Diocesan leaders say they like what they see in new ordinary

Categories: Around the Diocese

Sept. 27, 2013, edition
By Sue Schulzetenberg-Gully

Bishop Donald Kettler may have only been in St. Cloud for a few days following the announcement that he will be the diocese’s next ordinary, but he has already left positive impressions on diocesan leaders.

“With Pope Francis and Bishop Kettler, there is a joyful movement in the church,” said Benedictine Sister Nancy Bauer, who will become chancellor of the St. Cloud Diocese Oct. 1. “I love that [Bishop Kettler] said, ‘What is important is relationships.’ The church is about people.”

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Bishop Donald Kettler, second from left, met with diocesan pastoral staff leaders, including, from left, Deacon Dave Lindmeier, associate director of the diaconate; Chris Codden, director of the marriage and family, and Father Scott
Pogatchnik, director of vocations and vicar for seminarians. Paul Middlestaedt / For The Visitor

Vicar general of the St. Cloud Diocese, Father Robert Rolfes, believes the new bishop will serve the diocese well.

“Bishop Kettler is very dynamic and has great skills to bring to our diocese,” he said. “The work he did with the poor and natives is what we are called to do. He is a great man for the diocese.”

Father Tony Oelrich, rector of St. Mary’s Cathedral and pastor of Christ Church Newman Center and St. Augustine Parish, all of St. Cloud, said he thinks people of the St. Cloud Diocese will be able to identify with Bishop Kettler, especially because of his upbringing and connection to family life. At the Sept. 20 press conference, he mentioned his plans to visit his 100-year-old mother in Sioux Falls, S.D.

“It was beautiful hearing about his mother,” said Father Oelrich. “A lot of people have aging parents. It’s nice to hear of his intent to visit her.”

Deacon Mark Barder, planning director for the diocese, also appreciated Bishop Kettler’s awareness of Midwestern culture and his connectedness to this diocese through his schooling. He also noted Bishop Kettler’s experience.

“I love the fact that he’s been a pastor for so long and his goal is to get out and meet the people,” said Deacon Barder. “He will be a marvelous gift to the diocese.”