LAKE COUNTY — While the spacious forests and pristine lakes, rivers and creeks of Lake County call to nature enthusiasts, and the quiet towns with deep roots instill a sense of close-knit community, Rev. Fr. Matt Barnum has found himself right at home since being appointed as priest at St. Ann, St. Ignatius and St. Bernard Catholic churches in Lake County on July 1.
The appointment of Fr. Barnum to the parishes in Baldwin, Luther and Irons was announced by the Diocese of Grand Rapids in May, and follows a year and four months since parishioners at St. Ann-St. Ignatius have been without a pastor with the death of Rev. Fr. Ron Schneider. Furthermore, with the retirement of Rev. Fr. Dennis O'Donnel at St. Bernard in Irons, all three Catholic parishes in Lake County now share the same priest for the first time.