This needs wide coverage.
My good friend Fr. Joseph Johnson, for a few days more Rector of the Cathedral parish of my native place, St. Paul in Minnesota, who engineered having the Cathedral of St. Paul made the National Shrine of St. Paul during the special year dedicated to St. Paul, and who obtained from the Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls in Rome a brick, relic from the tomb of the Apostle Paul, who obtained a spectacular and rare perfect cast of Michelangelo’s Pieta for a chapel, who has raised remarkably the standards of liturgical worship of the Cathedral and lifted a vasty portion of the debt from the work done on the done, et al., is moving on to a new assignment. All this while simultaneously pastor of the Hmong parish.
However, 24 June is officially proclaimed by the mayor of St. Paul as “Very Reverend Joseph Johnson Day”.
I think that is JUST TOO COOL.
Here is the LINK to the story in the diocesan paper, The Catholic Spirit – also getting an overhaul these days.
I am really proud of this guy, whom I first met in Rome when he was a lay student. I had a part in bringing him to St. Paul in the first place and it is good… good… to see him get this recognition. I wish him all the best in his next assignment.
And, not only all that, but his charitable deeds surpass all others. As a seminarian on his way back to the NAC, he stopped as a Good Samaritan to help me as I lay in bits and pieces all over the intersection at Ponte Principe Amedeo Savoia-Aosta near the Vatican. A pretty horrific accident. He visited me regularly at the Ospedale Generale Santo Spirito in Sassia. I’m thankful to this day. Thanks Monsignor!
That is indeed pretty cool. I stopped to look around the basilica and pray one afternoon while making a road trip up I-35 to Duluth, though I didn’t have the opportunity to take part in any liturgical worship. It’s an absolutely beautiful church, though. I will pray for this good priest in his next assignment.
Can’t locate the link above to the diocesan newspaper. I will do a google search.
Twice it has been a privilege to hear Father Joseph speak, and both times without notes. Etched into memory as he spoke about Saint Paul I still hear the phrase, “The tent maker from Tarsus!”. He is a wonderful man.
This is more than cool, it is exemplar. I wonder if there is a way to share lessons learned from his time management and leadership skills with Catholics in leadership positions everywhere? Additionally, there may be lessons even a man of this considerable skill could learn. Why not make a good thing better? Finally, I think highlighting such a person in leadership would increase the understanding of this calling and improve the vocation situations when young men-among-men see what power there is in good works.
Congratulations to your friend, Fr. Z! How very exciting!
Holy Souls Hermitage, I hope you are completely recovered.
It truly was a great day, as I received a report from a good friend in the Cities. Like Fr. Z, I knew Fr. Johnson prior to his being ordained. One knew then that he was destined for good things. I think that this honor that the mayor placed on Father is a wonderful testimony for the very good things that he has done while rector of the Cathedral.
I know there will be more than several who are saddened to see him go from the Cathedral. My prayer for Fr. Johnson is that he finds peace in his new parish and that he is able to continue his very good work (theologically, liturgically, and civic mindedness) in a way that is consistent with the manner and dignity he showed while at the Cathedral. I have all the confidence in the world that he will.
Don’t worry about Father Johnson. He’s going to an awesome parish. Awesome.