Spotlight on Community: St. Alphonsus welcomes two new Fathers to parish

St. Alphonsus Catholic Church recently received two new Fathers to serve their parish. 

new fathers

Posted on 7/12/14

Fr. Phil Ackerman comes to St. Alphonsus with 36 years of experience. He has served under the leadership of the Diocese of Fargo, and has been a parish pastor for two different parishes. He comes to Langdon after having served two terms as pastor at Holy Family in Grand Forks.

Fr. Ackerman was born on a farm in Reynolds, his family, two older brothers and one twin sister, still lives in the Grand Forks area. He enjoys baking and cooking.

He said that he was not always planning on entering the priesthood, and for a time considered special education focusing on deaf education, but during his senior year of high school, Fr. Dennis Schue, invited him to consider the priesthood at a retreat.

“It was quite overwhelming to consider the priesthood, but a priest saw my potential and I thought I should pursue it.”

He joined the seminary and today he has spent his life in service to God.

In Langdon, he will continue his service, by being the pastor of St. Alphonsus, where he will provide pastoral care and help with the spiritual needs of the parish. He will be the overseer of the entire parish and school. He says he is very excited, and can not wait to get acquainted with both the parishioners of St. Alphonsus, Nekoma and Wales but also the community.

He is not alone in the excitement of working for this community, Fr. Dan Musgrave, associate pastor, has joined Fr. Ackerman.

Fr. Musgrave, has served 2 years as an Associate Pastor at St. Mary’s Cathedral. He was born in Valley City, to parents who are invested in the youth of the state by hosting SEARCH retreats for Catholic teens. He went to those retreats, but didn’t feel worthy of a call to priesthood, and so he pursued a degree in art with the hopes of drawing comic books. It was after college and trying things on his own, that he listened to the heaviness in his heart and knew he was to be a priest.

Both Fathers are excited to be here. They are looking forward to spending time in the classrooms of St. Alphonsus Catholic School.

“I am really excited to work in the schools and with the youth of the community,” Fr. Musgrave said.

Both Fathers will offer Mass with Fr. Ackerman stating that the Mass schedule will remain the same for all three communities.