Blessings of peace to you, and welcome to this Jesuit Catholic parish of Missoula, the only Jesuit parish in Montana. This Parish was established by the Jesuits in 1891 and it is with great anticipation that we are looking forward to our 125th anniversary in September 2017.
The community has been in continuous existence since its founding and we are blessed by all the members of this vibrant place. While we honor and cherish our past, we are a parish that continues to seek new ways to be more than just a Sunday respite. St. Francis Xavier has gained a reputation in Missoula for well-planned and well-executed Eucharistic liturgies, including beautiful liturgical music.
St. Francis Xavier has a long social justice and outreach tradition, devoting nearly 20% of its annual budget to the care of the poor, the sick, and the otherwise disadvantaged. In addition, the parish has developed education, hospitality, faith formation, prayer and spirituality, and many other programs consistent with Jesuit and Archdiocesan apostolic priorities.
We are committed to promoting Gospel values and witnessing to the presence of the beginnings of the Kingdom in our midst. We are united with the Diocese of Helena, and as a work sponsored by the Society of Jesus we adopt apostolic priorities of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus and we embrace its spirituality. Our Bible Studies, youth activities, outreach and various classes all strive to meet the needs of a large and diverse population.
The Fall Parish Picnic begins our year on a happy note as the Knights of Columbus, Jesuit Volunteers and members of our various ministries work to put on an enjoyable event. Our Food Drive and Giving Tree (now over twenty years old,) and more recent Family Promise Project bring together not only our parish family, but the greater Missoula community as well.
There is a sign that hangs in my office, a quote from Teillard de Chardin, S.J. that says: “Joy is the most infallible sign of the presence of God.” When I hear the laugher in the parish center or in the hall or on the steps. I know these words are true. I am eager to hear your story and invite you to participate in the joy of this parish. My hope is for you to meet other parish members and to learn from veteran parishioners the opportunities for belonging and serving. For sure the parish needs the eyes and voices of newcomers to alert the whole community to what the Spirit wants to accomplish through us.
I promise the least and best I can offer – my prayers. As you explore our on-line presence in these web pages, I hope you will take a moment to listen for that ‘still, small voice’ whispering in your heart. And, as you listen, ask yourself, “Could Saint Francis Xavier be the community I’ve been hoping for? May you hear Christ’s voice reply “Come and see.”
Please feel free to contact me if you are visiting St. Francis Xavier, I will be delighted to meet you personally if at all possible.
Fr. Joseph Carver, SJ
Pastor – St. Francis Xavier