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Father Paul Counce, pastor of St. Joseph's Cathedral, will say his last Mass at the cathedral at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

After 12 years as pastor of historic St. Joseph Cathedral, the Very Rev. Paul D. Counce is saying farewell to his parishioners and friends this weekend as he leaves active parish administration.

At 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Counce will preside over his last Mass at the cathedral and deliver his last homily.

Following Mass, the 68-year-old pastor will be honored at a reception in the downtown church’s Parish Hall, which was renovated under Counce's direction in the early years of his pastorate.

Expected to deliver congratulatory remarks are Bishop Michael G. Duca, Bishop Emeritus Robert W. Muench, and Victor Weston and Barbara Carey, members of the parish’s Development Group.

Assisting at the reception will be members of the Parish Development Group, the Ladies of the Cathedral and the Cathedral Council of the Knights of Columbus.

“About half of my adult life has been in this wonderful cathedral environment,” Counce has said. “That began as a student at the Cathedral Prep minor seminary school, which had started a block from the cathedral church. I was a priest in residence during the pastorates of Fathers Frank M. Uter and Gerard F. Young and, in July of 2009, became pastor of this diocesan cathedral and parish community.”

While he’s leaving active parish administration, Counce is not retiring.

Beginning July 1, he will resume full-time duties as diocesan judicial vicar, an assignment he has held since 1989.

The 10:30 a.m. Mass can also be viewed live and on replay on Catholiclife Channel (Cox Cable 15), via and on Catholiclife Channel’s Facebook page.