in Ottumwa from 1970-80, St. Mary in Eddyville from 1977-80 and Our Lady of Lourdes in Bettendorf from 1980-92. From 1992-93 he took a sabbatical. Upon his return he was pastor of St. Mary in West Burlington from 1993-94, then parochial vicar at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport from 1994-96. Fr. Stratman retired from active ministry in 1996 and served as sacramental minister at St. Andrew in Blue Grass from 2004-08.
Father Eugene Benda, 75, will celebrate 50 years as a priest on June 4.
He completed his theology studies at Mt. St. Bernard Seminary in Dubuque, and was ordained June 4, 1960, at Sacred Heart Cathedral by Bishop Hayes. He served as an assistant at St. Mary in Iowa City from 1960-67. He then was on faculty at Assumption High School in Davenport from 1967-71, religious education director at Regina High School in Iowa City from 1971-80 and served as president at Regina from 1979-81. While president, he also served as pastor at St. Bridget in Nolan Settlement and St. Bernadette in West Branch from 1980-81. Fr. Benda was pastor of St. Patrick in Iowa City from 1980-89, St. Mary in Tipton from 1989-2004 and St. Mary in Mechanicsville from 2004-07. He retired in 2007.
Father Stephen Ebel, 65, will celebrate his 40th year as a priest June 6. He studied theology at Mt. St. Bernard/Aquinas Institute of Theology in Dubuque and graduated from St. John Seminary in Collegeville, Minn. On June 6, 1970, he was ordained at Sacred Heart Cathedral by Bishop Gerald O’Keefe. Fr. Ebel served as associate pastor at St. Mary in Clinton from 1970-73, Our Lady of Victory in Davenport from 1973-78 and Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport from 1978-82. He then served as pastor at St. Mary in Pella from 1982-86 before taking a sabbatical for studies. Upon his return, Fr. Ebel was temporary administrator then pastor at St. Mary in Nichols from 1987-88 and St. Malachy in Arden and St. Joseph in Columbus Junction from 1987-91. He was then pastor of St. Mary in Wapello from 1988-91, St. Ann in Long Grove from 1991-2007, Our Lady of the River in LeClaire from 1998-2001 and has been pastor at St. Anthony in Knoxville and Sacred Heart in Melcher since 2007.
In this Year for Priests, the Melcher and Knoxville parishes will observe the 40-year anniversary of the ordination of Fr. Ebel with a special Mass at 10:30 a.m. June 6 at St. Anthony Parish in Knoxville. A dinner will follow in the parish hall.
Father Edward Fitzpatrick, 64, will celebrate his jubilee Dec. 18. He completed his theology studies at the Pontifical North American College in Rome and was ordained Dec. 18, 1970, at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome by Bishop James Hickey. He served as associate pastor of St. Paul in Burlington from 1971-74 and Our Lady of Lourdes in Bettendorf from 1974-78. He was then spiritual director of the St. Ambrose Seminary and diocesan director of vocations from 1978-84. He has been director of the Newman Catholic Student Center in Iowa City since 1984. He served as administrator of St. Peter in Cosgrove and St. Mary in Oxford in 2000 and at St. Mary in Solon in 2002.
Father Andrew Kelly, 68, will celebrate his 40th anniversary June 6. He studied theology at Mt. St. Bernard/Aquinas Institute of Theology in Dubuque and graduated from St. Meinrad School of Theology in St. Meinrad, Ind. On June 6, 1970, he was ordained at Sacred Heart Cathedral by Bishop O’Keefe.
He served as associate pastor at St. Mary in Iowa City from 1970-71 and St. Anthony in Knoxville from 1971-74. He then was chaplain at the motherhouse for the Sisters of Humility in Ottumwa and at Ottumwa Heights College in Ottumwa while also being temporary administrator at St. Mary in Eddyville from 1974-75. Fr. Kelly was then a chaplain at University Hospitals in Iowa City from 1975-87. He was pastor of St. Peter in Cosgrove and St. Michael in Holbrook from 1987-90, administrator of St. Mary in Clinton, then parochial vicar of the newly formed Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace from 1990-91. After a brief leave of absence for health he served as pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes in Keswick and St. Joseph in North English from 1991-93 and as chaplain at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City from 1993-2007. He has been serving as pastor of St. Mary in Mechanicsville since 2007.
Father George McDaniel, 68, celebrates 40 years as a priest on June 6. He studied theology at Mt. St. Bernard/ Aquinas Institute of Theology in Dubuque and graduated from The Catholic University in Washington, D.C. On June 6, 1970, he was ordained at Sacred Heart Cathedral by Bishop O’Keefe.
He served as associate pastor of St. Peter in Keokuk from 1970-73 and St. Patrick in Ottumwa from 1973-74. Fr. McDaniel was on faculty at St. Ambrose College, then university, from 1974-2007. During that time he also was rector of the St. Ambrose seminary department from 1989-96 and director of spiritual formation from 2001-03. He was vice chancellor for the diocese from 2003-07; then he was appointed chancellor, half-time, a position he continues to serve. In addition, Fr. McDaniel served as part-time parochial vicar, then administrator and now parochial vicar of Holy Family in Davenport.
Father Scott Lemaster, 54, will celebrate his silver jubilee as a priest June 22. He studied theology at St. Paul Seminary and St. John’s in Minnesota and completed his studies at Aquinas Institute in St. Louis. He was ordained June 22, 1985, at St. Mary Church in Muscatine by Bishop O’Keefe.
He was parochial vicar at Our Lady of Victory in Davenport from 1985-90. Fr. Lemaster was pastor of Sacred Heart in Kinross from 1990-96 as well as Holy Trinity in Richmond and St. Joseph in Wellman from 1990-98, St. Patrick in Melrose, St. Patrick in Georgetown and St. Peter in Lovilia from 1998-2006. He has been pastor of Assumption & St. Patrick in Charlotte, Ss. Mary & Joseph in Sugar Creek and Immaculate Conception in Petersville since 2006.