Father Peterson a major figure in Goodhue for years, ‘would give the shirt off his back’

| December 20, 2016 | 0 Comments

Father Bruce Peterson became a major spiritual and community leader in the Goodhue area during his many years serving there.

Father Peterson, 86, died Dec. 18 after hearing confessions at St. Mary in Bellechester. The former pastor served the parishes of Holy Trinity in Goodhue and St. Columbkill in Belle Creek for 43 years from 1970 to 2013. He also served at St. Mary from 2000 until 2013, but he continued helping at all three following his retirement.

“He would give the shirt off his back,” said Kay Gadient, a longtime St. Columbkill parishioner.

Father Bruce Peterson

Father Peterson’s parishioners described him as a humble and caring man who would reach out to anyone in the community. He particularly had a heart for young people.

“He was very involved with their school activities and their church [activities],” said Regina Poncelet, a St. Columbkill parishioner who worked with Father Peterson in religious education.

Father Peterson spent much time in the community, whether volunteering with the Lions Club or coaching a local baseball team. He also served on the Goodhue and state school boards in addition to the rural education board. The Goodhue County Editorial Association honored Father Peterson as Citizen of the Year in 1983.

Father Peterson also was the caregiver for his father in his final days at the rectory.

“He took very good care of him,” said Poncelet, who was a high school student at the time.

The community gave back to him, too. Parishioners bought him a car in 1982 on his 25th anniversary of ordination. It helped Father Peterson get around to his two and eventually three rural parishes.

Before Father Peterson came to the Goodhue area, he served as an assistant pastor at several parishes from 1957 until 1970. He was ordained to the priesthood Feb. 17, 1957.

Father Peterson first served at St. Charles Borromeo in St. Anthony from 1957 to 1962, followed by Christ the King in Minneapolis from 1962 to 1963. He then served at Ascension in Minneapolis from 1963 to 1964 and then St. Joseph in Lino Lakes from 1964 to 1970.

Born on Nov. 2, 1930, in Minneapolis, Father Peterson attended Southwest High School and began seminary studies at Nazareth Hall in
St. Paul, which closed in 1973. He then studied at St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity in
St. Paul.

A funeral Mass will be 10 a.m. Dec. 23 at St. Columbkill. Burial will be in Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis. Both Holy Trinity and St. Columbkill will have visitations. Holy Trinity’s will run 4-7 p.m. Dec. 22 followed by St. Columbkill’s at 9 a.m. Dec. 23.

 

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Category: Local News, Obituaries