Fr. Scott Pogatchnik, Pastor
As a teenager Fr. Scott Pogatchnik learned that being a man and having a spiritual life go hand in hand. "in fact, to be a real man, you need a spiritual life," he said.
He came to this conclusion by way of several male role models in his formative years. The first was his father, Dan, who ensured faith was a priority in the house. Fr. Pogatchnik said. Second, coaches instilled virtuous qualities like hard work, integrity, and trust in teammates.
These insights brought Fr. Pogatchnik, an Avon Native, to an even deeper insight: He was being called to the priesthood.
Other positive influenced in his life came during a backpacking trip to Europe, where he saw harmony between faith and reason in local culture, history and architecture, and it moved him to read the Scriptures more.
He also felt more called to the priesthood when he worked with the Missionaries of Charity - Blessed Mother Teresa's order - in Washington D.C., Minneapolis and Naples and saw the result of a life centered on Christ.
"I saw the priesthood as a way to follow Christ, pour myself out for others and help feed those who hunger for love, friendship and forgiveness," he said
In becoming a priest, Fr. Pogatchnik said he looks forward to passing down the gift of faith the next generation and being an instrument of God's grace through the sacraments of the church.
"The priest is given a privileged role in participation in the most significant moments of people's lives - caring for souls from their supernatural birth in baptism to their nourishment at the Mass, from their healing in confession to their preparation for death in the last rites. What an awesome joy and gift!" he said.
Fr. Pogatchnik enjoys spending time with people and being outdoors from basketball and golf to fishing and camping and canoeing; traveling, reading, including authors like Chesterton, Schall, and Ratzinger; watching movies such as "The Band of Brothers," "A Man for All Seasons" and the "Godfather" or westerns.
He said, "one of the biggest ministry challenges he foresees is responding to attacks on family life. Broken relationships in families can cause people to feel more isolated, more tempted to despair and less able to experience the natural love of a mother and a father as well as understand God's transforming love. And yet we know God can always break through - even in the most difficult situations."
Looking to the future, he hopes to help others throughout his priestly years.
"I hope that in my years as a priest, the Lords will use me to draw people into a greater love of God, his church and one another. I hope that my humble example can help people realize that God wants to be involved in their entire life and not just in one part. I hope that through the intercession of Mary and the saints, God inspires all people, and especially youth, to live virtuous lives."
Parochial Vicar, Fr. Brady Keller
Fr. Keller grew up in Nashua, MN, twenty miles south of Breckenridge. The town has only about forty people in it. He has two older sisters, the elder being a religious sister with the Sisters of Mary Morning Star and the other being a wife and mother of seven, living in Kansas. Fr. Keller attended K-12 in the neighboring town, graduating in a class of eight. After high school, he studied math education for three years in Moorhead, MN, before entering the seminary.
It was during Fr. Scott's first couple months as vocations director that Fr. Keller called him up and met with him to dicuss the possibility of entering the seminary. He attended Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona, MN, for three year during undergraduate seminary formation and spent the last four years in St. Paul as the St. Paul Seminary.
Fr. Keller was ordained June 6th 2020 for the diocese of Saint Cloud.
Deacon Frank Ringsmuth
Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry - St. John's University School of Theology
Ordained by Bishop John Kinney on June 11, 2011, the feast of St. Barnabas
I am humbled and honored to have been chosen to serve the priests and the people of God as a permanent deacon. Like most permanent deacons, I live a dual vocation - married to Laura for 33 years, and now serving the Church in a special way as a deacon. I understand the diaconate to be a visible sign of God's work in and through his people.
Of all my experiences during diaconate formation, I want to mention three that were foundational to my ministry as a deacon. First, I spent a semester ministering to people who were in hospice care, journeying through their final stage of life on earth. Although each person was unique, I was moved by the sense of peace and the strong faith most of those in hospice demonstrated to me. It was a joy to pray and spend time with those in hospice. Second, my work in our parish cluster's RCIA program afforded me the opportunity to use what I have been learning in formation to dialogue with those who are seeking full communion with the Catholic Church. Finally, I spent three weeks in the Holy Land in May 2010, walking in the steps of our Lord and the first disciples. That was an exceptional experience, which added depth to my understanding of the Scriptures, a depth I will enjoy sharing through homilies and opportunities to teach in my ministry.
Lucy Schwieger - Parish office