New bishop was a compassionate pastor


To the Editor:

Like many others, I was excited, and perhaps a bit apprehensive, to learn that a new bishop had been appointed for the Diocese of Davenport. When I read his name, Bishop-elect Thomas Zinkula, I thought I recognized him. When I saw his picture, I remembered meeting him years ago, before I was in formation for the diaconate. Then-Father Zinkula was pastor at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Sherrill, Iowa, and was my parents’ parish priest.

Fr. Zinkula visited my parents, Leo and Bea Wagner, many times during the years he was assigned to St. Peter and Paul’s; my parents liked him a great deal. My mom would invite him to dinner and he would stay and visit; my parents enjoyed his company immensely. Fr. Zinkula was a great source of consolation and comfort for my mother during her struggle with cancer. He also celebrated her funeral Mass.

Upon learning that Fr. Zinkula would be our new bishop, I texted my siblings; everyone was excited. My twin sister Jody said that “he was a great priest and a nice man.”


My sister Lois described him as “a wonderful man.” My sister Barb said, “I enjoyed the time we spent with him; he is a very nice man.” My sister Donna said, “He is very solid, humble and down to earth; he will lead well.” I echo their remarks. The few times that I met Fr. Zinkula he impressed me as a smart, humble and pastoral priest who cared for my parents and made a huge difference in their lives.

None of us know for certain what type of bishop he will be, but, I feel reassured based on my family’s encounter with him. If Bishop Zinkula is as good a bishop as he was a pastor, then we are in very good hands indeed.

Deacon John Wagner
Our Lady of Victory Church, Davenport

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