A blog by the magazine's editors and contributors


Bravo and thank you

Joe Komonchak, dotCommonweal poster, New York priest, Vatican II scholar, and fine preacher was ordained 50 years ago. Prayers of gratitude for his careful work and his spirit of making important distinctions. Thank you.

About the Author

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages and blogs at dotCommonweal.



Commenting Guidelines

  • All

I remember the day well and still have the book of Newman Sermons that Joe gave as a gift to those who assisted at the ordination in Rome. He loved Newman even fifty years ago! And his contributions to an understanding of Vatican II have placed us all in his debt. Grazie!

I met Fr. Komanchak a few times as a grad student at CUA, principally when we both were members of an accreditation subcommittee on Catholic identity.  For me, it was more like a seminar at which I listened delightedly and said almost nothing.  I've learned even more from his work on the Council since, and enjoyed reading him here.  Ad multos annos!!

Congratulations, Fr. Komanchak, on this important milestone!

I don't see Joe K in the picture. Unless he's the bishop standing to the right of the Cardinal! Looks kinda like him!

Thanks, Peggy, for the notice, and everyone for the kind remarks.

Ordinations in Rome in those days took place in December, so I celebrate the day in the same calendar year as the class of 1963 from Dunwoodie. That's why the story in Catholic New York has me listed along with those other New York priests celebrating their 50th anniversary. But because we link more closely with our New York class of 1964, we weren't at this year's golden jubilee Mass with Cardinal Dolan and so we aren't in the photo. That, Deo volente, will come next year.

Joe, Thank you for sticking it out! Or maybe it isn't as difficult as it looks from the outside.

Well, Fr. K. it seems we can enjoy the opportunity of wishing you well and expressing our thanks for all you have done for the Church, and in your pastoral presence at both today and again next year!


Today is as good a day as any to say thank you.  Many thanks, Fr. K, for your scholarship, your good humor and your endless supply of patience here at dotCom.

Congratulations Fr. Komonchak!  We are very blessed have you blogging here.

By the way, the bishop in the Catholic NY photo is Bishop Gerry Walsh, the former rector at  Dunwoodie.

Congratulations Joe. Ad multos annos1

Thank you for taking tbe time to help me with my doctoral research when I wasn't even your student or at your university...and then to email me a great Newman quote you thought might be helpful.  And many thanks for the light, depth andinsight of your scholarly and pastoral gifts. Happy 50th....many more years of priestly service and joy.

On dotCommonweal, thank you for the post series at Lent that are always fun; for the pictures of mosaics, boats and fish and waves and faces; for the picture of a man sawed in half length-wise; for the Augustinian image of God as a hen gathering her chicks under her wings with a soft clucking sound; for the text about Newman pinning his  listeners to their pews with his sharp homilies; for the clay face of a woman crying; for a traditional recipe that I tried in vain to find and try out once; and for many other posts that don't come to mind quite as readily as those memorable ones.

Fr. K--

Congratulations, Happy Anniversary, and thank you.   I had always pegged you at being in your late 50s...guess I"ll have to adjust my mental picture of you now!

Maybe he was ordained at his First Communion making him 57.

Professor Komonchak, congratulations on the 50th annivesary of your ordination.  Thank you, especially, for your efforts to educate us about Vatican II.  Wishing you good health and many more years of service to the church.

Thank you, indeed, and many happy returns of the day!

JAK --   Prayers of thanks for all your good works.  Many happy returns of the day!






And (if they say this south of the Carpathians):

sto rokov!

Congratulations and all good wishes, Fr. Komonchak.

Thanks to Fr. Komonchak and all priests and religious who have dedicated their lives to bring Christ to us. 

Congrats and prayers for you and your loved ones. I am sure the next 50 years will be just as great as the first 50!!!

A story I heard in high school (more than fifty years ago!):  When Pope Leo XIII was celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination as a bishop, someone wished him well: "Holy Father, may God grant you another fifty years!" To which the eighty-three year-old pope replied: "Why do you place such limits on divine Providence?"

Thank you all for good wishes and prayers.

Add new comment

You may login with your assigned e-mail address.
The password field is case sensitive.

Or log in with...

Add new comment