The year 1962 began triumphantly for Americans, when in February John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth. It ended with a sigh of relief after John F. Kennedy, the first Catholic president, faced and averted the Cuban missile crisis that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war in October. Amid that tension-filled period, Pope John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council on Oct. 11 (which continued until 1965), and early the next year issued his first encyclical, “Pacem in Terris,” shortly before his death. And there were 299 parishes plus numerous mission churches and a Catholic population of 1,348,104 in the Los Angeles Archdiocese’s four counties (L.A., Orange, Ventura and Santa Barbara), led by Cardinal James Francis McIntyre, in the 14th of his 23 years as archbishop.On Monday morning, April 30, 1962, Cardinal McIntyre ordained new priests from St. John’s Seminary. Among the ordinands that day in St. Vibiana Cathedral: future San Francisco Archbishop George Niederauer. Two other members of St. John’s class of 1962 also reached the episcopacy: Cardinal Roger Mahony, ordained May 1, 1962 in Fresno by Bishop Aloysius Willinger for the Fresno Diocese, and Cardinal William Levada, ordained the previous December in Rome. This year, eight men ordained from St. John’s celebrate their golden jubilees of priesthood, plus three others ordained in Ireland who have served most of their priesthood for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Following are brief summaries of the jubilarians’ years of ministry. Msgr. John G. Fitzgerald has served since 1989 as pastor at Queen of Angels Church in Lompoc, having previously been its administrator for a year, and served 13 years as dean of Deanery 1 in the Santa Barbara Region. He was born in County Kerry, Ireland, in 1937 and ordained June 3, 1962 in St. Mary’s Cathedral in Kilkenny. His assignments as associate pastor include St. Raphael, Goleta; St. John the Evangelist, L.A.; St. Joseph, Carpinteria; St. Mary of the Assumption, Santa Maria; and La Purísima Concepción, Lompoc. He was named a monsignor in 1995. Msgr. Robert Gipson, a native Angeleno, was born in 1936 and attended St. Bernard School, Glassell Park. His first assignment was as an associate for seven years at St. Charles Borromeo, North Hollywood. For nine years Father Gipson served as chaplain at Rancho Los Amigos Hospital, Downey, then was administrator and (from 1982-98) pastor at nearby St. Raymond. Named a monsignor in 1995, he headed St. James the Less, La Crescenta, for eight years. Before retirement in 2011, Msgr. Gipson was the senior priest at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Pasadena.Msgr. Robert E. Howard was born in 1936 in Indiana and graduated from Cantwell High School, Montebello. Associate assignments include St. Linus, Norwalk; SS. Peter and Paul, Wilmington; St. Irenaeus, Cypress; Our Lady of Lourdes, Tujunga; and St. Cyril, Encino. He was the pastor at three parishes: six years at Our Lady of Lourdes, Tujunga; 11 years at St. Finbar, Burbank; and six years at Transfiguration, L.A. Msgr. Howard also served on the personnel board for priests and the Marriage Tribunal. Before his retirement in 2004 he was the senior priest at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Montebello. He was named a monsignor in 1988 and also served as dean of Deanery 7 for nine years.Cardinal William J. Levada, although a member of St. John’s class, completed his theological studies in Rome, where he was ordained Dec. 20, 1961. The Long Beach native, born in 1936, served in the archdiocese at St. Louis of France, La Puente, and St. Monica, Santa Monica, before returning to Rome in 1967 and served six years as a staff member for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In 1983 he was named auxiliary bishop for Los Angeles, taught at St. John’s Seminary and was the Episcopal Vicar for the San Fernando Pastoral Region. He was named archbishop of Portland, Oregon, in 1986 and archbishop of San Francisco in 1995. In 2006 Pope Benedict XVI named him a cardinal and Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where he was the highest ranking American official in the Vatican until his recent retirement.Msgr. Padraic Loftus was born in County Mayo in 1937, ordained at St. Patrick’s Seminary in Maynooth June 17, 1962, and taught for 12 years at Muredach College. He came to Los Angeles in 1974, served at St. Mel, Woodland Hills, earned master’s degrees in religious education and social ethics, and named a regional director of Catholic Social Services in 1979, then associate director of Catholic Charities for seven years and in 1986 became the first director of the new Department of Detention Ministry. In 1990 he was named pastor of St. Mel where he developed the parish facilities and center. He was named a Prelate of his Holiness in 1995 and retired as pastor emeritus in 2007.Father Robert O. Luck, a native of West New York, N.J., born in 1931, was qualified as a private pilot and served three years in the Marine Corps before entering St. John’s. After ordination, he served as an associate at St. Callistus, Garden Grove, and St. James the Less, La Crescenta, before his assignment as a military chaplain in the U.S. Air Force in 1966. As a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force he had 15 military assignments in the U.S. and Europe. In 1987 he was named pastor of St. Catherine, Avalon. He retired as pastor emeritus two years later for reasons of health and lives in Palm Springs.Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, the first native Angeleno to head the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, was born in 1936 and attended St. Charles Borromeo School, North Hollywood. A member of St. John’s 1962 class ordained for the Fresno Diocese, he received a master’s degree in social work at The Catholic University of America in 1964 and in 1967 was named a monsignor. He was named the auxiliary bishop of Fresno in 1975 and worked with the United Farm Workers, and in 1980 was appointed bishop of Stockton. In 1985 Pope John Paul II named him to head the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Archbishop Mahony created the five pastoral regions in 1986; hosted the first papal visit to the city in 1987; and in 1991 was elevated to the rank of cardinal. He has served on a number of committees for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Under his guidance the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels was dedicated in 2002. Cardinal Mahony retired in 2011 and is currently archbishop emeritus.Father John D. Murray, a native of County Cork, Ireland, was born in 1937 and ordained from St. John’s. His first assignment was Santa Teresita, East L.A., for two years, followed by two years at St. Vibana Cathedral, four at St. Joseph, Placentia, and 13 years at St. Cecilia, South L.A., as an associate, administrator and a member of the team ministry. He also headed the archdiocesan Parish Council Development Office. For 14 years he served as pastor at Our Lady of the Valley Church, Canoga Park, where he worked for social justice and low-cost housing for the needy. After his pastorate ended in 1997, he devoted his energy and time to detention ministry. He is now retired and lives at St. Francis Xavier, Burbank.Archbishop George H. Niederauer was born in Los Angeles in 1936 and was a classmate of Cardinal Levada at St. Anthony High School in Long Beach. He attended The Catholic University of America and received a degree in Sacred Theology and completed his Ph.D. in English literature at USC. For several years, Archbishop Niederauer served as spiritual director and on the faculty at St. John’s Seminary, where he was the rector (1987-92) and then co-director of the House of Prayer for Priests in L.A. In 1994 he was appointed bishop for the Diocese of Salt Lake City in Utah and in 2005 Pope Benedict XVI named him archbishop of San Francisco. Msgr. Peter D. Nugent is pastor emeritus at St. John Eudes, Chatsworth, after serving as pastor since 2001. He previously held posts on the archdiocesan personnel board and was president of the Seminary Board for six years. A native of Canada, born in 1936, he attended St. Alphonsus School, L.A., has a master’s degree in music from USC and was director of music education at St. John’s Seminary for 16 years. He was associate pastor at St. Pius X, Santa Fe Springs, for two years and then was pastor for nine years at St. John the Baptist, Baldwin Park, during which time he co-founded the East Valleys Organization (EVO) community action group. He was then pastor for nine years at Santa Clara, Oxnard, before coming to St. John Eudes.Msgr. Michael Slattery was born in 1938 in County Cork, Ireland, was ordained at St. John’s Seminary in Waterford June 17, 1962, and incardinated for L.A. in 1968. His associate assignments were at St. Rose of Lima, Simi Valley; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Newhall; St. Mary, Palmdale; St. John Eudes, Chatsworth; and St. Euphrasia, Granada Hills. In 1986 he was appointed pastor of St. John Baptist de la Salle in Granada Hills, where he served for 12 years. He was named the founding pastor of Blessed Kateri Tekawitha, Santa Clarita, in 1998, where he is currently serving, and named a monsignor in 2005.Deceased Clergy ordained in 1962Msgr. Joseph S. George, a native of Buffalo, N.Y., was born in 1932 and attended St. Augustine School, St. Monica High School, Loyola University and St. John’s Seminary. He was first assigned to St. Eugene, L.A., then studied at The Catholic University of America and taught at St. John’s Seminary. He was also a member of Marriage Encounter International and the Marriage Tribunal. For 19 years he was pastor of St. Paschal Baylon, Thousand Oaks, and was named a monsignor in 1988. His brother, Msgr. Alexander George, ordained in 1965, was pastor for 20 years at Christ the King, L.A. Msgr. Joseph George, who retired in 2002, died Dec. 18, 2011. Father Joseph Robert “Bob” Maechler, a member of St. John’s class, was born in Glendale in 1935 and attended Holy Family grammar school. He was the youngest of three brothers, all priests of the archdiocese. Father Edmund Maechler is pastor emeritus of St. Jerome parish; Father Gerald Maechler died in 1955. Father Bob Maechler served as associate pastor in nine parishes and was pastor at St. Luke in Temple City during his 44 years in the archdiocese. He died of lung cancer in May 2006.