By RENEE WEBB
With the recent retirement of Father Jim Bruch after 53 years in full-time ministry, he noted he is trying to learn how to relax.
In addition to celebrating the Eucharist, Father Bruch said, spending time with and getting to know parishioners was one of the many blessings of priesthood as he “walked with them on their journey of life in good times and bad.”
Most recently, Father Bruch served at St. Malachy Church in Madrid, St. John Church in Ogden and Sacred Heart Church in Boone. Through the years he ministered at St. Cecelia Parish, Algona; Blessed Sacrament Parish, Sioux City; Sacred Heart Parish, Pocahontas; Holy Spirit Parish, Carroll; Assumption Parish, Merrill; St. Joseph Parish, Ellendale; Holy Family Parish, Lidderdale; St. Elizabeth Seton Parish, Glidden; St. John Parish, Gilmore City; St. Margaret Parish, Rolfe; Sacred Heart Parish, Sioux City; St. Joseph Parish; Milford and St. Boniface Parish, Sioux City.
“I did my best to be a good pastor,” noted Father Bruch. “I really enjoyed Beginning Experience, Marriage Encounter, Engaged Encounter and preparing people for marriage.”
Having served as the director of the Family Life Office for the diocese from 1977 to 1985, he is aware of the importance of laying a strong foundation for marriage.
With the blessings come some challenges and for Father Bruch, taking the time to take care of himself was a struggle. He acknowledged the church is going through a trying time now, but one must “continue to trust that the Lord is with the church.”
“I believe in the church and believe the Lord is guiding the church. Even though we don’t understand, good will come out of this that we never dreamed possible,” Father Bruch said.
For someone considering a vocation to the priesthood, Father Bruch said he would tell them that for him personally, he doesn’t know what other occupation would have made him happier, more fulfilled and see results of touching people’s lives.
While he is retired from full-time ministry, Father Bruch said Bishop Walker Nickless has allowed him to live in Ogden and take care of the spiritual needs of the people of St. John Church without any administrative responsibilities.
“I will continue to meet with people and do spiritual direction,” he said. “I am enjoying this time.”