St. Francis Xavier pastor named Minnesota Senate chaplain

| January 12, 2011 | 0 Comments

Father Hennen

Father David Hennen, pastor of St. Francis Xavier in Buffalo, is the new Minnesota Senate chaplain.

Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch (R-Buffalo), who nominated Father Hennen for the position, is a long-time parishioner at St. Francis Xavier, where she serves as a lector and eucharistic minister, Father Hennen said.

The chaplain leads the Senate in prayer at the opening and closing of sessions.

“That’s officially all that they ask me to do,” Father Hennen said. “If I want to come and pray with them additionally, I am more than welcome to do that. Sen. Koch would also ask me to come in if there’s ever a need for any kind of spiritual advice for the Senate or herself personally, or just to be present to the senators.”

In a statement from the Senate Republican Caucus, Sen. Koch said she is grateful for Father Hennen’s willingness to serve as chaplain. “I know that his counsel and wisdom will make a welcome addition to how we conduct our business in the Senate chamber,” she said.

A native of Watkins, Father Hennen has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. After his ordination in 2005, he was associate pastor of Epiphany in Coon Rapids. He has served as pastor of St. Francis Xavier since 2008.

Father Hennen said he feels honored to have been chosen to serve as Senate chaplain. “This is an aspect of public service that is new to me, but I am confident that Sen. Koch and her colleagues in the Minnesota Senate will be as welcoming to me as my friends are at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church,” he added.

Father Kevin McDonough, pastor of St. Peter Claver in St. Paul and Incarnation/Sagrado Corazón in Minneapolis, was Senate chaplain from 2007 to 2010, when Sen. Larry Pogemiller was majority leader.

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