The following priests of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee will retire from active ministry June 27.
Fr. Joseph H. Coerber was born in Fond du Lac, and attended St. Lawrence Seminary High School, Mt. Calvary, and Saint Francis Major Seminary, St. Francis.
Ordained May 28, 1966, at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Milwaukee, he served as curate, St. John de Nepomuc Parish, Milwaukee, 1966-1971; associate pastor, St. Robert Parish, Shorewood, 1971-1976; chaplain, St. Alphonsus Hospital, Port Washington, 1976-1981; associate pastor, St. Dominic Parish, Sheboygan, 1981-1986; associate pastor, St. John the Evangelist Parish, Greenfield, 1986; pastor, Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, West Allis, 1986-1990; and pastor, St. Mary Parish, Marytown, and St. John the Baptist Parish, Johnsburg, 1990 until he retires.
Fr. David Cooper was born in Sheboygan, and attended Holy Name Grade School and St. Peter Claver Grade School, Sheboygan, Salvatorian Seminary High School, St. Nazianz, 1958-1962. He began his education at Mount St. Paul College, Waukesha, and transferred to Saint Francis Major Seminary, Milwaukee, 1964 until he was ordained May 31, 1970, at St. Peter Claver Church, Sheboygan. Fr. Cooper later earned his Master of Divinity from St. Francis Seminary, St. Francis, 1979.
He served as associate pastor, St. Alphonsus Parish, Greendale, 1970-1976; associate pastor, St. James Parish, Franklin, 1976-1981; associate pastor, 1981-1983, and team member, 1983-1990, St. Matthias Parish, Milwaukee; temporary administrator for two months and then pastor, Holy Assumption Parish, West Allis, 1990-2000; pastor, St. Matthias Parish, Milwaukee, 2000 until he retires.
Fr. Cooper cofounded the Priest-Rabbi Dialogue Group for the Milwaukee Metropolitan area in 1984, and has served as chair and treasurer of the West Allis Clergy Association, and diocesan chaplain of the Knights of Colubmus, 2003-2008, followed by a two-year term as state chaplain.
He is a member, and former chaplain, of the Knights of Columbus Council 3095, and has been a Faithful Friar of the Fourth Degree K of C Msgr. Arnold Assembly since 2000.
He also serves as priest moderator for Districts 14, 15 and 16 of the Milwaukee Archdiocesan Conference of Catholic Women; member of the Catholic-Jewish Conference of Milwaukee since 1981; founder and current chair of the Milwaukee Archdiocese Priests Alliance, 2005; and member of the board of directors for the National Association of United States Catholic Priests, which he and 26 other priests from the U.S. formed in 2011, and where he served as chair from August 2011 to June 2014.
Fr. Thomas F. Lijewski was born in Milwaukee, and attended Saint Francis Minor Seminary, De Sales Prepartory Seminary and Saint Francis Seminary, St. Francis.
Ordained May 23, 1970, at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Milwaukee, he began his ministry as associate pastor at St. Alexander Parish, Milwaukee, 1970-1971, and also served as associate pastor, St. Peter Claver Parish, Sheboygan, 1971-1973; associate pastor, St. Barbara Parish, Milwaukee, 1973-1976; associate pastor, Blessed Sacrament Parish, Milwaukee, 1976-1987; associate pastor, Christ King Parish, Wauwatosa, 1987-1994; pastor, St. John Nepomuk Parish, Racine, 1994-2001; pastor, St. John the Evangelist Parish, Kohler, 2001-2007; administrator, St. Mary Parish, Port Washington, 2007-2009; team member, St. Mary and St. Peter parishes in Port Washington and Immaculate Conception Parish, Saukville, 2009 until he retires.
Fr. Lijewski also finished a degree program in organ perfomance at Alverno College, Milwaukee, 1983, and is a member of The American Guild of Organists, The Organ Historical Society and the Dairyland Theater Organ Society.
He has done recitals and organ dedications, including a dedication for the pipe organ that moved from the Mater Christi Chapel in the Cousins Center, St. Francis, to the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians at Holy Hill, Hubertus, in 2010.
Fr. Lijewski also served as president of the Milwaukee Catholic Symphony for 12 years.