Meet Fr. Henry Wertin

I was born January 5, 1953 to Francis and Agnes Wertin and am the third of 11 children. All of us are still alive except for my Dad. I was baptized 13 days after I was born. I was raised to honor my father and mother and as such learned the basics and the values from them. Dad showed me how to work and Mom showed me how to take care of the other children. Our family attended Mass together every week and my parents taught me to love the Church and respect the priest and sisters.

I attended a Catholic grade school with Benedictine Sisters as teachers. I fondly recall receiving the sacraments; first reconciliation, First Holy Communion and confirmation while there. I attended Savior of the World Seminary in Kansas City and was active in athletics and drama and student council. After graduation in 1971, I attended Benedictine College and met my wife, Mary Beth. She, too, came from a loving nurturing family who hailed from Lamar. We were married there in 1973 by Fr. Joseph Montoya.

I graduated from Cleveland Chiropractic College in 1976 and established an office in Lamar, practicing for 37 years.

God has always been a part of my life and prayer and the Church have kept my relationship with him alive. I was ordained a deacon in the Jubilee Year 2000. The grace of ordination drew me ever closer to loving the Lord, my family and all people.

My wife and I were married for 31 years and were blessed with 10 children. I am very proud of all 10 of them. The time of marriage and the raising of the children was a most successful experience. On the other hand, the loss of my wife in a motor vehicle accident in 2004 was a most significant experience, as well. We were “going to grow old together,” but that plan failed in favor of God’s plan. “Thy will be done.”

Between 2004 and 2013, the last five of the children successfully graduated and struck out on their own. Dr. Colleen, Dr. Beth Ann and Dr. Emma are doctors of chiropractic. They are all three married and are raising children. Henry Jr. is a realtor. He, too, is married and raising a family of five adopted foster children. The children are all in grade school and are from various cultural backgrounds. Fr. Matthew is a priest in the diocese. He serves as pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe/St. Patrick in La Junta and in the Catholic Pastoral Center as a canon lawyer, chancellor and vocations director. Fr. Carl is the associate pastor at Holy Trinity in Trinidad, as well as the associate director of vocations for the diocese. Four of the boys are in construction; Mark, who is married and is raising a family. Blase, Adam and Michael are in their early 20’s and are still single. Between the children and 16 grandchildren, the family reunions are such a joy.

I entered the seminary in the first part of 2014. My growth and development continued as I pursued my education and was surrounded by my fellow students, professors and formation staff. Now as 2016 is upon us, I am looking forward to serving the Lord and his people in the Diocese of Pueblo as one of his priests.

As the years roll by, I am ever more attracted to the self-giving love that Jesus has shown me in his crucifixion. I will continue to model his love of the Father and others and so give my life to him as he has given his life for me.