TICONDEROGA - Father Bill Muench never saw it coming.
"When you're young and you see someone celebrating a 50th anniversary it doesn't seem possible; those folks seemed very, very old to me," Muench said. "I don't feel old."
Muench, who is pastor of St. Mary's Church in Ticonderoga and Sacred Heart Church in Crown Point, will celebrate 50 years as a priest Sunday, May 3. A special Mass will be celebrated at 3 p.m. at St. Mary's Church followed by a reception at St. Mary's School.
Bishop Robert Cunningham will attend to honor Muench along with family, friends and parishioners. Everyone is invited.
It will be an emotional day for Muench, who turned 75 earlier this year.
"Spiritually, I'm grateful to God," Muench said. "He's put me in the right place at the right time and given me the right words most of my life. And I'm grateful for the umpteen people who have made a difference in my life - friends, especially my priest friends. They have supported and helped me in so many ways.
"I'm also very happy with the things in my life," he continued. "I've met so many wonderful families through the years who have brought me great happiness. I've lived a good life."
Muench grew up in Fayetteville, near Syracuse. After graduation from high school he went directly to Wadhams Hall seminary in Ogdensburg and then to St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore. He was ordained a priest May 16, 1959, in St. Mary's Cathedral by Bishop James Navagh of Ogdensburg.
Why did Muench become a priest? There's no one reason.
"My family was no more religious than any other family," he recalled. "I did the things everyone else did, go to school, play sports. I was an altar server and had a very good pastor who was influential in my life."