Batt reassigned to parrish near Wheeling, W.Va.

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Father Anthony Batt, the associate pastor at the St. Joseph Catholic Church, will have his last mass in Ironton on Sunday.

He has been reassigned to St. Clairsville-St. Mary Parrish in St. Clairsville, near Wheeling, WVa.

Batt described himself as a blue-collar worker in northwest Ohio before he felt God calling him to do more with his life.

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“I worked with my hands a lot, making things and then I felt the call from God to not do that, but rather to help people,” he said. “It was a tugging at the heart, I wanted to do more and help other people.”

He said he chose the priesthood because he felt it was the best way to be a help to people.

“The reason being is that everything we have here is temporary and passing away, we know that. Our permanent home is in heaven,” Batt said. “So to prepare for that is the greater value.”

He joined the seminary in 2001 and was ordained in 2004.

Batt came to Ironton after seminary school and he said he has enjoyed his time here.

“It’s a faith-filled community, people are strong in their faith and they are hard working and dedicated to God,” he said. “It’s been very pleasant and very rewarding here.”

He said he feels he has grown in his love of the church and of God.

“I think the people helped me to grow in that,” he said. “So it has been a good experience.”

He said he is looking forward to his new assignment as an associate pastor.

“It is a mixed blessing,” Batt said, explaining he was sad to leave but anxious to take on a new challenge and do whatever God wants him to do. “But Ironton will always feel like my home.”