Witness of Faith: Bill Liegel Print
Year of Faith
Written by Sue Klamer Barry, For the Catholic Herald   
Thursday, Apr. 11, 2013 -- 12:00 AM

Witness of Faith Series

During the remaining months of the Year of Faith, the Catholic Herald will be featuring articles on people who are witnesses to the Catholic faith in their lives. If you know someone who is living out their faith in ordinary or extraordinary ways, you can submit an article about that person or nominate that person to be interviewed.

Send your article or nomination (with name, parish, and contact information) to: the Catholic Herald, 702 S. High Point Rd., Madison, WI 53719, or e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Bill Liegel
Pitching in to help

Still today, Bill is primarily responsible for coordinating Eucharistic Adoration for the parish, but it is just one of the many ways Bill pitches in to do what needs to be done around the parish.

He humbly says, however, “You can be the best leader, but if you don’t have followers, you’re not really a leader at all.” And to that he added, “There are many people here who do so much for the church and to help our priests.”

Starting Adoration

According to Bill, “Father Holmes thought Eucharistic Adoration for one full day (on Wednesdays) would be a nice addition for our parish and so we put together a flier and people who were interested starting signing up for hour slots.”

The committee members were each responsible for getting eight hours of the 24-hour devotion time covered by parishioners.

It didn’t happen immediately, but all the hours were covered and people really stepped up to help where they could, Bill explained.

In the beginning, Adoration was held in the Eucharistic Chapel in the back of church. “Sometimes, the chapel would be overflowing with adorers,” he said. There was only room for about eight to 10 people at a time in the chapel, so it often ended up crowded at popular hours.

“When the Society of Jesus Christ priests came to St. Aloysius following Father Holmes’ transfer, they soon decided to move the Eucharistic Adoration into the church,” Bill said. “Soon people were coming from all over —Plain, Lodi, and Baraboo, etc. — to participate for a designated hour or on occasional visits or for shorter visits.”

In February 2012, under the direction and encouragement of Fr. Jared Hood, a second day of Eucharistic Adoration was implemented on Thursdays.

Experiencing God’s love

“When they (adorers) really find the true meaning of Adoration, they understand it has to come from within — the desire to be with Jesus.

“There is more help in Adoration than people realize. You’ve got to believe and you’ve got to ask for Jesus’ help. We have access to a faith that has been handed down from generation to generation.” Bill said.

“The problem with the culture today is that many people only believe in what they can see. Why would anyone come to this earth to die for us if they were not divine? Jesus fell three times and endured great suffering for each of us . . . how could any person endure this without great love for us?” he explained.

Bill’s story

Bill shared a story about when he was in the Army and he and his twin brother were made church captains for his unit. It was their responsibility to get Catholic troops to go to church on Sunday.

He explained how one Sunday he decided to skip Mass himself “to see how it felt” . . . he decided it did not feel very good because “I have forever remembered that day and regret that decision.

“To this day, I believe missing Mass is not an option” and he has only missed when he was in the sick and in the hospital.

Bill doesn’t like to be a bystander when it comes to most things around the church. “If the priest asks me to help with something, I will do it if I can. It isn’t for the glory, but I just like working with people and usually we have fun at the same time.”

Now retired, he enjoys having the time to help and be on various committees for the parish.

Often at daily Mass, you will find Bill on the altar serving Mass or helping put candles and other items in place for Adoration.

As a child growing up in rural Plain, Wis., he was unable to serve Mass because the bus often ran late and the priests wanted the servers to live in town, so they would be on time for Mass.

“I always thought it would be pretty neat to serve on the altar, so when I noticed Father Holmes conducting Mass one day without any servers, I asked him if I could help.”

Bill and Marcy have two grown daughters and seven grandchildren. Marcy was a stay-at-home mom and “she was able to take care of many things I couldn’t get to,” said Bill.

Bill served in the Army for three years, has been a member of the Catholic Knights for 54 years, has been a member of the Catholic Order of Foresters for 60 years, and was an electrician in Madison Local 59 before he retired.

Bill is a committed disciple of his parish in Sauk City and an inspiration to many around him who take his advice to never miss Sunday Mass and “ to give yourself an hour of peace and come and see the Lord in Adoration. You won’t be disappointed.”