Hello St. Peter and St. Casimir families! As your new pastor I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself.
My journey began in Chippewa Falls where I grew up. I attended the Catholic schools there and graduated from McDonell High School. From there for the next four years attended UW-Eau Clarie finishing with an Economics degree. Then overseas teaching English in South Korea. Traveling afterwards in Asia and Europe. But you can not outrun the Holy Spirit. So I went to Chicago to study at Mundelein Seminary. After ordination in 1999 my first assignment was in La Crosse. Then to St. Stephen and St. Bartholomew parishes here in Stevens Point. The Bishop asked me to go to Bloomer and after a term there to Mauston. Having completed a full term there I am now beginning my service here at St. Peter and St. Casimir parishes.
That of course is a short summary of a lot of events and wonderful people over the years. There have been many blessings and opportunities. I have been to World Youth Day in Australia and Poland. A sabbatical in Rome. I was able to be the state chaplain for the Knights of Columbus; attending some of the Supreme conventions. I enjoy some time every other year in Phoenix in January. I gather almost monthly with my priest group and will have room to host them here. I also am built up by being a member of the Institute of St. Joseph.
I think I could go on about the many blessings that have been a part of my life. Gratitude is a wonderful attitude. I am thankful for my family. I try to get home to see my parents often and spend time with my brothers and sister and their families. Should I somehow end up with some free time getting out for a walk (or the gym as the doctor reminds me to be a little healthier!), a round of golf (high score wins, right?) or out kayaking (which is new to me, but fun being on the water).
Having been at St. Stephen and St. Bartholomew parishes 12 years ago there is that sense of knowing Stevens Point and yet after 12 years the city, the parishes and myself are all different. Please take the time to introduce yourself or re-introduce yourself assuming that I am the “new guy” who has to learn two whole parishes worth of names and stories. I am looking forward to settling in, calling St. Peter and St. Casimir home and a place where we can all pray together on the way to our true home with our heavenly Father.
St. Peter and St. Casimir, pray for us.
Fr. John Potaczek