GREEN BAY — Fr. William Rickert will mark the 70-year anniversary of his ordination with a Mass at 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, at Annunciation Church. Bishop David Ricken will be present at the Mass, along with other diocesan clergy. All are welcome to attend.
On Jan. 31, 1945, Bishop Stanislaus Bona ordained Fr. William Rickert to the priesthood in the St. Joseph Orphanage Chapel. He was the first priest to be ordained by Bishop Bona.
Fr. Rickert was first assigned to St. Mary Parish, Menasha. He stayed 13 years at St. Mary serving as school administrator and athletic director in addition to assistant pastor.
In 1958, he became pastor at Sacred Heart Parish, Spruce, with a mission at Klondike. He also served as pastor at Holy Angels Parish, Darboy; St. Mary, Oshkosh; Ss. Peter and Paul, Weyauwega; and St. Francis, Hollandtown. He retired from parish ministry in 1996.
Fr. Rickert’s other ministries and service included diocesan director of the Catholic Rural Life Conference; co-founder and first president of the Diocesan Clergy Credit Union; Diocesan consultor and vicar; member of the personnel board; and spiritual advisor of the St. Vincent de Paul Diocesan Council.
“The best thing of my life was the priesthood,” said Fr. Rickert in an interview with The Compass in recognition of his 65-year anniversary. “The two gifts the church gives to people are the Eucharist and confession.”