I don't often go to Mass twice on Sunday, but we did yesterday. We went to our normal (but not for long) 10 a.m. Mass at St. Rose for the farewell Mass of our parochial vicar, Fr. Jim, who will be taking over at a parish in Watertown that has been doing without a pastor for six months. We then went to Corpus Christi at 6 for the final Mass of Fr. Fitz, who is retiring.
The new pastor arrives today. His name is Fr. Marc and he arrives from Pax Christi in Eden Prairie. He's a young man, half the age of Fr. Fitz, and he now has the task of being pastor at the two parishes in Roseville, St. Rose and Corpus Christi. He comes highly recommended and we're grateful to have him, because sending a younger priest to St. Rose and Corpus Christi is a vote of confidence from the Archdiocese.
We have a shortage of priests in the Archdiocese. Until about 10 years ago, it was rare for one priest to be pastor of multiple parishes. We are members at St. Rose and have been for about 3 1/2 years now. We like St. Rose more than our previous parish, St. John the Baptist. We've never lived in Roseville but we've felt at home there. St. Rose is a suburban parish with an aging population, in keeping with Roseville generally. You see a lot of gray hair in the pews there and many of the members of the parish have been there for 40 or even 50 years. Corpus Christi is also in Roseville, but its history goes back to the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota. It's a significantly smaller parish and it is an oasis of calm just a half mile south of the madness of Rosedale. The congregation at Corpus Christi is perhaps a bit younger, but still aging.
People come to Roseville to shop and to dine, but you don't hear much about the city itself. It's easy to get on an expressway and never take a look at anything beyond the mall. Still, Roseville remains a good place to live and, like some of the other first-ring suburbs, may be ready for a renaissance. We're eager to find out.