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Fr. Virgil Petermeier, osc


Why did you join the Crosiers?

Through my first five years here at Crosier Seminary I got to know the Crosiers better, and felt that the brotherhood and community life they portrayed were what God was calling me to. Having Crosiers as spiritual directors had an impact on me as well. So I transferred from being a candidate for priesthood in the St. Cloud Diocese (my home diocese) and requested candidacy as a Crosier.


How do you find life and meaning in living your vocation as a Crosier?
I really do believe that community is the school of Gospel love, as St. Augustine says. Communal life is a necessary basis out of which I can then proclaim the Gospel of love to others. My struggle to love as Jesus calls me to prepare to understand and be compassionate with others’ struggles to love. The process of becoming a true person of God—of love, requires death to several aspects of myself. That is the way I live out and experience the paschal mystery.


Besides being an aspect of my spiritual life, the cross serves as a symbol of my/our total obedience to love, as it did for Jesus. The red and white cross, traditionally a symbol of blood and water flowing from Christ, is also for me a call and symbol of loving to the point of sweat, tears and pouring out my life. Such love is powerful and has salvific ripple effects beyond what I can comprehend. This is what I believe and what I wish to proclaim as a Crosier.

In computer language, I believe that my/our life as Crosiers is to make BOLD and HIGHLIGHT the Glorious Cross and Paschal mystery, which are the essence of life for any Christian. But we Crosiers try to really throw light on that essential aspect of life. We are also trying to say that living a healthy and happy brotherhood is the way of saving this world. When we can all be sisters and brothers of one another, then we will experience peace and unity and true happiness on this earth of ours.

My participation in the liturgy of the hours four times a day is a way of reminding myself and the world around me that my relationship with God is primary. My whole day is to be dedicated to the God of love.

My ministry: My present internal/communal ministries are living as a good Crosier religious and nurturing our community life; being a member of our elder care team; cantoring for liturgies and leading liturgies; hospitality and household tasks; some involvement in the formation world, providing discussion sessions here, or writing in the vocation blog; and limited development work.


Beyond the filial priory, I am involved in nurturing the Crosier Associates as a new associate group which understands, holds precious and wishes to live out the charism, values and spirituality of the Crosiers. 


I am finishing a book on the 50-year history of the Crosiers in Papua, a work begun with confrere Fr. Ed Greiwe, osc and another confrere, and now with Sr. Mara Faulkner, OSB, my writing coach. This book a ministry of reflecting upon as well as deepening our appreciation for God’s work through us Crosiers in another part of the world, along with our indigenous confreres in Indonesia. Hopefully this history may be of help to our Indonesian Crosiers, especially those living and working in Papua, Indonesia. I also do various forms of pastoral outreach, such as preaching for the Crosier missions of the Congo and Indonesia; participating in a Muslim-Christian Interfaith dialogue group; assisting on weekends now and then in neighboring parishes.

Born and raised: I was born and raised as the first child into a dairy-farmer family near Melrose, Minnesota. I inherited the Catholic faith and spirituality, as well as the Germanic culture of our family.


Home parish: My home parish was St. Rosa of Lima, in the little village of St. Rosa, mostly a farming community with this little town of 80 people.


Hobbies and interests: My hobbies are languages; playing guitar; singing; biking and running; and bird-watching. My interests are many, among them – interfaith dialog with our Muslim sisters and brothers; immigration and integration concerns; ecological concerns, which are tied into interest in the development of alternative sources of energy; concern for the poor of society, including our native Americans living right next door; interest in the history of our universe and evolution; Christology, the topic of my master’s thesis; and the topics of health and aging gracefully.


Date of Profession: Aug. 28, 1969
Date of Ordination: May 14, 1977


Crosier Community of Onamia
P.O. Box 500
Onamia MN 56359-0500
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