Name: Deacon Jeff Schuetzle
Family: Wife Dawn; three children, daughter Allison and her husband Doug and their daughters Sophie and Lillie; son Ryan and his wife Ashley; and daughter Emily and her husband Matt and their daughter Ivy.
Occupation: Retired as a Quality Control Subject Matter Expert from ADM after 39 years.
Ordination date: June 8, 2002
Parish assignment: Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace, Clinton.
Describe your diocesan deacon assignment: Since 2003, I have been a pastoral minister for the Arch community where adults with intellectual disabilities reside in spiritually based homes and apartments. A community where I truly feel at home.
How did you know you were being called to the diaconate? I was about 10 years old, attending a Catholic wedding in Welton, when my Uncle Gene asked me whether I had ever thought about being a priest. No, I had never given it a thought, but God had. Through the years, his invitation would come to mind but I would resist. In 1992, after 10 years of marriage, Dawn became Catholic with one condition — that we would become involved in the church. Through the RCIA, my faith was reawakened and reignited. Little did I know what Dawn meant by involved! I stayed involved in the RCIA and, in 1996, the Ministry Formation Program (MFP) was offered. Father Ron Young asked me to consider the diaconate as a new class was being formed. My mentors Betty Mantsch and Sister Teresa Kunkel inspired me to say “yes” to God’s persistent call to his ministry.
What is the most rewarding aspect of being a deacon? Sharing God’s love in the joys, blessings and sorrows of life here on earth with the people I encounter. Inviting people to encounter Jesus through the joy of the Gospel and the sacraments of the church. Helping others to develop and sustain a loving relationship with our living God through his Son, Jesus Christ. Walking with them as they grow in their faith through prayer and retreats (Christian Experience Weekend, Oremus and Christ Life). There is great joy helping others to experience the power of the Holy Spirit in the sacred moments of everyday life. There are no coincidences in life. It is the Holy Spirit offering a God incident or as a friend says a God wink!
What is the most challenging aspect of being a deacon? It breaks my heart seeing people suffering with the challenges of life without knowing their Savior, Jesus Christ.
What is your favorite Scripture passage? John 20: 27-29. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”