Father Marty Goetz' 92 (Diocese of Davenport), Divine Mercy Parish in West Burlington, IA
Submitted by: Dorothy Schulte
Streams daily and Sunday Masses. Offers Communion to those who stay out in the parking lot and listen on FM Radio or Facebook Live. Daily noontime devotions on FBLive as well as a Walking Rosary and a call in show "2 Priests Driving Around In A Car." It started because they thought people stuck in their houses might like to 'get out and about!' You are encouraged to call in with trivia answers, questions about the faith or how best to deal with the Shutdown. One of the first drives they took they prayed for the people in the buildings they drove past. Later a walking rosary was at the hospital to pray for patients and healthcare workers. Every time they go out, he sees people he knows!
He has been very good about communicating every change or adjustment to schedules or rules so we really feel taken care of. And most of all, he is not afraid to make us laugh. It has really eased the tension and stress of this ordeal and he has been a great reminder to rely on Christ for everything. Whenever we hear someone is not going to Mass yet or feeling down, we encourage them to go to DM Parish and get re-connected.
When it all started, he didn't skip a beat. He and Fr. Dan started streaming mass right away. There were technical hurdles and sometimes tech failures, but they tried again. He really stepped out of his comfort zone to reach his people, was not afraid to be vulnerable and to ask us what we needed. And once they got back to in-person Mass, he asked what we wanted to continue and then did it!
I want to nominate Fr. Marty Goetz of Divine Mercy Parish in Burlington Iowa for "Hero Priest." He and his Parochial Vicars have added extra masses, offer communion to those who watch on FBLive and sit in the parking lot. (We drive 20 miles to this church because our own parish does not offer this.) He also started a walking rosary every week, daily devotionals, once even 'drive up Adoration' and a weekly call in show called "2 Priests Driving Around In A Car." We share lots of laughs with them and they give great spiritual advice for dealing with the lockdown and the virus. The Catholic Messenger did a nice article on DM Parish and their priests. Please recognize them for all their inspirational hard work on our behalf.