|Date of Birth||October 28, 1960|
|Home Parish||St. Patrick Church, Sheldon, Iowa |
|High School||Spalding Catholic High School, Granville, Iowa |
|College Major or Career Background||Social Science |
|Date of Ordination||July 16, 1988|
|Current Parish||St. Joseph Parish, Le Mars, Iowa |
Interests and Hobbies:
I enjoy "fix-it" projects of all kinds, doing yardwork, exercising, watching movies, and (a new interest) crossword puzzles
I would have to start with both of my parents. Though my father died when I was young, both he and Mom were always determined to center our family in our Catholic faith. The Sisters and lay teachers throughout school, especially Sr. Rosalyn, my 2nd grade teacher, and Vicki Gach, my high school English teacher and speech/theater director. The priests who served as my Pastor or teacher or friend, especially Msgr. Cletus Keleher, my Pastor when I was in grade school, and Fr. Rene McGraw, a Benedictine monk who became a good friend and support in college.
Best thing about priesthood:
A priest friend of mine tells a wonderful story of how he has been taught that "the most important thing is to keep the most important thing the most important thing." I think that is what I experience as the best thing about priesthood. I am invited into a life and lifestyle that is focused precisely on keeping the most important thing - a living, dynamic relationship with God - the most important thing, not only for myself, but for those to whom I minister.
6:00 Wake up
6:15 Exercise (elliptical trainer) and pray Office of Readings
7:15 Open church and prepare for Mass
8:30 Breakfast followed by Morning Prayer
9:00-12:00 Check with office staff, desk work, follow-up on phone calls or e-mails, check in at our Catholic School,
1:00-3:00 Spiritual Direction Appointments
3:00-5:00 Personal Time and Prayer Time
5:00-8:00 Meetings, wedding preparation or baptismal preparation sessions
8:00-10:00 Work at desk, respond to phone calls and/or e-mails, relax, watch a movie, etc.
I first started thinking about priesthood when I was in second grade. That felt calling has never varied much in my life. Throughout grade school and high school, I continued to think about and talk about the possibility of becoming a priest. I am grateful that family, friends, teachers and priests were always supportive and encouraging without placing any pressure on me. While in high school and in the first years of college, I dated and continued to look at other options for my life, but never could seem to get far away from the sense that I was being called to be a priest.
It was during my junior year of college that I decided that I would simply take the next logical step, which was to enter seminary and "give it a shot." I knew that taking such a formal step would help me to discern how God was calling me in life, whether to priesthood or to some other vocation. At that stage, the central question became whether I would seek to join a religious community or become a diocesan priest.
After much prayer and discussion with friends and family, I decided to join a religious community. Following graduation from college, I spent time with a community in initial formation and serving in a mission parish. But after six months, I already had a deepening sense that I was being called to diocesan priesthood, and so made contacts with the Diocese of Sioux City. In November, I returned to the diocese to teach in one of our Catholic Schools for the remainder of the school year before entering seminary in the fall of 1984. I studied for four years at The American College in Louvain, Belgium, before being ordained a priest on July 16, 1988.
Throughout my years of priesthood, I have been grateful to have had the opportunity to continue my formation by earning a masters degree through the Christian Spirituality Program at Creighton University. This program has given me a great love for doing spiritual direction with people, which has become a central life-giving ministry in my priesthood. It also introduced me to the ministry of the Institute for Priestly Formation, and for many years I have been able to share in their ministry and mission by serving as a spiritual director for seminarians and priests while continuing to serve as a Pastor in a parish. Without question, serving in the privileged position of walking with people who are seeking to know, to love and to serve God, whether as a Pastor or as a spiritual director, has certainly served to keep the flame of faith alive within my own heart.