My name is Fr. Joel Hastings. You may call me either “Fr. Joel” or “Fr. Hastings” (I do not have a preference). I have been ordained for 16 years, having received ordination to the priesthood on June 30, 1999 from Bishop Roger Schwietz here in Duluth. In answer to a “frequently asked question,” I have no known relation to your former pastor, Fr. Eric Hastings.
Though I was born in the Twin Cities, my years of growing up, from the time I was in 2nd grade, were in the small town of Effie, MN (2 ½ hours northwest of Duluth – in the “sticks”). I am the youngest of four children, with one sister (she is the oldest) and two brothers. My dad, Bill, was called from this world in February 2012, while my mother, Eleanor, continues to reside in the house in Effie.
As a boy, my family attended what was St. Theresa’s Church in “downtown” Effie (if you pass through Effie, don’t blink…you’ll miss it!). I attended the public schools in Bigfork and Effie. After graduating from Bigfork High School, I spent four years at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, three of which were spent in St. John Vianney College Seminary (BTW: Bishop Sirba was a spiritual director at SJV during my years, so he and I go way back if you want to get the real story about me J). After graduating with a philosophy degree from St. Thomas, I was sent to the North American College in Rome for graduate level seminary, with my education in theology taking place at the Pontifical Gregorian University.
Since ordination, I have served in several parishes. As an associated pastor, I served first at Queen of Peace in Cloquet and the two Fond du Lac Reservation parishes (Holy Family & Sts. Mary and Joseph) and then at the Cathedral. For eight months I served as administrator of St. Elizabeth in Gary New Duluth. I have served as pastor of
St. Louis in Floodwood, St. Mary’s in Meadowlands, and Immaculate Conception in Cromwell/Wright (for about 14 months); of Resurrection in Eveleth (nearly five years) and St. Joseph’s in Gilbert (during the latter four years of my time in Eveleth); and for the last seven years I have been pastor of St. Rose in Proctor and St. Philip Neri in Saginaw.
Since April 2002, I have also served as Director of the Office of Liturgy for the Diocese of Duluth, in which I continue to serve.
I truly look forward to getting to know all of you in the coming days and pray that we might continue on the pilgrim journey of faith in Jesus Christ in the “joy of the Gospel,” with the Blessed Virgin Mary accompanying us on every step. May we support one another in mutual prayer.