Msgr. John Perkinton ’75

This award is presented in appreciation of Msgr. John Perkinton ’75, whose exemplary service in Catholic education and leadership in the Diocese of Lincoln are fulfilling the Pius X High School vision to “Restore All Things in Christ.” In a letter about the importance of Catholic schools, an apostolate in which he has invested nearly 40 years of his life, Msgr. Perkinton wrote: “the Catholic school is a rich investment in the future of Church and one of the most important elements of the New Evangelization.”

msgr john perkington

Ordained a priest on May 25, 1985, at Cathedral of the Risen Christ in Lincoln, Nebraska by Bishop Flavin, Rev. Msgr. John J. Perkinton was born Nov. 10, 1956. He and his three siblings (Ann Perkinton, Joan Scdoris ’72, and Rex Perkinton ’79) were raised in Lincoln. His parents, Ralph James and Geraldine (Drozda) Perkinton, were active members of St. Patrick’s parish. Perkinton attended Pius X High School and played on the football and wrestling teams (1971-75). After graduating Pius X, he attended the University of Nebraska (1975-1978); St. Pius X Seminary, Erlanger, Kentucky (1978-81, B.A. in Philosophy); St. Charles Seminary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Theology 1981-85, M.A. 1984); and Catholic University, Washington, D.C. (Master’s in Education Administration and Professional Certificate).

Ordained a deacon in 1984, his first apostolate was at All Saints in Holdrege, Nebraska and at St. Mary in Lincoln in 1984-85. Fr. Perkinton’s first assignments as a newly ordained priest began June 12, 1985, as assistant pastor at Cathedral of the Risen Christ and as a religion teacher at Pius X High School. After pursuing postgraduate study at the Catholic University in Washington, D.C. in 1987, Fr. Perkinton returned to Lincoln in 1989 to serve as pastor at St. Leo in Palmyra, St. Martin in Douglas, and St. Michael in Cheney, beginning his first educational administrative position as assistant superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Lincoln. One year later, he was appointed pastor of St. James in Cortland, diocesan superintendent of schools (1990-2018; 2019-22), and director of Villa Marie Home and School for Exceptional Children (1990-current).

In addition to serving more than 30 years in these key educational leadership positions for the diocese, Msgr. Perkinton also shared his talents as a member (1997) and chairman (since 1999) of the Diocesan Building Commission. He served as superintendent of Lourdes Central Catholic Schools (1998-99), as director of Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat House (1999-2002), chairman of the Diocesan Retreat Committee (2000-02), as a member of the College of Consultors for the diocese (2004-2019), and as a member of the Nebraska Catholic Conference until 2016.

Receiving the title of Monsignor – Chaplain to the Pope on Oct. 10, 2007, for his distinguished service to the Church, Msgr. Perkinton is currently in residence at the Waverly Retreat Center in Waverly, Nebraska. In addition to his ongoing leadership as chief administrative officer at Villa Marie School and as chairman of the Diocesan Building Commission, his current apostolates also include serving as a board member and a member of the Confessor/Spiritual Director list at St. Gregory the Great Seminary since 1998, as chaplain for the Marian Sisters since 1999, as assistant superintendent of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Lincoln (reappointed in 2022 after serving 1989-1990), as chancellor of Pius X High School since 2022, and as an elected representative for a two-year term on the Diocesan Presbyteral Council (2022-24).

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