St. Cecilia Church parishioners on Sunday bid a fond farewell to their longtime pastor, the Rev. Charles Bonner.
Bonner celebrated the 11 a.m. Mass, then parishioners gathered in the church hall to wish him a happy retirement. He is now pastor emeritus of St. Cecilia, and will stay there in retirement instead of, as previously announced, at Villa Saint Joseph, in Darby.
Bonner spent 57 years in the priesthood, including the last 21 as pastor at St. Cecilia. He was also assistant pastor for five years at the former St. Leo.
There was a long line to greet Bonner, while others wrote notes of thanks. He received cards and gifts, such as a box of Whitman chocolates.
Parishioners received a prayer card and were treated to doughnuts, fruit, bagels and coffee. The hall was decorated with balloons and signs, and a small youth orchestra played music.
The new pastor will be the Rev. Christopher Walsh. ••