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Praised be Jesus Christ!  This week I thought that I would give a brief introduction of myself so that you know a little bit more about “the new priest.” My full name is Fr. Curtis Daniel Lawrence Hecker, but I go by Fr. Curtis. I have two middle names because my dad is Curtis Daniel (Curt) but my parents did not want me to be an exact junior so they gave me the second middle name “Lawrence” because I was born on St. Lawrence’s feast day (Aug 10th) and Lawrence was my grandfather’s name. I am the fifth of ten children (5 boys and 5 girls) and I grew up on a small farm outside Dexter, KS, but my home parish is Sacred Heart in Ark City.

I was homeschooled all the way through high school, and received an associate’s degree from Cowley College before going to work for a year and a half on an oil drilling rig out by Hays, KS. During that time, I started asking the big questions of what I believed and what I wanted to do with my life and the idea of the priesthood kept coming back to me. Eventually I joined seminary and spent the first two and a half years at St. John Vianney Seminary in St. Paul, MN and the last four years I was at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, MO.

I am very blessed to have good health and no allergies or dietary restrictions. My interests and hobbies include just about everything outdoors. I like to play most sports but my favorites are ultimate Frisbee and fishing (especially bow fishing). I LOVE cars, especially classic American muscle. I am a shade-tree mechanic and have done all of the work on my own cars ever since I was 14. I was the seminary barber for the last five years and so I also know my way around scissors and clippers. My musical talent is limited, but last year I started playing the ukulele and have found it to be very relaxing (but I bet it’s going to drive Fr. Jirak crazy). :-)

While I love everything about priestly ministry, I have a special zeal for evangelization and promoting vocations to the priesthood and religious life. I am really looking forward to visiting the school (especially at recess), and to working with the Mass Captains and the Youth Group. I have been very impressed by the many organizations and ministries here at Blessed Sacrament and I plan to be as involved with as many of them as I can be.

There is a story that when St. John Vianney first arrived at his new assignment in Ars, France, he stopped and asked a young shepherd boy for directions to the little town. After the little boy walked with him to the church, St. John Vianney said: “ Thank you for showing me the way to Ars... I will show you the way to Heaven.”  This story has a particular significance for me as I begin my priestly ministry here at Blessed Sacrament. Showing souls the way to heaven is the task that I have been entrusted with, and it is truly my greatest desire to do just that. I strive to be a spiritual person and I look to the wisdom of the saints for insight and guidance. Over my years at seminary I have found myself falling in love with Jesus Christ and it is a desire to share that love with others which motivates me in my priestly service. If there is any way that I can help you in your spiritual journey, to help to “show you the way to heaven,” please do not hesitate to ask.

I believe that God has many good things in store for Blessed Sacrament in the future and I am looking forward to walking with you on the pilgrimage to our Heavenly Homeland.

In Christ through Mary,

Fr. Curtis Hecker 

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