Monsignor Arthur Bastress, Pastor of St. Alphonsus in Baltimore, Named Protonotary Apostolic Supernumery

The Catholic Review has a feature story entitled "Priests overjoyed and humbled by monsignor honors from pope" by Senior Writer, George P. Matysek Jr. One of those honored is the longtime pastor of Saint Alphonsus Church who still says the TLM each Sunday and Holy Day. Monsignor Bastress has also assisted young priests in learning to say the TLM.

Monsignor Arthur Bastress, longtime pastor of St. Alphonsus in Baltimore, was named protonotary apostolic supernumery – one of just two monsignors in the Baltimore archdiocese to attain the highest ranking of monsignor. Monsignor Robert Armstrong, retired rector of the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Homeland also has this honor.


Monsignor Bastress heard about his honor when Archbishop O’Brien visited St. Alphonsus after the 8:30 a.m. Mass Oct. 23. The 84-year-old pastor, the oldest active pastor in the archdiocese, became emotional at the archbishop’s generosity.

“There are very few times I’ve been speechless,” Monsignor Bastress said, “but that was one of them. I was flustered. I’m having a hard time having it register.”

After his ordination in 1951, Monsignor Bastress served as associate pastor of St. Dominic in Hamilton and St. Patrick in Cumberland. He moved on to Holy Trinity Parish in Glen Burnie, and also served as temporary administrator of St. Andrew by the Bay, Annapolis, and St. Mary’s, Pylesville. He was appointed pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary in Baynesville in 1970.

Monsignor Bastress led the archdiocesan office for the diaconate for 10 years, and was named pastor of St. Jerome in Baltimore in 1990. When Auxiliary Bishop John H. Ricard was named the head of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee in 1997, Monsignor Bastress was asked to serve as interim delegate of what was then the urban vicariate. He was named pastor of St. Alphonsus in 1998.

“God’s been good to me,” Monsignor Bastress said. “The people have been very good and understanding of me. I have no plans for retirement, unless the new archbishop thinks I’ve had enough.”
Read the rest of this great story here!