Rev. John Mikalajunas and some of his closest friends will get together this weekend as he marks a half-century in the priesthood.

The Johnson City native was ordained in Syracuse on May 17, 1969. He celebrated his first Mass at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in the town of Dickinson the following day.

Mikalajunas now is pastor of Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church in Utica. He is looking forward to celebrating his 50 years as a priest with a special Mass and dinner reception on Sunday.

During a live interview on WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program Wednesday, Mikalajunas recalled growing up in Johnson City, including spending time watching Triplets baseball games at Johnson Field.

Mikalajunas said he has served 39 of his 50 years as a priest in the Binghamton area.

LISTEN to Father Mikalajunas discuss his childhood and his decision to enter the priesthood in this Binghamton Now conversation.

Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com

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