New priest ordained for Diocese of St. Cloud

The Diocese of St. Cloud has a new priest. Father Derek Wiechmann was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Donald Kettler June 3 at St. Mary’s Cathedral in St. Cloud.

“Thank you, my brother,” Bishop Kettler said to Father Wiechmann during the homily, “for accepting and preparing well for the call of the priesthood. … Jesus asks you today, ‘Do you love me?’  And your response, ‘Yes, Lord, you know I love you.’ So Jesus says to you, ‘Feed my lambs. Tend my sheep.”

Bishop Kettler included advice to the newly ordained priest, quoting from a homily given by Pope Francis May 7 in Rome.

Bishop Donald Kettler congratulates newly ordained Father Derek Wiechmann during the ordination June 3 at St. Mary’s Cathedral in St. Cloud. (Paul Middlestaedt/For The Visitor)

“Pope Francis said, ‘A presbyter who has studied perhaps a lot of theology and has one, two , three degrees, but has not learned to carry Christ’s cross is ineffective. He will be a good scholar, a good professor, but not a priest,’” Bishop Kettler said.

He reminded Father Wiechmann to speak clearly and simply and to “always speak to hearts.”

“Know the Scriptures well,” he added. “Sustain your people through the sacraments and your daily prayer, adoration and Liturgy of the Hours. Teach and preach the Word of God effectively … celebrate the Eucharist daily … offer the sacrament of penance frequently … and bring your people together for faith formation and Bible study and bring them together socially for fun.”

Father Wiechmann will be serving as parochial vicar beginning July 1 at the parishes of Sts. Peter and Paul in Braham, Christ the King in Cambridge and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Isanti.

Newly ordained Father Derek Wiechmann gives a first blessing to his parents, Mike and Brenda, immediately following his ordination at St. Mary’s Cathedral June 3.

“To see his growth and development and the way he has embraced formation is so inspiring to me,” said Father Scott Pogatchnik, diocesan director of the Vocation Office. “He embraced all that we challenged him to do and I think the whole diocese will reap the fruits of his generosity in preparing for this day.”

Attending the ordination was Father Wiechmann’s longtime friend, Seth Lardy, who entered Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary with Father Wiechmann in Winona in 2009. Lardy later discerned his call to married life while Father Wiechmann continued the path to priesthood. They have remained close friends.

Lardy said the qualities he has seen growing in Father Wiechmann over the years will help him in his priesthood.

“He is loving, kind, compassionate and pastoral. And he listens,” Lardy said. “That is what people need.”

Also present at the ordination was Bishop John Quinn, bishop of the Diocese of Winona, who was a teacher of Father Wiechmann’s during his formation and studies at St. Mary’s University.

“He was a wonderful student and I always promised him I would come for his ordination,” Bishop Quinn said. “So now six years later, I am so happy I could fulfill that promise. He will be a wonderful priest. He’s going to do great things through God.”




Author: Kristi Anderson

Kristi Anderson is the editor of The Central Minnesota Catholic Magazine for the Diocese of St. Cloud.

Leave a Reply