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From the Pastor's Pen - June 14, 2020

WELL, THE WORD IS OUT — among our parish, anyway, and this weekend to the whole Archdiocese. Fr. Nikolai and I wanted our parish community to hear first, from our own lips, about our coming assignments. After 9 years as pastor of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne,, Archbishop Carlson called me Monday June 1, and asked me to accept appointment as pastor of St. Monica’s Parish, Creve Coeur (Olive St. Rd. and 270). He was very gracious in complimenting me on my work in my 2 previous pastorates, both in the city (Resurrection and St. Margaret’s) and on my work here in North County. I complimented the people I’ve worked with here to achieve important levels for the stability of the parish and spiritual goals. The current pastor of St. Monica’s, Fr. Joe Weber, is moving to another parish in that area. I’ve especially regarded St. Monica’s highly under the leadership of Msgr. Nick Schneider, which concluded in 2005 but is still influential.

As I’d hoped, Fr. Nickolai is appointed to lead St. Rose Parish, first with the title of parochial

administrator and then, after one no-doubt successful year, as pastor. We’ve shared virtually every scrap of activity and decision-making in the parish these 2 years, and I have full confidence in him. We have talented and committed people in the areas I mentioned above; a strong Office Manager in Gina, and great accounting service in Eric Thimsen of the Archdiocesan Shared Accounting Office. With you supporting him, as you have me, Fr. Nickolai will be your pastor in no time!

Moves like these can happen any time in a parish, but there are two reasons for this now. Our finances don’t support the costs of 2 priests; and the Archdiocese is stretched ever thinner to cover our parishes. Where I’m going also currently has an associate, just the pastor.

I continue to be grateful and in awe of God’s people for how we’ve gone on to worship in a

restricted context. Masks, even, are something we can get used to. (Wear as light a one as you can, for your own comfort.) Workers and volunteers sanitize the church constantly. As we conclude 4 weeks of these carefully opened Masses, we apparently have no new infections. Which means it’s time to continue the practices that have kept us safe, not time to let up.

We’ll have a month plus to enjoy our time together yet. This will be precious time to me.

- Fr. Tom


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