Fr. Richard Sutter is the Parochial Administrator at St John the Evangelist in Waynesville, NC. He received this assignment from Bishop Jugis July 10, 2018 after serving two years as the Parochial Vicar at the Cathedral of St Patrick in Charlotte, NC.
An Atlanta native ordained initially in the Congregation of the Legion of Christ, Father Richard came to Charlotte in 2016 from the Diocese of Savannah, Ga., but he is not unfamiliar with the Charlotte diocese. He graduated with honors from Belmont Abbey College in 1991. While there he served as student body president and captain of the cross country team. He was also an Army R.O.T.C. cadet at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and member of the Army National Guard in Morganton.
After college he served six years as an U.S. Army Infantry Officer with the 1st Armored Division in Germany and the 10th Mountain Division in New York. Prior to his first assignment he completed the U.S. Army Airborne, Ranger and Air Assault Schools. He earned his Expert Infantryman’s Badge while serving as a Bradley Fighting Vehicle Platoon Leader in Germany, and he received the Meritorious Service Medal as a One Star General’s Aide de Camp.
Following an honorable discharge as captain, he worked two years as a corporate IT project manager just outside of New York City before entering the Legionary of Christ Summer Candidacy Program in June of 1999. He completed his theology studies in Rome and was ordained a transitional deacon by Bishop Jugis at Our Lady Help of Christians Minor Basilica at Belmont Abbey on May 11, 2009. He was ordained to the priesthood on Dec. 12, 2009, at the Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside-the-Walls in Rome, Italy.
From 2009 to 2011, Father Richard served as chaplain of Christian Brothers’ School in New Orleans, chaplain of Acadian Oaks Catholic Youth Retreat Center in Lafayette, and Conquest Boys Club Youth Section Director for the state of Louisiana. He moved to the Archdiocese of Atlanta in 2011, where for three years he served as chaplain at Pinecrest Academy High School and five years as the Catholic chaplain for the Atlanta Braves
Father Richard’s cousin is a priest with the Savannah diocese, so in 2014 he asked to discern some time there where he served from 2014 to 2016 as chaplain of Aquinas High School in Augusta, Ga. January through May of 2016 he discerned Benedictine Monastic Life at Belmont Abbey, during which time he sensed a call to serve in the Charlotte diocese. May 1, 2016 he began priestly ministry within the Charlotte Diocese and served at the Cathedral of St Patrick in Charlotte until his July 10, 2018 assignment in Waynesville.
Besides his priestly ministry, Father Richard said his favorite activity is training for Ironman Triathlons. In 2017 he competed in three Ironman 70.3 races, one of them being a 70.3 Ironman World Championship in Chattanooga, TN. He also competed in the October 2017 Wrightsville Beach Ironman North Carolina and placed 4th in his age group. He holds a high Ironman All World Athlete rank as an amateur in his age group.
Fr. Richard finds swimming, cycling and running a great means of praying, as well as a concrete way to evangelize the culture of sport. “Our Blessed Lord comes to meet all of us in the today of our life as He did His first disciples on the Sea of Galilee,” Father Richard said. “He desires to remain in our boat as we navigate the waters of our daily life. I find Him often and He finds me in these brief moments of recreation amidst the beauty of His creation.”