Fr. Joe Scott, CSP is the newest member of the staff here at Old Saint Mary's. Here is a little bit about him as told by him. (We don't have a picture of him yet so we'll post that as soon as we get it.)
Now, here's fr. Scott:
As a brand new member of the parish staff of Old St. Mary’s Church, I want to share a few words to introduce myself.
I was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1946. My father was a cradle Catholic bearing Irish and Italian blood, with maybe a hint of German. My mother’s parents were born in Latvia and immigrated to Boston as young adults. They were Lutherans but my mother was baptized a Catholic when I was a senior in high school.
Around the same time I listened to a talk given by Paulist Father Ellwood Keiser. Since I was most aware of the importance of a friendly and welcoming priest to my own mother’s recent conversion, I was impressed by what Fr. Keiser said about the Paulist’s mission of reaching beyond the Catholic community and providing an open door to those seeking a meaning to their life that faith in Christ could provide. I answered the phone number on the brochure Fr. Keiser left behind, and by September of 1964 I was a student at the Paulist seminary.
I had a good feeling about the Paulists I met. They were friendly and informal. They were great story-tellers. They enjoyed a good joke. Men I’d relish being with for the long haul. I was ordained a Paulist priest in 1973.
Old St. Mary’s is my ninth assignment to a Paulist ministry since my ordination 43 years ago. Over those years many wonderful people of faith have helped me to grow in my understanding of what it means to be a priest. Three things I’ve discovered to be especially important for me: (1) Daily prayer, not so much of “saying prayers” as cultivating an awareness in my own life that God is ever present, (2) A love of scripture fostered by regular study of the Bible, (3) Doing what I can to foster understanding among people of different religious traditions. I’ve come to believe in the truth of the observation of the Catholic theologian Hans Kung that there will be no peace among nations until there is peace among religions. In my own life this has meant challenging myself to reach beyond my own comfort zone to seek friendships with folks who are different from me in the way they express the spiritual yearnings and satisfactions of their lives.
San Francisco is quite a city. I turned 70 this Summer and have discovered the pleasures of a Senior Clippers card. Even more fun than trying out Bart and Muni has been discovering so many interesting sights within easy walking distance. And I’m getting used to watching a cable car pass by my window several times a day.
But even more than seeing the sights I anticipate getting to know the people of Old St. Mary’s. I am so grateful for the warm welcome I’ve already received. I feel blessed to be now serving as a priest in this parish which holds such a special place in the collective Paulist memory, dating back to 1894. I look forward to meeting you!
Fr. Joe Scott, C.S.P.