SAU CFDD
Apr 142010
 

Fr. Appel

By Anne Marie Amacher

Eighteen priests and one parish life administrator are receiving new assignments in the Diocese of Davenport, effective July 1. The assignments include pastor and parochial vicar changes, retirements, advanced studies and two priests returning to parish duties after working outside the diocese.

Father Paul Appel, 32, pastor of St. James Parish in Washington, will leave parish ministry to do advanced studies in Canon Law. He graduated from St. Ambrose University in Davenport and completed his theology studies at the University of St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, Ill. He was ordained June 14, 2003, at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport by Bishop William Franklin.

He served as parochial vicar at St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Davenport from 2003-06, Our Lady of Victory Parish in Davenport from 2004-06, and Ss. Mary & Mathias Parish in Muscatine and St. Joseph Parish in Columbus Junction from 2006-08. He was appointed administrator of St. James Parish in Washington from 2008-09, then named pastor.

Father Jeffry Belger, 42, will become administrator of St. Mary Parish in Pella and Immaculate Conception Parish in Colfax. He graduated from Southeast Community College in West Burlington and Western Illinois University. Before entering seminary studies he worked at several YMCAs and served as a teacher and youth minister. He completed his theology studies at St. Meinrad School of Theology in St. Meinrad, Ind. He was ordained June 14, 2003, at Sacred Heart Cathedral by Bishop Franklin. He served as parochial vicar at Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace Parish in Clinton from 2003-05. He has served as parochial vicar at St. Mary Parish in Iowa City since 2005 and as a half-time campus minister at the Newman Catholic Student Center in Iowa City since 2006.

Father Robert Busher, 65, will become pastor of St. Mary Parish in Wilton. Before entering the priesthood he was a professional florist, professional photographer and manager of an import gift center. He graduated from St. Ambrose College and completed his theology studies and master’s in theology at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. He was ordained July 17, 1976, at St. Mary Parish in Williamsburg by Bishop Gerald O’Keefe. He was a temporary chaplain at University Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City until becoming an associate pastor at St. Patrick Parish in Iowa City from 1976-78. He served as associate pastor at St. Mary Parish in Clinton from 1978-82. He served as pastor at St. Joseph Parish in East Pleasant Plain and St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish in Richland from 1982-86, St. Thomas More Parish in Iowa City from 1986-89, St. Patrick Parish in Iowa City from 1989-96 and St. Mary Parish in Oskaloosa from 1996-2005. He also served as canonical pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Colfax from 2004-05. Since 2005, he has served as pastor and rector of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport.

Father John (Jack) Gallagher, 67, will remain as defender of the bond for the matrimonial tribunal, but retire as a parish priest. He graduated from the University of Maryland and was on active duty in the U.S. Air Force from 1963-71. Prior to entering the seminary he worked in accounting on Wall Street and then in Walcott. He attended St. Ambrose College and completed his theology studies at the Pontifical North American College and his Master of Arts in ecumenical studies from the University of St. Thomas in Rome. He also studied canon law at the University of St. Paul in Ottawa, Canada. He was ordained June 21, 1980, at Our Lady of Victory Parish in Davenport by Bishop O’Keefe.

He served as an associate pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Bettendorf from 1980-81. He was pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in Richmond from 1981-84, and then took advanced studies in canon law at St. Paul University in Ottawa from 1984-86. Upon his return, he was pastor of St. Peter Parish in Cosgrove and St. Michael Parish in Holbrook from 1986-87 and Our Lady of the River Parish in LeClaire from 1987-89. He served part-time as a U.S. Air Force chaplain and as parochial vicar at St. Patrick Parish in Iowa City from 1989-91. Fr. Gallagher was a full-time Air Force chaplain from 1991-95. Upon his return he was pastor at St. Mary Parish in Riverside from 1995-98, St. Mary Parish and St. Mathias Parish in Muscatine from 1998-2006, administrator of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Muscatine from 1998-99 and St. Joseph Parish in Columbus Junction from 2004-06. He was pastor of St. Mary Parish in Wilton from 2004-06. He currently serves as pastor of St. Anthony Parish in Davenport and as canonical pastor of St. Andrew Parish in Blue Grass, both since 2006.

Msgr. Robert Gruss, 54, will become pastor and rector of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport. He is a graduate of Madison Area Technical College in Madison, Wis. and Spartan School of Aeronautics. He was a commercial pilot before entering the priesthood. He graduated from St. Ambrose University and completed his theology studies at the Pontifical North American College. He was ordained July 2, 1994, at Sacred Heart Cathedral by Bishop Franklin. He served as parochial vicar at St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Davenport from 1994-97, St. Anthony Parish in Knoxville, Sacred Heart Parish in Melcher and St. Mary Parish in Pella from 1997-99. He served as pastor at the Pella parish from 1999-2004. He was appointed director of vocations for the Davenport Diocese, serving from 2004-2007. He also served as chancellor for the diocese from 2005-07. Currently he is vice rector for the North American College in Rome, where he has been working since 2007.

Father Thom Hennen, 31, will become half-time parochial vicar at St. Mary Parish in Iowa City and half-time priest campus minister at the Newman Catholic Student Center in Iowa City. He graduated from St. Ambrose University and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He also completed advanced studies at the North American College there. He was ordained July 10, 2004, by Bishop Franklin at Sacred Heart Cathedral. Fr. Hennen has been serving as parochial vicar at Prince of Peace Parish in Clinton since 2005.

Father Tony Herold, 56, will become pastor of Ss. John & Paul Parish in Burlington. He graduated from Northeast Missouri College and St. Ambrose College. He completed his theology studies at the North American College. He was ordained July 14, 1979, by Bishop O’Keefe at St. Mary Church in Fort Madison. Fr. Herold served as an associate pastor at St. Paul Parish in Burlington from 1979-82 and St. Mary Parish in Clinton from 1982-84. He served as spiritual director for the St. Ambrose Seminary department from 1984-85, diocesan vocation director from 1984-89 and rector of the St. Ambrose Seminary department from 1985-89. Fr. Herold served as parochial vicar at St. Mary Parish in Iowa City from 1989-90 and then as pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Ottumwa from 1990-99, St. Mary Magdalen in Bloomfield from 1997-99 and as parochial vicar of St. Mary of the Visitation Parish in Ottumwa from 1997-99.  He also served a short time as administrator of Immaculate Conception Parish in Petersville. He has been pastor of Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace Parish in Clinton since 1999.

Father Patrick Hilgendorf, 40, will be the new pastor at St. Patrick Parish in Ottumwa and St. Mary Magdalen Parish in Bloomfield. He graduated from Mount St. Clare College in Clinton and St. Ambrose University. He completed his theology studies at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis. He was ordained May 17, 1997, at Sacred Heart Cathedral by Bishop Franklin.

Fr. Hilgendorf served as parochial vicar at St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Davenport from 1997-99, St. Patrick and St. Wenceslaus parishes in Iowa City from 1999-2000 and at Ss. Mary & Patrick Parish in West Burlington in 2000. Fr. Hilgendorf has served at Ss. John & Paul Parish in Burlington since 2000, first as parochial vicar, then administrator and now pastor.

Father Dennis Hoffman, 50, will become pastor of St. Boniface Parish in Farmington and St. Mary Parish in West Point. He graduated from Loras College in Dubuque. Prior to entering the seminary he worked with the American Red Cross Disaster Services. He completed his theology studies at Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wis. He served as a parochial vicar at St. Paul the Apostle in Davenport from 1990-94, St. Patrick Parish in Iowa City from 1994-96 and Church of All Saints in Keokuk from 1996-99. He served as pastor of St. John Parish in Houghton and St. James Parish in St. Paul from 1999-2004 and at St. Mary Parish in Pella since 2004. Fr. Hoffman also has been canonical pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Colfax since 2005.

Carol Kaalberg remains parish life administrator (PLA) at St. Mary parishes in Lone Tree and Nichols and will take on additional duties as a PLA at St. Joseph Parish in Hills. Bishop O’Keefe appointed her as parish life coordinator for the Nichols and Lone Tree parishes Sept. 27, 1989, and she was commissioned Oct. 1, 1989. Her title changed to parish life administrator in 2004.

Father William Kneemiller, 59, will become pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Hills, St. Mary Parish in Nichols and St. Mary Parish in Lone Tree upon his return from military duty in Afghanistan. He graduated from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. Before entering the seminary he was a self-employed contractor, specializing in commercial painting. He also did real estate work. He completed his theology studies at St. Paul Seminary at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. He was ordained June 12, 1999, by Bishop Franklin at Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Fr. Kneemiller served as a parochial vicar at St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Davenport from 1999-2003. He served as a U.S. Army Reserves chaplain in Iraq from 2003-04. Upon his return he was assigned as pastor of Sacred Heart parishes in Lost Nation and Oxford Junction and St. James Parish in Toronto, serving from 2004-09. He currently serves as a U.S. Army Reserves chaplain in Afghanistan.

Father Kenneth Kuntz, 59, will be the pastor of Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace Parish in Clinton. He graduated from St. Ambrose College and completed his theology studies at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. He was ordained May 28, 1977, at Sacred Heart Cathedral by Bishop O’Keefe.

Fr. Kuntz was an associate pastor at St. Joseph Parish in DeWitt from 1977-82, St. Anne Parish in Welton from 1978-82 and St. John Vianney Parish in Bettendorf from 1982-86. He served as pastor of St. Andrew Parish in Blue Grass and St. Peter Parish in Buffalo from 1986-94 and as temporary canonical pastor of St. Michael Parish in Holbrook from 1996-99. He has been pastor of St. Mary Parish in Iowa City since 1994.

Father Louis Leonhardt, 80, will serve as sacramental minister of St. Joseph Parish in Hills, St. Mary Parish in Nichols and St. Mary Parish in Lone Tree until Fr. Kneemiller returns from military duty.

Fr. Leonhardt graduated from St. Ambrose College and completed his theology studies at Mt. St. Bernard Seminary in Dubuque. He was ordained June 2, 1956, by Bishop Ralph Hayes at Sacred Heart Cathedral. He was an assistant at St. Mary Parish in Mechanicsville for about four months before becoming a chaplain at St. Joseph Hospital in Ottumwa from 1956-61. He served as an assistant at St. Mary Parish in Clinton from 1961-64 and then from 1964-67 at St. Wenceslaus Parish in Iowa City where he also served as a chaplain at University Hospitals. He served as an assistant at St. Mary Parish in Davenport from 1967-73. Fr. Leonhardt was temporary administrator at St. Mary Parish in Albia in 1971 before being assigned as pastor of St. Joseph Parish in East Pleasant Plain from 1973-82. He also was temporary administrator for temporal affairs at St. James Parish in Washington from 1977-82. He was pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Clinton from 1982-89, St. Bridget Parish in Nolan Settlement and St. Bernadette Parish in West Branch from 1989-96, St. Joseph Parish in Hills, St. Mary Parish in Nichols and St. Mary Parish in Lone Tree from 1996-2005. He has been administrator the latter three parishes since 2005.

Father Apollinaire (Apo) Mpanda, 51, will become pastor of St. Anthony Parish in Davenport and canonical pastor of St. Andrew Parish in Blue Grass. He graduated from Philosphate St. Augustine in Africa and completed his theology studies at the Catholic University in Kinshasa, Congo, Africa; and did additional studies at the University of London. He was ordained July 31, 1988, in the Congo by Bishop Emery Kabongo. Fr. Mpanda served as a head teacher/principal of a high school in Africa from 1988-91 and as pastor of a parish there from 1991-93. After studying in London, he came to the Diocese of Davenport and from 1999-2002 served as parochial vicar at Our Lady of Victory and Sacred Heart Cathedral, both in Davenport. Fr. Mpanda was incardinated into the Davenport Diocese in 2000. Since 2002 he served first as administrator, then pastor, at his current assignment at St. Boniface Parish in Farmington and St. Mary Parish in West Point.

Father Troy Richmond, 35, will serve as pastor of St. James Parish in Washington. He graduated from Iowa State University in Ames and took pre-theology studies at St. Ambrose University. He completed his master of divinity at the University of St. Mary of the Lake. He was ordained June 14, 2003, by Bishop Franklin at Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Fr. Richmond was a parochial vicar at St. Patrick and St. Mary of the Visitation parishes in Ottumwa from 2003-04, Ss. Mary & Mathias Parish in Muscatine, St. Joseph Parish in Columbus Junction and St. Mary Parish in Wilton from 2004-06 and Ss. Mary & Joseph Parish and Sacred Heart Parish in Fort Madison and St. Joseph Parish in Montrose from 2006-07. In 2007, he became administrator of the latter three parishes and is now pastor at Holy Family Parish in Fort Madison (formed by the merger of Ss. Mary & Joseph and Sacred Heart parishes) and the Montrose parish.

Father John Spiegel, 59, will be the new pastor at St. Mary Parish in Iowa City. He graduated from St. Ambrose College and completed theology studies at Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium and his master’s in theology at St. John University in Collegeville, Minn. He was ordained June 26, 1976, at St. John the Baptist Church in Burlington by Bishop O’Keefe.

He was associate pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Fort Madison from 1976-78 and Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Bettendorf from 1978-80. He was on faculty at Assumption High School in Davenport from 1980-86 and was chaplain at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Clinton from 1986-91. Fr. Spiegel was pastor of St. John Parish in Houghton and St. James Parish in St. Paul from 1991-99 and parochial vicar, then pastor of St. Mary of the Visitation Parish in Ottumwa from 1999-2004. He has been serving as pastor of St. Mary Magdalen Parish in Bloomfield and St. Patrick Parish in Ottumwa since 1999.

Father Gregory Steckel, 57, will become administrator of Sacred Heart parishes in Lost Nation and Oxford Junction and St. James Parish in Toronto.

Fr. Steckel earned a bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University and completed his theology studies at St. John University in Collegeville, Minn. He was ordained July 12, 1981, by Bishop O’Keefe. Fr. Steckel served as a temporary administrator in 1981 at St. Joseph Parish, Sugar Creek, and later that year as acting chaplain at Mercy Hospital in Davenport. He served as associate pastor at Our Lady of Victory Parish in Davenport from 1981-82; administrator at St. Peter Parish in Buffalo from 1982-85; and then as pastor of St. Boniface Parish in Farmington and St. Mary Parish in String Prairie in 1985 before taking a leave of absence. He returned to the Farmington and String Prairie parishes, serving there until 1987. He took a leave of absence and then served as chaplain at the East Moline, Ill., Correctional Center from 1988-2001. He served as sacramental minister at St. Peter Parish in Cosgrove and St. Mary Parish in Oxford and assisted in pastoral care at University of Iowa Hospitals in 2001. He served as chaplain at a prison in Leavenworth, Kan., from 2001-05 and later at a federal prison camp in Yankton, S.D., from 2005-08. In 2008-09 he served as parochial vicar at Ss. Mary & Joseph and Sacred Heart parishes in Fort Madison, which merged to become Holy Family Parish, and at St. Jospeh Parish in Montrose. He was appointed administrator pro-tem in 2009 for Sacred Heart parishes in Lost Nation and Oxford Junction and St. James Parish in Toronto.

Father James Vrba, 58, will become pastor of St. Mary Parish in Solon. He graduated from St. Ambrose College and completed his theology studies at St. Paul Seminary. He also completed advanced studies at the University of Notre Dame . He was ordained May 28, 1977, by Bishop O’Keefe at Sacred Heart Cathedral.

He served as an associate pastor at Holy Family Parish in Davenport from 1977-79. He was on faculty at Assumption High School from 1979-84 before returning to parish duties at St. Mary Parish in Clinton from 1984-86. Fr. Vrba was pastor at St. Mary Parish in Pella from 1986-93, then parochial vicar at the Pella parish along with St. Anthony Parish in Knoxville and Sacred Heart Parish in Melcher from 1993-94. After returning from studies at Notre Dame, he was pastor of Ss. Philip & James Parish in Grand Mound from 1995-96 and St. Patrick Parish in Iowa City from 1996-2004. He then took a leave of absence. Upon his return he was parochial vicar at Prince of Peace Parish in Clinton in 2006. He has been sacramental minister at Ss. Mary & Mathias Parish in Muscatine since 2006 and pastor of St. Mary Parish in Wilton since 2007.

Father David Wilkening, 64, will be pastor of Holy Family Parish in Fort Madison and St. Joseph Parish in Montrose.

He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa and taught high school before entering the seminary. He completed his theological studies at St. Paul Seminary. He was ordained June 9, 1979, at St. Mary Church in Sigourney by Bishop O’Keefe. He was associate pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Clinton from 1979-83 and St. Mary Parish in Iowa City from 1983-84. He was pastor at St. Mary Magdalen in Bloomfield and St. Aloysius in Eldon from 1984-85, St. Joseph Parish in What Cheer, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Keswick and St. Joseph Parish in North English from 1985-91, St. Mary Parish in West Point from 1991-2002 and St. Boniface in Farmington from 1996-2002. Since 2002, Fr. Wilkening has been pastor of St. Mary Parish in Solon.

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