Aug. 19 Event Begins a New Era in Vincentian Vocations and Formation
Under a bright blue sky and in blessedly cool weather for the season, the Congregation of the Mission Western Province celebrated its new Vincentian Mission House with a blessing and dedication ceremony Aug. 19, presided over by St. Louis Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski.
The day began with a 10 a.m. outdoor Mass on the front lawn of the Dominical Priory next door to the new Mission House, located on Lafayette Avenue in Midtown St. Louis. With a capacity congregation of more than 150, the Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Rozanski and Fr. Patrick McDevitt, C.M., Provincial Superior for the Western Province, as well as by Bishop Mark Rivituso, of the St. Louis Archdiocese, and Bishop Michael McGovern, of the Belleville, IL, Diocese. Also notably in attendance were Fr. Thomas Greene, S.J., St. Louis-area Jesuit Provincial; Fr. Thomas Nairn, OFM, St. Louis-area Franciscan Provincial; and Sister Teresa George, DC, Daughters of Charity Provincial, St. Louise Province.
The ceremony included the formal introduction of the Western Province’s new Director of Formation, Fr. Jeff Harvey, C.M. Along with recently appointed Vocations Director Fr. Toshio Sato, C.M., Fr. Harvey will lead a redesigned vocations and formation program for the Province, of which the new house will serve as the centerpiece, including as a residence for seminarians and discerners, as well as a place for vocations and formation events and other activities.
After the Mass, Archbishop Rozanski blessed the building from its front steps in front of the gathered crowd before continuing inside to bless the interior spaces.
“The establishment of the new formation house in our ancestral home of St. Louis is one major way we are creating a culture of vocations,” Fr. McDevitt said. “The Vincentian Mission House is not just a building. It is an invitation. It will be a place of welcome, hospitality, discernment, formation, and vocation commitment.”