Encountering Christ Together

Our Priests

Our Priests

Fr. Dennis Labat, Pastorekdxa3f5hg2jx6qfz0pcin200sl.JPG

I was born in 1948, the oldest of five children born to August and Louise (Buysse) Labat. I grew up on a farm about 10 miles north of Marshall, MN. I am a priest of the Diocese of New Ulm and was ordained in
1974. I have served in parish ministry as associate pastor and then as pastor in Leavenworth, Bechyn, Franklin, Fairfax, Sanborn, Lamberton, and Springfield and on the bishop’s staff as chancellor, priest personnel director, Vicar General, and as Supervisor of Pastoral Administrators.

I made Riverbend TEC (Teens Encounter Christ) in 1978. I have been the Coordinator of Riverbend TEC since 1980 providing leadership and guidance for the Riverbend TEC community. I have been appointed by the bishop as Spiritual Director of Riverbend TEC. I continue my his involvement in TEC because of it provides a great opportunity to journey with youth and adults in their deepening encounter with Christ.

I was appointed pastor of the four parishes of the Heart of Jesus Area Faith Community (Holy Redeemer in Renville, St. Aloysius in Olivia, St. Mary’s in Bird Island, and St. John’s in Hector) in 2013 while continuing as Supervisor of Pastoral Administrators and Coordinator and Spiritual Director of Riverbend TEC.


Fr. George Schmit, Senior Associatevyy59q51t3jqw4s85oakm15idxl.JPG

It was on February 10,1942 that I was born to George Vincent and Catherine Rose (Berg) Schmit.  I am the oldest of seven children. I grew up in Eden Valley, MN and attended Eden Valley Public Grade School, Assumption Grade School, Nazareth Hall in St. Paul, and St. Paul Seminary for my education.  On March 10, 1968 I was ordained a priest for the Diocese of New Ulm by Bishop Alphonse Schladweiler at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Winsted, MN.

As a priest I have served the parishes of Watkins (2), Sleepy Eye, St. George (West Newton Township), Wanda, New Ulm, Searles, Bird Island, and Hector.  I also have served as the director of the Office of Vocations, Coordinator of the Catholic High Schools and Vicar General for the diocese and taught high school religion at St. Mary’s High School in Sleepy Eye.

Presently, I am a senior associate for the parishes in the Heart of Jesus Area Faith Community and the chairperson of the Diocesan Building Committee.  In my free time I like to golf, read, water ski, put together jig saw puzzles and do Sudoku. God has certainly blessed me in my priesthood.