Father Kevin Vogel Now Serving St. Boniface/Bonaventure Parishes

Fr. Kevin Vogel
Fr. Kevin Vogel

A new face has joined the ranks of Elgin’s ministry team.
Rev. Kevin Vogel said his first masses at St. Boniface (Elgin) and St. Bonaventure (Raeville) churches on July 2 and 3, 2016.
While he has been an Associate Pastor in the large parish of St. Columbkille in Papillion, the size of the two parishes should feel normal to Vogel, a farm boy from Howells, Nebraska.
“I think it’s very similar to Howells,” Fr. Vogel told the Elgin Review last Thursday. If you heard him this past Sunday, he explained it this way to parishioners. “In Howells, we have two Catholic churches. One is Czech and one is German. We have two because you can’t mix religions.”  The congregation got the joke.
A graduate of Howell’s High School, Fr. Vogel attended the University of Nebraska-Kearney.
“I studied physics,” he said. He studied “math and physics so I was there for four years. My thought was that I was going to go into graduate work too. But God had different ideas.”
When he’s not tending to needs of the parishes or the schools (Pope John XXIII Central Catholic and St. Boniface Elementary School), Fr. Vogel has a few hobbies that keep him occupied.
“I like to read. I like to not only listen to music but learn to sing music, especially sacred music – especially chant because it only requires one voice. I really like pieces that have the multiple voices but I can’t do that by myself,” he said with a laugh. He added, “I like to go hiking and stuff like that.” Embracing technology, he has a number of videos posted on his youtube channel. Simply search for “Fr. Kevin Vogel”.
He’s only been in the area for little over a week but impressions are forming.
“It’s been great. I’ve been welcomed very well. I’m getting to know people but I don’t have that gift of remembering names the first time so it may take a few times before I can remember them all,” he said. Parts of being plopped down into a deep-rooted community can be confusing.  “How families are connected to one another, it’ll take awhile to pick up on all that”.
The community has been inviting to the new priest. “The first couple of nights, I had a number of invitations and things like that. I’m getting right into the flow of things in the parish of getting together for different meetings, learning about all of the things that are going on.  It’s a good thing it’s in the summer time, there are certain things that are a little slower,” he noted, appreciating that he’ll have time to get up to speed before school begins.
A couple things in addition to his hobbies that might be good to know about Fr. Vogel:
Favorite Color: “Some might say black (he laughs) but actually it’s green.”
Favorite Food:  “I have to say Thanksgiving meal is my favorite. It’s also around my birthday (it’s in November) so when my parents would ask what I wanted (to eat) for my birthday I would say ‘I want my Thanksgiving dinner!’.” If you’re preparing a meal for Fr. Vogel, he says he likes basically everything, except “bad” seafood. By “bad”, he means the cheaper quality fish sticks, etc. “Fish fries are very, very good,” he added.
Fr. Vogel looks forward to his time here in Elgin and Raeville. “I’m excited to be here and learn all sorts of new things. When they first told me that I was having a school, being a first-time pastor, that was a little intimidating,” Fr. Vogel confessed. “I love teaching about the faith. I think in the newsletter (Stump & Axe) they have the question and answer things so if someone wants to do that or they can come and talk to me about anything.”
As mentioned in the opening line, Fr. Vogel joins a group of pastors with years of experience serving the people of Elgin. At Trinity Lutheran Church, Pastor David Kuhfal has served his congregation since 1995. Pastor Michael Davis has served the Elgin United Methodist Church since 2007 and his wife, Pastor Janet Davis, has served Park Congregational U.C.C. Church in rural Elgin since 2009.