Priest celebrates 35 years

St. Vincent’s Catholic Church of Mott was the scene for Fr. Charles “Chuck” Zins to celebrate his 35th year since ordination to the priesthood.

Photo by Marlene Kouba
Fr. Charles “Chuck” Zins

Posted Oct. 25, 2012

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Marlene Kouba

St. Vincent’s Catholic Church of Mott was the scene for Fr. Charles “Chuck” Zins to celebrate his 35th year since ordination to the priesthood. Fr. Casimir Paluck was a co-celebrant of the Mass and Fourth Degree Knights of the Fr. Gregory Borski Assembly provided honor guard.

A meal was provided by parishioners of the three parishes under his jurisdiction and there was a short program.

Jennifer Johnson began working in the parish office in Mott in May, 2005. One instance she recalled during the program was one winter when they were called to give anointing to a parishioner in the country. Roads were not good but they got within 100 yards of the farm entrance where there was a huge snowdrift across the driveway. Father asked her, “Are you in the mood for walking?” She answered “Yes.” He also asked if she had walking shoes on and she did. They crossed the snow bank and served communion to the patient. After getting back to the car, he carefully backed up—right into the ditch and was stuck. The patient’s brother had to come and pull them out.

Fr. Zins was born April 24, 1950, to Leander and Ann (Hoff) Zins who lived on a farm near Raleigh. He said he had his first plane ride before he was born. There was a lot of snow that winter and his dad had his mother flown to Flasher for delivery. He wasn’t quite ready to come into the world and was born after they got home. He is in the middle of 17 children. The family includes Leander, Jr., Maryanne, John, Edward, Kathy, Jeanette, Pauline, Charles, Adam, Florian, Irene, Patricia, Dorothy, Rosalie, Elaine, Leah and Christine.

He attended Leahy Public Grade School and graduated from high school in St. Gertrude’s of Raleigh. He attended Crossier Seminary in Omanie, Minnesota, for two years as a junior college or prep school for the seminary. He attended St. Thomas Seminary in Denver, Colo.

Father Zins was ordained to the priesthood June 17, 1977, in St. Gertrude by Bishop Hilary B. Hacker—35 years ago.

Since that time he has served as a priest in several different parishes. He was an assistant at St. Leo’s in Minot from 1977-1978. He was an assistant priest at St. Mary’s in New England from 1978-1980. He taught in the grade school and high school as well as assisted as a dorm supervisor. From there he moved to St. Mary’s in Bismarck. He served as an assistant priest under Father Ted Gustin for three years.

The Catholic diocese divided up parishes into three under the jurisdiction of one priest. He became pastor of St. Bridget’s in Parshall, Sacred Heart in Plaza, and St. Elizabeth’s in Makoti for five years. For the next nine years he was pastor for St. Charles in Bowman, St. Mel’s in Rhame and St. Mary’s in Marmarth, with Bowman as his home parish until 1997.

He then served as pastor for St. Joseph’s in Beulah and St. Martin’s in Hazen for seven years until 2005. In July of 2005 he moved to Mott to serve the parishes of St. Vincent’s of Mott, St. John’s of New Leipzig and St. Henry’s of Regent. He arrived just in time to officiate for the funeral of Richard Kouba July 6. He admits that sometimes he gets dates mixed up as do some of his parishioners. One morning this summer he arrived in New Leipzig and wondered why there were no cars in the parking lot. He then realized he was supposed to be in Regent and arrived only a few minutes late for service.

Father Zins celebrated his 25 years in the priesthood in 2002 in Beulah and his 30 years was also celebrated in Mott in 2007.

For pastimes and relaxation, Father Zins enjoys woodworking, gardening, fishing and hunting with his Golden Lab “Goldie”. His brother still lives on the home farm and Father gets back there about once a month.

Family members able to be present with him for this celebration were his mother, Leander, Maryanne, John and Florian.


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