Video Welcome Fr. C. Hightower, S.J. as our new pastor!
It is with humble, yet great joy that I greet you this weekend as the new pastor of St. Francis Xavier and St. Ignatius Mission parishes, along with mission stations, Sacred Heart, Arlee and St. John Berchmans, Jocko. I am grateful for the trust placed in me by the JesuitWest provincial, Scott Santarosa, and by the Bishop of Helena, Austin Vetter. I am also encouraged by your warm welcome of me and by your prayers. Since joining the Ravalli Jesuit Community in the winter of 2017, I have served at Loyola Sacred Heart, teaching and coaching, and then, since the summer of 2017, as Pastoral Delegate at St. Ignatius Mission; serving also at St. Francis Xavier every other month or so. As such, many of you already know me and therefore I do not feel the need to list my resume or history. I would like to share a little about my leadership style. St. Francis Xavier and St. Ignatius Mission have wonderfully strong ministry teams in place, so I do not see any radical change at either parish.
My concept of leadership stems from the central idea of Ignatian spirituality. This spirituality is grounded in the loving encounter of Ignatius of Loyola, with the Father’s love thrust into human history by Jesus of Nazareth. It is grounded in Ignatian readings of the Gospel message of a God interacting with us as a merciful and faithful Father; a vision of reality, although aware of sin, in which one is open to a personal encounter with Christ. This encounter summons the individual to freedom, the freedom granted unconditionally to us by Christ on the Cross.
As a Jesuit priest serving in the Diocese of Helena and formed by the Ignatian charism, I believe leadership must also therefore be through discernment. This discernment is understood as a means of grasping God’s will. As in any apostolate, this would require the continuance of the Jesuit pedagogical methods so well-known through academic excellence, Mission statements, local practices, and in union with the hierarchical Roman Church. St. Francis Xavier and St. Ignatius Mission must not only be recognized by traits easily specified, i.e., active participation, good liturgical practices, and a healthy community; but also, by their commitment to the service of Christ’s Gospel message being played out both locally and in the world. With your prayers and support, this is exactly what I and the ministry team desire to do at St. Francis Xavier and St. Ignatius Mission parishes.
C. Hightower, SJ
A few gentle reminders:
The Parish office is open 8:00 am until Noon Monday thru Thursday please note that Autumn will receive your calls remotely in the afternoon until 4:00 pm. All parish activities remained suspended unless expressly noted.
- Find a way to pray which works for you – we will post ideas, options and methods on our Facebook page..