Deacon, daughter dedicated to serving God

By Dan Russo

Witness Editor

HIAWATHA — Deacon Scott Zogg and his daughter Sister Louis Marie Zogg, OP, were all smiles as they chatted after his ordination as a permanent deacon recently.

Wearing his deacon’s vestments, the 54-year-old stood next to his daughter in her Dominican habit as they greeted well-wishers.

“Her faith has been a true inspiration to me; her trust in the Lord to follow her vocation,” said the proud dad.

The Zogg family, which includes four children and Deacon Scott’s wife, Mary, were a joyful presence at the ordination Mass July 15 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Hiawatha, which is the Zoggs’ home parish.

Although it may be rare to have a father who is a deacon and a daughter who is a vowed religious sister, it was never out of the realm of possibility given the very important role faith has played in the life of the Zogg family for decades.

Prayer was a regular feature of life at home. The children attended St. Pius X Elementary School, Regis Catholic Middle School and the nearest ­Catholic high school. One particular summer when Sister Louis Marie was still in high school, her family attended a Catholic conference together in Wichita, Kansas. Eucharistic adoration was offered at the conference, which was the first time Sister Louis Marie had ever encountered it. The experience was utterly life-changing for her, according to an interview she gave to The Witness in 2015. Sister Louis Marie said, “That is when I fell in love with Jesus and knew I wanted to give my life to God, but I didn’t know what that would look like or how to go about it.”

After graduating from Xavier Catholic High School in Cedar Rapids in 2005, Sister Louis Marie was planning to go to Notre Dame University to pursue a degree in biology. While in eucharistic adoration on campus, the young woman prayed that God would show her what he wanted her to do with her life. It was then that she began to feel the call to religious life.

Sister Louis Marie left Notre Dame to join the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor in 2007. The religious community that Sister Louis Marie is living out her vocation through is one that was founded in Michigan in 1997. It has over 100 women in its community and is expanding geographically with missions in several other states across the country.

In 2015, Sister Louis Marie professed her final vows and is a teacher in Catholic schools.

About five years ago, her father, Scott, also felt a call to serve God in a new way. He was accepted to the four-and-a-half- year diaconate formation program for the Archdiocese of Dubuque. The engineer by trade has always been active in his parish and passionate about his faith.

“I wasn’t surprised,” said Sister ­Louis Marie when recalling her reaction to hearing about her father’s desire to become a deacon. “My dad’s always done what he felt God was calling him to do. That’s how I learned, through my parents.”

Now that his preparation is done and he has been ordained, Deacon Zogg is excited to start in ministry.

“My formation has been a tremendous gift,” wrote the deacon in a reflection just prior to receiving the sacrament of holy orders. “I’m looking forward to see where God will lead me to use that formation in his service.”

PHOTO: Deacon Scott Zogg and his daughter Sister Louis Marie Zogg, a member of  the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, a religious order based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, are pictured after Deacon Zogg’s ordination. (Photo by Dan Russo/The Witness)