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Joy, love, sacrifice

Father Merlin Schrad talks faith, loneliness, life over four decades of priesthood

By Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer | Jun 17, 2021

Father Merlin Schrad retires from active Catholic priesthood after 44 years, with his last mass taking place July 4. Father Schrad said his bags are almost packed. St. Patrick’s Church in Estherville and St. Mary’s Church in Armstrong represented his final stops on a road that took him from the high school he attended, through the largest city in the Diocese, and, for the last seven years, his first assignment that didn’t involve working at a Catholic school.

When he was asked if he would do it all again, Father Schrad said he was offered a painting business – not interior walls, but farm buildings, when he was young. It would have been a different way to be part of the lives of people in northwest Iowa while being true to his introverted nature, but ultimately, he said, “Right now, I will tell you this is the greatest profession on earth, and the rewards are out of this world.”

For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of the June 17, 2021 edition of the Estherville News or subscribe by calling 712-362-2622.