NEW ULM-A 37-year-old Sleepy Eye native was ordained from a deacon to the priesthood for the Catholic Diocese of New Ulm Saturday by Bishop John M. LeVoir at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity.
Samuel Wagner, the son of Mike and Audrey Wagner of Sleepy Eye, will serve as a full-time parochial vicar of the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New Ulm, the Church of St. John in Searles, and assist in the Holy Cross Area Faith Community in New Ulm, Searles, St. George, West Newton Township and Lafayette.
A 1995 Sleepy Eye St. Mary's graduate, Wagner graduated from St. Mary's University, Winona with a bachelor's degree in accounting in 1999. His seminary education includes pre-theology (2008-2010) and a master of divinity (2010-2014) from St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul.
Staff photo by Fritz Busch
Deacon Samuel Wagner, 37, second from right, becomes a Catholic Diocese of New Ulm priest Saturday at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. From left, Wagner’s parents Mike and Audrey Wagner of Sleepy Eye, and Bishop John M. LeVoir, far right.
Wagner talked about a conversion experience he had as an adult.
"I was praying the rosary and asking for intercession when I began to walk with the Lord and seek His will," Wagner said. "I asked for continual blessing and make a pilgrimage to Medjugorje (in the Herzegovina region of Bosnia and Herzegovina, near Croatia that has become a popular site of religious pilgrimage due to reports of apparitions (appearances by the Blessed Virgin Mary).
"I got a strong call when I was there. It's God's plan," Wagner explained. "Since then, priests have given me lots of advice that helped. I just thank Him for this. I feel very blessed and joyful."
Priests take part in the Bishop's Priesthood and mission, announce the divine word to all. For the repentant and sick among the faithful, they exercise the ministry of reconciliation and comfort. They present the needs and prayers of the faithful to God the Father, according to the Roman Pontifical.
Wagner said he continues to enjoy playing basketball pick-up games.
Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.