Padre Pio Place dedicated as community rectory
by Deacon Rick Bauer
COLORADO SPRINGS. In a formal ceremony and blessing on Oct. 5, Bishop James Golka dedicated a fully-restored historic building on the grounds of Mount St. Francis to serve as Padre Pio Place, a community rectory for the Diocese of Colorado Springs.
Also participating in the dedication was Father Erin Kochivar, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Colorado Springs, as well as members of the clergy and over 200 parishioners. After the blessing and facilities tour, a parish meal celebrated the event.
Contributions from members of St. Francis of Assisi Parish and the Diocese of Colorado Springs exceeded the goal of $500,000 for the construction and renovation. The building dates to the early 20th century, and many modifications were needed to bring the spacious two-story facility up to current construction code and standards.
From the start last year, the vision that Father Kochivar had for a community of priests living together became a passion shared by Bishop Golka.
For one thing, the diocese has struggled to provide enough housing for diocesan priests, especially when seminarians return for the summer, Bishop Golka explained. Community living also provides support that priests need to thrive, he said.
“I think priests have so many blessings when they live in community,” Bishop Golka said.
“When you have priests out there alone — without community, without shared life experiences — it can be lonely and difficult. The Padre Pio Place is a great idea, and we are delighted to help out in the renovation of this classic facility. We look forward to fruitful years and priestly generations to come,” Bishop Golka explained.
Father Kochivar was equally enthusiastic and said that several priests are already interested in joining the Padre Pio community.
“I want to thank the parishioners of St. Francis for their generosity in making this vision possible. Priests living together in a community is not only beneficial for the priests but for the diocese, and for generations to come. In fact, Vatican II actually envisions this being a fruitful way for priests to grow in holiness, in communion with each other.”
For more details and information about the Padre Pio Place, a video on the facility is posted to the St. Francis parish website, and a virtual tour is also available. See https://stfranciscs.org/home/padre-pio-rectory-build for more information.
(Deacon Rick Bauer is a content editor for the Augustine Institute. He currently serves at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Colorado Springs.)