New priest feels right at home in churches [UPDATED]Published 11:10am Thursday, October 18, 2012 Updated 11:22am Thursday, October 18, 2012
The Rev. Mike Kellogg recently took over his 19th parish in 10 years, and in a way, he said it feels like he is home again.
Kellogg is the new priest at St. Gall Church in Tintah, St. Charles Church in Herman and St. Olaf Church in Elbow Lake.
“I grew up in west central Iowa where the topography is pretty much the same,” he said. “For me, coming to a ‘boring territory’ is really like coming home.”
Kellogg moved to Tintah in late August, and he said everybody has been kind so far. The transition from the St. Cloud area to rural western Minnesota has meant changes for Kellogg.
“These parishes deal with less people,” he said. “The population is older here, so it’s a different focus. I won’t do nearly as many baptisms, but more than likely, I will do more funerals.”
One of the major issues is to make sure people who can’t leave their home or are in nursing homes are receiving sacraments, Kellogg said.
“It’s a different mission, but it’s just as valuable,” he said.
Kellogg said what he is looking forward to most is building relationships with the people and families in the community.
“Part of becoming a new pastor is learning the routines, learning the culture, building relationships and becoming part of families,” he said. “It’s a double edged sword. It’s sad to leave, but it’s wonderful to make those relationships when you move to a new place.”
Kellogg decided to live in Tintah over Elbow Lake and Herman for a couple reasons. Kellogg is an amateur radio operator, and the large tower in Tintah will be a convenient resource for his hobby.
He is also an avid snowmobiler, and there is a snowmobile trail that runs right behind St. Gall Church.
“I am a winter lover, and I’m praying diligently that we finally get snow this winter,” Kellogg said. “I only got to take out the sled one day last year, and the rest was just a bust.”