From the Pastor's Desk
Fr. Dan White, S.J.
September 21, 2014
The next few weeks will truly put the COLLEGE in St. Francis Xavier (College) Church. The last weekend of the month is Homecoming as Saint Louis University welcomes parents and alumni back to campus. The week after will be a joyful celebration as Dr. Fred Pestello will be inaugurated as SLU’s 33rd president.
The hallway outside the President’s office is lined with pictures of all the previous presidents of the university. Dr. Pestello, of course, will be the first one not wearing a Roman collar. He is the first lay person to serve as permanent president in the school’s history.
This is a significant change but hardly out of the ordinary. A quarter of the 28 Jesuit universities in the United States now boast a lay president. Formation and passion for the Jesuit mission in higher education is hardly confined to Jesuits. There are many capable and talented individuals formed in the way of St. Ignatius who will be outstanding leaders for the future. Dr. Pestello is certainly one.
I ask your prayers for Fred and his wife Fran. They are not only new to SLU and the city, but are also new parishioners at College Church. We welcome them to our faith community. The university and parish have been intimately connected from our beginnings. May God continue to bless us both as we seek to serve in the heart of the city.