Former St. Elizabeth’s leader Wielinski to serve at OLVPublished 9:25am Thursday, May 2, 2013 Updated 11:26am Thursday, May 2, 2013
Catholic worshipers in Fergus Falls will welcome back a familiar face to their church in the next few months.
Fr. Alan Wielinski has been appointed to replace Fr. Greg Paffel, who has been assigned to a new parish after his current sabbatical, starting this summer. His first mass will be Tuesday, July 2.
The installation will come as a homecoming of sorts for Wielinski, who started his ministry at OLV as a deacon 30 years ago in Fergus Falls. He also served as a priest as St. Leonard’s in Pelican Rapids for 10 years and St. Elizabeth’s in Elizabeth for four.
“I’m really looking forward to returning to the Fergus Falls area and the western edge and north west corner of the diocese,” Wielinski said. “I just have happy memories of the area and the families there at Our Lady of Victory.”
Wielinski hopes to bring an energetic appeal to the parish. To Deacon Chuck Kampa, that appeal means parishioners will have someone to connect with as their church and school leader.
“I hear he’s a pretty good musician and a good liturgist,” Kampa said. “He’s also a people person and works well with the youth community.”
The parish expects Wielinski will start the daily routine as soon as he gets into town at the beginning of his first week. The daily mass schedule, nursing home ministry and the Fourth of July holiday should give him plenty of time to settle into the routine of his new position before a busy weekend.
“It will be nice that he can get into the swing of things before the weekend liturgy,” Kampa said. “Then we can celebrate his presence and welcome him to the community.”
Wielinski is a native of Little Falls and has spent his entire life in the Catholic church. Once he was ordained in 1984, he was sent to several parishes across the state, including stays in Melrose, Sartell, and Browns Valley. He will be leaving his position as priest for both St. Peter and St. Paul churches in St. Cloud.
With his experience in several churches and the time he’s already spent in this area, Kampa is sure Wielinski will be a great fit for leadership at OLV.
“He seems very open and enthusiastic and he’s had experience in the area,” Kampa said. “So, I think he’s just looking forward to getting to know our parish.”v