Imagine the Lives We Could Touch!

Rev. Mr. Bill Twellman has dedicated his life to his Catholic faith. He is a deacon and a parish employee. He feels his roles as both will expand even more because pastorates will need to rely more on the laity. And that will result, he hopes, in more vibrant ministries and a larger Catholic presence.

“All Things New is all about us as a holy Catholic universal Church instead of all of us trying to do our own individual things in our own parishes, which is one of the reasons we have lost so many Catholics. We need to focus on how we can be a light in the world, and we can’t be a light if we don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.”

“It’s depressing to see the empty pews, knowing the young families in the area are not engaged,” sighs Deacon Twellman, who serves as the Parish Life Coordinator at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Portage des Sioux. He is also the pastoral associate at St. Norbert in Florissant.

St. Francis of Assisi knows loss. The 68 families who belong to the eastern St. Charles County parish have lost their town twice because of floods. They haven’t had a pastor for the last five years. Deacon Twellman serves as the entire staff.

“But this community is strong and faith filled,” continues Deacon Twellman. “We bring in priests for the one Sunday Mass at 8 am and to hear confessions. We have Eucharistic adoration and faith sharing activities. And we have one of the largest parish picnics in the Archdiocese of St. Louis!”

With just 68 families? “Yup! You wouldn’t believe how many chickens we sell!” laughs Deacon Twellman. “These families work hard to keep the parish alive.”

All Things New brings hope that every Catholic in the Archdiocese of St. Louis will have the opportunity to grow in their faith and invite others to join them in developing a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

“We see parishes that have youth ministers and what they do seems to be working, but we don’t have the resources to hire people,” reflects Deacon Twellman. “Imagine if we could pair with another neighbor parish or two and share a youth minister. Or offer social services to the poor where Catholic Charities doesn’t reach yet. Or have a full-time, on-site priest at every pastorate in the archdiocese. Imagine the lives we would touch.”

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