This article was originally published in the summer 2024 issue of our quarterly newsletter, The Vincentian

The Congregation of the Mission Western Province has elected Fr. Joseph Williams, C.M., to serve as Provincial Superior, effective June 25, 2024. He succeeds Fr. Pat McDevitt, C.M., and will be formally installed at the Province’s Assembly in New Orleans in the final week of June.

The Kansas native was ordained in Denver in 1987 and has served in a variety of ministries, including pastor and associate pastor in parishes in Missouri, Illinois, and Colorado, as well as numerous academic and chaplain positions. For seven years prior to his current position as pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Chicago, where he has served since 2021, he was Assistant Provincial for the Western Province.

Fr. Joe expressed thanks to the provincial community for selecting him to lead the Province.

“I am honored and humbled by my confreres at their trust and hope in me to continue to move the Province forward,” he said. “I look forward to working with the confreres of the Province as we strive to share our mission and charism with those we serve.”

He said that he will focus on working with the priests and brothers of the Province, as well as its mission partners and lay collaborators, to shape models and methods of sharing the Vincentian mission, in particular focusing on instilling the Vincentian charism in young people through parish schools, religious education programs, and Vincentian institutions like DePaul College Prep High School and DePaul University.

While he said such efforts can serve to bring more young men to the Vincentians as vocations, he is realistic about recruitment being able to keep up with declines in the numbers of active Vincentians through aging. He said robust partnerships with organizations and individuals who share in the Vincentian mission can go a long way toward keeping the mission alive and can energize vocation recruitment.

“I look forward to continuing to work with our partners in ministry going forward,” he said, “as well as to making new partnerships in service.”

Fr. McDevitt served as Provincial from July 2020 through this June, an active period that included pandemic lockdowns, the relocation of the provincial office, and the establishment of the Region of Kenya as a Vice-Province, among other initiatives. He offered Fr. Williams his support and well wishes.

“These moments of change are opportunities for renewed hope, and as Vincentians, it offers us an opportunity to deepen our commitment to service to the poor,” said Fr. McDevitt. “We offer Fr. Joe Williams our support and our prayers as he helps us move forward in the future.”