Fr. Daniel Weiske, Pastor
I am grateful to be here in the Brainerd area. The son of John and Cindy Weiske,and with one younger brother named Tim, I grew up in Duluth and went to St.Benedict’s Church.
In 2000, I graduated from Duluth East high school and went to the University of Minnesota intending to enter a career in public service at the local government level. Subsequently, I lived in Chicago for two years completing a Master’s in Public Administration. While in this program, I discerned the priesthood. It happened to also be the time my father was ordained a deacon. So thankfully there was family support.
When I entered seminary for the Diocese of Duluth, the bishop sent me to Mundelein Seminary and then to the Pontifical North American College in Rome for four years of theology.I was excited to be a part of the class of six men ordained for our diocese on June 22, 2012.
It is exciting to be here, and I am grateful for the chance to serve you and the Lord in these parishes. I should also mention that this is my Dad’s hometown, so we passed through here regularly when I was young. Now as a priest I am happy to be here fulltime as we pursue together the Lord’s call to be His disciples and share in the grace of His Cross and Resurrection.
God bless you
Fr. Richard Oberstar. In Residence
Reverend Richard Oberstar was ordained to the Priesthood on April 3rd, 1965. He recently celebrated his 50th year of being a Priest.
Fr. Richard Oberstar is retired and currently lives at the St. Mathias Rectory. He enjoys helping with Masses every now and then at St. Mathias Church. He also enjoys visiting the homebound once a month.
Deacon Keith Grow
Most of my formative years were spent on a family farm near Santiago, a quaint little town located in East Central Minnesota. After high school, I continued my education and received a Bachelor of Science degree from Mankato State University. About that same time, I met and married a lovely Catholic girl, Theresa Kapsner which, as a Methodist, was a real eye opener. Prior to the birth of our daughter Andrea, I was confirmed and joined the Catholic Church.
In 1992, our family moved from Marshall, MN, to Brainerd where I continued my work with the State of Minnesota as a wetland specialist and Theresa continued her work as a social worker. We are members of St. Andrew's. We have 3 grown children, Andrea, Jeff and Alison. Alison and her husband, Terrelle, have blessed us with 3 beautiful grandchildren, Zoe, Othiniel and Jael.
Prior to moving to Brainerd, we had never belonged to a parish with an assigned Deacon. The Brainerd Catholic community had four. Their call to serve and the manner in which they carried out their calling was very intriguing and raised my curiosity to learn more.
At the urging of Father Seamus Walsh and the support of family and friends, I took a “leap of faith”. After 6 years of prayer, study and discernment, I was ordained as a permanent Deacon by Bishop Paul Sirba on November 21, 2010, on the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King.
Deacon Jerry Bock
I was born and raised in Brainerd and attended St. Francis Church as a child with my mom and nine siblings. I moved away from Brainerd for 20 years, and moved back in 1998 with my wife Cindy, sons Scott, Jeremy, Justin, and daughter Tracy. We started attending St. Andrew’s when my family moved to Brainerd. My wife Cindy joined the Church in 2008 having attended Mass since the first year of our marriage. I was ordained a deacon November 20, 2016.
Deacon Mike Koecheler
Jean Jacobi, Business Manager
Hi! I’m Jean Jacobi and I am the Business Manager for the Churches of St. Andrew's and St. Mathias. I grew up in Little Falls so I’m not far from home and even attended Mass at St. Mathias occasionally as a teenager since it was near our family’s lake cabin.
My husband, Chuck, and I have been married since 1972, shortly after graduating from the Colleges of St. Thomas and St. Catherine respectively. We have 4 children, all graduates of St.Francis School, and eight grandchildren.
After many years of similar work in the business world, I joined the parish staff in fall of 2012 as a move toward semi-retirement. I began my present position when we “re-clustered” in 2014.
I love to sing and have been a member of the St Francis Choir for many years and serve as the treasurer for our local Birthright chapter.
Krissy Nelson, Secretary and Bulletin Editor
I was hired to be the Office Manager/Secretary for All Saints and St. Thomas of the Pines as a temporary position until the "re-clustering" took place. So, in July of 2014 I was reasigned to be the secretary for St. Andrew's and St. Mathias.
I have lived in Brainerd my whole life and have been a parishioner of St. Francis for the majority of it. After getting married to my husband, Magnus Nelson in 2008, we decided to become parishioners of St. Mathias because of the location of our home. My husband and I have four beautiful children: Olivia- 7 years old, Magnus Jr - 5 years old, Elliot -3 1/2 years old, and our third son, Francis, is 2 and we welcomed our 5th child, Oliver, in the beginning of May of 2017..
Along with working for the church and volunteering, I help my husband run our farm. We raise over 2,500 chickens each summer and grow vegetables which we sell at a roadside stand. With work, kids, animals, and plants we barely have time for anything else…but we wouldn’t change it for the world.
Mary Stoffel, Part-Time Secretary
Hi, my name is Mary Stoffel. I am the new part-time Parish Secretary at St. Andrews/St. Mathias Church office as of 9/19/16.
I was born in Ardmore, Oklahoma while my Dad was stationed in the Air Force. We traveled around to different states while he was in the Air Force. He retired in October, 1966 from Bangor, Maine and we moved to Minnesota to be closer to my parents’ families. My family has been members at St. Francis Church since November, 1966. I attended St. Francis School from 5th through 7th grade. After graduating from Brainerd High School in 1975, I attended vocational school for 2 yrs.
Before retiring from the MN Dept. of Natural Resources in November, 2012, I also had worked prior to that at the Brainerd Regional Human Services Center; Crow Wing County Social Services, and the MN State Lottery. Since retiring in 2012, I have volunteered at St. Andrews Church office, St. Francis School and at Renneke Chiropractic.
Desiree Hopkins, Coordinator of Liturgy & Parish Engagement
I am so excited to start my new position as St. Andrew and St. Mathias Catholic Churches’ Coordinator of Liturgy & Parishioner Engagement!
Originally from rural North Dakota, I grew up close to the Canadian and Minnesota borders. From there, I traveled to attend the University of Georgia in Athens, where I graduated with a Speech Communications degree. In 2002, I moved to Brainerd to work as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer with Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity. I absolutely loved it there. After moving to the Brainerd Lakes area, I met my husband, Jesse Hopkins, and began to consider converting to the Catholic faith. Although I was raised in the ELCA Lutheran Church, I wanted our family to be able to practice a single faith and worship together on Sundays. I had already begun attending St. Andrew’s with Jesse and his great aunt Lee Huff. In 2005, I was confirmed in the faith through RCIA with Lee as my sponsor. What a beautiful experience. RCIA helped me fall in love with the Catholic Church and we have been so blessed ever since to raise our family at St. Andrew’s parish.
As so beautifully stated in 1 Peter 4:10 “As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”
Please feel free to email me at email@example.com or call me at the office to talk about the many opportunities to be of service to our parish.
I’m grateful for your many gifts and your willingness to serve one another and look forward to meeting you and helping you to find your niche in our parish!
Anne Pritschet, Music Director
My name is Anne Pritschet, and I am the Music Director for St. Andrew’s and St. Mathias parishes.
I grew up in Dublin, Ireland. While studying Music and German at UCD I spent a year in Germany, and there I met my husband Dave, a native of St. Paul. We moved to Brainerd in 1993 when Dave was offered a job teaching here, and have lived and worked here ever since. We have been blessed with four children, Ciara, Miriam, Ronan and Maeve.
Peggy Tautges, St. Mathias Custodian
Lived in the St. Mathias community since 1973 after purchasing the Tautges family farm. I was converted to the Catholic religion by Father Miller in 1979. I have been a member of St Mathias Church since then. I farmed with my husband, Dewey and our two children for the first 15 years. I then went to work in Brainerd as a purchasing agent for 15 years at Atek Mfg. and 10 years at St Joseph's hospital. I retired in 2013. I like to stay busy and love to garden, golf and kayak whenever I get the chance. I love to provide flowers and decorations for the church and being a custodian just seemed to be a natural next step in helping to keep our church beautiful.
Faith Formation Staff Members
Dan Johnson: High School Faith Formation Director
Hello, my name is Dan Johnson and I am the Director of Religious Education for grades 9-12 and Adult Faith Formation.
I grew up on a farm just outside of Dickinson, ND and attended 12 years of catholic schooling in that area. I spent 14 years as a partner in a computer company after graduating high school. My job servicing computers brought me to Minnesota in 1996. I eventually left my position in the company feeling that God was calling me to some kind of work in His church. I went back to school and graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a minor in theology. I also spent two years in seminary studying theology and discerning a call to the priesthood. I moved to Brainerd in 2011 and took a maintenance job working for the church. I began my new job with the church in July.
Britt Johnson: Middle School Faith Formation Director
My name is Britt Johnson, and I am the Director of Faith Formation for Middle School, grades 6th-8th.
My husband Dan and I live in Brainerd and attend St. Francis Church. Dan is the Director of Faith Formation for the High School and heads up the RCIA program, and we are truly excited to work together at the church.
My compassionate, kind, intelligent, and thoughtful son, Payton is 11 and my caring, generous, funny, and joyful daughter, Fallon is 9.
I have lived in the Brainerd area my entire life mostly because I can’t bear to be away from the water and the woods. My wonderful parents, Bill and Mary Kronstedt, live in the house I grew up in and they too attend St. Francis Church. My brother, Adam Kronstedt and his wife Charlene live in Nisswa with their five children. Family is very important to me and I am blessed to have them all so close.
I am excited to be a servant of God for the youth in our area and cannot wait to watch their faith continue to grow with the help of their families and those of us who are lucky enough to be called to serve them here at the church.
Celeste Badger: Elementary School Faith Formation Director
Hello! I began working for St Francis Parish in 1997 and I currently am blessed to work with the youngest children in all four parishes.
It is truly a joy to be able to serve this age, particularly witnessing the children receiving the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist for the first time.
My husband Rob and I have four daughters who all attended St Francis School and we are very grateful for the Christ centered education they received there.
Rebecca Thiesse: Faith Formation Assistant
no bio as of now
STAFF: to remotely access your email CLICK HERE