Bishop James P. Powers announced that Fr. David Neuschwander will fill the Director of Vocations and Seminarians role for the Diocese of Superior as of Jan. 1. He replaces Fr. Tommy Thompson, who will step back after serving as director for 15 years.
Fr. Neuschwander will remain pastor of the Hayward Area Catholic Churches, since the vocations team model enables priests to actively serve as pastors while supporting seminarians and promoting priestly vocations for the future.
Fr. Neuschwander has been a part of the vocations team under Fr. Thompson’s leadership for the past nine years and is excited to continue serving current and future seminarians and discerners.
As vocations director, he will lead the team, assisted by Fr. John Anderson (New Richmond), Fr. Adam Laski (Rice Lake), Fr. Patrick McConnell (Medford), Fr. Andrew Ricci (Superior), Fr. Tommy Thomspon (Diocese of Superior) and Christine Newkirk (Diocesan Director of Ecclesial Ministries).
Regarding his role as pastor, Fr. Neuschwander said he is “happy that these additional responsibilities can lengthen my time as pastor of the Hayward Area Catholic Churches. I am honored to serve our cluster parishes, seminarians and those discerning priesthood.”
The Hayward Area Catholic Church cluster consists of five parishes: St. Ann (Cable), St. Francis Solanus Parish and School (Reserve), St. Ignatius (New Post), St. Joseph (Hayward) and St. Philip (Stone Lake).
As vocations director, Fr. Neuschwander will support the existing seminarians, while also working with the vocations team to encourage and support a growing culture of priestly vocations within the diocese.
In a 2023 interview with the Sawyer County Record, when reflecting on the time he first considered the priesthood, Fr. Neuschwander said, “When I was a freshman in high school, I had an awakening to God’s presence in my life; I began spending more and more intentional time in prayer and seeking more and more to grow in my faith. It was not one significant experience but more of a snowball effect, starting small but continually growing and gaining momentum, of moving deeper and deeper in my relationship with the Lord and involvement in my faith. As my faith continued to grow throughout high school, I began feeling a tug on my heart, and a question kept coming up in my mind, ‘What about priesthood?’”
He went on to attend college and college seminary at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. He also attended the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Illinois, and Mundelein Seminary for graduate seminary and was ordained in 2014. Before arriving in the Hayward Area in 2019, Fr. David served the Rice Lake parishes (2014-17), Medford parishes (2017-18) and Superior parishes (2018-19). He now enjoys spending time with his family, who also reside in Hayward, and his brother, Patrick, who lives in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, with his wife and two children.
The Diocese of Superior Vocations Team created the “Called North” website as an online resource for discerners and vocations supporters throughout the diocese. Parishioners from around the diocese are encouraged to prayerfully support the seminarians in their studies and discernment. To financially support a seminarian’s cost of studies, donations may be sent to the Diocese of Superior, 1201 Hughitt Avenue, P.O. Box 969; Superior, WI 54880.
For more vocations information, email or visit www.callednorth.org.
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