Residents of Elsberry will see a new face at Sacred Heart Church of Elsberry as Charles Tichacek has been installed as the new pastor.
“Before coming to Elsberry, I have served in Millwood, Sacred Heart in Troy, Saint Cecilia in the City of St. Louis; I worked in Latin America; five years in La Paz, Bolivia and several others,” said Tichacek. “I was called to Elsberry by Bishop Robert Carlson.”
Tichacek was ordained a Deacon in May of 1993 and as a Catholic Priest in May of 1994. According to him, all Catholic priests take a vow of obedience to the Bishop, as well as past successors. They also take a vow of celibacy, as to live not married.
“The vow of obedience allows the Bishop to move us from one parish to another a little more easily than if you were married,” explained Tichacek. “The priest who was here was needed in O’Fallon so they decided to move me between the two churches, here and Millwood, where I have been for the last four years. I am part time at both parishes, but recently, since June of this year, I have been coming to this church two days a week.”
Tichacek said it was Bishop Carlson’s auxiliary Bishop Rice, who came out on Sunday, Sept. 1 for an installation ceremony, naming Father Tichacek to Sacred Heart of Elsberry.
“A priest is appointed to an assignment, but then there is an official, Liturgical in the mass, installing him as the new Pastor at certain perishes. So the previous pastor’s have all had the installation and I had mine here on Sept. 1 at the 8 a.m. mass,” said Tichacek.
He said it was a gradual thing for him, knowing he wanted to get into the clergy, through grade school, in South St. Louis. Through priests at the parish, through encouragement from his parents, but mainly from the priests at the parish he grew up in, including religious sisters (Nuns) and the encouragement to follow their way of life. From there he went on to the high school seminary in Shrewsbury, then to college seminary, theology seminary, all in Shrewsbury near Webster Groves.
“I just continued to feel good about the calling and competent about my work in hospitals and jails, as well as the inner city work I was doing during the summer,” said Tichacek.
After a year at a perish as a non ordained laymen working with a pastor in Maryland Heights at Saint Blasé, he felt that was the critical period in his path to becoming a full servant of God.
So far Tichacek said he feels as though Elsberry has been extremely friendly and appears to be an extremely close knit community.
“It seems like there is a good collaboration between the Catholic Church and the other Christian communities,” said Tichacek.
With there being no more full time priest anymore, Tichacek said he has a great respect for the volunteerism throughout the community by keeping up the perish. Some of the goals Tichacek has are simply that he wants to not only follow what the Catholic Church wants him to do but to teach the word of God, or to teach, preach and sanctify. As far as his goals for the community, he said he just wants to encourage them to keep doing what they are doing, being as driven as they already are. He also said he wanted to limit his goals to what seemed reasonable because he is not here but two days a week. He said he also respects the community’s outreach organization.
“Most of our calls, I’d say 80 percent of them are for electricity, air conditioning, rent,” explained Tichacek. “We have a lady that does the interviews needed to validate the real needs. Having said that, I would like to see more youth in church, because they are the church of the future.”
All in all, Tichacek said he is here for the needs of the community and looks forward in helping people grow with the word of God and all that it entails.
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