Four area Catholic churches to get new priests in July
Priest at Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Pine River churches is moving to Aitkin, McGregor, McGrath churches
In mid-July, parishioners in the Our Lady of the Lakes Parish churches in Nisswa, Pequot Lakes and Pine River will see a new priest at the altar.
Effective July 13, Father Mike Patullo, parish priest for the past several years, will become pastor of the Catholic churches in Aitkin, McGregor and McGrath.
A relatively new priest - Father Matthew Miller - will head Masses at St. Christopher’s in Nisswa, St. Alice in Pequot Lakes and Our Lady of Lourdes in Pine River.
There’s certainly a lot of life at those parishes.
Father Michael Garry, pastor at St. Francis in Brainerd, All Saints in Baxter and St. Thomas of the Pines in East Gull Lake since January 2021, will stay in that role and will become administrator of the Our Lady of the Lakes Parish.
“My plan right now is to try to get to run the northern circuit of the Our Lady of the Lakes Parish once a month, at least for the first six months,” Father Garry said.
He explained that Father Miller will cover those churches in the Our Lady of the Lakes cluster every weekend while he covers the Brainerd area churches. Then once a month they’ll swap so Father Garry will be at the northern churches and Father Miller at the Brainerd area churches.
It’s my home parish so naturally I have a special affection for the community and the people. They fostered and cultivated my vocation.
Father Miller currently is a priest at St. Francis, All Saints and St. Thomas of the Pines.
Father Garry, the son of Bill and Theresa Garry, grew up attending St. Christopher’s Church.
“It’s my home parish so naturally I have a special affection for the community and the people. They fostered and cultivated my vocation,” he said. “So to be able to go back and celebrate Mass and to be present to the people up there is a way I can give back for the moment.”
Father Miller is also excited for his new assignment.
“There’s certainly a lot of life at those parishes,” he said.
Father Miller will be entering his third year of priesthood when he joins the Our Lady of the Lakes Parish.
He was ordained in June 2020 and spent his first year as a priest in Duluth. He moved to Brainerd in the summer of 2021, where he’d spent a summer on assignment in 2019.
He grew up in Hinckley.
With all the priests in the (Duluth) diocese it’s like a chess board. There’s all kinds of needs and various assignments with different guys.
Father Garry explained some of the reasoning behind the new assignments.
“At this time, we didn’t have the right guy to follow Father Mike and to be able to do the capital campaign and building project,” he said of the Our Lady of the Lakes Parish, which is in the midst of a campaign to build a new church off County Road 29 for Nisswa and Pequot Lakes parishioners.
“We want to make sure that the right guy gets in that position,” Father Garry said. “We just don’t have anybody available at this time.”
So these new clergy assignments will take place for the next year.
“With all the priests in the (Duluth) diocese it’s like a chess board. There’s all kinds of needs and various assignments with different guys,” Father Garry said.
Those priests have different talents, and with different things happening in each parish, the bishop assigns priests where their talents are most needed.
“I’m happy to be of what service I can be in this next year and I look forward to seeing where Our Lady of the Lakes goes from here,” Father Garry said.
Also as part of the clergy assignments Bishop Daniel Felton recently announced:
- Father David Forsman, pastor at the Aikin, McGregor and McGrath churches, will become pastor of Immaculate Heart Church in Crosslake and St. Emily Church in Emily effective July 13. Crosslake’s current priest, Father Dale Nau, will retire.
- Deacon Rick Paine of Our Lady of the Lakes continues in that role and became administrator of St. Edward Catholic Church in Longville effective May 16.
- Deacon Scott Padrnos, the son of Dan and Sue Padrnos of Nisswa, will become parochial vicar at St. Francis, All Saints and St. Thomas of the Pines churches effective July 13, after being ordained a priest.
Nancy Vogt, editor, may be reached at 218-855-5877 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.