After 12 years of teaching art and working as an artist, Sieger undertook theological studies for the priesthood and in 1971 he was ordained a Catholic priest. From 1975 to 1995, Fr. Köder exercised his ministry as a parish priest in Hohenberg and Rosenberg. In 2003 the Abbey of Benediktbeuren gave him an honorary doctorate in theology. Today he lives in retirement in Ellwangen, not far from Stuttgart. He still continues his art.
|Jesus Washing Feet of Peter|
The years of his ministry as a priest are among the most prolific with inspiring works of art. There is complete synergy between Father Köder being a priest and an artist. He uses his paintings as Jesus used his parables. He reveals the depth of the Christian metaphors, shedding light and colour on life and human history.
Father Köder's art is heavily charged with his personal experience of war during the Nazi period and the time of the Holocaust as seen in some of his paintings, especially the one of Venerable Father Franz Stock, as he gives Communion to a fellow prisoner. In the lion, the lamb and the Child, one sees the prophet of old crying out, surrounded by what looks like barbed wire, hence the imprisonment which the Child has come to free us from..
|Father Franz Stock|
|The Lion, the Lamb & Child|
His folk paintings have Old and New Testament themes. One of the features of his work is the child-like simplicity of the characters and the way in which Jesus is often depicted by reflection rather than and actual full presence. This technique has both a hint of resurrection and a respect for the Old Testament notion of not being able to name or see the Lord.
He works are inspired by the artist Chagall which one can see by his use of bright colors and his style and themes.
Art can help us to meditate on the deep mysteries of our faith, and seeing his themes of the closeness and love of God, Father Köder's art helps us to do that.