Our Feast Day, Parish Mission, and the Priest Shortage

//Our Feast Day, Parish Mission, and the Priest Shortage

Our Feast Day, Parish Mission, and the Priest Shortage

Dear Parishioners,

From what I understand, our parish does not have much of a tradition of celebrating our  patronal feast day of St. Dominic Savio (March 9).  Perhaps that is because it falls in the season of Lent, a time of restrained celebrations in the Church.And yet, the observance of the titular saint of a particular Church like ours is a solemnity and ranked among the highest   celebrations of the liturgical calendar.  The Solemnities of St. Joseph (March 19) and the     Annunciation (March 25) are both celebrations that give pause to the more penitential flavor of the season of Lent.

We have scheduled the Parish Mission for March 8-10.  The mission will center around our   patronal feast day of St. Dominic Savio on Monday, March 9th.  Joe Farris (and his family) are full-time missionaries through the LifeTeen ministry program.  It is my  intention to cancel all parish meetings those nights so we can gather together for prayer and self-reflection.  Please make plans to attend and bring a neighbor.  Confession will be available each evening and this will take the place of a Lenten penance service.  This mission is a wonderful way to add prayer to your Lenten promises.

We will have ONE MASS on Monday, March 9, the feast day of St. Dominic Savio.  This Mass will take place at 7pm (no morning Mass on this day).  It will be preceded by a light communal supper and followed by our parish mission talk.

  • Sunday, March 8:  Vespers at 7:00 p.m. with Mission Talk
  • Monday, March 9, the Feast of St. Dominic Savio:
  • Mostaccioli supper 6:00 to 6:45 p.m.
  • Mass at 7:00 p.m.
  • Mission Talk at 7:30 p.m.
  •  Tuesday, March 10: 7:00 p.m. Adoration, Mission Talk, Benediction


The tsunami that swept over many other Archdioceses and Dioceses throughout the United States in the late 1960’s and the 1970’s has finally reached the shores of the Church of St. Louis – the priest shortage.  There are a multitude of reasons for our good fortune these last four decades, but the sobering reality of a shortage of priests is something we are all going to have to reckon with soon.  Several of my parish assignments had four priests in the rectory, even into the 1990’s.  But now as the largest classes of priests from the past move into  retirement at age 75, we have drastically fewer and fewer priests to fill the holes that their departures create.

We have been greatly blest to have Fr. Lydon assigned to our parish and I am NOT aware of any changes in that at this time, but that day will come and it will require a major adjustment to everyone.  More and more rural parishes do not have pastors and the sacraments are NOT being celebrated in those churches.  That reality is beginning to approach the parishes in the metropolitan St. Louis area as well.

In that spirit, I want to applaud the efforts of Kathy Pagano and all those parishioners who participate in the Prayer for Vocations each week.  While I realize we need good marriages,   solid singles and dedicated religious, we are desperate for priests to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and reconcile us to God.  As Deacon John mentioned, “I want someone to celebrate my funeral Mass.”  The challenge is great and many are unaware of the tsunami of the 21st century – the priest shortage.  We need to trust.  We need to pray. But we need to do more.  We need to encourage and give sons to the Church for service as priests.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us,


Fr. Paul J. Rothschild