Search the Directory

Rev. John Sandell

Deceased: 2005-06-01

Diocese: FARGO

Seminary Graduation Year: 1967

John Sandell was born May 1, 1942, in Grand Forks, North Dakota. He attended grade school at Saint Michael’s School, Grand Forks, and graduated from Saint James High School, Grand Forks, in 1960.

He enrolled at Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota. Two years later, 1962, he entered Saint John’s Seminary in Collegeville to study Philosophy. He graduated in 1964 and continued his studies in Rome at the Pontifical North American College. He took classes at the Pontifical Gregorian University from which he graduated in 1967 with a Baccalaureate Degree in Theology. Bishop Leo F. Dworschak, bishop of the Diocese of Fargo, ordained Father Sandell in Rome on December 21, 1967.

Father Sandell served as an assistant pastor for five years at Saint John the Evangelist parish in Wahpeton, ND. He was named pastor of Saint Thomas parish, St. Thomas, ND in 1972 and served in that position for ten years. While at Saint Thomas, he served as Chaplain at the Developmental Center in Grafton, ND. He was reassigned to Fargo, ND in 1982. He began teaching at Shanley High School and serving as chaplain at the Sacred Heart Convent of Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Father Sandell’s association with Church of the Nativity parish began in 1985. He presided at Sunday Liturgies while continuing his responsibilities as chaplain at the convent. He also began serving as a part time staff member of Friendship Inc., a social service agency serving people with developmental disabilities in eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota.

Health reasons forced Father Sandell to give up most of his pastoral duties at Sacred Heart Convent and Nativity in the late spring of 1996. He continued to serve as Vice President of Human Resources at Friendship, Inc. until he retired in November 1999. He provided pastoral ministry, including offering Sunday Mass for the Sisters at Sacred Heart Convent, up to the time of his death on May 1, 2005.