On the final day of the worldwide Year of the Priest declared by Pope Benedict XVI, Deacon Andrew Vogel was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Winona.
Winona Bishop John Quinn presided at the ordination liturgy Friday at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona. "This is a day of great joy," Quinn said, welcoming Vogel to the Roman Catholic priesthood.
The day had special meaning for Quinn, partly because he had been one of Vogel's teachers at the Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, Mich. Quinn served as an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Detroit before being appointed bishop of Winona in 2008. "The Lord had better plans for both of us," Quinn said.
Vogel, 35, was adopted from South Korea at age 2-1/2 by William and Mary Kay Vogel of Ames, Iowa. He grew up in Ames and attended Iowa State University, graduating with a degree in computer engineering in 1999. He worked in the radiation oncology department of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester for five years. "In college I was asked if I was considering the priesthood," Vogel said. "I always said no. But I was involved in youth ministry in Rochester - it was like God was keeping me close, even if I wasn't ready."
Vogel entered the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona in 2004 for two years of preparation and discernment, followed by four years at the Sacred Heart major seminary in Detroit. "God has made his calling more and more clear as the years have gone by," Vogel said. He said the priesthood is "a gift to serve God's people in a very special role." A priest, he said, "is there for so many significant events in peoples' lives. To serve people in that way is a great gift."
Vogel said he was excited to begin his priestly ministry. "This is an interesting time in our society; an interesting time in our church. It will be a gift and honor to be part of the changes that are happening, to be part of the revival of Christ in people's lives." Vogel's first assignment will be as parochial vicar in Sacred Heart Parish in Owatonna, Minn. Winona Daily News