Josef Vollmer-König: Hillary Schleier

Josef Vollmer-König: Hillary Schleier

The pastor of a Catholic church in Lake Highlands prays for immigration reform; he wants everyone to live in protection and peace, he says.

A few months back [in June, as a tribute to Father’s Day, it so happened] the Advocate profiled St. Patrick’s pastor Josef Vollmer-König, a German native who became a priest in his 70s, after losing his wife of 30-plus years to a fatal illness.

When I interviewed him, he spoke of his young life in post-war Germany, his adjustments as a young man to the American culture and of his church’s diversity and refugee programs, to name a few things. He said that after he was widowed and retired, he wasn’t sure what to do with his life. When he announced his intention to become a priest, his adult children resisted. They wanted him to stay home, be Grandpa.

But Vollmer-König has always been driven by an inner desire, he says, to share God’s love with those who are suffering, scared or unsure. “It comes before everything else,” he says.

WFAA shot footage of the service, which included a multitude of immigrants alongside born-and-raised Dallasites. St. Patrick’s joined churches from around the world in similar simultaneous prayer.