A Lawrence native returns home to celebrate his Silver Jubliee in the priesthood.
The Rev. Robert B. Flannery, formerly of Lawrence and now a priest of the Diocese of Belleville, Ill., is observing his Silver Jubilee as a Roman Catholic priest on Tuesday evening at Saint John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 1204 Ky.
The celebration begins with a Mass of Thanksgiving at 7 p.m., followed by a reception in the lower level of the church. Both events are open to the public.
Flannery is the son of Dorothy B. Flannery, the late Lawrence S. Flannery Sr. and the stepson of Monte E. Flannery of Lawrence. He graduated from St. John School and Lawrence High School before he began his undergraduate and graduate studies at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minn., and The Catholic University of Louvain in Leuven, Belgium.
Flannery was ordained a priest in Belleville, Ill., on June 2, 1973, by Bishop Albert R. Zuroweste. After ordination he received a master's degree in counselor education from St. Louis University in St. Louis and has done further studies at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis.
During his 25 years of ordained ministry, Flannery has served as associate pastor, high school guidance counselor and religion teacher, coordinator of the Teens Encounter in Christ retreat program, diocesan vocation director, director of continuing education of the clergy, seminary spiritual director at The American College in Belgium, vicar of permanent deacons, member of the diocesan liturgy, pro-life, and ministry to priests committees, priest convocation chairperson, consultor and president of the Priest Senate, as well as pastor the last 14 years in several parishes in southern Illinois.
While vicar of deacons for 10 years, he was elected president of the National Association of Diaconate Directors and in 1997 was presented the highest award of the association, The William Philbin Award.
Presently, Flannery is pastor of St. Mary Parish in Trenton, Ill. He also serves as diocesan ecumenical officer and chairs the millennium/jubilee committee for the Diocese of Belleville, the lower 28 counties in southern Illinois.