Two priests celebrating 50th anniversaries of ordination

Two priests of the Archdiocese of Dubuque are celebrating 50 years in the priesthood in 2019.

Father Wayne Droessler was born Oct. 6, 1942, in Dubuque to George and Florence (Placke) Droessler.

He graduated from Loras College in Dubuque and completed his theological studies at Aquinas Institute of Theology, also in Dubuque.

He was ordained on May 24, 1969, at St. Raphael Cathedral in Dubuque by Archbishop James J. Byrne.

He served as chaplain of Mercy Hospital in Cedar Rapids in 1969 and as associate pastor of the following parishes: All Saints in Cedar Rapids, 1969-70; St. Edward’s in Waterloo, 1970-72; St. Mary’s in Waterloo, 1972-74; St. Patrick’s in Dubuque, 1974-77; St. Patrick’s in Cedar Falls, 1977-80; St. Pius X in Cedar Rapids, 1980-82; and St. Columbkille’s in Dubuque, 1982-87. He was also a faculty member at Waterloo Columbus High School, 1970-72.

He was pastor of Sacred Heart, Eagle Grove, 1987-99, while also serving as temporary administrator of St. John’s, Clarion, 1988-93, and later pastor in Clarion, 1993-99.

He served on the Dubuque Archdiocesan Priests Council, 1994-96.

He was pastor of St. Stephen’s, Central City; St. John the Evangelist, Coggon; and St. Joseph’s, Prairieburg, beginning in 1999 and sacramental priest of St. Patrick’s, Anamosa, beginning in 2008.

He served as chaplain of the North Linn Knights of Columbus Council 12136 of Central City-Coggon-Prairieburg and as faithful friar of the Rev. John R. Gallagher Fourth Degree Assembly 3180 of Marion.

Father Droessler retired in July  2012. In retirement, he continues to help at parishes in the Cedar Rapids and Marion areas.

He celebrated his 50th anniversary of priesthood at a Mass at Loras College in Dubuque May 13 that was held for a number of priests in the archdiocese marking milestone ordination anniversaries.

“I got to speak on behalf of the 50th anniversary class,” said Father Droessler. “That was a nice celebration.”

On Sunday, May 26, Mass was also held at St. Stephen Church at Central City, Iowa, to celebrate Father Droessler’s 50th jubilee. This was attended by his family, friends and former parishioners.

Over five decades in the priesthood, Father Droessler said a significant highlight was being named a pastor for the first time. In his spare time, the priest continues to enjoy hunting, fishing and traveling around Iowa.

Father John Tilp was born April 9, 1942, in Dubuque to Joseph and Eileen (May) Tilp.

He graduated from Loras College in Dubuque and completed his theological studies at Mount St. Bernard Seminary, also in Dubuque.

He was ordained May 24, 1969, at St. Raphael Cathedral in Dubuque by Archbishop James J. Byrne.

He served as associate pastor of St. Joseph’s, Waterloo, 1968-69; St. Ludmila’s, Cedar Rapids, 1969-70; St. Anthony’s, Dubuque, 1970-74; and St. Jude’s, Cedar Rapids, 1974-80.

He served in team ministry at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish and Catholic Student Center in Ames, 1980-87, and as pastor of St. Mark’s in Iowa Falls, 1987-91.

He served as pastor of Immaculate Conception in Clutier, St. Paul’s in Traer and St. Mary’s in Vining, 1994-2006 (St. Mary’s, Vining, was closed in 2002). He was pastor of St. Joseph’s, Dysart, 2001-2006.

He was pastor of St. Patrick’s, Clear Lake, from 2006 until his retirement. Father Tilp, along with his classmate Father Droessler, attended a celebration at Loras College May 13 for priests celebrating jubilees.

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