WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — St. Michael Catholic Church in Wheeling cordially invited people to attend a special service for Monsignor Jeremiah McSweeney Thursday for a Golden Jubilee Celebration in honor of his 50th anniversary of ordination.

Most Reverend Mark E. Brennan, the Bishop of the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese, presided over the Mass.

Monsignor McSweeney was ordained as a priest on June 17, 1972 and has been a priest at seven different churches over those 50 years in the diocese.

Reverend Monsignor McSweeney quotes Poet Laureate of West Virginia and his longtime friend Marc Harshman.

He retired in 2016 from parish ministry and has been traveling throughout the Catholic churches in the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese to fill in as a priest wherever he is needed.

7News spoke to Monsignor McSweeney in an exclusive interview just minutes before the special Mass, and he talked to us about the faith-filled people, who, he says, have meant the world to him over the years.

It was a privilege for me to minister here in West Virginia to all people most of them who are faithful; they were faith-filled and there were churchgoers. Not everyone in West Virginia is a churchgoer, but they had the faith. And I met an awful lot of people who were who were not Catholic but that doesn’t make any difference as long as they are faith-oriented and have a happy journey to the Father’s house and home.

Rev. Monsignor Jeremiah McSweeney, Wheeling-Charleston Diocese

Monsignor McSweeney says he plans to continue stepping in as a priest when asked at the Catholic churches in the diocese.

A reception followed the mass at the St. Michael Angelus Center.