Born in Duluth, MN, Peter grew in Fairmont, MN, where St. John Vianney Parish and School were an integral part his life. It was there that his love of the liturgy grew as an altar server and budding organist. During his sophomore year of high school, a Rochester Franciscan Sister gave him a rosary with the instruction: “Take this to the seminary with you.” And, yes, “I still have that rosary,” says he. “God truly does drop hints at unexpected moments.”
Fr. Brandenhoff was ordained in 1970 for the then-Diocese of Winona, now the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, where served as pastor of a number of parishes. In addition, he served as director of the Diocesan Office of Liturgy and a high school religion teacher. He later received a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Minnesota and worked in a metro area behavioral health clinic as a psychotherapist for 18 years. During that time he also served several parishes and institutions in the Archdiocese as a weekend and weekday presider.
“The liturgy has been the highlight and greatest love of my ministry,” Brandenhoff says. “Being a weekend presider at The Basilica of Saint Mary is pure joy because the highest priority is given to the celebration of the liturgy, so beautifully enhanced by the sacred arts and the lively participation of the community.”
In his free time, Fr. Brandenhoff enjoys baking bread, cooking, and outdoor activities that include camping, biking, cross-country skiing and kayaking. He is an avid Scrabble player.