Popular Rappahannock Catholic priest announces his retirement

‘I have loved my 4 years . . . at St. Peter’s and I will not be a stranger’

The Rev. Horace H. “Tuck” Grinnell, who four years ago became pastor of St. Peter Catholic Church in Washington, announced Sunday that he will retire from parish priesthood in June.

“This summer, I will turn 71 and complete 45 years of parish work,” Father Tuck wrote to parishioners in Sunday’s church bulletin. “I have loved my 4 years of ministry at St. Peter’s and I will not be a stranger — if you invite me, I will come!”

Father Tuck Grinnell, seen here following Easter Sunday Mass on April 1, has announced his retirement from parish ministry. By John McCaslin

Father Tuck said that upon leaving Rappahannock County this early summer he will move into the Catholic Diocese of Arlington’s St. Rose of Lima Priests’ Retirement Villa in Annandale, although he stressed he wouldn’t completely retire.

“In retirement, I will continue to be very active as a priest — helping out in parishes, remaining Spiritual Director for the Cursillo Movement, continuing with the Catholic Healing Ministry of The Diocese,” he said. “I also look forward to exploring new ministries like the Kairos Prison Ministry.”

The Cursillo Movement focuses on showing Christian laypeople how to become effective Christian leaders. The mission of the Kairos Ministry is to share the forgiveness of Jesus Christ with incarcerated men, women and children, as well as their families, so as to become loving and productive citizens of their communities.

The popular priest, who was very active throughout the entire Rappahannock Community as a member of the clergy — he twice served as master of ceremonies for the Annual Rappahannock County Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Observance — said he hopes to have a “going away/retirement celebration” before departing St. Peter, perhaps a “picnic.”

Father Tuck was born in Charlottesville and was educated there and in Richmond before graduating in 1970 from St. Mary’s College Seminary near Catonsville, Md. He graduated from the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium in 1973.

He was ordained as a priest on May 4, 1974 by then-Auxiliary Richmond Bishop Walter F. Sullivan. He served as parochial vicar of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Arlington, 1974-77; St. Louis Church in Alexandria, 1977-80; St. Charles Borromeo Church in Arlington, 1980-84; and St. Mark Church in Vienna, 1984-86. He served as pastor of St. Charles, 1986-94; pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Falls Church, 1994-2010; pastor of St. Charles, 2010-14, before being transferred to St. Peter.

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John McCaslin is the editor of the Rappahannock News. Email him at editor@rappnews.com.