Father Mark Spring, 71, parochial vicar at Holy Family Parish in Fort Madison and St. Joseph Parish in Montrose, will retire effective Aug. 31.
Fr. Spring was born in Kiel, Germany, and attended school in Fort Madison. He graduated from Burlington Junior College and served in the U.S. Air Force from 1969-73. He graduated from St. Ambrose College in Davenport with degrees in sociology and philosophy and completed his theology studies at Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wis.
On Aug. 29, 1980, he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Gerald O’Keefe at Sacred Heart Church in Fort Madison. Fr. Spring served as a temporary administrator at St. Joseph Parish-Montrose in 1980 and then served as an associate pastor at St. James Parish-Washington from 1980-81. He served as administrator at St. Mary Magdalen Parish-Bloomfield and St. Aloysius Parish-Eldon from 1981-84 before serving as a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force from 1984-97.
Returning to parish ministry, Fr. Spring was parochial vicar, then administrator, at St. Mary Parish-Muscatine from 1997-98. He served as pastor at St. Mary Parish-Riverside while also assisting with needs in the Iowa City Deanery from 1998-99. He served as pastor at St. Anthony Parish-Knoxville and Sacred Heart Parish-Melcher from 1999-2007. He served as chaplain at Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison from 2007-09 and as parochial vicar at Holy Trinity Parish-Fort Madison and St. Joseph Parish-Montrose since 2009.
Fr. Spring has been involved in Boy Scouts for years and received the St. George Award in 2015. This award is presented to adults active in supporting and fostering the growth and development of Catholic youths under the auspices of the Boy Scouts of America and the Catholic Church. St. George is the patron saint of Boy Scouts. Fr. Spring also received the Silver Beaver award, the highest adult Catholic recognition award in scouting that is given at the council level.