On Sunday, June 23, Fr. Peter Patrick Kimani was greeted at 8 and 10:30 a.m. St. Sebastian masses with a multitude of voices singing, “All are welcome in this place” – a fitting way to show the parish’s acceptance of our newest administrator. He is the 11th pastor in 108 years.
The 44-year old priest was ordained in 2014 and comes to St. Sebastian and St. Catherine via St. Robert and Holy Family, where he served as associate pastor. He offered a glimpse into his personal life and pastoral approach.
Tell us about yourself.
I am from Kenya, and I am excited to be here. I turn 45 on July 19! (Visit http://bit.ly/SebsKenya for more information about Fr. Peter Patrick’s journey to Wisconsin.)
What did you know about St. Sebastian & St. Catherine?
I just knew they were parishes serving the west side. I visited St. Sebastian on December 29 – it was a Saturday, and very quiet, but the church was beautiful. I also visited the school with a former Holy Family parishioner whose granddaughter attends St. Sebastian, and I loved the building.
What are some of your first activities?
I celebrated Wednesday morning Mass last week, and I enjoyed talking with people afterwards. I also attended a dinner for Faith Formation catechists on Thursday. I’m looking forward to meeting the prayerful people who provide time, talent and treasure to our community. I want us to offer a Christ-centered church to pray in and school to study in. As a team, our lay leaders and priest work together to meet this attainable goal.
I haven’t had the experience of seeing what types of ministries are going on here, but I’d like to look at establishing some small faith-sharing groups. I also want to emphasize the sacrament of reconciliation – one of the most forgotten sacraments. I also may suggest we do adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as a way to bring people together.
Outside of church work, what do you enjoy doing?
On my day off, I like going to watch movies. I also play soccer and volleyball. And I run every morning – at least 5K – while praying the rosary. I count the prayers on my fingers. If I can’t run because I have other obligations, I feel both physically and spiritually a little sick. I need both to keep me going. I also like playing soccer and volleyball. Even though coffee is grown in my home country of Kenya, I like tea. I enjoy simple rice and beans, but I also enjoy going out to eat. I almost always wear my priest collar except while exercising.
How do you like living in the Parish House?
Pope Francis says priests should be close to the people you serve – “shepherds living with the smell of the sheep!” That is why I know I will enjoy living here. Both my new and former parishioners have given me many gifts to furnish the area, and the staff has done a wonderful job of renovating the space, so I am comfortable.
Do you enjoy working with kids?
I’m looking forward to visiting both schools this fall, to come and talk to children in class. I also love working with youth. I’m interested in organizing a mission trip so young people can learn to understand life in other places. Travelling makes people more human, especially when they see people living in difficult situations.
Where can people find you over the summer?
I’m in the office every day except Thursday, from about 8 am to 5 pm. I’m on Facebook and What’s App, but the best way to get in touch with me is email – firstname.lastname@example.org. Or stop in to say hello. It’s important to build relationships with people. St. Sebastian and St. Catherine have very different cultures. It’s like having two children – both are special. We are family, and I know I need to give them each their own space.