Guests, bishop’s siblings reflect on ordination

Lindsay Steele
Davenport Mayor Frank Klipsch, left, and members of the Zinkula family, right, make the sign of the cross as Bishop Thomas Zinkula blesses the congregation after his ordination and installation as Bishop of Davenport on June 22 at St. John Vianney Church in Bettendorf.


BETTENDORF — Guests at Bishop Thomas Zinkula’s ordination and installation June 22 at St. John Vianney Church in Bettendorf included his mother, all eight of his siblings, and nearly 1,000 laypeople and clergy. Here are reflections from some of the relatives and guests in attendance:

Donna Zinkula: “We are really proud. It was a wonderful service. We just feel very blessed.”

JoAnn (Zinkula) Kintzel, the youngest sister, said: “I’m very proud of Tom, knowing how humble he is and how undeserving he feels he is but striving to answer the call. That is what touched me.” He is a role model for her, she added.

Sandy (Zinkula) Moore said: “We’re overwhelmed with joy. It was beautiful; it was moving. We’re so proud of him. We are so blessed to have him as our brother. They’ve got a good guy,” she said of the people of the Davenport Diocese.


Jerry Zinkula: “Tom’s comments were typical Tom. I think he’s going to be a good bishop; he’ll listen well. He’s caring.”

Davenport Mayor Frank Klipsch, who sat next to Bettendorf Mayor Bob Gallagher during the ordination and installation, said, “I was an altar boy when I was a kid. To be here is a big deal. It’s an honor to be here.”

Archbishop Emeritus Placido Rodriguez: “I just retired and have a little more free time to attend some of these ordinations and installations (of bishops). It was outstanding. It’s a moment to really appreciate what the church is; that it is one, holy, catholic and apostolic church … this is the height of its identity.”

Bishop Robert Gruss of Rapid City, S.D.: “I was happy for him and happy for the Diocese of Davenport. That’s my reason for coming back, to celebrate with all of you. I’ve heard great things about him. It’s a great blessing to be able to celebrate this moment with the diocese.”

Deacon John Wagner of Our Lady of Victory Parish, Davenport appreciated the sense of history. “It’s been more than 100 years since the ordination and installation of a bishop in the diocese.” He said of the new bishop, “He seems so genuine. I loved his humor.”

Deacon John Weber of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Bettendorf: “The participation was exceptional.” In his lifetime, “We probably won’t see another one.”

Seminarian Scott Foley, an altar server at the ordination Mass, said: “It was fun to watch it up close. There’s something about serving that close up. It makes it a little more special.”

Marvin Menke, 80, of St. Mary Parish in West Point, never thought he’d have the opportunity to witness a bishop’s ordination in his lifetime. He was among several Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus selected to serve in the Honor Guard at the Mass.

“I’m grateful my name was drawn and I got to be a part of this. His wife, Rita, also 80, thought the service was beautiful and especially enjoyed the music.

“I’ve never been to something like this before; I’m just in awe,” said Bev Brauer, director of religious education for Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Parish in Lost Nation.” I’m so excited to be here.”

Jackie Maddy of St. Mary Parish, Albia: “I’m walking away with a really good feeling of optimism.”

Jean Hollinrake, St. Mary Parish, Albia: “The ceremony was beautiful. It’s so nice to hear a church full of people singing.” Her impression of the new bishop: “A very personable man. He’s got a sense of humor, too. I imagine someone in his position has to have a sense of humor.

Before the Mass, 13-year-old Carlos Huizar of St. Mary Parish in Davenport asked his father Gerardo what was to occur during the ordination and installation. Gerardo had attended the ordination of priests, but like his son, “I wasn’t sure what to expect.” The Mass proved to be an emotional learning experience for both of them. Carlos observed that when the bishops laid their hands on Bishop Thomas Zinkula, “it felt like all their experiences went into him all at once.” Gerardo said, “After he was ordained, I felt something build up inside me, like I wanted to cry. I was like, wow! This is something we may only experience once in our lives.”

Ingrid Montero, a member of St. Joseph Parish, Columbus Junction, heard about the Mass from Father Joseph Sia, her pastor. “I thought it was a special thing, not an every-day happening. I think it was a great ceremony. … He gets to the people; his words get to us.”

Sandie Campie, Church of the Visitation, Camanche, said she was inspired by the choir and all of the people participating in unison. “We were roaring to the heavens. We were so in union when we said our prayers.”

Kathy De Mong, Church of the Visitation of Camanche: Just an awesome ceremony. It was well organized. The diocesan staffers were so helpful.” She was deeply touched by all of the priests praying the Eucharist prayer together.

JoAnn McLin, director of religious education for St. Mary Parish in Centerville, said that attending the ordination and installation of Bishop Thomas Zinkula “was one of the most faith-filled and spiritually uplifting experiences I have ever had. When he was invested with the signs of the office and ministry of bishop, my heart was filled with thankfulness for my Catholic faith and my mind was focused on the wide range of emotions that Bishop Zinkula must have been experiencing during those highly significant moments. The greatest highlight for me was receiving the Eucharist from our newly ordained bishop. I felt so honored and blessed! His sincerity, humor and gratitude during his address was an impressive sign of how truly blessed we as a diocese are to have him as our spiritual leader. Today has been a day I will never forget.”

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