About Our Parish
St. Peter Claver Catholic Church is an intentional Catholic Community where a building does not define the parish. We are chosen to be sent, in faith, in hope and in love, because we believe God first chose us to become St. Peter Claver Catholic Church, a parish with 40,000 parishioners. Our pastor, Fr. John Phelps, C.Ss.R. brings Hope and Challenges us everyday as we live out the meaning of #iamchosentobesent.
Our history began November 27, 2005, when the people of two parishes - St. Francis de Sales and Precious Blood - agreed to merge. During a two-day retreat in August of that year, it was jointly decided to name this new parish for St. Peter Claver, a Spanish-born Jesuit who ministered to the slave population of Columbia during the 17th century. He witnesses to what it means to be Roman Catholic in a society filled with poor and powerless people, where injustice is common and hope can seem fleeting.
Fr. James O'Reilly, SJ became the pastor, while Deacon Wyatt Jones became pastoral administrator of the parish. Both Fr. O'Reilly and Deacon Jones were also deeply involved with Loyola High School, a Jesuit High School for boys. Fr. O'Reilly was a 3/4-time counselor there, and Deacon Jones was the Dean of Students . The Parish's first years were filled with joys as well as challenges. But all of us remained united in love for our Lord Jesus Christ, with a deep desire to grow closer to Him and serve Him with how we live. The Jesuit motto, "For the Greater Glory of God," became ours too.
Fr. John became our pastor November 27, 2016, although he had been with us for over a year spearheading, with Sr. Rosalie Esquerra, OP, an evangelization effort in our parish. The last two years have seen that effort grow into unique and beautiful tiny plants sprouting. Although some have not weathered the storms they have certainly gifted us with an ever renewing spirit of joy and hope.
Our parish functions through a growing servant leader model under the guidance of our pastor's servant-leadership, renewed through the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus and developed through Mary's way. This model includes:
The Mission: To empower the "four faces" of the parish to be proactive in building toward justice and peace for the sake of the next generation.
Our Parish Pastoral Council: is to consult with the pastor in guiding the parish.
Our New Evangelization Mission Team: is responsible for developing our members to carry out the tasks of the Mission Statement and inviting others to deeper faith in Christ and acceptance of His call to be His Apostles in this parish.
Our Elders' Counsel: brings their two-fold gifts of wisdom and common sense. To position the Pastor of 40,000 parishioners to be responsible and balanced, he wants a partnership to reflect upon the experience of the faith journey for the entire 7 1/ 2 square mile area.
St. Peter Claver Catholic Church