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Seven priests celebrate jubilees

April 14, 2005

Seven members of the clergy in the Diocese of Sioux City - the diocese's retired bishop and six priests - mark jubilee anniversaries this year.

Celebrating 55 years of priesthood are Bishop Lawrence D. Soens and Father Cecil H. Friedmann. Celebrating 50 years of priesthood are Father Eugene F. Ceperley, Father David J. Hogan, Father Robert A. Thiele and Msgr. Richard E. Zenk. Celebrating 25 years is Father Bruce Lawler

They will be honored at a Sacerdotal Anniversary Celebration scheduled for 4 p.m. April 25 at St. Mary's Church in Storm Lake.

55 years

Bishop Lawrence D. Soens, retired bishop of the Diocese of Sioux City, was born on Aug. 26, 1926 in Iowa City, the son of the late Emiel and Hermine (VanderMeersch) Soens. He attended St. Mary's Grade School and High School in Iowa City, graduating in 1943. He attended Loras College in Dubuque and then St. Ambrose College in Davenport, earning a bachelor's degree in 1946. He completed theology studies at Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis, Mo. He also earned a master's degree in education from the University of Iowa.

Bishop Ralph L. Hayes ordained him to the priesthood on May 6, 1950 at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport.

His first assignment was as the assistant pastor at St. Paul in Burlington. From there, he served as a member of the faculty of St. Ambrose Academy, Davenport and then was the assistant at St. Bridget, Victor. Next, he was director of Regina High in Iowa City. He served as the rector of St. Ambrose Minor Seminary and on the faculty of St. Ambrose College in Davenport. He then moved back to parish ministry as pastor at Assumption Church in Charlotte and St. Patrick in Villa Nova. From 1978 to 1983 he served as pastor at St. Mary's, Clinton. He was named a Prelate of Honor, receiving the title of monsignor on Dec. 18, 1981.

He was appointed Bishop of Sioux City on June 21, 1983. His ordination and installation was held Aug. 17, 1983. Bishop Soens retired on Nov. 28, 1998.

Father Cecil H. Friedmann was born Nov. 21, 1925 at Alton, the son of the late Jacob and Catherine (Schneider) Friedmann. He attended St. Mary's Grade and High School in Alton as well as Trinity College in Sioux City. He studied theology at St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore, Md. And then earned a master's degree in education from Creighton University in Omaha.

Bishop Joseph M. Mueller ordained him to the priesthood on June 3, 1950 at the Cathedral of the Epiphany in Sioux City.

His first assignment was as temporary assistant pastor lasting 6 to 8 weeks at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Carroll. He was then assigned for a year as an assistant pastor the Cathedral of the Epiphany in Sioux City and then as an assistant pastor at Corpus Christi in Fort Dodge, followed by assistant at Sacred Heart in Boone. He served as an assistant pastor at St. James in Le Mars while a member of the faculty at Gehlen High School in Le Mars and then was on the faculty at Bishop Garrigan High School in Algona while in residence at Whittemore. He served as the superintendent of Garriage from 1965 to 1989. From 1965 to 1970, he also served as chaplain at St. Ann Hospital in Algona. He served as an administrator at St. Patrick's in Sheldon and as pastor at St. Cecilia Parish in Sanborn and attending St. Joseph in Hartley. He served as president of Spalding High School in Granville from 1993 to 1994.

Father Friedmann retired on July 13, 1995.

50th anniversary

Father Eugene Ceperley was born on July 1, 1927 in Fort Dodge, the son of the late Francis and Florence (Picard) Ceperley. He attended public school in Akron, N.Y. for one year before attending Corpus Christi Grade and High School. He went to junior college in Fort Dodge for two years before attending and graduating from Marquette University in Milwaukee. He attended St. Paul Seminary from 1951 to 1955.

Bishop Joseph Mueller ordained him on June 4, 1955 at the Cathedral of the Epiphany.

His first assignment was as a temporary assistant at St. Lawrence Parish in Carroll. He served on the faculty from 1955 to 1967 at Bishop Heelan High School in Sioux City, while also serving two of those years as pastor at Immaculate Conception Parish in Sioux City. He served as pastor at St. Michael, Kingsley and then St. Anthony, Hospers while a member of faculty at Spalding. He then served as pastor at Holy Family, Lidderdale and St. Elizabeth Seton, Glidden, was a member of the faculty at Kuemper. He also served as pastor at St. John the Baptist, Bancroft; St. Augustine, Halbur and Our Lady of Good Counsel, Moorland.

Father Ceperley retired on July 15, 1997.

Father David Hogan, the son of the late Austin and Dorothy (Flynn) Hogan of Fort Dodge, was born April 15, 1929 at Fort Dodge. He attended Corpus Christi through ninth grade, went to Loras Academy in Dubuque for a year before completing education at Fort Dodge Senior High School. He earned his bachelor's degree from Notre Dame University and studied theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary in Conception, Mo. He earned a master's in education from Creighton University.

Bishop Joseph Mueller ordained him on June 4, 1955 at Cathedral of the Epiphany in Sioux City.

His first assignment was as an assistant pastor and teacher at St. Mary's, Remsen. He served as an assistant at St. Joseph, Granville before serving on the faculty at Gehlen High School and as an assistant at St. James in Le Mars. He served as the pastor at St. Margaret in Rolfe while serving as a member of the faculty at Pocahontas High School. He also served as pastor at St. Joseph, Bode; St. Mary, Alton; Nativity, Sioux City; Resurrection of Our Lord, Pocahontas and St. Mary, Danbury.

Father Hogan retired on July 18, 2000.

Father Robert A. Thiele was born Dec. 25, 1925 at Breda, the son of the late Frank and Anna (Schulte) Thiele. He attended St. Joseph Grade and High School in Ashton. He earned a bachelor's degree at Loras College in Dubuque and completed seminary studies at Mt. St. Bernard Seminary in Dubuque. He also earned a master's degree from Creighton University.

He was ordained by Bishop Joseph M. Mueller on June 4, 1955 at Cathedral of the Epiphany in Sioux City.

Father Thiele's first assignment was as an assistant at St. Joseph, Carroll. He also served as an assistant at Blessed Sacrament, Sioux City and St. Cecelia, Algona. He was pastor at Sacred Heart, Ledyard; Our Lady of Good Counsel, Moorland; St. Boniface, Charter Oak; St. Mary's, Danbury; and St. Mary's, Lake City.

Father Thiele retired on July 15, 1997.

Msgr. Richard E. Zenk, the son of the late Michael and Margaret (Engeldinger) Zenk of Alton, was born on May 10, 1927. He attended St. Mary's Grade and High School in Alton, St. John's University at Collegeville and then seminary studies at the North American College, Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He later earned a graduate degree at the Pontifical Gregorian University.

He was ordained by Bishop Martin O'Connor on Dec. 8, 1954 at the North American College Chapel in Rome. In 1975, he received papal honors, Chaplain of His Holiness, and acquired the title of monsignor.

His first assignment in the diocese was as a temporary pastor at St. Mary's, Willey. He was on special assignment at the chancery office from 1958 to 1964 with chaplain duties at St. Anthony's Home in Sioux City two of those years and was chaplain at St. Vincent Hospital in Sioux City for four years. Father Zenk served as vice chancellor of the diocese for 11 years. In 1964 he also served as director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and executive secretary-treasurer of Calvary Cemetery, duties he has held to this day. He served as Defender of the Bond at the Tribunal for nine years, was pastor at St. Mary in Rock Valley and then chaplain at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Sioux City. He served as pastor at St. Francis of Assisi, Sioux City; and St. John Parish, Onawa. Msgr. Zenk served for several years as the Officialis at the Tribunal.

Presently he is pastor at St. Patrick's in Akron while serving as the Defender of the Bond for the Tribunal.

25 years

Father Bruce Lawler, the son of David and Irene (Meyers) Lawler of Clare, was born on April 26, 1953 in Fort Dodge. He attended St. Matthew's Grade School, Clare and St. Edmond High School, Fort Dodge. He studied for two years at the University of Iowa before transferring to Loras College in Dubuque. He attended the North American College, Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

Bishop Frank H. Greteman ordained him to the priesthood on July 5, 1980 at St. Matthew's in Clare.

His first assignment was as an assistant pastor at Holy Spirit, Carroll. He then served as a member of the faculty at Kuemper High School, Carroll. He was parochial vicar at Cathedral in Sioux City while serving on the faculty at Bishop Heelan High School. He served as pastor at St. Joseph, Schaller; St. Joseph, Salix; and Sacred Heart in Sioux City. He was the director of the Office of Worship for the Diocese from 1988 to 1999.

Currently, Father Lawler is pastor at St. Mary Church, Storm Lake.

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