Father Roger Hessian from Belle Plaine celebrated his 60th Jubilee on Friday, Feb. 19, at the St. Peter the Apostle Church in Naples, Florida.
“I felt some strong affirmation that said 'Well, Father Roger, you must have done some good work in your years. We’ll give you a little pat on the back,'” he said.
It has been six decades since Father Roger was ordained at the Cathedral of St. Paul. He celebrated the milestone with a church service full of music and singing. Twelve priests and one bishop participated in the event, and Father Roger preached about joy.
“I’m able to still perform and work, I think, because I try to live, practice, and preach a lot of joy in life,” he said.
Father Roger grew up in Belle Plaine and returned to the city for his retirement in 2005. Before that, he worked at the St. Pius V Church in Cannon Falls and the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Red Wing.
Though he said he isn’t formally associated with any churches in Belle Plaine, he often participates in local funerals, weddings, birthday parties, and other special events.
“It’s a good thing and it makes me feel worthwhile, makes me feel productive, makes me want to get up and go to work in the morning and onwards. It gives you something to work and live for,” he said.