The Archdiocese of Portland has announced that two monsignors are about to enter senior status — that means they’ll slow down. But priests never really retire.

Msgr. Gregory Moys most recently served as pastor of the archdiocese’s historic first parish, St. Paul in the town of St. Paul. A historian himself, Msgr. Moys really has been a part of history, having held high posts in the course of 56 years as a priest.

“I’m 12 years beyond retirement,” noted the monsignor, who was ordained in 1964. “I was perfectly happy to keep working.”

And yet he admitted it is a good time to transition. “I’m getting a little more tired,” he said.

He has his work cut out for him now. “There will be time to do all this,” he said, referring to the dozens if not hundreds of boxes of historical records that he’s had in storage, much of it film. He also expects to have more time for the Catholic Historical Society and for researching his family genealogy.

Msgr. Moys’ busy career spans from his days as a seminarian in Rome, where he was close to both ancient history and history in the making with the Second Vatican Council; to teaching religion at Central Catholic, St. Mary’s Academy, and Regis (and serving as principal of Central Catholic); being parochial vicar, administrator or pastor at Immaculate Conception, Stayton, Our Lady of Sorrows, Portland, St. Paul, St. Paul, and others; serving as chaplain at Holy Names Convent in Marylhurst; and being chancellor of the archdiocese.

Msgr. Patrick Brennan, pastor of St. Mary Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception until January, will continue his long years of work in the Archdiocese of Portland Tribunal.

Msgr. Brennan had begun to wonder if he’d ever be a pastor.

He was prepared, having graduated from St. Cecilia Grade School, Mount Angel Preparatory High School, Mount Angel Seminary College, the Gregorian University and the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. He was ordained in 1977 by Archbishop Cornelius Power at Holy Trinity Church in Beaverton. After serving as a parochial vicar at St. Therese in Northeast Portland and St. Mary Parish in Corvallis, he was tapped to become the next judicial vicar for the archdiocese. In 1990 he accepted the position of president-rector of Mount Angel Seminary, a post he held for 10 years. He returned to the North American College in Rome to be spiritual director there, coming back to Portland to take the position of vicar for clergy for the archdiocese.

At long last, in 2011, Archbishop John Vlazny asked him to be pastor of St. Mary Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

“Do you think that’s a good place to start?” Msgr. Brennan remembered asking his superior.

Archbishop Vlazny assured him that he would know how to do all that was needed.

In his retirement, Msgr. Brennan hopes to continue photography and to travel.

Read extended interviews with Msgr. Moys and Msgr. Brennan in the June 18 issue and online in the coming days.