Cheryl Archibald Embraces Role as Parish Life Coordinator for St. Vincent/St. Pius V

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

Cheryl Archibald dedicated 31 years to the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) before heeding what she considers God’s invitation to something different.

“I was doing practicum studies when the executive director asked if I was interested in going to Aquinas,” Cheryl said. “I had no idea what Aquinas was, but I said ‘yes.’ That seems to be the story of my life, saying ‘yes’ to the unknowns.”

Enrolling at Aquinas Institute of Theology in Midtown St. Louis, she pursed a theology degree, embracing the unknowns that shaped her life.

After graduation, she ventured into a pastoral associate position at St. Matthew the Apostle Parish in North St. Louis, which she held for five years. In 2018, she was invited to be Parish Life Coordinator at the parish and served in that role until 2023.

The Parish Life Coordinator is a relatively newer role in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. She leads the operations and organizational dimensions of parish life and serves in partnership with the Pastor. Together they see to the spiritual, formational, liturgical, pastoral, and sacramental needs of parishioners. Cheryl was the first lay person and the second woman in the St. Louis Archdiocese to serve in this role.

With the All Things New reorganization earlier this year, St. Vincent de Paul Parish in St. Louis was paired with St. Pius V; the two parishes would share a pastor, Fr. Rich Wehrmeyer, C.M., and staff. Celeste Mueller, who was serving as interim PLC, contacted Cheryl, whom she knew from the Aquinas Institute, to see if she would be interested in the position.

“St. Vincent/St. Pius appealed to me because of the diversity of the community, and the outreach to the poor is phenomenal,” she said. “The Vincentians live up to their name here. The constant giving and interacting with the guests warms my heart.”

As of this writing, Cheryl had been in the job only a couple weeks but said she is “having fun.”

“I find, especially women, excited there is a woman in a church leadership role,” she said. “And the position allows me to share the gifts I have been given. I know beyond a doubt, God has invited me into these positions. I had to say ‘yes.’”