A conversation with Father Gregory Kreinheder, pastor
Q The parishes of St. Joseph Church and St. Stephen the King Church are linked, bringing together faith communities with Italian and Polish heritages. Can you share how the linked parishes preserve both of those traditions?
A Like many parishes throughout our country, these two parishes each served an immigrant population as places where Catholics were united, not just by their common creed but by the cultures of their native lands. The experiences of Polish Catholicism or Italian Catholicism, both rich in their own wonderful ways, continue to influence the faith of these communities in ways that run much deeper than language or cuisine. The way that we encounter Christ is colored by our cultural experiences, through the history of these places, and, of course through the generations that have handed on the faith within their own cultural milieu. As a pastor of these two parishes, I have the privilege of standing together with these communities and looking at the same faith through two different cultural lenses. The added depth and richness of faith that comes through these experiences offers an opportunity to broaden one’s vision of a truly universal Catholicism.
Q St. Joseph’s and St. Stephen’s offer a number of ministries for parishioners and community members. Can you tell us about them?
A Both parishes have a variety of offerings. As linked communities, we share some resources and programs, like our faith formation and our combined choir. Societies like St. Anne’s Society, Altar Society, Rosary Society & the Polish Legion of American Veterans, continue in their respective communities. We have groups that include the broader community, such as the Golden Agers, our Lord’s Delight prayer community and our Youth Ministry, which welcome Catholics and Christians from other parishes and communities in our area. We are home to a Mass in the Extraordinary Form (Latin Mass) every week as well. Parishioners come together to enjoy the summer highlights of an Italian Festival at St. Joseph’s and a Polish Festival at St. Stephen’s.
Q What makes St. Joseph’s and St. Stephen’s unique faith communities?
A While each parish may be deeply rooted in its own cultural experience, we continue to be enriched by an ever-increasing diversity. Ultimately, we are united by our desire to come to know our God more deeply and to serve Him more faithfully. Our parishes continue to seek out ways to share the faith with one another and with the community in which we live.
St. Joseph Church
240 West First Street
Oswego, NY 13126
P: (315) 343-2160
St. Stephen the King Church
138 Niagara Street
Oswego, NY 13126
P: (315) 343-0350
Saturday Vigil: 4 p.m., St. Joseph
Saturday Vigil: 5:30 p.m., St. Stephen
Sunday Latin Mass: 7 a.m.,St. Stephen
Sunday: 9 a.m., St. Stephen
Sunday: 11a.m., St. Joseph
Monday: 12:10 p.m., St. Joseph
Tuesday: 7 a.m., St. Stephen
Wednesday: 7 a.m., St. Stephen
Friday: 12:10 p.m., St. Joseph