Father Paul Eberle’s call to ministry began when he was just a freshman in high school. He and his twin brother were talking at the dinner table one night, and thought about being called to priesthood.
By COLE BENZ
“Right at that very moment, the phone rang, it was the vocational director, and he asked if we ever thought about being priests,” he said. “At that time, we took it as the holy spirit just encouraging us to be open to that possibility.”
Decades later—and 12 years after his ordination—Eberle will be serving the parishes of Bowman, Rhame, and Marmarth, taking the position over from Father David Morman.
Eberle is one of 16 siblings that grew up on a dairy farm near Hague, N.D., at one point managing nearly about 40 head of cattle. Eberle told the Pioneer that he had had a strong faith foundation growing up. That foundation included nightly family rosaries, and being present and accounted for in church every Sunday.
He graduated from Strasburg High School and attended college at the University of Mary in Bismarck. And all throughout his early education, constantly feeling that tug towards ministry.
So after one year of school in Bismarck, he dedicated himself to the church and transferred to Cardinal Muench Seminary in Fargo.
At seminary, he earned a degree in philosophy from North Dakota State University, followed by a graduated degree in theology from Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis. He graduated from Kenrick-Glennon and was ordained in 2005.
As he began his path, he was an associate of the Cathedral in Bismarck for four years. He was then sent to his hometown parish for his first assignment as a head pastor and served parishes in Hague, Strasburg and St. Michaels for three years. He spent two more years in Mandaree as head pastor before being called to a different role within the church.
His journey came full circle, as he was sent to Kenrick-Glennon to take the position of Spiritual Director, where he met with seminarians 1-on-1 every two weeks.
“I felt very privileged to be part of their discernment, and their growth to become future priests,” Eberle said.
But after three years in that position, he started to miss the usual aspects of parish life.
“I missed doing baptisms, weddings, funerals,” Eberle said.
He’s excited to be back in the practice. He wants to get to know the congregations, and he wants to grow in their faith with them.
“I just hope to receive from them, to get to know them, and their families, [and] their lives,” he said. “And just that desire to be a part of their lives and [to] help us together to grow in our relationship with God.”
With his time outside of the church, Eberle likes to hunt, fish, and follows sports. He enjoys reading—especially in the winter time.
“I’m just very grateful, happy to be here,” he said. “And I look forward to getting to know the people.”
Eberle will be keeping the same office hours as previously posted. He is also reachable by phone at the parish.