Join us at Sacred Heart’s Fourth Annual SHSST Preaching Conference

“The Power of Passionate Preaching While Presiding at the Funeral Rites”


Save the Date! January 3-5, 2022

Presentations and Topics by:

When: Monday Evening, January 3 through Tuesday Evening, January 4, 2022, and January 5 optional for those who would like to join us for a mass at 7:30am and breakfast to follow.

Where: Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, 7335 S Lovers Lane Rd, Franklin, WI 53132

Schedule of the Conference:

Monday, January 3, 2022:
2:00pm-5pm Registration (Lobby)
5:15pm Evening Prayer (SH Chapel)
5:45pm Dinner (Dining Room)
7:00pm First Presentation (Room 201)
Fr. Steve Pautler (Diocese of Belleville, Illinois and SHSST alumnus), “Now and at the Hour of Our Death”

Tuesday, January 4, 2022:
7:30am Mass (SH Chapel)
8:15am Breakfast (Main Dining Room)
9:00am Second Presentation (Room 201)
Fr. Dennis Wieland (retired priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee),The Homilist: Messenger of Hope and Healing to Those Who Grieve”
10:15am Break
10:30am Third Presentation (Room 201)
Mr. Robert Moynihan, D.Min. (funeral director and owner of two funeral homes on the South Side of Chicago), “Challenges and Opportunities When Preaching at the Funeral Home”
Noon Angelus/Lunch (Main Dining Room)
1:30pm Fourth Presentation (Room 201)
Jana Kramer, RN, CHPN and Dcn. Steve Kramer, D.Min. (SHSST Director of Homiletics), Honoring the Journey: A Collaboration of Hospice Nurses, Caretakers and Clergy”
2:45pm Break
3:00pm Fifth Presentation (Room 201)
Fr. John Mack, Th.M., S.T.L., (Vice President of Formation Programs at SHSST), “Preaching at Funeral Liturgies: A Time for Evangelism”
4:15pm Free Time Prior to Evening Prayer
5:15pm Evening Prayer (SH Chapel)
5:30pm Reception (Lobby)
6:00pm Dinner (Dining Room)

Wednesday, January 5, 2022: Optional (For any of the participants who are staying in-house or nearby, you are most welcome to join us for Mass at 7:30 am with breakfast immediately following.  Please let us know if you plan to attend on Wednesday. )
7:30am Mass
8:15am Breakfast

Cost: $125 per person (includes all presentations , Monday evening dinner, all meals and reception on Tuesday, Wednesday breakfast. Housing not included.)

Housing: There are limited rooms available at Sacred Heart. It is first come, first serve. If you need a room, please email Jean Carlo Mercado at and specify you need a room for the Preaching Conference. Otherwise, we have a block of rooms reserved at the Hampton Inn and Suites Milwaukee/Franklin until December 7 for $99 per night. The hotel group code is: PRC
Hotel Website

Hotel Address: 6901 S 76th St, Franklin, WI 53132
Hotel Phone: (414) 448-3103

For more information contact Deacon Steve Kramer, D.Min.
Director of Homiletics
Associate Professor of Pastoral Studies, 414-858-4767

Note to Clergy: Please ask your chancery office to email an electronic file (JPG or PDF) of your letter of suitability, with the letter addressed to the Most Rev. Jerome E. Listecki, Archdiocese of Milwaukee, 3501 South Lake Drive, PO Box 070912, Milwaukee, WI 53207-0912. Both the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology need to receive the letter. Email: and

Speaker Biographies

Fr. Steve Pautler

Diocese of Belleville, Illinois and SHSST alumni

Fr. Steve Pautler has served his community and the church for many years.  He is a Knights of Columbus Past Grand Knight, District Deputy, and served the State Knights of Columbus as Youth Director, Community Activity Director, Columbian Squires Chairman, and is now serving as Deacon & Priesthood Sunday Coordinator for the Illinois Knights of Columbus.  For twenty-four years, he served the community of Evansville, IL, as a Village Alderman and Mayor pro-tem.

In 2008, Bishop Braxton, ordained him as a Permanent Deacon, for service in the Diocese of Belleville, Illinois.  In 2015 he began studies for the priesthood at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wisconsin. As deacon, he spent a lot of time visiting the sick and dying.

He graduated from SHSST, on May 4, 2018, with a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) He was ordained to the Holy Priesthood for the Diocese of Belleville, on May 19, 2018 and was assigned as Parochial Vicar at the Cathedral of St. Peter, and Sacramental Minister, St. Teresa of the Child Jesus and St. Luke Parishes, Belleville.  Currently, Fr. Steve serves as Spiritual Director, for the BDCCW, Faithful Friar for Fort Kaskaskia Assembly #1287, and was appointed Pastor of St. Mary’s Parish, Centralia, and St. Lawrence Parish, Sandoval (Diocese of Belleville), December 1, 2019.

Fr. Dennis Wieland

Retired priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee

Father Dennis J. Wieland is a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.  In July 2021, having served St. Joseph Parish in Wauwatosa, he retired from active parish ministry.  Father Wieland holds a B.S. degree in General Education and received his M. Div. degree from Sacred Heart School of Theology in 1991.  Father Wieland was ordained a priest on May 10, 1991 and has served in various parishes over the years.  One of the most important and rewarding aspects of his pastoral ministry has been serving the dying and working with families who have experienced the death of a loved one.

Through his pastoral ministry of working with the dying and with grieving families, Father Wieland has come to understand more fully the importance and the impact that the funeral rites of the Catholic Church play in their lives at such a crucial time, and the role of the priest, being a wounded healer and homilist, has as a messenger of hope and healing to those who grieve.

Father Wieland continues to serve the Church as a part-time member of the formation team at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, along with helping out in parishes as needed.  He continues to pursue one of his deepest pastoral priorities in serving the homeless and poor in the Greater Milwaukee area.

Mr. Robert Moynihan

Funeral director and owner of two funeral homes on the South Side of Chicago

Robert Moynihan became a funeral director in 1983 and owns two funeral homes on the South Side of Chicago. He holds a Master of Divinity degree with preaching concentration from Catholic Theological Union (2003) and a Doctor of Ministry in Preaching degree from North Park Theological Seminary (2018). His thesis, FUNERAL PREACHING: A MOMENT TO EVANGELIZE AND RECONCILE, attempts to convey Bob’s passion for funeral preaching, which he sees as critical opportunity to evangelize and reconcile.

Bob always offers to get clergy to officiate at funerals when there is not a church affiliation. He officiates at services only when people are completely resistant to having clergy. He is in love with the funeral liturgy yet accepts the poverty that comes with funerals that negate being held in church. His experience is rich, his insights powerful and practical.

Bob is presently on a “sabbatical” from the funeral business. He is spending a year with the Franciscan Friars Conventual in Mt. St. Francis, IN, near Louisville, KY. There, he lives, works, and prays with the Franciscan Friars, while working with them and their dynamic lay ministers. He works in their mission advancement and retreat ministries.

Ms. Jana Kramer


Jana Kramer, RN, CHPN, earned a B.A. in Psychology from Stony Brook University and a B.S. in Nursing from Molloy College. She has 14 years of experience as a Registered Nurse and holds national certification as a Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse (CHPN). Jana has had the privilege of providing end-of-life care to patients and families in nursing homes for many years, followed by 6 years as a full-time hospice nurse in both community and inpatient settings.

Dcn. Steve Kramer

SHSST Director of Homiletics

Deacon Steve Kramer was ordained in 1994 for the diocese of Rockville Centre, New York and is now incardinated for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.  He holds an M.A in Theology from Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, New York and a Doctorate (D.Min.) in Preaching and Communication from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts.  He is the Director of Homiletics and Associate Professor of Pastoral Studies at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wisconsin.  In addition, Deacon Kramer teaches homiletics to the candidates for the Permanent Diaconate Formation program of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.  Deacon Steve is a nationally known retreat master and speaker on preaching/communication topics, as well as contributing articles and a quarterly column for The Deacon magazine.

Steve also spent four years as Director of Pastoral Care at a 138 bed Catholic nursing facility on the East coast and preached at numerous funerals for the residents of the nursing home.

Fr. John Mack

Vice President for Formation Programs at SHSST

Fr. John Mack, Th.M., S.T.L. serves as the Vice President for Formation Programs (Human, Spiritual, Pastoral Dimensions of priestly formation) at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. A priest from the Diocese of Buffalo, he served for 12 years in various capacities at Christ the King Seminary, East Aurora, NY.  Pastoral experience over 35 years of ordained ministerial priesthood includes rural and suburban pastorates, college campus ministry leading a Newman Center, 10 years teaching high school, and 29 years in Air Force Chaplain Service, primarily in the Air National Guard.  Fr. Mack is an active proponent for organ donation having received a living liver donation transplant June 30, 2020.