Father Douglas Dietrich is the Pastor of Saint Mary’s Church in Lincoln, Nebraska, and the Chief Administrative Officer or Saint Mary’s School. Father Dietrich is a Lincoln native, born at “the old Saint Elizabeth’s hospital,” an alum of Saratoga Elementary, Irving Junior High, Lincoln High School, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, of course.
A convert to the Catholic faith, Father Dietrich took catechism classes and joined the Church at Saint Mary’s in 1984. As a young adult, he moved around from apartment to apartment (and yes, in and out of his parent’s house), and so at various times found himself belonging to a number of parishes in Lincoln: Blessed Sacrament, Cathedral of the Risen Christ, St. Peter’s (when it was first established; he was part of the “set-up” crew for the 7am Sunday Mass at the Edgewood Theater). As he immersed himself more and more into parish activities, attending daily Mass, and making weekly hours of adoration, he eventually accepted the calling he heard from God, and entered the seminary in the fall of 1991.
After one year of seminary in Toronto, and four years of seminary in New York City, Father Dietrich was ordained to the priesthood on May 25, 1996. He spent one year as an assistant at the Cathedral in Lincoln, one year as an assistant at Church of the Holy Spirit in Plattsmouth, four years as pastor at St. Joseph’s Church in Benkelman, and 3 years as pastor at St. Wenceslaus in Wilber before being “called home” to Lincoln to become pastor of Saint Mary’s.
Now in his 12th year as pastor at Saint Mary’s, Father Dietrich enjoys, in no particular order, celebrating school Masses with the “best-behaved, loudest-singing, most actively participating students he’s ever seen”; chanting the 10:00 choir Mass with the choir and all the “smells and bells” on Sundays; the diversity of the parish and school; living downtown in his old stomping grounds; winters with lots and lots of snow; Christmas; watching the “K” Street traffic from his balcony on Saturday nights while listening to classic rock from the 80’s on his headset-especially after a football game; and grilling a nice, thick steak on occasion, that occasion being supper.
Saint Mary’s School and Parish could not have asked for a better or more fitting priest, than Father Dietrich! We are very blessed to have him here with us!!