Father James Tiegs, Pastor
Father Mark McKercher, Associate Pastor
Father Jeff Mollner, In-Residence
Deacon Ernie Abbott
Deacon Denny Dethlefs
Deacon Jerry Kozney
Deacon Wes Kreun
Deacon Paul Tomaso
Deacon Charles Martin Warwick
Father James Tiegs, Pastor
Fr. Jim Tiegs became pastor of St. Stephen the Martyr Parish on December 1, 2004 succeeding Msgr. William Dendinger who was appointed Bishop of the Grand Island, Nebraska diocese.
Fr. Jim was born February 15, 1948 in Yankton, South Dakota, the second of four boys. He was baptized when he was 11 years old and attended Sacred Heart Grade School for 7th and 8th grades. He went to high school at Trinity Prep (now closed) in Sioux City, IA graduating in 1966. His first two years of college were at what was then called St. John Vianney Seminary in Elkhorn NE (now Mt. Michael High School), then received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1970. His graduate theological studies were completed at St. Thomas Seminary in Denver, Colorado 1970-1974.
Fr. Tiegs was ordained as a priest for service in the archdiocese of Omaha on May 25, 1974. He eventually earned a masters degree in pastoral counseling from Creighton University in Omaha and a doctoral degree from the Graduate Theological Foundation in South Bend, Indiana. He also completed a 9 month chaplain residency at Immanuel Medical Center in Omaha, being certified by the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC). A certificate in fund raising management was earned from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He is also a certified Myers-Briggs specialist.
Father’s priestly assignments include service as an associate pastor at St. Philip Neri, St. James, and St. Elizabeth Ann parishes in Omaha. He served as pastor at St. Rose of Lima in Genoa, St. Mary in Schuyler and St. Therese in Omaha where he also worked as director of the permanent diaconate for four years. He served on the national board of deacon directors for two years. Simultaneously with several of these assignments, he worked in high school administration and classroom teaching. Prior to coming to St. Stephen’s, Fr. Jim served for ten years as chaplain at New Cassel Retirement Center and as president of its foundation. He gave 170 adult education lectures during that time. He is past president of the archdiocese Council of Priests; he served as an archdiocesan consultor; and he served on the Priests’ Pension Board as a trustee.
Father Jim currently serves as State Chaplain for the Nebraska Knights of Columbus. His hobbies and interests include: genealogy, travel, movies, reading and golfing with duffers.
One of Father’s personal themes is: Pray hard, work hard, play hard!
Fr. Mark McKercher, Senior Associate Pastor
Fr. Mark is a native of Blair, Nebraska, going all the way through the Blair Public Schools (Class of 1986). He entered the seminary right after high school, attending St. John Vianney Seminary at the College (now University) of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. He received his BA in Philosophy while there. After graduating from St. John Vianney in 1990, he left the seminary for three years, in order to discern whether the call to priesthood was truly his. During his time out of the seminary he worked for Gallup in Lincoln, and taught 4th grade at Raton Catholic School in Raton, New Mexico, after which he discerned his call back to the seminary. He re-entered the seminary in 1993, attending Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis, where he earned his Master of Divinity degree. He was ordained by Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss in 1997. He has served the Archdiocese as assistant pastor at St. Wenceslaus in Omaha and St. Mary’s in West Point. He was Administrator at St. Wenceslaus in Dodge and Sacred Heart in Olean, and pastor at St. Francis in Neligh and Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Tilden. We was Senior Associate Pastor at St. Cecilia Cathedral, before coming to St. Stephen’s on March 1, 2012. In addition, Father Mark taught high school religion for 10 years, at West Point Central Catholic and Pope John Central Catholic in Elgin. He enjoys classical music and baseball (not necessarily in that order), being an avid fan of Beethoven, the Cincinnati Reds, and whoever is playing the Yankees.
Fr. Jeff Mollner, In-Residence
Fr. Jeff Mollner was born in Omaha, the second of five children (a married sister belongs to St. Stephen’s). He attended St. Thomas More grade school and Creighton Prep high school. After graduation he attended Rockhurst University in Kansas City MO and earned a degree in biology. Fr. Jeff returned to Omaha and at Creighton University’s biology department for two years before he went to the seminary. He spent two years at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus OH studying philosophy. His graduate studies in theology were at Mt. Angel Seminary in Oregon. He was ordained to the priesthood for service in the archdiocese of Omaha in 2008. Fr. Jeff’s first priestly assignment was at St. Margaret Mary parish. He is very excited to be a part of St. Stephen the Martyr Parish and Skutt Catholic High School. For recreation he enjoys watching football, reading, going to movies, and spending time with his family friends.