The following article was posted on June 8, 2017.
Our Pastor, Father Robert J. Marrone, has announced his retirement to commence on September 11, 2017. For details on our quest for a new pastor, see our Pastoral Position Announcement.
Father Marrone Reflects
Father Marrone reflects on his thirty-five years of ministry with the Community of Saint Peter:
Thirty- five years ago when I accepted the position as campus minister at Cleveland State University (CSU), I needed to find a church residence which had an extra room. I had several choices, but ultimately I choose Saint Peter Church on East 17th Street, a place, oddly enough, I had never visited, and indeed, did not know even existed. That move changed my life in so many ways.
The energy and commitment of the Newman students at CSU eventually was able to bring new life to a dying parish. Young people, full of energy, took on roles of leadership both in the liturgy, and in guiding the decision making of the parish. Over the years the small group grew and Saint Peter’s grew as well and began a resurgence that few could have imagined thanks to the gifts they brought and shared with the Community.
Through that initial experience I learned that “imagination” was key to the energy of any church community, and that imagination was what made Saint Peter’s rebirth possible. Imagining a different way, a new form, and fresh possibilities enabled people of diverse backgrounds, ages, ethnicities and talents to come together and participate in forming a new model of a faith community.
So, the first gift I take from my years at Saint Peter’s is the joy of imagination; working together with people who shared their dreams with me and allowed me to share my vision with them; people willing to try new things, dare to undertake new ventures, and together dare to embrace possibilities that were greater than our limitations.
The second gift I received in my time at Saint Peter’s was the power of mutual ministry. When a real trust is built among members, then they can truly commit themselves to service of the gospel and the world. I have always believed that ministry is a two-way street. There is giving and receiving on both ends. As a minister, I received from the people of Saint Peter’s as much, if not more than I gave. What has made these three and a half decades so satisfying is the reciprocal nature of our work together.
The third gift, and perhaps the most important, was the continued caring commitment of each member to the good of the community as a whole. The past decade has thrown challenges at us that we could not have thought possible just a few years before. Most church communities have not been able to continue past the forced closing of their church buildings. Many have lost heart, failed to be able to come to a working consensus, and therefore, ultimately dispersed. As I reflect on 35 years of service to Saint Peter’s, our ability to stay together and continue to flourish as a new community is the most remarkable sign of imagination and the mutuality of our ministry.
These are the gifts I take with me in memories and stories: imaginative, mutual and reciprocal commitment to one another and the gospel for the life of the world. No one could have asked or hoped for more. What a gift to have shared it with this community for so long.
Our Pastoral Search
We are conducting a nation-wide search to recruit a full-time pastor/administrator.
Our Prayer For Leadership
Loving God, Creator of all possibilities,
open our minds and hearts to do our best work in this endeavor.
Allow your Spirit to shape our thoughts and guide our imagination as we seek
a new leader for the Community of St. Peter.
Lead us with clarity to one who shares our vision and mission,
who will challenge us to want more than goodness for ourselves
but also cooperation with all who strive for the common good —
more than security for our own community —
but witness with those who seek justice and peace in the world —
and more than satisfaction for our own wants
but generosity to serve our sisters and brothers in need.
May this search lead us to find one who will walk with us, inspire us,
teach us, pray with us, and challenge us to move forward together
as the Community of St. Peter.
We pray this in union with you and the Spirit, one God, forever and ever + Amen.
(Adapted from “Prayer for Leadership” by Joan Chittister, OSB)