FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Father John Stecher will celebrate his 40th anniversary as a priest Jan. 29.
Born in Farley, Iowa, he attended schools there and in Dubuque at Loras College. He did theological studies at Mt. St. Bernard Seminary in Dubuque and St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore. On Jan. 29, 1972, he was ordained by Bishop Gerald O’Keefe at the Carmelite Monastery in Bettendorf.
Fr. Stecher’s first assignment was associate pastor at St. Paul the Apostle in Davenport from 1972-77. He then served on faculty at Assumption High School in Davenport from 1977-82. He left the diocese to teach at St. Francis College in Fort Wayne, Ind., from 1982-84. Upon his return to the Diocese of Davenport, Fr. Stecher was on faculty at Mount St. Clare College in Clinton from 1984-89. He then served on staff at the Newman Catholic Student Center in Iowa City from 1989-2006. He also was a sacramental priest at St. Mary in Iowa City from 1998-2000, and St. Patrick and St. Weceslaus parishes in Iowa City from 2000-06. Since 2006 Fr. Stecher has been a chaplain at the University of St. Francis in Fort Wayne. He also teaches theology classes in Scripture to undergraduate and graduate students.
A Mass to celebrate his 40th anniversary will be held Jan. 29 at the university. A student-planned event to mark Fr. Stecher’s jubilee will follow Mass.