Father Michael Podhajsky
Fr. Michael Podhajsky is originally from Traer, Iowa. After earning a B.A. in Spanish from Loras College in 1999 he attended seminary at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. He earned an M.A. in theology and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Dubuque on March 31, 2003. He served as associate pastor in three different parishes: St. Joseph's in Mason City, Holy Ghost in Dubuque where he also served as sacramental priest for the St. Lasalle Pastorate in northern Dubuque County, and St. Jude's in Cedar Rapids. He returned to Washington, DC for further studies and earned a degree in canon law from the Catholic University of America in July 2011. Fr. Podhajsky currently serves as pastor of Holy Family, New Melleray, as a judge on the Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Dubuque, and sacramental priest for the Hispanic community at St. Patrick's, Dubuque.
Father Jerry Blake
Fr. Jerry Blake is the ninth of 13 children, raised on a farm in Allamakee Co. After high school he continued to farm with a younger brother and his father, later with two brothers. They began experimenting with organic farming in the mid-seventies. The idea of becoming a priest occurred to him occasionally for the next 21 years. Upon completing a three year lay ministry program in the spring of 1994 he applied and was accepted as a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Dubuque and was assigned to St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, MN. He received his B.A. and M.Div. through the University of St. Thomas and was ordained June 3, 2000. He served as an associate pastor for two years in Dyersville and four years in the six parishes of Hancock and Winnebago Counties. He then served as pastor for six years for the thee parishes of the Prince of Peace Cluster south of Waterloo. He now serves as sacramental priest assisting Fr. Michael Podhajsky at St. Joseph and Holy Family, New Melleray and Fr. Phil Kruse at St. Catherine, St. Donatus and Springbrook. He also assists at Stone Hill Care Center in Dubuque. His days off are usually spent on the farm with family. Though contact is limited with such coverage, he is looking forward to meeting the people of St. Joseph and each of the parishes.
Deacon Tom Lang
Deacon Tom grew up on a farm near the small community of Manson, Iowa, along with six sisters and one brother. After completing high school, he graduated from Loras College with a major in history and minors in philosophy and education. A few months after graduation, Tom was drafted into the U.S. Army and spent most of his tour of duty in Germany.
It was during these years that Tom married Kris and together they enjoyed their first year of marriage in Germany. Tom and Kris have four children. Tom entered into the formation process for the permanent diaconate and was ordained on his 34th birthday at the Cathedral in Sioux City. Tom and Kris moved several times. Their move to Manchester brought them to the Archdiocese of Dubuque. Shortly after that, they moved to Ames for a few years and then, about seven years ago, moved to Dubuque where Archbishop Hanus assigned Tom as a deacon to St. Joseph Parish, Key West.
Deacon Tom is employed by the Archdiocese of Dubuque as Director of the Permanent Diaconate. He works with the 88 deacons and their wives of the Archdiocese and is responsible for the five-year formation process for new deacons. In addition, Deacon Tom works with the Jail and Prison Ministry throughout the 30 counties of the Archdiocese. This ministry continues to grow and offers visitation, spiritual guidance, and re-entry support to many offenders. Tom works with the more than 170 volunteers that support this ministry.
Deacon Tom and Kris, who is a music teacher, are blessed to have five grandchildren, who bring them great joy.