Parish profile – St. John Nepomuk, Lastrup

Categories: Around the Diocese

st_john_nepomuk_lastrupSt. John Nepomuk Parish was founded in 1900. It currently has 227 households. (Information for this profile was provided by the pastor, Father David Maciej, with additional information from the parish’s website.)

Q: What is an interesting historical facet of your church building?

st_john_nepomuk_lastrupinteriorA: Father Ignatius Lager supervised the building of the frame church, which was left uncompleted because of lack of time and funds. The first year, and until the church’s completion, Mass was held in the post office building. On Christmas Eve in 1901, a solemn procession carried the Blessed Sacrament up the hill to the present church. In 1907, the steeple was completed. Communion railings and pews were also added. In 1910, the building was veneered with brick, which is still intact.

The statue of St. John Nepomuk is very interesting — he has his finger over his mouth, indicating his martyrdom for refusing to break the seal of confession. This statue stands on the left as people face the altar.

Q: What is the most popular program at your parish?

A: It’s our annual fall quilt bingo, with more than 20 beautiful handmade quilts. This year it was held Nov. 1 at the Holy Trinity School gym in Pierz.

Q: What is an interesting historical fact about your parish?

A: Our parish had a Catholic school from 1951-1991; then area parochial schools combined to become Holy Trinity School. The former school building is now our parish center.


Meet the pastor

Father David Maciej

Father David Maciej

Father David Maciej grew up on a farm near Bowlus. He was ordained June 13, 1980. Father Maciej has served parishes in the communities of Morrill, Wadena, St. Cloud, Maine Township, Battle Lake, Dent, Rush Lake, Rice, Browerville and Clarissa. For the past six years he has been serving at St. John Nepomuk in Lastrup and Holy Cross Parish in Harding.

Q: What inspired you to become a priest?

A: I was inspired by the Lord working through my parents, Raymond and Kathryn Maciej, and my grandparents, William and Josephine Maciej and Thomas and Emma Rudolph. Their homes were filled with religious books, pictures and other items. Anyone who walked into their homes would immediately know what deeply spiritual people they were. And they were totally faithful in weekly Mass attendance when they lived on the farm. After they moved to town, they attended daily Mass.

When I served in the U.S. Navy, between 1971 and 1975, a Navy chaplain, Father John McFadden, inspired me. He was from Philadelphia and served at Key West while I was there. Another inspiration to become a priest came during a Cursillo weekend.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your daily life as a priest?

A: I most enjoy celebrating Mass and the sacrament of penance.

Q: What was the theme of a favorite homily that you preached?

A: My favorite homily theme is surrendering one’s life in trust to the Lord — I preach on that theme often. Earlier this year, after I had preached about surrender, I received a letter from a young woman. She wrote that the homily had meant a lot to her in her conversion process.