Father Tony Steinacker | Pastor, Saints Peter and Paul Parish, Huntington, IN
Submitted by: Caitlyn and Andy Wright
When the quarantine started, Fr. Tony quickly initiated Mass recordings for every week and created a parish YouTube channel, SSPP Huntington, to post Mass recordings and parish updates. He has continued to keep parishioners a part of everything, through bulletin updates and frequent recordings. Once we were able to return to Mass, he offered additional Mass times. He has had additional locations available for Mass to allow for physical distancing and has even stayed after Masses so parishioners who cannot attend Mass still have the opportunity to receive Communion after they watch the recorded Mass. Fr. Tony had the Confessional restructured so we can continue to have the Sacrament and follow COVID protocols, and he helped the process for bringing back music - incorporating instrumentalists and creating cantor boxes so that we can enjoy hearing singing again! Fr. Tony has really gone above and beyond for us, and we are very blessed to have him as our pastor!
Througout the whole pandemic experience, especially when we were not able to attend Mass in person, Fr. Tony has helped keep us a part of things and has continued to lead us as a parish. It would have been easy to not record Mass and not put anything on social media, but Fr. Tony did not hesitate to do all of that - reaching out to us and even initiating parishioner phone calls to check in on us and make sure we were all right. He has worked tirelessly to help promote our faith community even in the midst of the unknown with the pandemic.
Even though the pandemic has highlighted all the hard work that Fr. Tony does for us and the parish, this is not new - He does so much all the time, always willing to hear a Confession, talk with a parishioner in need, offer additional resources for parishioners - for example, an audio system for hearing impaired to connect to hearing devices to be able to hear Mass. Fr. Tony works hard all the time to give all he can to the parish and to the Lord.
Thank you to Mundelein Seminary for putting this survey together so we have a great opportunity to recognize our priests and all they do for the Church!