Community & Public Service
Father Ron Rieder
Born and raised in St. Cloud, Minnesota, Ron Rieder entered religious life in the 1950s. As a St. Bonaventure novitiate, the young Capuchin was assigned to study at the St. Felix Monastery in Huntington. During that time at the monastery he came to know Venerable Capuchin Father Solanus Casey, whose sainthood cause has been opened by the Vatican. Rieder played the organ while Father Solanus would sing. The experience made a deep impression on the young candidate.
Ordained as a priest in 1963 in Wisconsin, Father Ron spent several years in administrative work, serving as personnel director for the Capuchin Province in Detroit. While personnel director, he did much traveling in and out of the country, working with the priests and brothers in their ministry placements. During those years in Detroit he worked in many different city parishes. Father Ron was asked three times by his superiors if he would go to Huntington to become pastor of the parish. He enjoyed the work he was doing in the city, and wasn’t particularly interested in moving to a small town, but he finally agreed on the third request.
He has now served Huntington as a pastor for more than 30 years, leading the 1,000 families of the Saints Peter and Paul parish. Beyond serving the Catholic population, Father Ron has been a longtime ecumenical leader in Huntington County. He has immersed himself in the community, serving on boards of organizations ranging from Pathfinder Services to The Dan Quayle Learning Center, ministering as chaplain to the police and fire departments, and visiting inmates in the local jail. Father Ron has been instrumental in working with the Tippmann Foundation in the renovation of his beloved St. Felix Friary, the place he had once lived as a young novitiate. It is now the St. Felix Catholic Center and the home for conferences and retreats.
For more than a decade, Father Ron has been closely associated with Catholic author and speaker Matthew Kelly and has traveled here and abroad with him in preaching retreats. Father Ron is presently working on a confirmation program for young people, hoping to keep them active in the Church following their confirmation. His youth ministry, Catholics in Action, is designed for teens to do service projects within the community, particularly offering assistance for the elderly or infirm population.