For those of you wondering, “Who is the senior priest saying Mass at St. Gabriel’s these days?”, I am Monsignor Joseph Simon. As a matter of fact, I am newly-retired and very excited to be in-residence at the rectory. I grew up a few miles north of St. Louis Hills in the City of Pagedale. I attended St. Catherine of Siena Grade School and Mercy High School but both schools closed some time ago. I graduated from the School of Commerce & Finance (now B & A) at St. Louis University in 1965, worked 14 months at McDonnell Aircraft in Dept. 14 (F-4 contracts), and entered Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in 1966. I was ordained to the priesthood in 1971 by then-archbishop Cardinal John Carberry and have since been assigned to nine parishes but never to St. Gabriel the Archangel. I did spend four years at St. Joan of Arc and two at St. George’s. I was pastor of four parishes: St. Bridget in Pacific MO, Holy Redeemer in Webster Groves, Queen of All Saints in Oakville and the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. Happily I finally made it to St. Gabriel’s. My last parish assignment that ended June 25 was Rector of the Cathedral Basilica. Having reached the magic age of 75 last August, I approached Msgr. Shamleffer in December to discuss the possibility of living at St. Gabriel’s and assisting in the celebration of the sacraments. I am truly grateful for his welcome to me. Now you have two priests living in the rectory that have a dual connection: the priesthood and Boeing Aircraft, formerly McDonnell Aircraft.
Thank you for your hospitable welcome a few weeks ago. May St. Gabriel the Archangel watch over you.
Monsignor Joseph Simon