|Maryknoll Father John Soltis celebrates 50 years|
Posting Date: 06-19-2012
Father John Francis Soltis, MM, of San Jose, California, originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, will celebrate his 50th anniversary of ordination as a Maryknoll missioner on June 24.
He is one of 37 Maryknollers to commemorate his ordination to the priesthood or Final Oath as a Brother in ceremonies to be held at the Maryknoll Mission Center in Ossining, New York.
After ordination on June 9, 1962, Father Soltis was assigned to South Korea. After a year of language study in Seoul, he served as curate in the parish of Jung Pyeong in the Chong Ju Diocese.
During his time as curate, Father Soltis also served in the Su An Bo Parish and in a parish in Pusan. He returned to the Chung Ju Diocese, and, in 1970, became pastor of Hwang Kan Parish.
In 1973, Father Soltis was assigned to the Inchon Diocese as pastor of Bu Pyeong Parish. In addition, he served as chaplain of a Catholic hospital, helped maintain a home for seniors and worked with parishioners afflicted with Hansen’s disease.
He also served as director for Catholic Family Life programs in the diocese and as the first executive priest for the diocese’s Marriage Encounter Program.
In 1981, Father Soltis returned to the United States to support mission education and promotion in Washington, Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Alaska.
He was appointed director of Maryknoll’s Denver Development House that oversees Kansas, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and Nebraska (1983-86) and then he moved to San Francisco to direct Maryknoll efforts in California, Nevada and Hawaii (1986-89).
In 1989, Father Soltis was reassigned to Inchon, Korea, where he served as pastor at St. Paul Chong Ha Sang (1990-95) and established a new parish in Po Dong (1995-2001). He has lead Marriage Encounter weekends in his mission area for 25 years and has directed a school for senior citizens.
In 2001, he was asked to work in an outreach program for the Korean Catholic community in Hawaii and also served as a spiritual advisor and, in 2003, was assigned to work in St. Joseph Parish in Hilo.
While at St. Joseph’s, Father Soltis accepted responsibility of director of Maryknoll’s Hawaii Society House in Honolulu. He became the full-time director in 2004.
Although he retired in 2006, he continued to serve as director there until its recent closing. He now resides in Woodland, California.
“Being in mission, teaching, preaching, baptizing, mingling and being accepted as a priest and friend, has been the high point of my career,” said Father Soltis speaking at the time of his 40th Jubilee. “We may have different cultures, but as Church we are one.”
Father Soltis entered Maryknoll Junior Seminary in Clark’s Summit, Pennsylvania in 1951.
- The Valley Catholic
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