Instead of being just a Church that welcomes and receives by keeping the doors open, let us try also to be a Church that finds new roads, that is able to step outside itself and go to those who do not attend Mass, to those who have quit or are indifferent.

Pope Francis

Msgr. Mark J. Merdian

Msgr. Merdian has received Bachelor's of Art degree from Saint Mary's University in Winona, Minnesota, with a major in philosophy and a minor in psychology. He attended Mount Saint Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and graduated with a Master's of Arts in moral theology with a concentration in medical ethics. He received a Master's of Divinity and was ordained to the priesthood in 1993.

His first assignment was as an assistant pastor in Champaign, Illinois, where he was a member of the Covenant Hospital Ethics Board, which provided consultation to the hospital on medical–moral questions.

In 2001, he was appointed an ex-officio member of the Diocesan Ethics Committee to assist with promoting medical-moral issues to Catholic hospitals and medical facilities in Peoria, Illinois.

He was named a Chaplain to his Holiness in 2009, and in 2010 he was named Episcopal Vicar for Health Care.

In 2014 Msgr. Merdian was appointed a Pastor of St. Pius X Parish in Rock Island, and Vicar Forane of the Rock Island Vicariate.