Addressing a Dec. 7th gathering to mark the retirement of Moe Wosepka, Bishop Thomas began, “I have the singular honor of paying tribute to a dear brother and friend.” The gathering celebrated Moe’s 25 years of service to the Church, most recently as Director of Development for the Diocese of Helena. Among the gathering of many of Moe’s close friends and co-workers, Bishop Warfel of the Great Falls-Billings Diocese also took to the podium to express his gratitude for Wosepka’s service as director of the Montana Catholic Conference.
Born and raised in Wibaux, Mont. Moe attended the University of Montana for 2 years before volunteering for service in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War Draft. After an extended tour in the infantry in Vietnam, he completed a BA in Psychology and Business.
Moe went on in Montana to manage a KOA, manage sales for the Chrisafulli Pump Co. and head up International Marketing for the Montana Dept. of Agriculture. He also managed the International Trade Office for the Montana Dept. of Commerce, before launching a career of professional and volunteer service to the Church, with a special focus on the poor and marginalized.
Moe worked as Director for Good Samaritan Ministries in Helena, expanding the thrift store and outreach ministries to the needy. Through Good Samaritan Moe encountered many of the challenges that families face and sought to better understand their lives stating, “I noticed many of the women who came in for assistance had no men with them. I found a significant number of women had husbands or boyfriends who had been in jail or prison and many were still incarcerated. I really felt something needs to change and I needed to meet some of them and find out why they are there.” This began his involvement in prison ministry at Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge. “The prisons are full of poor people who don’t have a good education.” He continued, “They are the generational poor and they are never encouraged by anyone in their lives to even finish high school.” He further explained the ministry: “It’s kind of like Good Sam People came with needs, but more than anything they needed someone to give them some time to help give meaning to their lives. They really needed someone who cares.” Moe plans to build on his 17 years of ministry to prisoners during retirement.
Following his time at Good Samaritan, he worked as Director of the Montana Catholic Conference. His ability to articulate the Montana Bishops’ concerns and unite lawmakers on issues around the sanctity of life earned him a reputation as a bridge builder at the capitol.
Most recently, Moe worked as the Director of Development for the Diocese of Helena. Bishop Thomas described his work: “His hue and cry was clear and consistent. It is the responsibility of every Catholic to ensure that our diocese has the resources to preach, teach and reach the hearts of those who walk in the ways of Jesus Christ.”
Bishop Thomas shared his deep appreciation for Moe’s work and ministry stating, “We are indebted to you, dear Moe, for a quarter century of selfless loving ministry, friendship and care. We therefore do not say goodbye, knowing that your heartstrings are tangled around the mission of this diocese and ours around you. I say on behalf of all of us, blessings and gratitude to you and Lola, and a continued loving association with the Church we love do dearly.”