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Father Matt Kuhn. Connie Vandermay/FOCUS

Perham, Butler welcome new Catholic priest

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St. Henry's Catholic Church in Perham and Holy Cross Church in Butler have welcomed a new priest, Father Matt Kuhn.

In an interview last week, Kuhn said, "I was happy to accept" the new assignment.

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He had always hoped to end up in the lakes area, but said it was a pleasant surprise to be placed in Perham for his first assignment.

Kuhn was ordained in June 2010. Since then, he has served as a parochial vicar, or assistant priest, at churches in the St. Cloud area.

Kuhn said he knew deep down that he was bound for priesthood, though he struggled with that thought for five years. He even tried to force his life in a different direction by obtaining a teaching degree, before finally applying to seminary school.

His first two years of seminary school took place at the University of St. Thomas, and he later studied theology in Rome for four years. He said in the end it was a good experience for him, taking him out of his comfort zone and giving him the opportunity to live overseas.

Born in Alexandria, Minn., Kuhn moved around quite a bit as a child. His father was in the military, and his family lived in 18 different houses, in 11 different towns, in just nine years during his childhood. He graduated from high school in Cambridge, Minn.

Since his arrival in Perham at the end of June, Kuhn has been getting to know the communities of Perham, New York Mills and Butler. He has met with almost all of the area ministers, and has been pleasantly surprised at how they work together. He said he has also enjoyed the warm welcome he has received from the community.

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