Father Rick Nieberding Named Grand Marshal of 2018 Oktoberfest

Staff Writer

Father Rick Nieberding has been honored as the 2018 Minster Oktoberfest Grand Marshal, the 44th honoree of Minster’s marquee celebration.

Nieberding, who recently ended a long ministry at the St. Augustine and St. Joseph Parish, said he was honored.

“I’m very honored,” Nieberding said. “It’s a reward for the church I think as well as for me individually for the parish, St. Augustine. I’m very happy and honored.”

Father Rick has been involved in the community for almost 20 years as either an associate Pastor or pastor at St. Augustine church.

“Father Rick is a very deserving individual and has well exceeded the requirements to be our Grand Marshal”, says Parade Chairperson Alex Monnier.

The Minster Oktoberfest is October 5-7 and the parade is scheduled for is Sunday, October 7 beginning at 2 p.m.

“Father Rick not being from the community easily adjusted when he arrived back in 1985 and knew that this is the area he wanted to minister to,” the committee stated in its release. “He has been an important part of our community and we are honored to have him as this year’s Grand Marshal.”

His ministry reached all ages. Nieberding helped form the Mass and McDonald’s program. Nieberding and a number of other adult volunteers and dozens of children  make the trek from St. Augustine to McDonald’s every Wednesday morning after Mass during the months of June and July.

“What I said is if you come this next Wednesday after school’s out, I’ll take you over to McDonald’s.,” Nieberding said of the start of the program. “It was to kind of foster a little bit of a summer spiritual renewal after the school year.”

The outings, which continue to this day,  featured a meal from the Minster McDonald’s, trivia by Father Rick — complete with dollar bills for answering a question correctly.

“Our goal is to have these youngsters see God in every aspect of their lives,” Nieberding told “CPPS Today” in a feature story back in 2009. “They learn that God  is with them all the time, not just in church or in  religion class. He is always there to help them.”

Father Rick was also involved in the pX Games and Pumpkins for Life.

When changes to the Mass came in 2011, he expressed to The Community Post his thoughts on how the message of the church can always be vital.

“The liturgy is a living liturgy. The people of God are the Church.  So as people change, the  Church changes,” he told The Community Post in 2011 when the Mass underwent changes. “Truths don’t change, but the way of expressing our faith changes.  It’s ever-ancient looking  backwards, but ever-new  forward to the future.”

The bulletin from St. Augustine on July 8 paid tribute to the man who has made a difference in so many lives.

“Fr. Rick has made a difference in the lives of every  person in this community beyond measure,” the message said. “He has sent forth  evangelizers who left Minster rooted strong in faith because of  the relationship Fr. Rick fostered. Our youth have found the love and beauty of the  Mass. With a mixture of joy and sadness, we give thanks to God for our time  together. Fr. Rick will be deeply missed.”