Name: Fr. Tom Spiegel
Years ordained: 42
Current assignment: St. Mary Parish, Oskaloosa.
How did you know you were being called to priesthood? In high school I had the yearning to be a personnel director. Then, one day in my freshman year at St. Ambrose College, it dawned on me I could do this kind of work as a priest in the diocese. During my seminary days the yearning to be a priest grew stronger and I felt a peace within my heart.
Aside from your ordination Mass, what was your most memorable Mass? I had the same feelings that my brother Father John shared about our parents’ funeral Mass. Also celebrating Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine with the pilgrims from Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Bettendorf and the 40th anniversary of my ordination at St. Mary’s in Oskaloosa, to mention a few.
What is most rewarding about being a priest? Being with people at peak moments in their life — they never forget your being with them!
What is most challenging about being a priest? God wants to be engaged with us. Keeping a balance with the “main things” in our life is a real challenge. I have to ask the question again and again: Is God engaged in my life? My dreams? My hopes? My hurts? In my work? God calls us to be harvesters in his field and to enter into the kind of relationship that Jacob had in the Book of Genesis. He wrestled with God and sought his blessing. If I got to do it over again, I would choose priesthood in a heartbeat. I am a blessed man!
What is your favorite Scripture passage? Almost every Sunday a passage or word grabs my attention and I get excited to share this word at Mass. A few years ago, while on retreat, I made a list of passages that grabbed my attention and chose four of them to make a prayer pole. If you ever come to Osky for a visit, I’ll share these passages with you. A Scripture that has become a favorite of mine is recorded in John 1:39. John the Baptist, Andrew and another disciple asked Jesus: “Where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” Life is about listening for the calls to follow him.
What is your hobby? Some would say that playing golf at Harvest Point in Osky is in first place! Gardening is also one of my hobbies. I love flowers and a neatly trimmed yard.