Bishop W. Shawn McKnight presides at the inaugural Mass for the newly created St. Vincent de Paul parish of Pettis County on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019.
The new parish, which carries the same name as the first parish that was founded in Sedalia over 150 years ago, is a combination of the former St. Patrick and Sacred Heart parishes in Sedalia and the former St. John the Evangelist mission in Bahner.
All three church buildings will continue to function as worship sites for the united parish. Sacred Heart School, which educates children in pre-kindergarten through high school, will continue as a primary mission of the new parish and will retain its current name.
“By joining the parishes together, the members of the Catholic Church in Pettis County now belong to a wider group of parishioners for the benefit of all,” stated Bishop McKnight in his homily. “The greater efficiency that comes with working together allows the Church to leverage the spiritual, financial and human resources throughout the whole county, such that the Church can provide a full range of better parish services that everyone deserves to have. This is how the new parish of St. Vincent de Paul is greater than the sum of its parts.”
The Mass was celebrated in the Heckart Performing Arts Center at Smith-Cotton High School in Sedalia. More than 700 people attended.
Joining Bishop McKnight at the altar were: Bishop Emeritus John R. Gaydos, who led the Jefferson City diocese from 1997-2017; Father Joseph Corel and Father David Veit, who serve together (“in solidum”) as pastor of the new parish; Monsignor Robert A. Kurwicki, vicar general for the diocese; and Precious Blood Father Mark Miller, former pastor of the Sedalia parishes and Bahner mission.
Deacons of the new parish assisted at the Mass. Christopher Hoffman, a son of the parish and a seminarian for the diocese, was the sacristan.
A choir and ensemble made up of liturgical musicians and vocalists from the various weekend Masses at the parish, led the singing.
Together, after the homily, everyone joined Bishop McKnight in praying the following prayer:
O Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
My parish is composed of people like me; I help make it what it is:
It will be friendly, if I am.
Its pews will be filled, if I help fill them.
It will do great work, if I volunteer.
It will be prayerful, if I pray.
It will bring others into worship and fellowship, if I invite them.
It will be a parish of charity and mercy, if I have a generous spirit and a tender heart.
Therefore, with Your help, O Holy Trinity, and through the intercession of St. Vincent de Paul, I dedicate myself to the task of becoming all things that I want my parish to be. Amen.
A reception followed in the Knights of Columbus Hall. (100 photos)