Priesthood Sunday is a special day set aside to honor the priesthood in the United States. This year, Priesthood Sunday was celebrated in parishes Oct. 28. It was a day to reflect upon and affirm the role of the priesthood in the life of the Church. Designed to be an event led by the laity, Priesthood Sunday provides a way for Catholic communities to express appreciation for the devoted priests who serve them. In response to The Prairie Catholic’s request to our readers to tell us about their priests, following are words of gratitude and praise that we have received.


If you have gratitude and praise to express for a priest serving in the Diocese of New Ulm, e-mail


SHEPHERD OF SOULS AREA FAITH COMMUNITY (St. John, Darwin; St. Philip, Litchfield; Our Lady, Manannah and the merged parish of St. Gertrude, Forest City)

We are blessed at the Church of our Lady, St. Philips, and St. Johns to have two priests serving our community. Thank you Fr. Jeff Horejsi and Fr. Brian Mandel.

Bernie and Aggie Schmitz


We thank Fr. Phil for his guidance and patience at St Raphael Church.  We hope he can be our Shepherd  for many years.  

Bob & Sharon Sturm

SHEPHERD OF SOULS AREA FAITH COMMUNITY (St. John, Darwin; St. Philip, Litchfield; Our Lady, Manannah and the merged parish of St. Gertrude, Forest City)

Thank you to Fr. Jeff Horejsi, Fr. Brian Mandel and in the past- Fr. Joe Steinbeisser for their wonderful service to our Shepherd of Souls Area Faith Community.

The Richard & Eloise Smith Family


It is with much appreciation that I share this about Fr. Brian Mandel. His taking time to help me during a time of much need guidance and discernment. I am grateful for his time and wisdom. He has a full schedule but takes time to say hello and ask how I am doing. I appreciate his gentle spirit and his attention to detail. His recommendations when I am facing difficult decisions or challenges are spot on.

Thank you, Fr. Brian - from both me and my family.

With Deep Gratitude,

Tim Benoit - Member of the Church of St. John, Darwin (Shepherd of Souls Area Faith Community)


It is challenging to quantify all of the reasons that Fr. Keith Salisbury is an inspiration and a role model for me as a Catholic man. The primary reason is his unassuming, humble and nonjudgemental way of dealing with other people. Father Keith accepts others for who they are and where they are and rolls with the punches. He is a genuinely friendly person embodies the meaning of the word caring. Father Salisbury is a great listener and when he does speak - he imparts wisdom with brevity and clarity.  He also has a good sense of humor and he collects toy tractors as a reminder of his youth. He has a passion for accepting each new day as a gift.

I appreciate Father Keith's help as I went through the annulment process in 2010. He gave me top notch advice and mostly listened. I like the way he celebrates Mass also. It is a faster pace that matches our modern lifestyle. His homilies always include a couple of key items to reflect upon and he does not overwhelm with information. It is a focused and powerful message, but you have to be open to listening to it.

With appreciation and gratitude, I rank Father Keith in my top priests of all time, right up there with Fr. Paul Schumacher, the late Msgr. James Lavin at the University of St. Thomas, Fr. Steve Verhelst, Fr. Jerry Paulsen, Fr. Jerry Berger, Fr. Kennedy in the Twin Cities, and several others that have positively influenced my life on that road of striving to continually be a better person.  

Thank you Father Keith - humility, kindness, and generosity are evident in your approach to life.

With deep gratitude,

- Sean Fogarty - Member of the Church of St. John Assumption, Faxon Township