Priest changes will affect three parishes

Father Ron Hodges, 54, will take a leave of absence for medical reasons effective Feb. 1. He is pastor of St. Mary Parish in Grinnell and priest moderator of Immaculate Conception Parish in Colfax.

Father Ross Epping, 29, will become pastor of St. Mary Parish in Grinnell and priest moderator of Immaculate Conception Parish in Colfax. He currently serves as parochial vicar at St. John Vianney Parish in Bettendorf and chaplain at Assumption High School in Davenport.
Fr. Hodges was born in Des Moines and attended school in Indianola, Iowa. He earned a BS in hotel restaurant management from Iowa State University. After working in food service, he attended classes at St. Ambrose University in Davenport and completed his theology studies at St. Meinrad School of Theology in Meinrad, Ind. On June 4, 2006, he was ordained by Archbishop Daniel Buechlein at St. Meinrad Archabbey as an order priest. He served at the monastery from 2006-10. He moved to the Diocese of Davenport and served at Our Lady of Victory Parish in Davenport and in diocesan service in 2011. He served as parochial vicar at St. Mary Parish in Pella and St. Mary Parish in Oskaloosa from 2011-13. Fr. Hodges was incardinated into the Diocese of Davenport on March 3, 2013. He has been serving at St. Mary Parish in Grinnell since 2013.

Fr. Epping was born in Rockford, Ill., and attended schools in Iowa. He graduated from St. Ambrose with a B.A. in theology and philosophy and completed his theology studies at University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary, in Mundelein, Ill.

On June 6, 2016, he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Martin Amos at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport. Fr. Epping has been parochial vicar at St. John Vianney since his ordination and chaplain at Assumption since July 2018.

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