Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I have good news of great joy for you. Our provincial administration has nominated Fr. Steve Patti, O.F.M. to Bishop Burbidge to serve as your next pastor. In speaking with Bishop Burbidge earlier this week, he looks forward to accepting the nomination in his words “with great enthusiasm.” Steve is a wonderful friar with many talents and gifts that he looks forward to sharing as he ministers with and among you.
Steve was born in Boston and grew up in that area. He was a member of a local young adult group at his parish in Burlington, MA, was on a retreat with that group in New Hampshire and learned about a lay volunteer program called Franciscan Volunteer Ministry based out of Philadelphia. He ended up leaving his job and spending a year doing volunteer work at a soup kitchen in Philadelphia called St. Francis Inn. It was through that experience that he came to know the friars of Holy Name Province who ministered there. At the end of his volunteer year, he decided to join the formation program for the friars. He took his solemn vows in 2000 in New York City and was ordained in 2001, also in New York.
Since being ordained, Steve has served in ministry in Wilmington, DE; Durham, NC (at Immaculate Conception); Providence, RI; and most recently, a sort of return to his roots, back at St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia, where he has met many of our St. Francis parishioners who have spent time serving there. He has loved his time in Philly, but is very much looking forward to starting up in Raleigh.
In his free time, Steve likes to hike in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with family and friends or spend time at his family’s lake house in the lakes region of New Hampshire. He is an avid reader of fiction, poetry, history, and theology/spirituality; loves movies and art museums; and watching a good baseball or hockey game.
He expects to begin ministry here by the end of August. He is excited about the opportunity of coming to St. Francis, of getting to know the people, and being part of the vibrant and vital ministry of St. Francis.
Steve spent a few days here earlier this month to begin meeting with me and the pastor’s leadership team of the parish to discuss transition. He is very happy about the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in serving as pastor. Steve knows St. Francis of Assisi well, having been here many times, including for teen reconciliation services. Most recently he visited in January 2014 for discussion with the friar community about the possibility of succeeding me as pastor. I am thrilled that our minister provincial has nominated to Bishop Burbidge a joy-filled friar who has a great commitment to collaborative ministry and bringing forth the gifts of the baptized. Steve also has some experience with Bowen Systems Theory leadership.
I know you’ll enjoy getting to know Steve as he looks forward to getting to know you. He will be wrapping things up in Philadelphia in the next few weeks and making his way south so that we can have a time of transition together. Our Franciscan province has set September 1 as the official date of transfer, which gives us the next several weeks for the transition.
Fr. Bill and Fr. David look forward to continuing to serve at St. Francis and are happy to welcome Steve and assist with his transition. As for me, my last weekend will be August 17/18 with a farewell party Friday evening August 22 that all are invited. I’ll head north to my alma mater where our province has asked me to serve as the Guardian of the Siena College friar community and work in the president’s office as Mission Officer, a newly created position supporting the Catholic identity and Franciscan mission of the college.
In the peace of Christ,