Father Secora celebrates 45 years as a priest; Mass livestreamed from Ames chapel
AMES — Father James Secora, pastor of St. Cecilia, Ames, recently celebrated the 45th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood with a Mass at 10 a.m. May 31 which was livestreamed from the Burke Chapel at St. Cecilia Church.
A limited number of people attended and there was no reception following the liturgy, due to precautions taken in light of the coronavirus. The priest said in a statement sent to The Witness before the event that he would be happy to connect with many of his parishioners and friends online for the occasion.
“I could never have anticipated observing this milestone of priestly ministry celebrating the Eucharist with a ‘virtual congregation’ participating by the way of internet technology,” reflected Father Secora. “Despite the necessary limitations required for our common safety during this pandemic, through our baptism we are joined, if not physically at this time, spiritually as brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. I thank everyone who has prayed for me and supported me in so many ways during these past 45 years. I continue to strive to live my vocation as a priest by these words of Scripture which I chose for the commemorative prayer card for my priestly ordination. ‘I need your help, for I want not only to share my faith with you but to be encouraged by yours; each of us will be a blessing to the other.’ (Rm. 1:12)”
Father Secora was born on Dec. 12, 1949, to Bernell and Evelyn (Zweibahmer) Secora. He graduated from Loras College in Dubuque and completed his theological studies at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland. He was ordained on May 31, 1975, at St. John Nepomucene Church in Fort Atkinson by Archbishop James J. Byrne.
He served as associate pastor of St. Benedict Parish in Decorah, 1975-78. He taught at Wahlert High School in Dubuque, 1978-89. He served as master of ceremonies for Archbishop Daniel W. Kucera, OSB, 1984-89. He was pastor of St. Catherine Parish in St. Catherine, 1987-89. From 1989 to 1997, he served both as pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish and executive coordinator of Don Bosco High School, in Gilbertville. From 1997-2009, he was pastor of St. Patrick Parish, Cedar Falls. Since 2009, he has been pastor of St. Cecilia Parish, Ames.