President’s Perspective

President's Perspective

Dear Hill-Murray Community,

I am thrilled to share some updates at Hill-Murray with you. First, after a prayerful process of discernment, the Sisters of St Paul’s Monastery have re-elected Sr. Catherine Nehotte as their Prioress. We are thrilled for her continued leadership and support as she continues as Prioress for the next five years. Sister Linda will also continue to serve in her role as Sub-Prioress of St Paul’s Monastery. We are grateful that Sister Linda will continue to serve as part of the Campus Ministry Team at Hill-Murray. Her unique spiritual role as our Sports and Activities Campus Ministry has been such a blessing over the years. Please keep Sister Catherine, Sister Linda, and all the sisters in your prayers. 

President Perspective

Recently, we received wonderful news regarding a Chaplain for next year!  Archbishop Hebda let me know that he has assigned Father John Utecht as our new Chaplain. In addition, Fr. John will also serve half-time as parochial vicar of the Church of Saint Jude in Mahtomedi. We are thrilled to welcome Fr. John Utecht to Hill-Murray School! Fr. Utecht was ordained for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis on May 28, 2022, and is excited to join our community. Fr. John was born in Saint Paul, where he attended St. Pascal through fourth grade, and then moved with his family to Hastings, where he attended Hastings Public Schools through high school. 

President Perspective

He is the second oldest of five kids: one older sister, two younger sisters, and one younger brother. He loves spending time with friends and family, cooking, playing sports, golfing, hunting, fishing, spending time at the cabin, and generally doing anything outdoors.

While in High School, Fr. John had a powerful conversion that pushed him to grow in his relationship with Jesus and called him on to a life of holiness. Spurred by this conversion he decided to serve as a missionary for a year with NET Ministries. During this year, he grew in his prayer life and first heard the call to priesthood. After his year on NET, Fr. John entered the Saint John Vianney College Seminary (SJV) at St. Thomas, majoring in both Philosophy and Catholic Studies. After his time at SJV, Fr. John completed his seminary studies with a Master in Divinity at the Saint Paul Seminary in the spring of 2022. For the last two years, Fr. John has served as parochial vicar at Our Lady of Grace in Edina. 

I had the opportunity to speak with Fr. John, and I am confident that he will be an excellent addition to our community. We are excited to have his spiritual and pastoral presence and are looking forward to expanded opportunities for sacramental celebrations. Fr. John is also very excited to serve as Chaplain at Hill-Murray and looks forward to being a Pioneer!​​​​​​


Melissa Dan
Hill-Murray School President

This letter was originally sent on April 16, 2024.