North Star / Osgood Region Parishes
Grace to you and Peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! With this article, please allow me to introduce myself to you. My name is Father David G. Howard. I was born in Dayton, Ohio, and I grew up in Greene County, Ohio. I am a Roman Catholic Priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, and I graduated from the Pontifical College Josephinum in 2001 and from the Athenaeum of Ohio/Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary in 2006. I was ordained to the holy priesthood on 20 May 2006 by Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk. Almost my entire formation and priesthood has been a combination of pastoral ministry and academic pursuits. I have always had a great love for learning and for studying. Prior to entering into college seminary, I pursued academic studies at Wright State University, and later at RETS Tech Center, where I earned an Associate of Applied Business degree in Legal Assisting in 1995. Upon completion of my four years of seminary formation at the Pontifical College Josephinum, I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, with a major in Philosophy and a double minor in English Literature and in Classics. I began my five-year major seminary formation journey at Mt. St. Mary’s in 2001, and, upon completion, I earned a Master of Divinity degree.
As a transitional Deacon, I served at the Coldwater Cluster of parishes during the summer of 2005 with Father Ron Wilker and Father Tom Dorn. My first assignment as a priest, however, was at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Anderson Township in Cincinnati, where I served as a Parochial Vicar for two years. In 2008, I received my first pastorate at Saints Peter and Paul Parish in Reading, Ohio, where I joyfully served until 2015. In 2012, I was also assigned to serve as the Pastor of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish in Reading, Ohio, and I was asked to begin and to oversee the process of bringing both parishes together into one collaborative pastoral region under the leadership of a single Pastor. During this period, I was not only spiritually and pastorally enriched, but also I was permitted to continue my academic pursuits while serving as the Pastor. As such, I enrolled in the Athenaeum of Ohio, in order to complete the Master of Arts in Theology degree program and to graduate in 2009. During my time in Reading, I also developed a greater passion for the Bible, and, so, to better enhance my ability to present and to promote studies of Sacred Scripture at both parishes, I enrolled in the Augustine Institute’s Master of Biblical Studies degree program, which I completed and graduated in 2013.
In 2015, and at the conclusion of the collaborative pastoral region implementation process in Reading, I was assigned to further studies in Canon Law at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C, and, upon earning a Licentiate in Canon Law degree in 2017, I was reassigned to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. When I returned to the archdiocese, I was appointed to serve as a Judge on the Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, to serve as a Censor of Books for the archdiocese, and to teach Canon Law to both seminarians and candidates for the Permanent Diaconate at the Athenaeum of Ohio/Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary. In 2018, I briefly served as the Parochial Administrator of St. Peter’s Parish in New Richmond, Ohio and of St. Mary’s Parish in Bethel, Ohio before accepting an assignment as a canon lawyer for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, D.C., where I served prior to my assignment to the parishes of St. Louis in North Star and St. Nicholas in Osgood. During this time, I also accepted an appointment to serve as a Defender of the Bond in the Marriage Tribunal for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, and I continue to serve in this capacity. This is my brief story in a nutshell, and I look forward to learning your stories as well. For now, however, please allow me to state that it is such a joy for me to receive this appointment from Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr to serve as your new parish priest!