Our Cluster

Holy Family Cluster Prayer for Unity
Heavenly Father,
As members of the Holy Family Cluster,
we pray for unity to come together as a family does.
We look to the most Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, who, through closeness, love and sharing, raised your Son
to fulfill Your plan of salvation.
As a family, we pray that we will share our burdens joyfully. 
We pray to share the joy that comes from doing your will. 
We thank You for the progress we have made
in growing together in service to you and each other.  
Thank You for our ancestors who sacrificed
to establish a solid foundation of faith.
May we continue to encourage all families to be faithful to Your call. 
We ask for generous hearts to share with our Sister Parish and the world around us.
When we come together in You, there is nothing that we cannot face.
We know together in You we have nothing to fear.
Father, we ask as Your children, in Christ’s name.





The cross signifies the Christian symbol. “SHARING RESOURCES AND MINISTRIES” is the essence of the mission statement. The “Fleur-de-lis” (Lily) symbolizes our connection to our Sister Parish in Anse-Rouge, Haiti (which is in a French and Creole speaking community). The “Fleur-de-lis” also shows 3 petals of the flower (symbolizing our three parishes forming one entity). Note: the “Fleur-de-lis” is often used in French art, shields architecture, etc. (Distinctive armorial bearing of the former royal family of France) Designed by the winner of the cluster logo contest Shirlene Van den Heuvel, St. Francis Xavier parishioner. 


The original name of the cluster from 2000 until August 15, 2010 was The Wright County Catholic Community (WCCC). Archbishop Jerome Hanus, O.S.B. approved the new name “Holy Family Cluster.” This name was submitted to the Archbishop as one of five option names that were voted by all three Pastoral Councils in a Cluster Leadership Day of Reflection on Sunday, June 27, 2010. The two reasons for this request were because: (1) the original name was too long; and (2) it was a secular name. Although many people were very familiar with that name, the leadership decided to request a religious name.


At the direction of the Episcopal Vicar, Msgr. Dean Walz, a Cluster Pastoral Planning Committee (CPPC) was formed in January, 1998, with the goal of forming a threeparish cluster. Members of the original CPPC were from St. Francis Xavier, Belmond: Tom Bock, Chair, Dianne McLaughlin, and Fr. John Paisley, Pastor; St. John, Clarion: John Holmes, Bev Kruger, Secretary, and Fr. Wayne Droessler, Pastor; Sacred Heart, Eagle Grove: Don Ray Stephens, Jerry Temeyer, and Fr. Wayne Droessler, Pastor. Following extensive communication and three meetings of the full committee, a series of recommendations were approved to go forward.


The Catholic parishes of Wright County area unite in a tri-parish effort to share our resources and ministries in the hope of having each parish continue to grow as a vibrant faith community.


One priest was to serve as pastor for all three parishes. It was recommended that the priest’s residence be in Clarion. Each parish was to have a Pastoral Associate, a Coordinator of Religious Education (CRE), and parish office staff. Each parish retained its own Pastoral Council and Board of Education. The Archbishop also recommended that a cluster council be formed to make decisions affecting the cluster.
Pastoral Associates were to have one area of specialty: director of youth/young adult ministry, leader of religious education, and director of OCIA (RCIA). Individual parishes continued to be responsible for their expenses; however, all three parishes shared common expenses incurred by the cluster.
Special efforts were to be made to combine activities and resources whenever possible. The parishes in the cluster worked toward having a single bulletin, a single newsletter, and a joint calendar of events to facilitate scheduling. The parishes maintained their local chapter organizations such as Rosary/Altar Society and Guild Society.


There were to be four Masses per weekend – two on Saturday evening and two on Sunday. St. Francis Xavier and Sacred Heart alternated having a Saturday Mass and a Sunday morning Mass. St. John had a Saturday Mass and a Sunday Mass. The Mass schedule changed every 4 months starting July 1, 1999. Mass times were determined by the Cluster Council and the priest.


The pastor is responsible for the administration of all parishes, collaborates with pastoral associates in their programs, celebrate weekday and weekend liturgies, funerals, weddings and children’s Masses, and monitors activities and provides guidance to individual boards of education.
The Pastoral Associates represent the pastor in his absence, provide leadership in the area of specialty for the cluster, help all parishes to have active programs in their specialty, and conduct pastoral visits of the sick and homebound. Deacons perform duties as agreed upon with the pastor.


The CPPC were to continue to meet periodically to evaluate the progress and provide feedback from the parishes until July 2000. The agreement was signed on August 30, 2000 by St. John and Sacred Heart Parish Councils and on September 27, 2000 by St. Francis Xavier Parish Council. Then on August 4, 2000, Msgr. Dean Walz and Sr. Mary Montgomery approved the revised cluster constitution and moved to make a final recommendation for the Archbishop's approval. Archbishop Jerome Hanus, O.S.B. signed and officially approved the formation of the cluster on October 26, 2000.


Rev. David Beckman was appointed to the Wright County Catholic Community Cluster in July 2000, and served as the administrator of the first Cluster Council. Meetings were conducted in July and December, and individual parish councils did not meet during those months. The Cluster Council consisted of the chairpersons of each Parish Council and Finance Committee and one additional member from each Parish Council. In 2008 the Council moved to meeting four times a year. A Cluster budget was prepared with each parish contributing an equal amount ranging from $6,000 a year in 2006-2007 to $19,200 in 2009-2010.
By 2005 the Cluster was preparing an annual staff calendar. RCIA sessions were held jointly as well as Initiation Rites. Confirmation was celebrated jointly and all parishes used the same weekend for the Rite of Enrollment. The Easter Triduum was celebrated jointly, with each parish holding one of the three services. A cluster bulletin was created. Standing committees started meeting together at least once a year. A summer Mass and social was held at Lake Cornelia for the Cluster. The Hispanic Ministry was established in 1997 under the direction of Sr. Carol Besch, O.S.F. to serve the Cluster including a very special celebration annually on the Feast of our Lady of Guadalupe. She left on June 31, 2000 and Hector Hernández became the new Hispanic Minister until October 2008.
In 2003 the cluster established a twinning project in Haiti.
In 2005 a tri-parish pictorial directory was completed.
In 2007 Lenten cluster missions were started.
In 2009 a cluster pilgrimage was taken to NE Iowa.
In June 2010 a Cluster Leadership Day of Reflection was held at Sacred Heart Parish to reflect and discuss the future of the cluster and vote on the cluster name change. Five names were chosen to submit to the Archbishop for his final approval to change from The Wright County Catholic Community to a name chosen by him.
On August 15, 2010, Fr. Nils Hernández announced at all the Masses in the cluster the new name of Holy Family


In July 2008, Bruce Frink, CPA became the Bookkeeper for all three parishes and the cluster.
In July 2010, Gloria Kisor became the CRE for both parishes St. John and St. Francis Xavier.
In August 2010 Sonya Trager became the parish secretary for St. John, and on July 1, 2010, she became part time secretary for St. Francis Xavier. She was half time secretary at St. Francis Xavier Parish from 2007 to 2010.
In September 2008, a new cluster website was developed.


Father John Paisley—July 1996-June 1999
Father Wayne Droessler—July 1993-June 1999
Father David Beckman—July 1999-June 2005
Father Christopher Podhajsky—July 2005-February 2008
Father Paul Lippstock—March 2008-June 2008
Father Nils de Jesús Hernández—July 2008—2014
Father Jerry W. Blake-June 2014-present


Nick Schmit—St. Francis Xavier 1984-1998
Dr. Michael Whitters—St. John 1994—Present
Jerry Temeyer—Sacred Heart 2009—2012
Pedro García—St. John 2009—Present