Introduction from Fr. Rick
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
I thought I would use this first letter to introduce myself, especially to those who were not here two Sundays ago. First of all, I prefer to go by “Fr. Rick.” I was born September 25, 1961, in St. Louis, although I was raised in Arnold, Missouri. I have 4 siblings, an older brother and sister, and a younger brother and sister. My mother, older sister, younger brother and sister still live in the St. Louis area. My oldest brother, who is retired from the navy, lives in San Diego with his wife.
I attended 12 years of public school before entering the Archdiocesan seminary in St. Louis. After two and a half years I took a hiatus before joining the Redemptorists and completed my college education and novitiate in Wisconsin. I did my theology studies at CTU in Chicago and also earned a Masters in Black Catholic Theology from the Institute of Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University in New Orleans.
I have been stationed in parishes in Omaha, Kansas City, Memphis and St. Louis, along with being editor of the Liguorian magazine for three years. I have always had an interest in areas of peace and justice. While I was in between college seminaries, I spent 2 summers working in Northern Ireland. I spent half of my time in Omaha working with our Housing Corporation. I have always tried to promote the work of peace and justice as an essential element of our Christian life. I was involved with community development while at The Rock in St. Louis, and most recently that included being on the Community Advisory Board of Reliant (now Simmons) Bank. So I am very excited to see the extensive social work you do here at St. Al’s.
While I have had many hobbies and interests, I spend most of my free time doing photography. While I am primarily involved in landscape photography, I have done some architectural and portraiture work. Not to mention liturgical and event type photography within the various parishes and communities in which I have lived. But I find being out in nature very relaxing and even spiritual at times, appreciating the beauty and wonder of God’s Creation. I look forward to exploring the area with camera in hand.
I also look forward to getting to know all of you, as well as the local neighborhood and community of Grand Rapids. I have also mentioned that I have only been in Michigan a few times to attend Redemptorist ceremonies in Detroit. In my brief time here I have already seen the vitality of the parish, and so, I am excited about joining you in building the kingdom of God.
In the Redeemer, Fr. Rick
P.S. I also shared that I, unfortunately, am terrible with names. I have even tried therapy with no luck. I apologize in advance, please don’t take it personally. But please do introduce yourself and remind me of your name and hopefully it will stick.