Former diocesan administrator and vicar general Msgr. Taufen dies

Categories: Around the Diocese

September 13, 2013, edition

Monsignor Daniel Taufen, who was named administrator for the Diocese of St. Cloud from October 1994 to July 1995 and served twice as vicar general and moderator of the Curia, died Sept. 8 at St. Benedict’s Senior Community, St. Cloud. He was 82.

As vicar general, Monsignor Taufen was the highest ranking official in the diocese after the bishop and had jurisdiction in all matters which the bishop  had not reserved to himself or others by the common law of the church.

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Msgr. Daniel Taufen

As moderator of the curia, he was charged with coordinating the ministries and services of the diocesan departments and, in the absence of the bishop, presides over meetings of the executive staff.

Msgr. Taufen was fondly remembered by fellow priests.

“He and I were assistants together at St. Mary’s Cathedral,” said Father Greg Lieser, a retired priest of the diocese. “He was a good pastor and a good priest — a man of conviction — who liked discussions on theological and other topics. He was quite well-read and an excellent speaker.”

“He was true to the church,” said Father Ken Thielman, also a retired priest of the St. Cloud Diocese. “He followed the church’s teachings very closely. A lot of thought went into his decisions. He was an outgoing, friendly, happy person and a wonderful friend.”

Native of Rockville

Msgr. Taufen was born March 1, 1931, in Rockville to Edward and Anna (Kuebelbeck) Taufen. He received his high school, college and seminary training at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Worthington, Ohio. He was ordained May 26, 1956, by Bishop Ameleto Cicognani at Pontifical College Josephinum and celebrated his first Mass June 10, 1956, at Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church in Rockville.

From June 1964 to July 1979, Msgr. Taufen held the position of editor of the St. Cloud Visitor and was also director of the Bureau of Information for nearly 10 of those years. During that time, he revised and implemented a full-coverage subscription program and circulation of the newspaper increased significantly. Twice the newspaper was recognized nationally by the Catholic Press Association for General Excellence in its category of circulation. Under Msgr. Taufen’s leadership, the Visitor began publishing independently and locally, moving from being a part of Our Sunday Visitor in Huntington, Ind.

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Msgr. Daniel Taufen who served as editor of the St. Cloud Visitor from June 1964 to July 1979, opens mail amidst the piles of press releases, letters to the editor and exchange papers on his desk.

“Daniel was a mentor to me. I came in with very little experience in journalism and the Catholic press,” former Visitor editor Father Ralph Zimmerman recalled. “I worked under him for three years as assistant editor before I accepted the position. He was a marvelous man to work with and a good friend. He brought our diocesan newspaper into a whole different level of understanding of Catholic journalism — that’s his legacy.

“I admired him — he was an immensely intelligent man and amazingly insightful,” Father Zimmerman, pastor of parishes in Luxemburg, Pearl Lake/Marty and Rockville, said.

From 1988 to 1994 and from 1995 to 2001, Msgr. Taufen served as vicar general and moderator of the Curia for the Diocese of St. Cloud. In 1996, he was named a domestic prelate with the title “Monsignor.”

He served as an associate pastor at St. Mary’s Cathedral, as chaplain to the Poor Clare Sisters and as pastor at the parishes of Sacred Heart in Sauk Rapids, St. Lawrence in Duelm, Holy Cross in Pearl Lake/Marty and St. Nicholas in St. Nicholas. During his years of ministry he also served as consultor for the diocese and vicar for retired priests. He retired June 1, 2009.

“He would listen carefully and look at all sides of things — slow to judge,” said Father Tony Kroll, another retired priest of the diocese. “Through him I learned to be more broadminded.”

A vigil service was held Sept. 12 at St. Mary’s Cathedral, St. Cloud. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Sept. 13 at St. Mary’s Cathedral, with Bishop John Kinney presiding. Burial will be in Mary of the Immaculate Conception Cemetery, Rockville.

Msgr. Taufen was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Albert, Lawrence, Robert, Donald and William and a sister Mary Lou.

 

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Msgr. Daniel Taufen, left, holds the document that named him a domestic prelate with the title of “monsignor,” after Bishop John Kinney presented it to him Feb. 19, 1996.