Vicar for Newly Ordained Priests
Father Robert Hoefler serves as Vicar for Newly Ordained Priests. He also serves as pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in West Des Moines.
As Vicar for Newly Ordained Priests, Father Hoefler provides guidance and encouragement for those priests who have been ordained five years or less. Beginning life as a priest is a time which requires adjustment. From the moment of presbyteral ordination, one is perceived in a new way by others in the Church and one's role in relation to others in the Church is different. By the nature of Holy Orders, one begins a lifetime vocation within the Church.
Adjustments to this new life take time. In past generations, when there were many more priests serving in the diocese, most of the adjustment for the newly ordained priests occurred under the eye of the pastor. Often, a newly ordained priest would have served with numerous pastors before becoming a pastor himself. Often, those in nonparish ministries worked with many other priests as well. Today, with fewer priests, the newly ordained often find themselves alone in facing questions. Thus, the vicar for newly ordained offers guidance and encouragement.
Father Hoefler, born in Granville, Iowa, was ordained by Bishop Maurice Dingman in 1985. He attended St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee and, after ordination, joined the faculty of St. Albert School in Council Bluffs as a high school teacher. Four years later, he began serving Sacred Heart Parish in West Des Moines, and in 1993, he became pastor of St. Theresa Church in Des Moines. He served the parish 10 years before becoming pastor of St. Michael Parish in Harlan. He currently serves as pastor at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in West Des Moines.