Former Our Lady of Victory priest returns to Fergus roots [UPDATED]Published 9:51am Wednesday, July 3, 2013 Updated 11:52am Wednesday, July 3, 2013
It’s been some time, but Father Alan Wielinski is back with Catholic worshippers in Otter Tail County.
“It’s exciting to be here in the lakes area,” Wielinski said. “Yesterday was a beautiful day rolling into town. It brought back many memories.”
The position is somewhat of a homecoming for Wielinski, who started his ministry at Our Lady of Victory as a deacon 30 years ago in Fergus Falls. A native of Little Falls, he also served as priest at St. Leonard’s in Pelican Rapids and St. Elizabeth’s in Elizabeth.
Wielinski will start in his new position as head of OLV with his first mass at the Veterans home on Wednesday. The mass is especially appropriate, not only it being the day before the Fourth of July, but because Wielinski’s father served in the National Guard during the Korean war.
Wielinski follows Father Greg Paffel, who left for sabbatical earlier this year. Wielinski said he hopes to build on the great work that Paffel performed over his time with the church.
“I’m following a great pastor,” he said. “Father Greg was a great pastor and built up a great community here. I hope we will continue to build on the great foundation and the traditions of the community.”
Entering a new church community, Wielinski said he is focused on getting to know the people. Wielinski is known to be personable and brings a good amount of humor to his position. He also said he is looking forward to working with a Spanish ministry as well.
With warm weather and clear skies welcoming him back, a trip or two out to the lakes is in order as well.
“I hope to spend some time listening and meeting people, becoming familiar with the story of the community,” he said. “It’s great to be experiencing a new beginning with all the energy and excitement that it brings.”