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Bishop Nickless announces retirements, new appointments

Bishop Walker Nickless, bishop of the Diocese of Sioux City recently announced the following retirements, reappointments and new appointments:

Retirements:

Msgr. Roger J. Augustine, V.G., emeritus, from parochial vicar/senior priest of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Sioux City, to retirement.
Born in Geddes, S.D., he was raised in Marcus and attended Loras College, Dubuque as well as North American College Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He later earned a master’s in education at Creighton University, Omaha. He was ordained at the North American College in Rome on Dec. 20, 1959. He received the prelate of honor, earning the title of monsignor, in 1988.
Msgr. Augustine served at Assumption Parish and Emmetsburg Catholic High School, Emmetsburg; Kuemper High School, Carroll; St. Joseph Parish, Struble; Gehlen Catholic High School, Le Mars; St. Joseph Parish, Schaller; St. Mary High School, Storm Lake; Holy Spirit Parish, Carroll; St. Joseph Parish, Milford; Nativity Parish, Sioux City and Immaculate Conception Parish, Moville.
Msgr. Augustine also served as a member of the College of Consultors, judge at the diocesan tribunal, vicar general and administrator of the Diocese of Sioux City.

Father Robert W. Gralapp, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Manilla and Sacred Heart Parish in Manning, will retire.
This Le Mars native was educated at Loras College in Dubuque and Mt. St. Bernard Seminary in Dubuque. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 30, 1964, at Cathedral of the Epiphany.
Father Gralapp has served at Immaculate Conception Parish, Sioux City; Corpus Christi Parish, Fort Dodge; Sacred Heart Parish, Spencer; St. Cecilia Parish, Sanborn; St. Joseph Parish, Hartley; Holy Family Parish, Lidderdale; St. Elizabeth Seton Parish, Glidden; Nativity Parish, Sioux City; St. Joseph Parish, Granville and St. Lawrence Parish, Carroll. He also served as director of vocations for the diocese.

Msgr. Michael D. Sernett, J.C.D., pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Estherville and Immaculate Conception Parish in Graettinger, will retire.
This native of Pocahontas was educated at Pocahontas Catholic High School, Loras College, Dubuque; Mount St. Bernard Seminary, Dubuque and Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, Ohio. He earned his master’s at Creighton University in Omaha and completed canon law studies at Lateran University in Rome. He has received two papal honors – the Chaplain of His Holiness in 1982 and Prelate of Honor in 1998. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 13, 1970, at Cathedral of the Epiphany in Sioux City.
Msgr. Sernett has served at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish and High School, Fonda; St. Joseph Parish, Neptune; St. James Parish, Le Mars; St. Mary Parish, Hawarden and Nativity Parish, Sioux City. He has served as vice officialis and judge of the Diocesan Tribunal as well as vice chancellor, chancellor and vicar general of the Diocese of Sioux City. He has also served as a member of the College of Consultors.

Father John A. Vakulskas Jr., pastor of St. Andrew Parish in Sibley and St. Mary Parish in Ashton, will retire.
A native of Sioux City, he attended Loras College and Mt. St. Bernard in Dubuque. He was ordained on May 24, 1969 at Cathedral of the Epiphany in Sioux City.
He has served at St. Joseph Parish, Le Mars; St. Cecelia Parish, Algona; Corpus Christi Parish, Fort Dodge; St. Mary Parish, Oto; St. Mary Parish, Dow City; Sacred Heart Parish, Early; St. Joseph Parish, Milford and St. Mary Parish, Larchwood; St. Mary Parish, Alton and St. Anthony Parish, Hospers.
In 1969, he began a ministry to the carnival workers which continues to this day. In 2000, Pope John Paul II honored him, along with 19 others from around the world, for this work. He also serves as national adviser to the secretariat of the Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees, and Travelling Shows of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Assignments:

Father Timothy J. Boekelman, parochial vicar of Holy Spirit in Carroll and St. Mary Parish in Willey, has been appointed parochial vicar of St. Rose of Lima Parish, Denison; St. Ann Parish, Vail; St. Mary Parish, Dow City; St. Boniface Parish, Charter Oak; and St. Mary Parish, Ute.
This native of Algona was educated at Loras College, Dubuque; St. Meinrad School of Theology in St. Meinrad, Ind. and Creighton University, Omaha. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 14, 1977, at St. Cecelia Church, Algona.
Father Boekelman has also served at Sacred Heart Parish, Spencer; St. Joseph Parish, Le Mars; Gehlen Catholic High School, Le Mars; St. John the Baptist Parish and High School, Bancroft; Sacred Heart Parish, Ledyard; St. Benedict Parish, Bishop Garrigan High School, Algona; St. Edmond High School, Fort Dodge; St. Joseph Parish, Struble; St. Mary Parish, Maurice; St. Joseph Parish, Neptune; Our Lady of Good Counsel, Moorland; Christ the King Parish, Dayton and St. Joseph Parish, Duncombe; St. Mary Parish, Lake City; St. Joseph Parish, Lohrville, St. Malachy Parish, Madrid and St. John Parish, Ogden.

Father Craig A. Collison, while remaining pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Sioux City, has been named pastor at St. Patrick Parish, Akron.
This Boone native attended the American Institute of Business in Des Moines and Loras College in Dubuque before completing seminary studies at St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 6, 1978, at Sacred Heart Church in Boone.
Father Collison has served at St. Joseph Parish, Sioux City; St. Lawrence Parish, Carroll; Kuemper High School, Carroll; Corpus Christi Parish, Fort Dodge; St. Edmond High School, Fort Dodge; St. Joseph Parish, Struble; Gehlen High School, Le Mars; St. Mary Parish, Remsen; St. Mary High School, Remsen and St. Mary Parish, Willey.

Father John Gerald, V.F., from pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Sioux Rapids, Sacred Heart Parish in Laurens and St. Louis Parish in Royal, to administrator of Sacred Heart Parish in Manning and Sacred Heart Parish in Manilla.
Father Gerald was born Aug. 17, 1957 and was ordained for service in the Diocese of Tuticorin, India, on April 14, 1982.
After serving in various offices and positions within his native diocese, Father Gerald came to the United States in June 2002 and served as parish priest in the Archdiocese of Boston for five years. He came to the Diocese of Sioux City in January 2007 and was originally assigned as parochial vicar at Holy Spirit Parish in Carroll and St. Mary Parish in Willey. In November 2010 he was named administrator, and subsequently pastor, of St. Joseph Parish in Sioux Rapids, Sacred Heart Parish in Laurens and St. Louis Parish in Royal. He was elected to the diocesan presbyteral council in 2014 and was thereafter appointed to the office of vicar forane (dean) of the Central Deanery.

Father Edward M. Girres, reappointed pastor of St. Cecelia Parish in Algona, has been appointed pastor of St. Michael Parish in Whittemore.
A native of West Bend, he attended St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn. and the Catholic University of Louvain in Louvain, Belgium. He was ordained on July 21, 1979 at American College, Catholic University of Louvain.
He has served at St. Bernard Parish, Breda; Kuemper High School, Carroll; Bishop Heelan High School, Sioux City; Cathedral of the Epiphany, Sioux City; Sacred Heart Parish, Fort Dodge and moderator of Holy Trinity Parish in Webster County. He also served as the director of the Office of Youth Ministry and assistant superintendent of the Office of Religious Education.

Father Thomas J. Hart has been reappointed pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in West Bend and St. Mary Parish in Mallard.
This native of Gilmore City attended Loras College in Dubuque and St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore, Md. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 11, 1974 at Corpus Christi Church in Fort Dodge.
He has served at Corpus Christi Parish, Fort Dodge; St. Mary Parish, Storm Lake; St. Mary High School, Storm Lake; St. Mary Parish, Alton; St. Anthony Parish, Hospers; Spalding High School, Granville; St. Bernard Parish, Breda; St. Mary Parish, Remsen; pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Fonda and St. Columbkille, Varina.

Father Benjamin Madanu, from the Diocese of Jhabua in India, now has priestly faculties to serve in the Diocese of Sioux City. He will serve as parochial vicar at St. Joseph Parish in Milford.
A native of Vijayanagaram, in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India, he came to Milford in February. He was ordained on Oct. 25, 2011 in India. He had ministered at different parishes in provinces in India since he was ordained.

Father Francis Makwinja, from parochial vicar of St. Joseph Parish in Milford, to administrator of St. Joseph Parish in Sioux Rapids, Sacred Heart Parish in Laurens and St. Louis Parish in Royal.
Father Francis Makwinja was born in Malawi, Africa. After attending two seminaries, he was ordained in August of 1997. He served as an associate pastor in one parish in Malawi before furthering his education in Kenya and teaching in a minor seminary. In November of 2011 he joined the staff of St. Joseph, Milford.

Father Bruce A. Lawler, while remaining pastor of St. Mary Parish in Larchwood and Holy Name Parish in Rock Rapids, will also serve as pastor of St. Mary Parish, Rock Valley.
A native of Clare, he attended Loras College in Dubuque and North American College Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He was ordained to the priesthood on July 5, 1980, at St. Matthew Church in Clare.
Father Lawler has served at Holy Spirit Parish and Kuemper High School, Carroll; Cathedral of the Epiphany, Sioux City; Bishop Heelan High School, Sioux City; St. Joseph Parish, Schaller; St. Joseph Parish, Salix; Sacred Heart Parish, Sioux City; St. Mary Parish, Storm Lake and St. Joseph Parish, Schaller. He also served as director of the Office of Worship for the diocese.

Father Peter Duc Hung Nguyen, while remaining pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Wesley and St. Benedict Parish in rural Algona, will serve as pastor of St. Joseph Parish, in rural Bode.
He was born in Vietnam and then his family moved to Boone. He was educated at Divine Word College in Epworth, Iowa and St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul, Minn. He was ordained June 7, 1997, at Holy Spirit Parish in Carroll.
Father Nguyen also served at Holy Spirit Parish, Carroll; Holy Family Parish, Lidderdale; St. Elizabeth Seton Parish, Glidden; Sacred Heart Parish, Ruthven and Sacred Heart Parish, Ayrshire.

Father Victor F. Ramaeker, pastor of St. Joseph Church in Bode and St. Michael Church in Whittemore, will now serve as parochial vicar/senior priest of St. Michael Parish in Whittemore.
Born in Nebraska, he was raised in the Carroll area and later Jefferson. Father Ramaeker attended Loras College, Dubuque; and Mount St. Bernard, Dubuque. He also earned a master’s in education at Creighton University. Bishop Mueller ordained him on May 27, 1961 at Cathedral of the Epiphany.
He served at Kuemper High School, Carroll; St. John the Baptist Parish and High School, Bancroft; Heelan High School, Sioux City and St. Ann Parish, Vail. He also served for five years at O’Gorman High School in the Diocese of Sioux Falls.

Father Allan Reicks, while remaining pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Sheldon, will serve as pastor at St. Andrew Parish in Sibley and St. Mary Parish in Ashton.
A Carroll native, Father Reicks was educated at Briar Cliff College and the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. He was ordained on May 29, 1976.
Father Reicks has served at St. Mary Parish, Storm Lake; Sacred Heart, Boone; St. Rose of Lima, Denison; St. Brigid in Grand Junction, St. Joseph Parish in Wesley, St. Mary Parish, Armstrong; Sacred Heart, Ruthven; St. Martin, Odebolt; St. Joseph Church, Wall Lake; Blessed Sacrament Parish, Sioux City and St. Joseph Church, Sioux Rapids.

Father Daniel J. Rupp, parochial vicar of Holy Trinity Parish in Webster County, has been named administrator of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Sioux City.
A native of Cherokee, he attended Iowa State University in Ames and Mount St. Mary Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 6, 1998 by Bishop Kenneth Angell, Bishop of Burlington, Vt., at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Burlington, Vt.
Father Rupp has served at St. Monica Parish and School in Barre, Vt.; Trinity Parish in Barton, Vt. (Consisting of St. Paul Church in Barton, St. Theresa Church in Orleans, St. John Vianney Church in Irasburg, and St. John of the Cross Church in East Albany and St. Paul Catholic School in Barton); Christ the King – St. Anthony Parish in Burlington, Vt. (Consisting of Christ the King Parish, St. Anthony Parish and Christ the King School). Last year he was released from service in the Diocese of Burlington and was granted priestly faculties in the Diocese of Sioux City.

Father Merlin J. Schrad, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Sioux City, has been named pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Estherville and Immaculate Conception Parish in Graettinger.
Raised in Templeton and Wall Lake, he attended Loras College in Dubuque and St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore, Md. Father Schrad was ordained to the priesthood on May 7, 1977 at Sacred Heart Church in Templeton.
Father Schrad has served at Holy Spirit Church in Carroll, Kuemper High School, Carroll; St. Mary Parish, Storm Lake; Gehlen High School, Le Mars; St. Joseph Parish, Le Mars; Kuemper High School, Carroll; St. Mary Parish, Auburn and Holy Family Parish, Lidderdale.

Father Jeremy J. Wind, parochial vicar of St. Mary Parish in Hawarden, St. Mary Parish in Rock Valley, St. Patrick Parish in Akron and Christ the King Parish in Sioux Center, to priest in residence at St. Mary Parish, Spirit Lake.
This native of Jefferson was educated at Iowa State University, Ames; Conception Seminary College in Conception, Mo., and St. Meinrad School of Theology, St. Meinrad, Ind. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop R. Walker Nickless on June 28, 2008, at the Cathedral of the Epiphany.
Father Wind has also served as parochial vicar of St. Mary Parish in Storm Lake and St. Joseph Parish in Schaller.



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