NEW BUFFALO — A parade of about 50 vehicles made the 22nd anniversary of Father John Peter Ambrose’s ordination something special on Monday, May 4.

Among those joining the procession were Tim and Teresa Piner, who said they love their priest.

“We’re all driving by and saying ‘Congratulations!’” Teresa stated.

Mary Sue Tulik-Zurlis road her bike in the parade, complete with an attached sign reading “Congrats Father.”

Many of those parading past the church had cards and gift bags for Father John, who admitted the celebration was a pleasant surprise.

He was ordained in India and had worked there, in the Caribbean, and in the United States (15 years in the Kalamazoo Diocese including the past three years of sharing pastoral duties with Father Vanathaiyan Savarimuthu at the St. Mary of the Lake Parish in New Buffalo, the St. Agnes Parish in Sawyer, and the St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Three Oaks).

Father John said masses are currently being livestreamed online, but he’s hoping outdoor services with social distancing can begin in the near future.

Jan Conrad, secretary at St. Mary of the Lake, helped organize the parade with members of the congregation including Becky Borglin.

“We couldn’t have coffee and donuts or anything, so we thought this would be the next-best thing to have a little celebration,” she said.

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