Staff Contacts

Priest

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Fr. Thomas McDermott

Parish Pastor

Fr. Thomas McDermott

Parish Pastor

Fr. Tom took on the role of pastoring St. Columbkille and St. Joseph the Worker parishes with Fr. David Schatz and Fr. Paul Attah-Nsiah in July 2018. He also serves as Spiritual Director of the diocesan seminary program.

Dubuque is a homecoming of sorts to Fr. Tom. The first 30 years of his life were spent as a member of St. John the Evangelist parish, just 15 miles southwest. He is the fifth of Irwin & Joannel McDermott’s eight children. After growing up on the family farm, attending Beckman High School and a couple years at Iowa State, He farmed there for 11 years with his dad, uncle and brother.

Growing up in that small rural parish blessed Fr. Tom with experiencing joys he never would have known but for needing each other’s gifts. His years as a priest have only confirmed that parish life of whatever size can only thrive if the needed gifts of all are shared. St. Paul’s image for disciples as members in the Body of Christ is a fruitful one to live out and strive towards.

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Fr. David Schatz

Pastor

Fr. David Schatz

Pastor

Fr. Dave took on the role of pastoring St. Columbkille and St. Joseph the Worker parishes with Fr. Thomas McDermott and Fr. Paul Attah-Nsiah in July 2018. He also serves as Rector of the diocesan seminary program.

Fr. Dave comes from a family of eight children and his parents, Adrian and Betty Schatz still live in their hometown of Cresco, Iowa. Being the youngest of eight, Fr. Dave tried to convince others that his parents reached perfection and quit. He jokes he hasn’t found anyone to believe him yet!

For the last 10 years, seminarian formation has been Fr. Dave’s primary assignment and it will continue in ministry to our current seminarians. He has said of his vocation ministry, “I am not ministering in a parish today but I am ministering in every parish 20 years from now.” It will be Fr. Dave’s great joy when he sees our seminarians ordained and become pastors of St. Columbkille and St. Joseph the Worker and every other parish in our diocese. Hopefully, our partnership in ministry will yield great fruit in our parishes, in vocations, and in joy. Of course, our true hope comes from Jesus’ words: “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.”

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Fr. Paul Attah-Nsiah

Associate Pastor

Fr. Paul Attah-Nsiah

Associate Pastor

Fr. Paul Attah-Nsiah was born on December 20, 1963. He comes from a small town called Ejisu-Besease in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. He is from a big family of nine, five boys and four girls. He has a twin sister called Paulina. His mother Margaret is about 81 years old and his dad Joseph passed away in 1972. His hobbies are: sightseeing, listening to gospel music, playing and watching volley ball and soccer ball.

Fr. Paul holds a doctorate degree in Canon Law, Masters and Licentiate degrees in Canon Law from Ottawa University and St. Paul University in Ottawa in Canada, respectively, in 2000, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Religion from the University of Ghana in Legon, Accra, in 1992. He has been a dedicated teacher. He has taught on Safeguarding Minors in the Catholic University of Ghana and Canon Law in the St. Peter’s Regional Seminary. He has also been a formator and a teacher in the St. Hubert Minor Seminary and in the Local Authority Middle school in Peminase, all in Ghana. Fr. Paul has engaged in establishing schools. Notable among them are the St. Mary Girls Senior High School at Konongo and a unique and ultramodern Senior High school at Mamponteng, called Our Lady of Grace (OLAG) Senior High School with funding from Our Lady of Grace Parish in Edina, Minnesota. OLAG SHS has a student population of nearly 800.

Fr. Paul received his call to the priestly ministry in a dramatic way, like his patron saint, St. Paul. All happened in a dream in two successive nights of saying Mass. so he gave up his childhood dream of becoming a medical doctor or a chartered accountant and found himself in the St. Hubert Minor Seminary in Kumasi, Ghana, from 1984-1986. He received a lot of family resistance and pressure to give up his new dream, but by God’s grace he endured and persevered. He proceeded to St. Paul Seminary, Accra, in 1987, for a year of spirituality and two-years of philosophical studies. In 1990, he began four years of theological studies in St. Peter’s Regional Seminary, Cape Coast. He was ordained to the presbyterate on July 16, 1994, for the then Catholic Diocese of Kumasi. He is presently incardinated into the Catholic Diocese of Konongo-Mampong, following the division of the Kumasi diocese into three in 1995.

Fr. Paul had the opportunity to serve the Church Our Lady of Holy Rosary Parish in Land O’Lakes, in Florida from 2001 until he returned to Ghana in 2006. After serving his home diocese tirelessly for over eleven years, Fr. Paul is back in the States to the Archdiocese of Dubuque as Associate Pastor of St. Columbkille and St. Joseph the Worker Parishes with two amazing priests, Fr. Tom McDermott and Fr. David Schatz. The three of them reside at the Vianney House on Mount Loretta Avenue. He will also work at the Archdiocesan Tribunal as a judge in the second instance court.

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Michelle Rahe

Director of Business

stcolmichelle@aol.com

Michelle Rahe

Director of Business
Phone: 583-9117

I started working as the Director of Business at Saint Columbkille Catholic Parish on February 1, 2001.  I am the youngest of eleven children.  I have seven sisters and three brothers.  I grew up on a farm outside of Dyersville, Iowa and attended Xavier Grade School and Beckman High School.  I graduated from Iowa State University in 1983 with a degree in Finance.  I was an independent insurance agent, mainly in Des Moines, for seventeen years.  I returned to eastern Iowa in 2000.  I live in one of our apartments in the Convent building so my commute to work is very short!

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Alice Noethe

Pastoral Associate & Faith Formation Director

afnoethe@yahoo.com

Alice Noethe

Pastoral Associate & Faith Formation Director
Phone: 583-8573

Alice is gratefully blessed to be part of a large and very close knit family. Perpetually the best of friends; faith, hope, love, laughter, yearly family Christmas caroling and the annual winter family game day are truly some of the most savoring and acquired remnants pioneering the Noethe family. In the millennium year of 2000 Alice became the Director of Religious Education for the linked Parishes of Notre Dame, Cresco, IA and St. Bridget, Bluffton, IA. In 2003 Alice became the Pastoral Minister and Liturgist for the St. Isidore Cluster Sacred Heart, Osage, IA and the Church of the Visitation, Stacyville, IA. In 2006 Alice came to St. Columbkille Parish, Dubuque, IA where she is currently the Pastoral Associate, Liturgist, and Director of Faith Formation. Alice received a Master of Arts Degree in Theology/Ministry, Loras College, Dubuque, IA in 2009.

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Sue Schmitt

Parish Secretary

stcolsue@aol.com

Sue Schmitt

Parish Secretary
Phone: 583-9117

Do I look familiar?  I should -- I've been Secretary here at St. Columbkille Church, hired by Fr. Gregory Einck on July 5, 1982.  I've worked for/with 6 different Pastors and countless Sacramental Priests/Associates/Seminarians, etc.  Believe it or not -- I do have a life away from the parish.  I've been married to my husband, Joe, for 40 years.  We have 2 sons:  Eric and his family live in St. Louis and Kasey and his family live here in Dubuque.  We currently have 3 Grandchildren AND 2 German Shorthairs.  So ...  there is never a dull moment at the Schmitt House!!!

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St. Columbkille Catholic Church

1240 Rush St.
Dubuque, IA 52003

(563) 583-9117

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