Four Catholic leaders recognized for distinguished service to Diocese of New Ulm

NEW ULM ­­– The Most Reverend John M. LeVoir, bishop of the Diocese of New Ulm, presented the 2016 Diocesan Distinguished Service Award to four Catholics of the diocese following the annual Bishop Lucker Lecture, held Monday, March 7, at the Church of St. Catherine in Redwood Falls.

 The Diocesan Distinguished Service Award (DDSA) recognizes individuals for their committed service and outstanding contributions to the Diocese of New Ulm’s mission and ministry. The 2016 recipients are: (for a photo, click here)

Fr. Joseph Steinbeisser, pastor of Shepherd of Souls AFC (Litchfield, Darwin, Forest City, Manannah)

Fr. Steinbeisser has been a priest of the Diocese of New Ulm for almost 30 years, having been ordained in 1986. He currently serves as the pastor of the parishes in the Shepherd of Souls Area Faith Community: St. Philip’s in Litchfield, St. John’s in Darwin, St. Gertrude’s in Forest City, and the Church of Our Lady in Manannah. Prior to his Shepherd of Souls appointments, he served as pastor of St. Mary’s in Willmar, the Church of the Japanese Martyrs in Leavenworth, and St. Paul’s in Comfrey. From 1989 to 1997 he was the diocesan director of Vocations and was the episcopal vicar for Regions IV and V from 2005 to 2007. Fr. Steinbeisser’s commitment to the diocese has extended to tireless work on many committees. He has been a member of the Priests’ Council almost continuously since 1997 and is currently its chairman. He has also been its secretary and vice-chair. Throughout the years, Fr. Steinbeisser has been a member of the Bishop’s Executive Cabinet, the College of Consultors, and the Diocesan Pastoral Council. Since 2008 he has served on the diocesan Hispanic Ministry Committee.

Wayne Carlson, a member of Church of St. Mary, Cottonwood

Wayne Carlson served as a member of the Diocesan Pastoral Council as its Region III representative from 1999 to 2005, having previously served on the Pastoral Committee for Region III. He was appointed to the Committee on Parishes in 2004 and spent six years in that capacity, advising the bishop on matters pertaining to pastoral planning. Carlson and his wife, Deb, have been married for 33 years. They have two grown daughters and seven grandchildren. They are longtime members of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Cottonwood, where Carlson has been a song leader at weekend Masses for some 25 years. At different times, he has also been a member and chair of the Parish Council, a member of the Education Committee, and co-chair of the Building Committee.

Sue Serbus, a member of the Church of St. Peter, St. Peter

Sue Serbus is being honored for sharing both her social services expertise and her musical talents with the diocese. Bringing to bear her experience as a clinical supervisor for Mental Health and Chemical Dependency at Nicollet County Human Services, she served as Catholic Charities Advisory Committee member from 2007 to 2010. Serbus has also been a member of the diocesan choir, including roles as cantor and soloist, for over 25 years. She has sung for Chrism Masses, Bishop LeVoir’s installation in 2008, and a number of other diocesan events. Serbus’ musical abilities are also in evidence at her parish, St. Peter’s in St. Peter, where she has been a choir member, cantor, and soloist for 23 years. Her previous parishes – St. Mary’s in Willmar, St. Aloysius in Olivia, and St. John’s in Morton – have also enjoyed her singing talents. Serbus and her husband, Russ, have been married for 43 years. They have one grown daughter and one grandchild.

Diana McCarney, a member of the Church of Our Lady, Manannah

Diana McCarney is being recognized for her outstanding contributions to Catholic schools in the diocese. She was a music teacher for 24 years and principal for 13 years at the School of St. Philip in Litchfield, retiring in 2014. During this time, she was a member of the diocesan Evangelization and Catechesis Committee for six years and also served on the Schools Planning Committee. McCarney has been a parishioner at the Church of Our Lady in Manannah for the last 41 years. Her service to her parish has been extensive and varied. She has been an organist and liturgist for 41 years, a catechist for 29 years, and a DRE for 15 years. She is currently in her second three-year term as chair of the parish Council of Catholic Women. McCarney and her husband, Michael, have four grown children and three grandchildren.