Fr. Michael Gutgsell, Pastor
My first exposure to Catholic elementary school and CCD for Catholic public school children began in the fall of 1973 and the subsequent three years when I served Mary Our Queen Parish as a deacon and a newly ordained priest. The school was one of the largest in the metro area and the CCD program had more than twice as many children as the school.
I spent four years as a full time religion teacher at Columbus Scotus Central Catholic where I balanced duties as a priest assisting at Saint Isidore Parish and a priest facilitating marriage preparation for young adults from the fifteen parishes in the far southwest region of the Archdiocese.
In 1981-1983 I was sent for advanced studies in Canon Law at The Catholic University of America. Returning to the Archdiocese in June, 1983 I would serve at the Chancery of the Archdiocese in the Marriage Tribunal, as Chancellor and as Moderator of the Curia until June, 2003. During that time I assisted the pastors of Saint Robert Bellarmine and Mary Our Queen parishes. At the same time, I provide many Parish adult education workshops and classes, as well as Permanent Deacon formation sessions, in apologetics, papal writings, Canon Law and Church teaching and annulments.
In June, 2003 to June, 2005 I was assigned to Saint John the Baptist Parish, Fort Calhoun, Nebraska, as pastor, while retaining the duties of Moderator of the Curia at the Archdiocese’s chancery. This appointment returned me to parish religious education at the grade and high school level.
In June, 2005 I was appointed pastor and rector of Saint Cecilia Cathedral. Each year I have taught in the Cathedral grade school, typically grades 2, 7 and 8. In recent years I have added the kindergarten classes and sixth grade.
I have seen, first- hand the dedication of the faculty of Saint Cecilia Cathedral School over the years, even as teachers of many years of experience have retired and new teachers come to the school. As pastor, and overseer, of the school budget, maintenance and building enhancement, as well as a key collaborator with two principals and the members of the parish Board of Education I have seen the pride all of these people, and the parents of our students, take in our school and the commitment they make so that the school and Faith formation can become better each year.