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Honors for Father Rick, Dulaney High science students

The congregation of Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Cockeysville put on a parade May 27 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the ordination of their pastor, Monsignor Richard Hilgartner, aka Father Rick, left, shown here with Father John Martinez.
The congregation of Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Cockeysville put on a parade May 27 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the ordination of their pastor, Monsignor Richard Hilgartner, aka Father Rick, left, shown here with Father John Martinez. (St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church)

During the pandemic and the age of social distancing, car parades have become a common sight to celebrate happy occasions. On May 27, the congregation of Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Cockeysville pulled together an impressive parade to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the ordination of their pastor, Monsignor Richard Hilgartner, or Father Rick, as he is known.

With almost 300 cars winding their way through the St. Joe’s campus, with horns blaring and balloons flying, the parishioners celebrated Father Rick and his time as a priest.

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He was surprised at the sight of the parade, noting, “I was completely and utterly floored” by it, and he thoroughly enjoyed it. He sent his thanks to Father John Martinez, a fellow priest at St. Joe’s and all the staff and volunteers who helped pull off such an extensive and memorable celebration.

Born in Baltimore, Father Rick was ordained on May 27, 1995, in the Archdiocese of Baltimore and other than a brief time studying in Rome, Father Rick has served locally as pastor at several parishes and as executive director of the Secretariat of Divine Worship for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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In 2012, Father Rick was named “chaplain to His Holiness” with the title of monsignor, and in 2015, he became the pastor at Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Cockeysville.

An avid runner and marathoner with a keen interest in liturgical music, Father Rick is now the pastor to a parish of more than 3,000 families at St. Joe’s.

He succeeded Monsignor Paul Cook as pastor, and Monsignor Cook recently celebrated a milestone of his own. On May 23, he celebrated 61 years as a priest, commemorating his ordination in 1959.

Monsignor Cook spent 37 years of his priesthood at St. Joe’s, beginning in 1977 until his retirement in 2015. He is now pastor emeritus there, as well as a congregant.

The physical school year at Dulaney High School came to an abrupt halt back in March, but the learning has continued, especially in the science department.

Over the past few weeks, science students were treated to guest appearances in their weekly online meetings from Dulaney science alumni, who came back virtually to discuss topics like astrophysics, engineering, environmental science and medicine.

They included Jessica Thompson ’97, Sarah Fletcher ’06, Ty Goehringer ’10, Kenny Naylor ’10, Mordecai Salvino ’10, Mark Hubbert ’14, Annie Brantigan ’15, Adolfo Carvalho ’15, MacKenzie Crotty ’16 and Will Paranzino ’16.

These alumni have gone on to do great things since graduating from Dulaney, including working at NASA, achieving doctorates, teaching at Stanford, and working in the fields of medicine, astrophysics and engineering.

Adolfo Carvalho was also just recently named an Fulbright fellow and will travel to Chile in March 2021 to study protoplanetary disks. What a great opportunity for the current students to learn how science is applied beyond school.

Dulaney’s science department also has announced its annual awards that recognize excellence in the senior class.

The Overall Science Award was given to Benjamin Yin. Yovan Maksimovic was recognized with the Physics Award, while the Biology Award went to Sressaisowmya Potluri.

Sangmin Woo received the Chemistry Award, and Vimal Vinod was honored in Environmental Science. Congratulations to all the award winners!

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