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Rev. Paul T. Josten

Deceased: 2024-05-24


ICTE Fall: 2012

Reverend Paul T. Josten, 64, of Miller and formerly of Sioux Falls, died the morning of Friday, May 24, 2024, at the home of his brother, Tom, where he had been receiving home hospice care for pancreatic cancer. He was surrounded by his loving family when he passed to eternal life.

Funeral Mass will be 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, June 5, 2024, at St. Ann’s Catholic Church, Miller, with Bishop Donald E. DeGrood as celebrant and other priests in attendance will be concelebrating. Burial will follow at St. Ann’s Cemetery, Miller. A lunch will be served at the Parish Hall following the burial.

Visitation will be 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., Monday, June 3, 2024, followed by a 7:00 p.m. liturgical wake service and rosary at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Sioux Falls, with Father Mark Lichter officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be directed to the Frank and Irene Josten Family Legacy Endowment Fund for the Catholic Community Foundation for Eastern South Dakota, 523 N. Duluth Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104.

Paul Thomas Josten was born on December 20, 1959, in Sioux Falls, SD. He was the sixth child of Frank and Irene (Huebner) Josten. He attended Cathedral Grade School and graduated from Sioux Falls O’Gorman High School in 1978. Upon graduation from high school, he attended St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN for two years. From there, he went to Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary-St. Mary’s College in Winona, MN, graduating in 1983. Upon graduation, he attended Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD, graduating with a Masters in Theology in 1987.

On May 17, 1986, Paul was ordained Transitional Deacon at the Cathedral of St. Joseph and spent the summer at Sacred Heart Parish in Yankton, SD. Reverend Mr. Paul T. Josten was ordained to the priesthood on May 29, 1987 by Bishop Paul V. Dudley at the Cathedral of St. Joseph. Following his ordination, he was assigned to Holy Family Parish in Mitchell, SD as Associate Pastor and served there from 1987-1989. He had a 2nd tour as an Associate Pastor, serving at Sacred Heart Parish in Yankton, SD. Bishop Dudley appointed him Pastor of St. Dominic Parish in Canton and St. Edward Parish in Worthing. From there he went on to serve as the Pastor of the parishes in Bowdle, Roscoe, Hosmer; Platte and Geddes; Parkston; St. Benedict Parish in Yankton; Howard, Ramona, Epiphany; Miller and Highmore. At the time of his passing, he was serving as the Parochial Vicar of Pastorate #3, serving the parishes in Miller, Highmore, Polo, Redfield, Mellette, and Faulkton, SD.

Fr. Paul was known for his ability to bring people together, and ability to fundraise for several parish projects throughout his ministry. This included projects in Platte, in Parkston, and the completion of the Parish Hall, Education Wing and Main Kitchen at St. Ann’s in Miller, SD. He was loved by his parishioners for his incredible sense of humor and his ability to relate to all ages in his ministry.

Fr. Paul will be remembered for all the events that he coordinated to create fun and fellowship. These events included bus trips to the Chanhassen Dinner Theater, a bus trip to Galena Illinois and the Sinsinawa Dominican Convent Motherhouse. A favorite stop for Fr. Paul was at the “World Famous” SPAM Museum in Austin, MN. He also coordinated annual bus trips to “Christmas at the Cathedral”, with current and past members of his parishes attending. He entertained the participants with song and laughter. Fr. Paul also had celebrations for Groundhog Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day and for any other reason to celebrate and have fun. Fr. Paul also brought the priests of the diocese together by hosting the annual Labor Day Gathering for Priests at The Abbey of the Hills (formerly Blue Cloud Abbey). A tradition started by Fr. Paul, and one he hopes will continue for many years, is the annual “Party in the Park” in Miller, SD. It was his hope to bring people together from the whole community, Catholic folk and non-catholic folk, city folk and country folk, older folks and younger folks. Anyone and everyone coming together as one community sharing friendship, food, and fun.

Above all, Fr. Paul was known for his love for and dedication to God and the Catholic Faith. Whenever he was asked why he became a priest, Fr. Paul always gave two reasons, 1) Because he felt called by God and 2) Because he wanted to do something radically different for God and His Church.

Fr. Paul is survived by his siblings, Stephen, Omaha, NE; Carol (Russell) Husman, Omaha, NE; Michael (Joye), Bozeman, MT; Jeffrey (Anita) Gower, MO; Thomas (DeeDee) Sioux Falls; Amy (Richard) Barnett, Sioux Falls; and many nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Fr. Paul is preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Irene, and by his brother, David, and David’s wife, Patricia.

As noted, Paul became Fr. Paul out of his desire to do and to be something radically different for God and His Church. Goal accomplished? God is the judge. Were one to ask Fr. Paul about his life, perhaps Fr. Paul would quote this line from a John Denver song, “I’d have to say it now, it’s been a good life all in all.” Indeed. Fr. Paul T. Josten – May he rest in Peace – Amen.

Reck Funeral Home of Miller has been entrusted with Father Paul’s arrangements.