July 15, 2024

Father Terry Anderson is our featured priest this month. He was born on a farm near Redfield and was the third of seven children. He was ordained on May 26, 1984, and is the pastor of Pastorate 15 in southeast South Dakota.

How did you get your call to the priesthood?
I had thoughts of the priesthood in grade school. These thoughts remained throughout high school and college. During my first year after graduating from college, I spent more time thinking and praying about God’s plan for me. After visiting Bishop Dudley and Father Mike Wensing, I was encouraged to enter the seminary, where I could continue to discern God’s call. The years in the seminary were, for the most part, very peaceful, and after my four years of theology, Bishop Dudley ordained me to the priesthood.

What did you do before the priesthood?
I enjoyed school, both during my high school years and college at South Dakota State University. I majored in vocational agriculture, graduating in 1978. I then taught Vo-Ag at Viborg for one year.

Is there a particular part of Catholicism that really fascinates you?
I began reading the Bible during high school. I found the Book of Genesis and the first part of Exodus very interesting. I continued to learn about Scripture with online programs and read it daily. Presiding at all of the sacraments is something I also like to do.

Who was most influential in your life?
My parents Carl and Patty Anderson and my high school math teachers. Several priests as well.

What’s your favorite part of being a priest?
Celebrating the sacraments and teaching others about our Catholic faith.

What’s the most challenging thing?
Listening to and trying to help people who are experiencing great struggles in their lives, such as addictions, wayward children, abusive situations and so forth.

Who is your go-to saint? Why?
St. Mary, the mother of Jesus. She’s been part of my spiritual life since I was a child. I have prayed the Rosary often since childhood and have tried to pray the Rosary every day since going into the seminary.

What do you do in your spare time?
I ride bicycle.

What is something most people don’t know about you?
I touched the Indian Ocean.

How can your parishioners and people of the diocese best help you be a great priest?
Pray for me and become more active in their parishes.

If you could have supper with anyone from history (besides Jesus), who would it be and why?
Pope St. John Paul II. He was a new pope when I entered the seminary and had a tremendous effect upon the Church. I would also invite Pope Benedict XVI to that same supper.