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Father Boeglin Celebrates 40 Years As A Priest

Father Dave Martin, left, retired priest of the Diocese of Evansville, lays his hands on Father Boeglin as Father William Traylor, associate pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Jasper, leads a prayer of blessing for Father Boeglin.

During the 5 p.m. Anticipatory Mass on September 15 at Holy Family Parish in Jasper, Father John Boeglin recounted his vocation story and thanked those who filled the church to overflowing in celebration of the 40th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.

“As I was growing up, my mother would tell me to ask Mary to pray with her son, that I might have a grace-filled life,” Father Boeglin said. “I thank you for coming today, and I wish all of you a grace-filled life.”

Bishop Francis R. Shea ordained Father Boeglin to the priesthood on Sept. 1, 1978, at St. James Parish in Haubstadt, Father Boeglin’s home parish. Many family members attended his Sept. 15 anniversary Mass, and they brought stalks of wheat from the family farm that were used in floral arrangements that graced Holy Family Church.

Concelebrants included two of Father Boeglin’s classmates at the Latin School in Evansville and at St. Meinrad Archabbey – Father William Traylor of St. Joseph Parish in Jasper and Father Dave Martin, retired priest of the diocese. Father Tony Ernst, current pastor of St. James in Haubstadt, and Father Mike Madden, retired priest of the diocese, also concelebrated.

Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus served as the Honor Guard for the Mass, and students from Holy Trinity School – which has a campus at Holy Family Parish – offered a special tribute to Father Boeglin at the end of Mass and a program during the reception that followed Mass.

Father Boeglin talked about the Sunday Gospel reading from Mark, in which Jesus says, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me” (Mark 8:34). Father Boeglin recalled attending a Holy Thursday service as a youngster and beginning to think seriously about the priesthood. “I was called to become a priest, to celebrate Mass and receive the Bread of Life,” he said.

He also pointed to the witness of missionary priest Father Jerry Ziliak from his home parish, who served in India for almost 50 years. “Father Ziliak’s witness inspired me to serve as a priest,” he said.

“As a priest, I am constantly reminded of and thinking of the words of St. Paul: ‘It is no longer I, but Christ who lives in me,’” Father Boeglin added.

After college at St. Meinrad, Father Boeglin attended seminary in Austria. He was ordained to the diaconate at Collegium Canisianum in Innsbruck on March 27, 1977. After his 1978 ordination to the priesthood, he served as Associate Pastor at St. Theresa Parish in Evansville; Associate Pastor at St. John the Baptist Parish in Newburgh; and Pastor St. Peter Celestine Parish in Celestine. He has served as Pastor of Holy Family Parish since 1994.