Some of the diocesan priests and one Franciscan ministering in a parish and in prison ministry are celebrating their anniversaries of ordination this year gathered with other priests to mark in a special way their priestly ministry in the Diocese of Belleville. Order priests that celebrated with diocesan priests will be noted in the Aug. 11 religious jubilee edition with sisters and brothers who are also celebrating anniversaries.
Following are short bios on the priests, where they have been and where they are now.
Father Charles Kribs
Father Charles Kribs was born Oct. 2, 1925 in Shawneetown, the son of William and Juanita McGehee Kribs.
After attending St. Henry Seminary in Belleville he completed his seminary studies at Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis.
He was ordained to the priesthood May 15, 1951 by Bishop Albert Zuroweste.
After ordination Father Kribs was assigned as an associate at St. Mary Parish in Mt. Vernon (1951-1954), Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Herrin (1954-1955), and Holy Angels Parish in East St. Louis (1955-1958).
His first pastorate assignment was at St. Leo Parish in Modoc (1958-1960), followed by a pastorate assignment at Immaculate Conception Parish in Kaskaskia and as chaplain at Menard Correctional Center in Chester (1960-1961), and a chaplaincy assignment at St. Mary’s Hospital in East St. Louis (1961-1962).
Father Kribs was next assigned as in Metropolis and St. Paul Parish in Vienna (1962-1970). Later pastorates were at St. Mary Parish in Chester (1970-1986), St. John the Baptist Parish in Smithton (1986-1987) and St. Joseph Parish in Prairie du Rocher (1987-1995).
In diocesan assignments he served on the board of the Clergymen’s Aid Society and the Presbyteral Council. He died June 10 at Memorial Hospital in Belleville.
Father Donald Lenzini
Father Donald Lenzini was born Feb. 18, 1926 in Zeigler, the son of Joseph and Josephine Herzog Lenzini.
He attended St. Henry Seminary in Belleville, completing his seminary studies at Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis and St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, Ill., before his ordination by Bishop Albert Zuroweste May 15, 1951 at St. Peter Cathedral in Belleville.
After a summer assignment as an associate at St. Peter Cathedral in Belleville, Father Lenzini’s associate assignments were at St. Joseph Parish in Murphysboro (1951-1955), St. Peter Cathedral in Belleville (1955-1956), St. Charles Parish in DuBois (1956-1958) and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Herrin (1958-1960).
After a temporary six-month assignment as the administrator at St. Joseph Parish in Marion, he was assigned to his first pastorate at St. Mary Magdalen Parish in Todd’s Mill (1960-1969), followed by pastorates at Immaculate Conception Parish in Centreville (1969-1980), St. Damian Parish in Damiansville (1980-1991) and St. Joseph Parish in Benton (1991-2000).
Father Lenzini’s diocesan appointments included serving as Dean of the North Central Deanery and on the Presbyteral Council.
After his retirement from full-time ministry in 2000, he served as a temporary administrator at St. Augustine Parish in Breese and St. Anthony Parish in Beckemeyer and for some years was a weekend assistant at SS. Peter and Paul Parish in Waterloo.
After full-time retirement in 2000 he resided at the Hincke-Sense Home for Retired Priests in Belleville and is currently a resident at St. Paul Home in Belleville.
Father James Thomas
Father James P. Thomas was born June 28, 1947. to Mary and Reynard Thomas.
He was ordained a priest Feb. 14, 1976 in the Diocese of Allentown, Penn.
Father Thomas joined the United States Air Force as a military chaplain and retired in the Diocese of Belleville as a lieutenant colonel after 22 years of service.
In this diocese, in 2003 he became a chaplain at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville.
As a temporary administrator, he served at St. Teresa Parish in Belleville (2005-2006), St. Mary-St. Augustine in Belleville for a month in the summer of 2007, and sacramental minister at St. Theresa Parish in Salem and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Kinmundy in 2009 and at St. Teresa Parish in Marydale in 2010.
He continues to serve as a chaplain at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and assists at various parishes at weekend Masses as he is able.
Father Thomas lives in Belleville.
Msgr. David Darin
Msgr. David Darin was born March 5, 1964, in Centralia, the son of Danny and Mary Gotta Darin.
Before beginning his seminary studies at the College of St. Thomas and St. John Vianney Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., he attended Kaskaskia College in Centralia, completing his seminary studies at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, Ill. Before his ordination he ministered at St. Peter Cathedral in Belleville (1989), and at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago as a deacon (1991).
He was ordained June 1, 1991 at St. Peter Cathedral in Belleville by Bishop James Keleher.
His single associate assignment was at St. Peter Cathedral (1991-1995).
In 1995 Msgr. Darin was assigned to his first pastorate at St. Agatha Parish in New Athens (1995-1998), and then as the pastor of his home parish, St. Mary Parish in Centralia (1998-2007), and after 2001 he also assumed the pastorate of St. Lawrence Parish in Sandoval.
In 2007 he was assigned to the pastorates of St. Teresa Parish and St. Luke Parish, both in Belleville, where he continues as the pastor.
In diocesan appointments he has served on the Priest Personnel Board, as dean of the North Central Deanery, as chairperson of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission, and as a Master of Ceremonies at Episcopal Liturgies.
He was installed as a monsignor by Bishop Edward Braxton in 2012.
Father James Deiters
Father James Deiters was born Jan. 20, 1965 in Breese, the son of Herman and Mary Holthaus Deiters. His family’s home parish was St. Anthony Parish in Beckemeyer.
After graduating from Mater Dei High School in Breese he began his seminary studies at the College of St. Thomas and St. John Vianney Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. He completed his studies for the priesthood at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, Ill.
In his later seminarian years (1987-1989) Father Deiters worked occasionally at St. Theresa Parish in Marydale, St. Philip Parish in East St. Louis, St. Bruno Parish in Pinckney- ville and Carlyle Healthcare Center in Carlyle. He ministered as a deacon at St. Mary Parish in Lake Forest, Ill.
He was ordained June 1, 1991 at St. Peter Cathedral in Belleville by Bishop James Keleher.
Father Deiters’ assignments as an associate were at St. Mary Parish in Mt. Carmel and St. Francis Parish in St. Francisville (1991-1993) and St. Joseph Parish in Olney and St. Joseph Parish in Stringtown (1993-1995), where he also served as a temporary administrator (1994).
His first pastorate assignment was at St. Theresa of Avila Parish in Salem and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Kinmundy (1995-1996). In 1996 he was named the pastor of St. Clare Parish in O’Fallon, an assignment he continues, and where the parish built a new church, dedicated in 2007.
In diocesan assignments Father Deiters has served on the Presbyteral Council, as a Diocesan Consultor, chairperson of the Continuing Education of Priests Committee and Associate Vocation Director. He serves on the board of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville and serves on the faculty and board member for the “Institute of Priests and Presbyterates” at St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana.
Father Tadeusz Gegotek
Father Tadeusz Gegotek was born March 16, 1956 in Olkusz Katowice, Poland, the son of Marian and Stanislawa Piekarz Gegotek.
At age 22 Father Gegotek pursued seminary studies, earning a BA in 1980 and an MA in Theology in 1984. After a temporary enrollment at the former seminary in Orchard Lake, Wis., he was accepted as a Belleville diocesan seminarian by Bishop James Keleher, completing his studies for the priesthood at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis. He was ordained June 1, 1991 at St. Peter Cathedral in Belleville by Bishop Keleher.
Before his ordination Father Gegotek ministered as a deacon at St. Henry Parish in Belleville, where he continued as an associate (1991-1992).
In 1992 Father Gegotek was assigned as the administrator of Immaculate Conception Parish in East St. Louis. Later that year he was named the administrator at St. Mary Parish in Valmeyer (1992-1993) and then as the administrator at St. Anthony Parish in Beckemeyer (1993-1994). He was a member of a team ministry at the Washington County parishes of St. Charles in DuBois and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Posen and the Perry County parish of Immaculate Conception Parish in Tamaroa. (1994-1995).
In 1995 Father Gegotek enlisted as a chaplain in the U.S. Navy (1995-2000)
He returned to the Belleville diocese and was assigned as the pastor at St. Rose Parish in Metropolis and St. Joseph Parish in Elizabethtown (2000-2001). He participated in weekend ministry as a resident at St. Francis Parish in Carbondale before resuming his chaplaincy in the U.S. Navy, which he continues today.
Father Ray Schultz
Father Ray Schultz was born Nov. 29, 1949, the son of Seva Gibbs and Clifford Schultz.
Father Schultz grew up in the Methodist tradition. He served in the military. He credits his acquaintance with a Jesuit brother while serving in the Peace Corps in the South Pacific with his decision to becoming a Catholic. He worked at Frontier Community College in Fairfield before his decision to begin seminary studies at Pontifical College Josephinum in Ohio. As a seminarian he served as a delegate to the Ohio Council of Churches and wrote his master’s of divinity thesis on ecumenism. He served as a deacon at St. Mary Parish in Mt. Vernon in the summer of 1990, and was ordained June 1, 1991 at St. Peter Cathedral in Belleville by Bishop James Keleher.
After ordination Father Schultz was assigned as an associate at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Herrin (1991-1994). In 1994 he was named the pastor of St. Lawrence Parish in Lawrenceville and Immaculate Conception Parish in Bridgeport (1994-1997).
In 1997 Father Schultz continued his priesthood ministry in the Las Vegas, Nev. diocese, returning to the Belleville diocese in 2001 and assigned as the administrator at Our Lady of Assumption Parish in Fairview Heights. Two years later, after the suppression of the St. Albert and Our Lady of Assumption parishes in Fairview Heights he was named the pastor of the newly established Holy Trinity Parish there (2003). In 2011 he was also named the pastor of St. Stephen Parish in Caseyville. His ministry as pastor of the two parishes continues.
Diocesan assignments have included serving as a dean of the East St. Louis Deanery, a member of the Presbyteral Council and the College of Consultors.
Father Stanley Konieczny
Father Stanley Konieczny was born April 14, 1955, the son of Stanley and Dorothy Brud Konieczny. After graduating from Assumption High School in East St. Louis, he received a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary University in San Antonio, Texas and a master’s from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. Employment before pursuing his seminary studies at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, Ill. included as a writer and associate editor of The Messenger and communications director for the Adorers of the Blood of Christ at Ruma. He was ordained to the priesthood June 3, 2006 by Bishop Edward Braxton. Prior to his ordination he interned with Father Ray Schultz at Holy Trinity Parish in Fairview Heights.
Father Konieczny was assigned as an associate at St. Augustine Parish in Belleville (2006-2009) and SS. Peter and Paul Parish in Waterloo (2009-2010). In 2010 he was named the pastor of St. Liborius Parish in St. Libory and St. Anthony Parish in Lively Grove (2010-2011), He was named the pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish in Smithton in 2011, where he continues.
Diocesan assignments have included serving on the Presbyteral Council and the College of Consultors.
Father Christian Reuter, OFM
Franciscan Father Christian Reuter, a resident at the St. Benedict the Black Friary in East St. Louis, is presently the Coordinator of Prison Ministry for the Belleville diocese, continuing a prison ministry in the diocese beginning in 2002. He has served as the Sacramental Minister at St. Liborius Parish in St. Libory and since 2013 has been the Sacramental Minister at Immaculate Conception Parish in Columbia.
Editor’s note: More information about Father Christian Reuter’s ministry will be included in The Messenger’s Religious Jubilee supplement in the Aug. 11 issue. For more photos of the jubilarians, please see The Messenger newspaper.