I was born in Appleton, Wisconsin and have degrees in religious studies and French from the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh, with master’s work at St. Norbert College, and also at St. Paul’s University in Ottawa. I have worked as a parish musician for decades and have worked in pastoral ministry for more than 30 years, many of those years as director of religious education. I first professed as a Benedictine in 1982 as an oblate, then later as novice, taking final vows in July of 2009. My parish work includes many ministries including music, liturgy, and director of vocations for a large Midwestern diocese. Honoring my Benedictine heritage, I am a spiritual director/companion.
I have 3 sons, Chris, Phil and Stefan. Phil and Stefan both live in Michigan and Chris rests in the heart of God.
I wrestled for 40 plus years with the idea that I was called to be a priest. Through many years of study and active ministry in the Roman church, I struggled with the official policies when human lives were being treated with disregard and a lack of compassion. I longed for a Church that was consistent with the vision of Vatican Council II and allowed latitude when dealing with pastoral issues. As the Roman church continued to ossify during recent decades, I became more and more disillusioned. Ultimately I found a home in the independent Catholic movement in an attempt to truly live in moral consonance with my conscience. Like all priests ordained by Orthodox and/or Old Catholic bishops, my ordination to priesthood is deemed valid by the Roman Catholic Church, though I have no juridical ties to either Rome or the local Roman diocese. I am not completely comfortable with this state of affairs, but on the other hand, it has allowed me to minister freely and in good conscience for the first time in my life. People otherwise denied the sacraments are coming home and finding the truth that God loves them just as they are. This is an exciting time to be a priest!
Currently, I am founding pastor of Holy Redeemer Catholic Community in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and also acting pastor of Grace St. John’s United Church of Christ–an historic first for any Catholic priest! Opening oneself without reservation to God’s call brings upheaval and uncertainty, yes, but it also brings power and grace. And for that, I am humbly and eternally grateful.