Anamoose priest attacked

Mystery swirls as investigation continues

ANAMOOSE – A priest serving churches in Anamoose and Drake was the victim of an attack Tuesday morning. The reason behind the assault remains a mystery and investigators are releasing few details.

According to the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, Father Robert Wapenski was attacked on church property in Anamoose and subsequently treated for injuries at Saint Aloisius Medical Center in Harvey about 18 miles distant. Anamoose is located approximately 60 miles southeast of Minot on U.S. Highway 52.

Paul Braun, communications director for the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, told the Minot Daily News Wednesday that he did not know the extent of injuries suffered by Father Wapenski or whether or not Wapenski remained hospitalized.

The incident is being investigated by several agencies, including the McHenry County Sheriff’s office which refused to comment citing an on-going investigation, including whether or not a suspect had been identified or was in custody.

Father Wapenski is 62 years old. He was ordained June 4, 2005 in Fargo. Wapenski was assigned pastor of St. Francis Xavier’s Church in Anamoose and St. Margaret Mary’s Church in Drake on July 1, 2009. He is originally from Cleveland, Ohio.

While details surrounding the attack remain unclear, sources tell the Minot Daily News that the incident had its beginnings on church property several weeks, even months, prior to this past Tuesday.

A short statement released by the McHenry County States Attorney contained no details other than saying further information may be released in the coming days.