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Focusing on the priesthood Print
Letters to the editor
Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009 -- 1:00 AM

To the editor:

In the Year of the Priest, this year’s priest’s retreat appropriately focused upon the priesthood. Msgr. Frank Bognanno, who a few years ago initiated our diocese’s Emmaus program for priestly renewal, led the retreat. He still has his Emmaus touch.

Father Bognanno shared inspiring insights on priesthood from spiritual giants such as Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, St. John Vianney, and others.

We priests fondly remember Fr. Art Koth and Msgr. Elmer Dietzel, who recently died, as good, faithful priests. At Monsignor Dietzel’s funeral, Bishop Morlino said that as he recovered from his heart problems, the memory of Monsignor Dietzel inspired him. He especially admired the way he pulled his oxygen tank, smiling and never complaining.

I lived with Monsignor Dietzel, my former pastor, for two years. I admired how he heroically bore his suffering. During the retreat as we dined, I shared how I kidded him about his long reach for food. But spiritually his long arms always reached out in Christ-like love to consecrate the Eucharist and help others, especially a young couple and their baby. His hands were always eager to give rather than take. May God grant him and Father Koth the fullness of eternal life.

Fr. Don Lange, Hazel Green