Past Priests II

The biograhical sketches below are excerpted from the book
"CATHOLIC PRIESTS OF THE DIOCESE OF WILMINGTON;
A JUBILEE YEAR 2000 COMMEMORATION"
by Rev. Thomas J. Peterman.

1927--1929.......James J. Kehoe (at Galena)
James Joseph Kehoe was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 8, 1897, a son of Patrick and Mary (Nettleton) Kehoe.  He attended Annunciation Parochial School.   Upon graduation in 1911, he began studies for the priesthood with the Josephite Fathers of Baltimore.  He completed his classical studies at Epiphany College in 1920 and his philosophy course at St. Joseph's Seminary in 1922.He pursued theological studies at St. John's Seminary, Little Rock, Arkansas;  Kenrick Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri; and St. Bonaventure's Seminary, Allegany, New York.  He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Leavenworth by Bishop John Shahan, rector of the Catholic University, at the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia on June 6, 1925.  He was assigned to Blessed Sacrament Parish in Kansas City, Kansas.

In December of 1925, to be near his aged parents, he came to the Diocese of Wilmington, and served as assistant pastor at St. Mary's and at St. Patrick's, Wilmington.  He was pastor of St. Dennis' Church, Galena, Maryland from 1927 to 1929. Until 1937, he served in the Dioceses of Trenton and Brooklyn. Then he was appointed pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Sebetha, Kansas. On March 1, 1940, he became a chaplain in the United States Army. When the war ended in 1945, he was appointed pastor of St. Joseph's, Wathena, Kansas.  He died suddenly on May 7, 1948, 50 years of age, and 23 years a priest.  Solemn Requiem Mass was offered May 14, 1948, by Monsignor Edward Cahill, at the Church  of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Moorestown, New Jersey. Monsignor Joseph McIntyre preached the funeral sermon.  Interment was made in Calvary Cemetery, Cherry Hill, New Jersey.


In January 1929,  he was appointed pastor of St. Dennis Church, Galena, Maryland, but in the same year he was transferred as pastor to St. Joseph's, Middletown, where he served for the next 27 years. There he was also in charge of Old Bohemia Church, near Warwick, Maryland, of which St. Joseph's had formerly been a mission.  On June 28, 1956, he was appointed pastor of St. Paul's Church, Wimington. During his pastorate there, he directed the completion of the parochial school and the constuction of a new rectory. He was a brilliant scholar, especially in the classics. He died in Wilmington General Hospital, on Sunday, November 17, 1963.  He was 63 years of age, and 36 years a priest.


1929--1929.......John H. Walsh (at Galena)

John Howard Walsh was born in Newark, New Jersey, on April 9, 1900, a son of Edward and Mary (Murphy) Walsh. He attended St. Aloysius Parochial School, and East Side High School, Newark. Then he enrolled in Seton Hall College, South Orange, New Jersey where he graduated after a brilliant scholastic career.  He then undertook studies for the priesthood at St. Francis Seminary, Lorretta, Pennsylvania.  He was ordained at St. Peter's Cathedral, Wilmington, by Bishop Edmond FitzMaurice, on April 16, 1927.  He was assigned assistant pastor at St. Peter's Cathedral, Wilmington.  In June 1928, he was transferred as assistant pastor to St. John's Church, Milford.



1929--1943.......John M. Walsh (at Galena)
John M. Walsh was born in Wilmington, Delaware, on October 7, 1882, a son of John and Ellen Walsh. His early education was received at St. Paul's Parochial School, Wilmington, and at Wilmington High School.  After graduation he entered St. Joseph's Preparatory School, Philadelphia, and then St. Charles College, Ellicott City, Maryland.  He completed his studies for the priesthood at St. Mary's Seminary, Baltimore,  and was ordained a priest by Cardinal James Gibbons on June 21, 1911, in the Cathedral of the Assumption, Baltimore.  He began his priestly life with several months' service as assistant pastor of St. Peter's Cathedral, Wilmington.  In 1912, he was appointed assistant pastor at  SS. Peter and Paul Church, Easton, Maryland.  From 1914 to 1929 he served as the fourth pastor of St. Mary's Parish, Cambridge, Maryland, where he was exceptionally well liked by Catholics and Protestants alike.  In 1925, he made a trip to Ireland and continental Europe, and was received in audience by Pope Pius XI in Rome.

In 1929, Father Walsh was appointed pastor  of St. Dennis Parish, Galena, Maryland, where he served the next 14 years.  During his pastorate at Galena, a new stone church was constructed largely due to the generosity of John J. Raskob.  After a month's illness, he died of a heart ailment at St. Francis' Hospital, Wilmington, on Sunday, May 30, 1943.  He was 60 years of age; 32 years a priest.  Bishop Edmond FitzMaurice celebrated Pontifical Requiem Mass at St. Anthony's Church, Wilmington, on June 4, 1943.  Very Rev. Dr. Francis Tucker in the eulogy lauded him for his loyal obedience and service throughout his career.  Interment was made at Cathedral Cemetery, Wilmington.

1943--1956.......Edward M. Leinheiser (at Galena)

Edward Martin Leinheiser was born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, on August 21, 1904, a son of Francis and Agnes (Ritzell) Leinheiser.  He received his early education at St. John the Baptist School in Pottsville.  He undertook studies for the priesthood at the Pontifical College Josephinium, Worthington, Ohio.  He was ordained for the Diocese of Wilmington on May 29, 1930, at the Cathedral in Columbus, Ohio, by Bishop James J. Hartley.  His first assignment was as assistant pastor to St. Peter's Church, New Castle, Delaware. In 1936 he was appointed pastor of Immaculate Conception Church, Marydel, and at the same time chaplain to the Benedictine Sisters at St. Gertrude's Priory, Ridgely, Maryland.

On June 29, 1943, Father Leinheiser became pastor of St. Dennis Church, Galena, Maryland, where he served for thirteen years.  On June 28, 1956, he was transferred as pastor to Holy Rosary Church, Claymont, Delaware.  In his twelve years there he built a six classroom addition to Holy Rosary School, and in 1960 completed a new church.  On September 6, 1968, he was transferred as pastor to St. Matthew's Church, Woodcrest.  On May 21, 1974, he retired for reasons of health.  He died at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on January 31, 1976, at age 71, and 46 years a priest. A concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial was offered by Bishop Thomas J. Mardaga at St. Matthew's Church on February 4, 1976. Interrment was made at All Saint's Cemetery, Wilmington, Delaware.


1956--1970.......Joseph C. Horgan (at Galena)
Joseph Cornelius Horgan was born in Wilmington, Delaware, on August 24, 1913, a son of Cornelius and Margaret (Kelleher) Horgan.  He received his early education at St. Mary's School, and Salesianum School, Wilmington.  He began studies for the priesthood at St. Charles College, Catonsville, Maryland.  He took his philosophical and theological studies at St. Mary's Seminary, Baltimore. He was ordained on June 7, 1941 at St. Anthony's Church, Wilmington, by Bishop Edmond FitzMaurice. He was first assigned as assistant pastor to Sacred Heart Church, Chestertown, Maryland.  After six months there, he was transferred to St. John's Church, Milford, Delaware, where he spent one and one-half years as assistant. From 1943 to 1948 he served as chaplain to St. Gertrude's Monastery, Ridgely, Maryland.  He was transferred to St. Patrick's Church, Wilmington, where he spent three years.  in 1951, he was appointed pastor to St. Charles Parish, Cape Charles, Virginia.

In 1956, Father Horgan was appointed pastor of St. Dennis Church, Galena, Maryland, where he began the construction of a religious education center.  In 1970, at the age of 57 he was appointed chaplain of the Little Sisters of the Poor, Wilmington, Delaware.  He retired in 1978, and lived at the Vianney House, Wilmington.  He died on July 18, 1998,  84 years of age, and 57 years a priest.    A concelebrated Mass was offered on July 23, 1998, by Bishop Michael Saltarelli, at St. John the Beloved Church, Wilmington.  Interment was made in All Saints Cemetery, Wilmington.


1970--1976.......James Willard Lutz (at Galena)
James Willard Lutz was born in Wilmington, Delaware, on February 2, 1913, a son of Robert and Anna (Brainard) Lutz.  He received his early education at St. Patrick's School, and Salesianum School, Wilmington.  He began studies for the priesthood at St. Charle's College, Catonsville, Maryland.  He took his theological studies at North American College, Rome, Italy, returning to the United States in his last year for reasons of health and threat of a world war. He was ordained at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., on May 30, 1939, by Bishop John McNamara. His first assignment was as assistant pastor at St. Peter's Cathedral, Wilmington, Delaware.  When the United States entered World War II, he became a naval chaplain.  When the war ended, he returned to St. Peter's Cathedral, and served there until December 1948, when he was transferred  as assistant pastor to St. Ann's Church, Wilmington.  In 1950, he became assistant pastor at Holy Rosary Church, Claymont, Delaware.  In June 1958, he was appointed pastor of St. Christopher's Church on Kent Island, Chester, Maryland.  In October 1960, he was assigned as founding pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Parish, Wilmington.

In May 1970, he became pastor of St. Dennis Church, Galena, Maryland.
There he completed the educational building and hall. He died unexpectedly on April 26, 1976, at 63 years of age, and 37 years a priest.  A concelebrated Mass was celebrated by Bishop Thomas J. Mardaga at St. Catherine of Siena Church,  Wilmington, on April 28 and at St. Dennis Church on April 29, 1976. Interment was made in Cathedral Cemetery, Wilmington, Delaware.

1976--1979.......Alex F Gorski (at Galena)
Alex Gorski was born in Wilmington, Delaware, on January 24, 1915, a son of Frank and Hedwig (Smulski) Gorski. He received his early education at St. Hedwig's School, Wilmington, and Salesianum School, Wilmington. He began his studies for the priesthood at SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary, Orchard Lake, Michigan.  He took his theological studies at St. Mary's Seminary, Baltimore, and was ordained to the priesthood at St. Mary's Seminary Chapel by Bishop John J. McNamara on November 17, 1943.  He was first assigned as assistant pastor at St. Mary's Church, Wilmington.  On December 30, 1943, he was transferred as assistant pastor to Francis de Sales Church, Salisbury, Maryland. On January 18, 1946, he was transferred as assistant pastor to St. Helena's Church, Bellefonte. On April 22, 1948, he was transferred as assistant pastor to St. Paul's Church, Wilmington.  On May 23, 1948, he was released by the diocese to the United States Navy. He served as chaplain seven years, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander.  On December 12, 1959, he returned to Wilmington to serve as diocesan director of the Catholic Youth Organization. At the same time he was appointed administrator of St. Patrick's Parish, Wilmington. On June 9, 1962, he was appointed pastor of St. Stanislaus Kotska Church, Wilmington. On September 6, 1968, he became pastor of St. John the Beloved Church, Sherwood Park. On May 21, 1970,  he was transferred as pastor to St. Francis de Sales, Salisbury, Maryland, where he supervised the building of a new rectory.

On June 2, 1976, Father Gorski became pastor of St. Dennis Church, Galena, Maryland.  On June 13, 1979, he again became pastor of St. Stanislaus Church, Wilmington.  From there he was transferred as pastor of St. Hedwig's Church, Wilmington.  In June, 1992, he resigned the pastorate to continue to live as senior priest at St. Hedwig's Church.  That same year he retired and now lives in Wilmington, Delaware.    

1979--1982.......Russell Perkins (at Galena)
Russell Hedley Perkins was born in Rome, New York, on May 15, 1926, a son of Russell H. and Victoria (Marschalk) Perkins.  He received his early education at Eastside Public High School, Paterson, New Jersey, and Ramsey High School, Ramsey, New Jersey. In his junior year he became a Catholic at St. Paul's Church, Ramsey, New Jersey. In his senior year he attended Seton Hall Preparatory Seminary, South Orange, New Jersey.  After attending Seton Hall University, he entered the Order of the Most Holy Trinity at St. John of Matha, Hyattsville, Maryland.  He returned to Seton Hall and graduated in 1953, with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry.  In 1954, he entered St. Mary's Seminary, Baltimore, graduating four years later with a licentiate in Sacred Theology.  He was ordained on May 31, 1958, at the Cathedral of St. Peter, Wilmington, by Bishop Edward Schlotterbach, O.S.F.S.  He was first assigned to St. Edmond's Church, Rehobeth Beach, Delaware, for the summer.  In September 1958, he was transferred to St. John's-Holy Angles Parish, Newark, Delaware.  In March 1959, he became associate pastor of St. Paul's, Wilmington, where he began the ministry to the Hispanics.  He was sent to Puerto Rico in 1962 to learn Spanish and and to do field work, and returned to St. Paul's, Wilmington.  In June 1967, he was transferred to St. Mary of the Assumption, Hockessin, Delaware.  He was appointed pastor of St. Joseph's Church, Middletown, Delaware, in September 1969. In 1978 he became pastor of Sacred Heart Church, Chestertown, Maryland.

In May 1979, Father Perkins was appointed pastor of St. Dennis Church, Galena, Maryland. In 1982, he became pastor of St. Ann's Church, Wilmington.  In 1985, he was a resident of Corpus Christi Church, Elsmere, Delaware.   In January 1987, he was appointed administrator of St. Mary's Star of the Sea, Ocean City, Maryland.  He was appointed pastor of St. Polycarp's, Smyrna, Delaware.  He retired from there on July 28, 1995, and lived in Manteo, North Carolina until his death on March 2, 2002.  After a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Polycarp's Church, Smyrna, Delaware, he was interred at Mary Rest Cemetery in Darlington, New Jersey


1993-1994........Christopher P. Plokhooy
Christopher Henry Plokhooy was born in Wallington, New Jersey, on July 12, 1925, a son of Christopher H. and Mary (Gary) Plokhooy.  He received his early education at Clifton Public Elementary and Clifton Public High School, Wallington, New Jersey.  After high school he entered the United States Navy and served on the U.S.S. Alabama in the North Atlantic and South Pacific during World War II.  At age 22, he began studies for the priesthood at Mother of the Saviour Seminary, Blackwood, New Jersey.  He took philosophical and theological studies at Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey, and at St. Vincent's Seminary, Latrobe, Pennsylvania.  He was ordained for the Diocese of Wilmington on May 23, 1959, at St. Peter's Cathedral, Wilmington, by Bishop Michael W. Hyle.  He was first assigned as associate pastor of St. Peter's Church, New Castle, Delaware.  In 1961, he was transferred as associate pastor to St. Elizabeth's Church, Wilmington.  In 1963, he became associate pastor of St. Peter's Church, New Castle, Delaware.  in 1968, he transferred as associate pastor to Holy Cross Church, Dover, Delaware.  In November 1971, he became associate pastor of  St. John's-Holy Angels Parish, Newark, Delaware.  In 1972, he was appointed pastor of Immaculate Conception Church, Marydel, Maryland.  In 1975, he became pastor of St. Thomas Church, Wilmington.  In 1977, he was appointed pastor of Holy Name of Jesus Church, Pocomoke, Maryland.  In 1979, he was assigned to Holy Family Church, Newark, Delaware.  In 1984, he became associate pastor to St. Helena's Church, Bellefonte.  In 1987 he became associate pastor of St. Matthew's Church, Woodcrest.  In 1993 he was appointed pastor of Immaculate Conception Church, Marydel, Maryland.  In 1993 Father Plokhooy became pastor of St. Dennis Church, Galena, Maryland.  He retired in 1995 and lives at Vianney House, Home for Retired Priests, Wilmington, Delaware.

1994........2006  Thomas J. Peterman
The Reverend Thomas J. Peterman,V.F.  was the 22nd pastor of St. Dennis Church.

Born in Dover, Delaware, on April 28, 1931, a son of Albert and Catherine (McCaffery) Peterman, he attended Milford Elementary School.  He then attended high school at Charles Minor Seminary, Catonsville, Maryland. While in Baltimore he studied piano and organ at Peabody Conservatory. After graduating from St. Mary's College, Baltimore, he took theological studies at the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.
He was ordained at St. John's Church, Milford, Delaware, on June 1, 1957 by Bishop Hubert J. Cartwright. He was first appointed associate pastor at Corpus Christi Church, Elsmere, Delaware.
In 1962 Father Peterman was transferred to Holy Cross Church, Dover, Delaware and was appointed principal of the high school there.
In 1966, he was transferred to St. Elizabeth Church, Wilmington, Delaware, and was appointed principal of the high school there.
In 1970 he became pastor of Good Shepherd Church, Perryville, Maryland.
In 1974 he was named pastor of Mary Magdelene Church, Sharpley, Wilmington, Delaware.
In 1983 he was transferred as pastor to Holy Cross Church, Dover, Delaware.
In 1985 he received a doctorate in American Catholic History from the Catholic University of America.
He served as pastor of Sacred Heart Church, Chestertown, Maryland, from 1987 until 1994 when he was transferred as pastor to St. Dennis Church, Galena, Maryland.
Father Peterman has served on the diocesan pastoral commission, has been president of the Priests' Senate, for 22 years was organist at Priests' retreats and funerals, and he served on the music committee of the Liturgical Commission. He is past dean of the Eastern Shore Deanery and is now a member of the Priests' Senate.
He was coordinator of the diocesan observance of the United States Bicentennial program "Liberty and Justice For All," and has served as chairman of the committee for the  diocesan observance of Jubilee 2000.
While at St. Dennis, Father Peterman  electronified the church bell, erected a new church sign, secured and installed a Muller pipe organ for the church, and has put St. Dennis on the internet. He has also instituted two Masses in Spanish to accommodate new Hispanic parishioners.
Father Peterman was also the charter Chaplain of the Father George Villiger Council 12612 of the Knights of Columbus.
A special project of Father Peterman's during the Jubilee 2000 celebration was a history exhibit depicting "20 Centuries of Catholic History". The content of the exhibit included art work posters featuring scenes from each century, and write-ups on Church related events in each century, including the lives of major saints. A brief history of the some of the parishes in the Diocese of Wilmington were also included. The exhibit was displayed at St. Dennis and a few other parishes and was featured at the Exihibition Hall in Ocean City, Maryland, during the Diocesan-wide celebration of Jubilee 2000.
Father Peterman retired on June 19, 2006 after 49 years a priest. He owns a home in Newark, Delaware.