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Letter from Fr. Paul Niemann, May 7, 2023

Dear Parishioners,

If you have been following the Archdiocesan news, you have seen or heard the term pastorate. This means one or more parishes served by one pastor. As of May 28, 2023, there will be primarily three forms of pastorate in the Archdiocese of St Louis. Among them is “one pastorate with multiple parishes.”

This means two or more parishes with the same priest as pastor of each parish. Mass would be regularly celebrated in multiple churches; each of the parishes has its own finance council; the finances are not combined. This pastorate model is proposed for St Pius V and St Vincent de Paul parishes.

I use the words proposed, proposal, and model often in this message, because the final decision about all of this rests with Archbishop Rozanski, who will announce his decisions on the weekend of Pentecost, May 27-28.

The proposal is for St Pius V Parish to join with St. Vincent de Paul Parish, not as a merger into a single parish, but as a close partnership: we would share one pastor, one parish staff, and one parish council. We will work together to strengthen our unique ministries, enhance worship, and exercise stewardship. Although we know this is not yet final, this model has been affirmed through several months of meetings and discussions at the Archdiocesan level. Please see Fr Chris Martin's article on page 4 of this week's bulletin for further explanation of the process.

All Things New presents us with a great opportunity. In our area of South City, St Pius V and St Vincent de Paul parishes bring many gifts to serve the community. I look forward to our parishes working together in the areas of faith formation, spirituality, liturgy, service and justice. Together we will grow as a vibrant Catholic presence in South St. Louis.

At the present time, the terms of the St. Pius V Parish Council members are coming to an end. St Vincent de Paul parish currently does not have a parish council. Now we have an opportunity to build a new Parish Council in service to both parishes, to consider the gifts and needs of the parishioners and the community.

The model also includes the role of a Parish Life Coordinator along with that of the Pastor. These two individuals would work, listen and pray together to set the pastoral direction of the Parishes. The Parish Life Coordinator leads the staff, oversees the organizational life of the parish, assures the functioning of the Parish Council, and the coordination of ministries and volunteers. The Pastor leads the sacramental life, prayer and worship; his role is to preach, teach, and provide pastoral care.

Assuming this model is the one approved by Archbishop Rozanski, I anticipate being assigned to another parish or pastorate this summer. So my time as your pastor at St. Pius is coming to an end.

I am grateful to all of you that we have had these years to share God’s grace with one another. Please continue to pray fervently for the renewal of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in every parish, every family and every heart as we look forward to Pentecost this year.

Peace be with you,

Fr Paul

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