Holy Name of Jesus Church
Valhalla, NY, USA
Industry: Social Services
Field: Religious Services
According to The Official Catholic Directory, in 2010 it was recorded that “there are 68,503,456 Catholics in the United States (22 percent of the population).” During his time in the Roman Catholic Church, Rev. Joseph A. Blenkle has seen the number of consistent churchgoers dwindle and has taken a vow upon himself to see that this percentage only grows in the years to come. He is the priest of Holy Name of Jesus Church in Valhalla, N.Y., and as such preaches to more than 2,000 congregants over the five Masses that are celebrated on Saturday and Sunday.
While only a young altar boy in middle school, Rev. Blenkle decided his life’s work would be turning people toward the word of God. In 1990, he began his mission by becoming an ordained priest through Saint Joseph’s Seminary. For more than 20 years he has presided at weddings and funerals and has given back to the community by teaching and speaking at women’s prisons. He is also an avid fundraiser and teaches religious education. He describes being a Catholic priest as wonderful and considers himself to be very lucky. During his tenure, he has been fortunate to meet not only one pope, but two. He met Pope John Paul II once in New York, and was able to personally shake his hand at their second meeting in Rome. Also, while having the honor of serving communion at Yankee Stadium, Rev. Blenkle met the current head of the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI.
Prior to becoming an ordained priest, Rev. Blenkle earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Religious Studies with honors in 1986 from Iona College, followed by a Master of Arts in Divinity in 1990 from Saint Joseph’s Seminary. He is a member of the Westchester Hills Golf Club, the Knights of Columbus and Lions Clubs International. Recently elected to the priest senate, he is also a board member of Sirius Satellite Radio’s Global Catholic Radio Network. Continue reading