UP Catholic 07 15 2016 E Edition Page 31

Congratulations on your Silver Jubilee from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. 32 Conferences strong across the Upper Peninsula l Bishop John Doerfler, www.upcatholic.org THE U.P. CATHOLIC July 15, 2016 31 Bishop John, Congratulations on your Silver Jubilee of Priesthood! - From the St. Anne Parish Family, Chassell God's Blessings as you Celebrate your 25th Jubilee of Priestly Service! St. Albert the Great University Parish - From Father Ben, Sister Ellen, Staff, Students & Parishioners of Congratulations to Bishop John! BY JOHN FEE THE U.P. CATHOLIC Although Bishop John Doerfler believes there are several factors that sparked his call to the priesthood, he finds his family, and parents in particular, to be the foundation. My parents were both very deeply faith- ful people, who had a deep love of the Lord and raised me in the faith. I knew Jesus my whole life. I just always knew him. I can't remember a time in my life when I did not, Bishop Doerfler said. His mother, Germaine (Mancl) Doerfler, was a college-educated church musician. However, one of his earliest memories is of his father, Henry Doerfler, taking him to church when he was a very little boy. His father had a devotion to St. Anthony, and St. Joseph Church in Appleton had a side altar dedicated to the saint. I remember going in there with dad - and dad giving me money to give to the poor in the poor box - and kneeling down with him and praying. That's one of my earliest memories, and that's indicative of the example my parents set for me. That's the foundation. Without a relationship with the Lord you don't hear his calling, Bishop Doerfler said. In high school the future bishop was very involved with youth ministry because he wanted his friends to know Jesus. Even so, he wasn't always knowingly on a track to the priesthood. I think that (youth ministry) was also instrumental in helping to discern a call, because I was thinking about a career in engineering and sometime around my junior year of high school the idea of priest- hood started floating in the back of my mind, Bishop Doerfler said. But, I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to it. When I was interviewed in the spring of my junior year of high school for confirmation, the director of religious education asked if I'd ever thought about being a priest. Later that summer I went to a national youth ministry meeting in Indianapolis, as I was coming home on the bus - it's a long bus ride from Indianapolis to Appleton - this thought came into my mind: 'John, you spent a lot of time working with the Church the last couple years - meaning in youth ministry - can you imagine yourself doing anything else with your life?' And immedi- ately I knew the answer to the question is, 'No, I can't picture myself doing anything else with my life.' About a month after that I made the decision to enter the seminary when I graduated from high school the following year. And here I am. Bishop Doerfler reflects on vocations at his silver jubilee of priesthood JOHN FEE THE U.P. CATHOLIC Bishop John Doerfler ordains Tim- othy Ferguson to the priesthood on May 29, 2015. Father Fergu- son is now director of Marygrove Retreat Center in Garden. SEE VOCATIONS, PAGE 32

Previous Page
Next Page