Father John Long
“If God is for us, who can be against!” Fr. John R. Long was born on January 24, 1962. He is the seventh of eight living children. He is the seventh son born to the late Elmer and Velorse Long of Medford. Fr. John attended Medford Area Public Schools, graduating in 1980. He was a member of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary where he got his foundational religious formation.
In the fall of his junior year in high school, Fr. John attended Agape TEC #3 and his life changed. In the Teens Encounter Christ (TEC) program, he truly encountered the Living God and worked many of the weekend retreats. One of the priests on one of the weekends asked if he had thought about priesthood. That was the start for his ministry life.
Fr. John attended the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus Ohio. He received a B. A. in Philosophy and a B.A. in History with minors in Psychology and Religious Studies in three and a half years. He then worked in Our Lady of Sorrows parish in Ladysmith until the fall when he entered the Masters program at the University of Notre Dame. It was a very difficult year spiritually and after that year, Fr. John took a year away from studies and worked in a factory in Medford. That year he was diagnosed with type I diabetes and again his life changed.
In the fall of 1985, he entered St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul Minnesota. Fr. John received his Masters of Divinity in the fall of 1989 after completing his final studies through a program of biblical studies in Israel during that summer.
Fr. John was ordained to the priesthood on October 29, 1989. His first assignment was as an associate pastor at St. Joseph in Rice Lake. In the spring of 1990, he was transferred to St. Mary - Rhinelander and St. John - Pelican Lake as an associate for two years. In 1992, he was made administrator and later pastor of Ss. Peter & Paul - Weyerhauser, St. Mary - Bruce, and Assumption - Strickland.
His fourth assignment was near his home because his father developed cancer. Fr. John was stationed at St. John the Baptist - Rib Lake, St. Theresa - Westboro, Our Lady of Perpetual Help - Whittlesey, and Assumption - Chelsea.
His father died January 24, 2001. He was transferred to St. Anne - Boulder Junction, St. Mary - Sayner, and St. Rita Presque Isle. After there he went on sabbatical to St. Louis. He returned and was assigned in November of 2004 to Ss. Peter and Paul - Gilman, St. Stanislaus - Lublin, St. Michael - Jump River and St. John - Sheldon. His mother was ill and still living in Medford. She passed away January 17, 2008. In November of 2012, Bishop Peter Christensen appointed Fr. John as pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish in Glenwood City, St. John the Baptist Parish in Clear Lake and St. Briget Parish in Wilson. He resides there now.