HJ/EDHerald Journal, Dec. 19, 2005

Former local priest receives papal honor

By Lynda Jensen

Father Bob Wyffels was recently chosen by Pope Benedict XVI for the honor of being named a “Chaplain of His Holiness,” and the title of “monsignor.”

Wyffels served the Holy Trinity parish from 1960-61 and again from 1983-1998, he said. When he left in 1998, Father Paul Wolf assumed the pastor position, he said.

“I never dreamt that something like this would happen,” Wyffels said.

The honor was announced Dec. 8 during the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which has special significance to Wyffels.

Wyffels is currently serving at the St. Michael Catholic Church in Morgan, Minn. Morgan is located halfway between Sleepy Eye and Redwood Falls.

He remembers Winsted fondly, describing it as a welcoming, cooperative community that is full of “people of all ages who were willing to volunteer.”

“I especially enjoyed the teaching, and working with young people” Wyffels said, noting that he was an instructor at Holy Trinity High School.

The monsignorate title is given by the pope based on a priest’s service to the Catholic church.

The diosesan bishop nominates the candidates and submits that name and biographies, along with other information to Rome, to the Holy See. Once decided by the Pope, the vatican secretary of state issues documents recognizing the newly awarded monsignors’ service to the church

Historically, the monsignorate dates to the 14th century. Monsignors are entitled to wear some of the clerical dress of a bishop.

Chaplains of His Holiness are entitled of wear the black cassock with fuchsia trimmings, fuchsia buttons and a wide fuchsia sash.

Monsignorers are considered members of the papal household and thus listed the papal yearbook each year.

They retain their titles throughout their lives, even if the Pope who bestowed the honor on them dies.

Conferral celebration planned in February

The public is invited to attend a diocesian celebration of the conferral Sunday, Feb. 26 at 3 p.m. in the Church of St. Mary in New Ulm.

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