By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
Three more priest assignments have been announced by Bishop Martin Amos. The priests begin their new positions July 1.
Father Jim Betzen, C.PP.S., 60, comes to the Diocese of Davenport from the Precious Blood order and will serve as pastor of St. Mary of the Visitation Parish in Ottuwma.
He was born in Wichita, Kan., and attended Precious Blood Seminary in Liberty, Mo.; Rockhurst College in Kansas City, Mo.; and Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, where he received his Master of Divinity in 1981. He was definitively incorporated as a Missionary of the Precious Blood on Oct. 21, 1979, and ordained to the priesthood June 26, 1981.
Fr. Betzen has spent most of his priesthood in parish work, serving parishes in North Dakota, Texas and Missouri. He was pastor at Sacred Heart-Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Kansas City, Mo., from 1993-2004. After a brief sabbatical in the fall of 2004, he returned to parish ministry serving first as parochial vicar and later as pastor of Sacred Heart Parish and St. Patrick Parish in Sedalia, Mo., and St. John the Evangelist Parish in Bahner, Mo. He also served as director of Hispanic ministry in the region. In 2011, Fr. Betzen was elected to the Provincial Council of the Kansas City Province. He has served primarily in Hispanic ministry for the past 30 years.
Father Troy Richmond, 39, will become pastor of Ss. Mary & Mathias Parish in Muscatine.
An Ottumwa native, he graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s in music, studied pre-theology at St. Ambrose University in Davenport and completed his theology studies at the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Ill.
On June 14, 2003, he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop William Franklin at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport. He served as parochial vicar at St. Patrick and St. Mary of the Visitation parishes in Ottumwa from 2003-04, and as parochial vicar at Ss. Mary & Mathias Parish in Muscatine and administrator of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Muscatine from 2004-06. Fr. Richmond served as parochial vicar at St. Joseph Parish in Columbus Junction and St. Mary Parish in Wilton from 2004-06. He served as parochial vicar, administrator and then pastor at Ss. Mary & Joseph and Sacred Heart parishes (which merged to form Holy Family Parish) in Fort Madison and St. Joseph Parish in Montrose from 2006-10. He has served as pastor of St. James Parish in Washington since 2010.
Father Bernard Weir, 58, will become pastor of St. James Parish in Washington.
Raised in Albia, he graduated from Briar Cliff College in Sioux City with bachelor degrees in religious education and psychology. He earned a master’s in Councilor Education from Western Illinois University. He completed his theology studies at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary.
On June 21, 1986, he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Gerald O’Keefe at St. Mary Church in Albia. He served as parochial vicar at St. John Vianney Parish in Bettendorf from 1986-87, and as temporary administrator at St. Boniface Parish in Farmington and St. Mary Parish in String Prairie from 1987-88.
Fr. Weir served as parochial vicar at St. Paul Parish in Burlington from 1988-91, and as pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Columbus Junction and St. Mary Parish in Wapello from 1991-2000. Fr. Weir studied Spanish in Guadalajara, Mexico, during 1992. He served as sacramental minister, administrator and then pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Muscatine from 1998-2004. He also was parochial vicar at Ss. Mary & Mathias Parish in Muscatine from 2000-04 and sacramental minister to the Hispanic community at St. Joseph Parish in Columbus Junction from 2000-04. Since 2004 Fr. Weir has served as administrator, then pastor, of St. Mary of the Visitation Parish in Ottumwa.
Other assignments and retirements previously announced and taking effect July 1:
Parishes receiving new pastors: St. John Vianney, Bettendorf, Father James Vrba; St. Mary, Solon, Father Tim Sheedy; St. Mary, Mechanicsville, and St. Mary, Tipton, Father Richard Okumu; Church of the Visitation, Camanche, Father Joseph Wolf, while remaining pastor of Our Lady of the River, LeClaire.
Parishes receiving an administrator: St. Anthony, Knoxville, and Sacred Heart, Melcher, Father Jacob Greiner.
Retirement: Fathers Stephen Ebel, David Hitch, Robert McAleer and John Stecher.
Msgr. Francis Henricksen will retire from his appointments as vicar for clergy and vicar for religious. Fr. Ebel will become vicar for priests.