As I write this I am still technically Associate Pastor at St. Joseph Parish in Imperial, but by the time you read it, I’ll be the Parochial Administrator of St. Ann Parish. So first, what is a parochial administrator? The short answer is a parochial administrator is basically a pastor. The medium length answer is an administrator is sort of on probation, admonished by canon law and the Archbishop to be extra careful with the parish.
The Archbishop appoints all first time pastors as Parochial Administrators, typically for a year, before naming them Pastors. He has also arraigned for me to have a mentor to help me be successful at St. Ann. Both this period as parochial administrator and the mentor should assure you the Archbishop cares about St. Ann and its future.
So now for a brief introduction: Hello!
I’m Fr. Nick Winker. I grew up in St. Kevin’s parish, now Holy Trinity Parish, right near Northwest Plaza. I’m the oldest of 5 children. I attended the parish grade school, with the exception of 3rd-5th grade when we attended the St. Louis City Magnet schools. I went to SLUH for High School. I studied Computer Engineering at what was then the University of Missouri Rolla. I was involved in the Newman Center on campus and through the opportunities and relationships present there I was able to hear God calling me to the seminary. (God was pretty busy there, three other of my contemporaries at UMR students are now priests and one will be ordained a priest next year.)
I was ordained to the Holy Priesthood in 2010, and since then I’ve served as associate pastor at Immaculate Conception-Dardenne Prairie and St. Joseph-Imperial. Being a priest is a great honor and blessing. It is a blessing that requires sacrifice, yes, but each sacrifice seems to be repaid a hundred fold. I love being a priest.
I am so happy to be at St. Ann. I remember coming up to St. Ann many times during childhood for soccer games. Always carefully watching the speed limit on Natural Bridge. In fact, one year, when my parish didn’t have enough for a team, I played soccer for St. Ann. Today, I look forward to years of growing closer to Christ together.
Finally, I thank Fr. Bill for his leadership here and his kindness to me. I can only imagine how difficult it is for him to leave this special community after so many years.