July 20, 2007

Be Our Guest / Jerry and Kathryn Jacobi

Retiring pastor served people with a quiet dignity, represented the best qualities of a priest

Father Clifford “Cliff” Vogelsang has been our pastor at St. Augustine Parish in Jeffersonville for the past 13½ years. He has now retired to Indianapolis, where he most likely will be busy in very different ways. As we all know, parish priests do not actually “retire.”

During the past several years, the Church has been rocked by scandal and pain. The media likes to sensationalize any salacious story concerning Catholic priests.

However, as most Catholics will acknowledge, we are blessed many times over with very good priests. These priests—who live their lives of service with quiet dignity—seldom, if ever, receive any press.

Father Cliff is one of these priests who, with his great intellect, respect for others and unparalleled work ethic, has served so well the parishioners of St. Augustine—as well as the New Albany Deanery.

Unassuming by his quiet nature, he never sought public attention or praise for his service.

In his personal conversations, he proved to be the better listener. To know Father Cliff is to understand that he dedicated his life in the service of others, and did it with great intensity, especially for those in their hour of need. He represents the very best qualities of a parish priest.

We know that we can speak for many in our parish who will greatly miss Father Cliff. He has become an indelible part of each of our personal histories as he has shared our pain, losses and moments of happiness. We all have our stories of Father Cliff.

We hope that Father Cliff finds peace and happiness in this next phase of his life.

We also welcome Father Thomas Clegg as he takes on the difficult task of ministering to two parishes— St. Augustine and Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, both in Jeffersonville.

As Father Cliff enters a new phase of life, so, too, does the Catholic community of Jeffersonville.

We look forward to the future. But we will never forget our 13½ years with Father Cliff and his comforting presence.

(Jerry and Kathryn Jacobi are members of St. Augustine Parish in Jeffersonville.) †

Local site Links: