Kevin Kuehl serves immigrant and refugee population in new role

This article initially appeared in the winter 2023 issue of our quarterly newsletter, The Vincentian.

Though Kevin Kuehl started his job as Immigrant and Refugee Coordinator at St. Vincent de Paul/St. Pius V parishes this past August, his desk is filled with work that seems to tell a different story.

The immigrant and refugee ministry is the collective effort of six parishes in St. Louis, including St. Vincent de Paul and St. Pius V. A board that formed from those parishes decided in the past year to hire a director.

Kevin, who studied with the Jesuits from 2017 to 2021, had done two years of formation at Our Lady of Guadalupe in St. Louis, including a couple months at the border at El Paso, TX. Prior to that, he worked as a missionary in Honduras, so he has experience working on both sides of the border.

“I think we have an opportunity to do something a little different, to make people feel welcome and help them with healing and reconciliation,” he said. “They have been through so much.”

He has been getting to know the people he is serving, making home visits, which can lead to connecting them to services at St. Vincent’s, St. Pius and elsewhere. He has encountered people who have fled war, persecution, and unlivable conditions. He feels privileged to share their stories.

“I keep coming back to the word ‘community,’” he said. “I think it would be beautiful to see us as a church empowering immigrants to assist one another as well, to grow in community with one another with a sense of family and belonging.”

Photo cutline: (Bottom Photo) St. Pius V Parish held an Immigrant Mass this fall to celebrate the cultures of the various immigrant communities in St. Louis.