St. Alphonsus says good-bye to Father McDermott as their priest after 11 years

For the past 11 years, Langdon has been home to Fr. William McDermott.


Posted on 6/14/14

He has served the parishes of Langdon, Nekoma and Wales, has been active on varies committees, served as firefighter with the Wales Fire Department and enjoyed time being part of the community whether that be at a school event or the bakery. But all things must change and so with his recent birthday, Fr. McDermott decided it was time to move on from the busy parish of St. Alphonsus to a smaller one in Larimore.

On June 15, Fr. McDermott will conduct his last mass, and then spend two uninterrupted weeks, something he has not been able to do for 15 years, with his family. During this break, he will just be one of the family, a family of eight brothers and sisters who all live in a small Iowan town. He says that the break will be nice, a great time of relaxation as he begins the transition into another parish. But even with his move, he is quick to point out that he will still be back to Langdon and the surrounding area. The people here have become family, especially those who were members of his congregation and those he served with on the Wales Fire Department. He said that although you may not see him at church, you will probably see him at the bakery or in Wales on his return visits.

As for why now, he said his 65th birthday was a turning point. The ministry of St. Alphonsus involves a lot with four masses, two on Saturday night and two on Sunday, three church bodies, one school and various smaller outreaches like the nursing homes and hospital, and for him it is a time to slow down. St. Stephen’s Catholic Church will provide the slower pace that Fr. McDermott wants with only one mass on Saturday and one on Sunday. Beyond that he said, “Everything I can do for St. Alphonsus has been done.”

“It has been an awesome 11 years. It has been fun and during that time there has not been 11 bad days,” Fr. McDermott said.

With his leaving, the Fargo diocese will be sending two new Fathers, Fr. Phil Ackerman and Fr. Dan Musgrave. Fr. Ackerman will be the pastor and comes to Langdon with many years of experience.  Fr. Musgrave will be the associate pastor, and Fr. McDermott is quick to point out that both men are awesome who will bring new life to St. Alphonsus.

“This is my family, not just the church congregation, but the whole community and I will miss it,” Fr. McDermott said.