Seventeenth Pastor, 1996-1998
Father Clemens HammerFr. Voellmecke is a native of Cincinnati’s Price Hill neighborhood, born on October 6, 1935. He attended Resurrection School (1941-1947), St. Lawrence Latin School (1947-1949), and St. Gregory’s Seminary in Mt. Washington (1949-1954). He completed his seminary studies at the North American College in Rome (1954-1960), where he was ordained to the priesthood on December 20, 1959.
For his first nine years as a priest he stayed close to home: Holy Family Parish (1960-1963), St. Dominic’s (1963-1966), St. William’s (1966-1969), all the while teaching religion at Seton High School. Then he was off to the University of Notre Dame (1969-1973) to get a Ph.D. in philosophy in preparation for teaching at his Alma Mater, St. Gregory’s Seminary (1973-1980); for the last six of those years he was Rector of the seminary.
St. Gregory’s was closed by the Archdiocese in 1980, and college-level seminarians began attending the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. At that time Fr. Voellmecke joined the Josephinum faculty, serving as Vice-Rector and professor of philosophy (1980-1989). At the Josephinum he became good friends with another faculty member, a priest from Utah, and through him developed a great affection for the Church in Utah. With the approval of Archbishop Pilarczyk, he was on loan to the Diocese of Salt Lake City for six years, serving as pastor of the northernmost parish in Utah, St. Thomas Aquinas Parish & Newman Center in Logan, Utah, site of Utah State University (1989-1995).
Returning home to Cincinnati in 1995, he served for one year at Our Lord, Christ the King in Mt. Lookout, then as pastor of Old St. Mary’s (1996-1998). In 1998 he was appointed to the seminary faculty of Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary (the graduate school of theology), located since 1981 on the campus in Mt. Washington that had been St. Gregory’s. There he serves as professor of philosophy and director of the Pre-Theology Program. He also serves as Parochial Vicar of Immaculate Heart of Mary parish near Mt. St. Mary’s.
The Greater Cincinnati Consortium of Colleges and Universities honored Fr. Frank as one of the outstanding teachers for 2002 at the “Celebration of Teaching” luncheon.