Staff Member: Father Rich Rhinehart
Father Rich Rhinehart
Fr. Richard Rhinehart
Greetings to all of you as I start my new assignment at this 5-parish cluster for the Diocese of Superior. When I heard I was coming here, I was and am super excited to be one of your priests and share my priesthood with you. And now, a little about myself…
My grandmother and her brother settled in Iron River and Caspian, MI in the 1920’s. My dad has been coming up north his entire life as have I. Alyce Regozzi moved to Chicago where she met my grandfather and is where my parents met as well. I attended Our Lady of the Wayside Catholic School where my dad taught for over 40 years. My mom was a registered nurse for over 47 years and a parish nurse for 13 years, both my parents are retired. I am the youngest and oldest in our family as I’m an only child.
We bought a cottage in 1980 on Cranberry Lake in Eagle River and I have spent summers enjoying all the Northwoods has to offer. I went to St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights IL, then Parks College of St. Louis University with aspirations of being a commercial pilot. I still have all the pilot licenses and want to get back in the air soon. I started 15 years of management and business career at UPS, then FedEx Ground, and Home Depot as the flying took a back seat. I went back to school and received an MBA from Dominican University. One day, I woke up and told my mom I wanted to be a priest…she said, “I know”. I asked her how she knew, and she said that she knew this would eventually happen. It took a long time as I never considered the priesthood until that day when the Holy Spirit moved me to follow God’s will and not my own.
I entered a discernment group for the Archdiocese of Chicago and was accepted to Mundelein Seminary for four years in that Diocese. I realized, after much prayer and discussion with my spiritual director that I was not in the right place, as my heart has always been up here. I left the seminary in October and contacted Fr. Patrick in Eagle River in February. The following August, after being accepted to our Diocese in Superior, I started the last two years of seminary studies at St, Francis de Sales in Milwaukee.
I was ordained a Deacon at St. Peter the Fisherman in December of 2017 and the Sacred Order of the Priesthood June 24, 2018. The last two years I have been assigned to St. Bridget’s in River Falls, St. Mary Immaculate Conception in Hammond, and the St. Thomas More Newman Center at the University of Wisconsin River Falls. My parents moved to Eagle River 2 years ago when I became a priest and they spend their time between their condo and our cottage on Cranberry Lake.
I am so blessed to be back home! I look forward to meeting all of you and sharing my priesthood with you as well. As I start my new assignment here, may God bless all of you and your loved ones!
In Christ through our Blessed Mother Mary,