My name is Vince Wirtner and I am a member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. I made a lifelong commitment to the community in May 2008 and was ordained to the priesthood in June 2010.
Prior to my formation, I worked at two different hospitals in my hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I worked at St. Joseph Hospital for thirteen years and Lutheran Hospital for five years all the while serving as Youth Minister of my home parish.
During this time I also completed a nursing degree and am currently licensed as an LPN.
In the few years just before entering formation with the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, I served as a high school campus minister.
I believe my call to religious life and priesthood started when I was eleven years old. It was after I began serving as an altar boy at church. I loved serving at the altar with the priest. I remember the boys in my class teasing me saying, “I bet you want to be a priest!” Of course in my vast eleven year old wisdom, I said, “No way” but in my heart these was some truth.
Fast forward to my high school years at a high school administrated by Franciscans. My exposure to the Franciscans was the first of a religious community. While I enjoyed a good relationship with the diocesan priests at my home parish, there was something different about the brothers and priests who taught us at the high school. Something made sense to me about them but I could not put my finger on what that was.
Fast forward to my early twenties when I worked at a Catholic hospital and the chaplains were priests and brothers of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. Once again I saw amazing men doing amazing ministry at the hospital and I began to recognize the call of the Holy Spirit in me through them. I began a deeper relationship with the members of the Community and began formation in 2001.
Currently, I am serving as theology teacher and chaplain at Melbourne Central Catholic high school in Melbourne Florida. Prior to this ministry I spent two years as Parochial Vicar at Immaculate Conception parish in Celina Ohio and St. Teresa in Rockford Ohio. Prior to that I was Chaplain at Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer after serving for six years in my first assignment as Director of Vocation Ministry for the Missionaries of the Precious Blood.
I enjoy golf, biking, reading, photography and playing the guitar.
I am looking forward to this mentoring program and sharing in other’s vocation journey. I had wonderful mentors in the priests, brothers, and religious sisters throughout my life and most especially during my formation years. I relied on them to help me focus on discernment and to hear God speaking to me through their openness and sharing of their own vocation story. I hope to do the same for others on the religious vocation journey.