• 36°

Father Nau leaving Ironton

It will be both a celebration of one man’s enduring love for and service to God and his friendship with a community that has lasted 29 years.

On Sunday, the Ironton Catholic Community will honor their pastor, the Rev. Thomas Nau, with a reception to celebrate his 30 years in the priesthood — 29 of which were spent in Ironton— and to say farewell. Nau is taking a new assignment as pastor of the Triumph of the Cross parish in Steubenville, a new community comprised of six parishes that have been combined.

His new assignment, he said, “will give me a chance to become ‘the organizer.’”

Nau is originally from Caldwell. When he first came 29 years ago, he was religious studies instructor at St. Joseph High School. He spent one year in Bellaire but returned to Ironton to serve as principal of the Catholic schools here. He also served as pastor at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Chesapeake before becoming pastor of the Ironton Catholic Community in 1996.

What will he miss most about Ironton and what has he appreciated most about his time here? The people.

“Having shared in each other’s lives, this will be the most difficult part of leaving,” He said.

The reception will be 2 p.m. Sunday at the Knights of Columbus at South Third and Kemp streets. It is open to the public.