If anyone ever needs help at sacred heart hospital, father Edmund Klimek is always there. He serves as chaplain at the hospital and has been doing it since 1968.
"He has cared for individuals in the hospital for a long period of time and has acted as a liaison for the bishop to the hospitals," said Bishop Jerome Listecki of the Diocese of La Crosse.
This coupled with other things he's done for the diocese of lacrosse earned him the honor of being named monsignor along with seven other priests at the Cathedral of Saint Joseph .The diocesan bishop nominates candidates for the honor of monsignor by submitting names and biographies to the holy see. Once it has been decided by the pope, diplomas are issued to recognize the newly made monsignors service to the church.
"It's more of a title of distinction. Recognizing a priest for either as outstanding service or a position he's occupied in the church."
Father Klimek, who has been an ordained priest for 52 years, dedicates his time to patients and their families at sacred heart. Whether they are going through surgery or a terminal illness, he is there to help them see the brighter side of things.
"Death is not again, just a bad word, but again death is a word for preparation for the ending of this life and in preparation for the life to come," said Monsignor Edmund Klimek.
The eight newly named monsignors have provided a combined total of 409 years of priestly service. It has been almost 40 years since a priest was named monsignor in the diocese of La Crosse, making this a distinguishable tribute to the eight men who have worked to serve their communities.