Father Joseph John Rimshaw, SSJ

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Father Joseph John Rimshaw, SSJ

fatherrimshawJosephite Father Joseph John Rimshaw died on Friday, July 11 in Melbourne, Florida. He was active in ministry for his full 66 years as a priest and was 93 years old at his passing.

Father Rimshaw was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the son of Samuel and Frances Andrewsevich Rimshaw and was baptized in Immaculate Conception Church. He attended public and parochial schools there. Feeling called to the priesthood, he entered the Josephite minor seminary after his high school graduation in 1939 and continued at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Washington until his ordination in the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in 1948.

His first Josephite assignment was at St. Peter Claver church in New Orleans followed by Incarnation and St. Luke churches in Washington, DC. His first pastorate was at Immaculate Conception Church in Bryan, Texas, where he also served as chaplain to students at Prairie View University. His last Josephite pastorate was at St. Pius V parish in Jacksonville, Florida.

In his later years Father served in the Spanish ministry in Argentina and Honduras. He was chaplain at several Florida correctional institutions and made mission appeals for the Christian Foundation for Children and the Aging as well as assisting at Our Lady of Lourdes church in Melbourne, Florida.

The Mass of Christian Burial for Father Rimshaw is offered on Thursday, July 17 at Our Lady of Lourdes church with burial following in St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Palm Bay, Florida.

Funeral Arrangements for Father Joseph

Wednesday, July 16
6 p.m. 
Our Lady of Lourdes
420 E Fee Ave, Melbourne, FL 32901 

Thursday, July 17 
11 a.m. 
Funeral Mass 
 Our Lady of Lourdes
Christian Burial will be held at St. Joseph
Cemetery in Palm Bay, FL following Mass


New Chapter for the Knights of Peter Claver

Lay organization establishes first council in the Arlington Diocese

By Dave Borowski

Bishop Grant Jones, executive director of the Knights of Peter Claver Gulf Coast District, prepares to present a commendation to Grand Knight Joseph Brooks and Grand Lady Beverly Thornton.

Men in dark suits, dark ties and white shirts sat in an old St. Joseph school classroom in Alexandria last February, waiting nervously for their initiation ceremony into the Knights of Peter Claver to begin. Nearby in St. Joseph Church, women in white dresses also waited for the ceremony that would welcome them to the Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary.

The Knights of Peter Claver, a historically Black men’s Catholic lay organization, was establishing its first Council in the Arlington Diocese. It was something that parishioners like Deacon Albert Anderson and Patricia English had been working toward for some time.

The Knights of Peter Claver’s mission is “to render service to God and His holy church, render aid and assistance to the sick and disabled and promote social and intellectual association among our members.”

The Knights have approximately 300 Councils for men and Courts for women throughout North and South America.

The group was founded in 1909 in Mobile, Alabama, by three Josephite priests and four layman. The society was named for St. Peter Claver, a Spanish priest who ministered to African slaves in Colombia, South America, in the 17th century. The Knights were established in an age of segregation to give Black Catholic men the opportunity for full membership in a Catholic fraternal organization.

The new Council at St. Joseph is named Bishop Paul S. Loverde Council 398 to honor the man who was instrumental and supportive in establishing it.

Bishop Loverde joined 13 other men in the sacred initiation ceremony. The bishop chose to go through the entire initiation ceremony that is usually waived for the clergy.

After the ceremony, Josephite Father Donald Fest, St. Joseph pastor, addressed the new Knights. He told the men that he was proud of them and asked them to work to establish a junior Knights and junior Daughters program for their children and grandchildren.

“It would be a great experience for our youth,” he said.

He urged the new Knights to inspire other men to join the Council.

KnightsThe men went on to recall their reasons for joining. The answers were similar – Catholic service.

James Lightfoot is involved in a prison ministry and wanted to find additional men to help him minister to this largely forgotten population.

Deacon Steve Morello, who assists at the church, said his reason was simple. “I was asked,” he said, and added, “Service is more effective if it’s organized.”

Deacon Anderson said he is also a Knight of Columbus but joined the Knights of Peter Claver as an alternative adding, “This is not a competition.”

Father Bekeh Utietiang, pastor of St. James Church in McMechen and St. John Church in Benwood, both in West Virginia, traveled that great distance to be initiated into the Knights of Peter Claver.

James Brown came from St. Jude Church in Fredericksburg, Virginia, to be part of the historic event.

There was another common thread among the men: almost all said that Deacon Anderson was instrumental in encouraging them to join.

Like Deacon Anderson, many of the men are also Knights of Columbus, but joined the Knights of Peter Claver because of the shared experience.

Joseph Brooks, the new Grand Knight, said, “It’s a great honor,” to be asked to serve, adding that there are great people around him to help make it work.

After the initiation, the men and women gathered in the church for an establishment Mass celebrated by Bishop Loverde. In his homily, the bishop said that this establishment “marks a significant moment in this diocese.”

Officers of both the Council and the Court were installed after Mass and given the symbols of their authority and official papers. There were many thanks to go around especially to Deacon Anderson, Patricia English and Bishop Loverde. The bishop said, “I am happy to be an instrument to bring this to fruition.”

With pomp and circumstance the ceremony ended and all processed out to begin their new lives of service to the church.

Father Donald Fest, SSJ, is pastor of
St. Joseph Church in Alexandria, VA.

Article courtesy of The Catholic Herald, newspaper for the Diocese of Arlington, VA.



St. David’s Community Center

Nine years after Katrina, one pastor’s battle has been won

By David Andrews


It was August 29, 2005. The category four hurricane was so destructive that it is now known by its name – Katrina.

Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, leveling homes in Mississippi and flooding much of New Orleans when the infamous levees gave way in the lower Ninth Ward.

While many people recall Katrina as the past, many people in New Orleans and other Gulf Coast areas are still reclaiming their lives and neighborhoods. Among those are Josephite parishes and schools.

When Katrina hit St. David’s parish in New Orleans, two residents rushed to take anything they could to higher ground as water climbed to the top step of the second floor of the rectory building.

When the flood receded, all 11 parish buildings were inundated, including the school, which was deemed irreparable and was razed in the following months.

Fast-forward five years, one month, and two days to October 1, 2010.

Father Oswald Pierre-Jules, SSJ, was assigned pastor of the parish, as the parishioners were deep in talks with the Archdiocese of New Orleans and architects about potential plans to rebuild the school. Father Pierre-Jules recognized the importance of the school to the community, since many residents of the parish were alumni.

AfterKatrina While the archdiocese was initially reluctant to commit to rebuilding the school, Father Pierre-Jules and parishioners pressed forward to get the school building back up and functioning. At that time, people were still returning to the Ninth Ward, but the numbers were seemingly too low to open a 200-student school.

“The archdiocese told me they would not allow construction of the building until they had a guarantee that we could meet the expenses and maintain it,” said Father Pierre-Jules. After much persuasion, the archdiocese relented and issued an ultimatum.

“They gave me until December 12 to come back with potential tenants. After the meeting, I went into the chapel and I said, ‘Oh Lord, I think that building is the reason for me leading this parish,’” Father Pierre-Jules recalled.

The newly assigned Josephite pastor said he understood the apprehension of the archdiocese, but the prospect of disappointing so many people who had returned to the parish was a bigger burden to bear, especially since money had already been given to the parish and preliminary plans were already in place when he arrived.

Father Pierre-Jules and some parishioners began working the phones figuring out how to make the new community building a reality.

The Josephite priest said he also called someone that he couldn’t reach on the phone. “I said to God, ‘You have to lead me somewhere or else that building won’t be built,’ ” said Father Pierre-Jules.

BeforeKatrinaThe hours he spent making calls paid off when he got in touch with Total Community Action, TCA, a foundation that is in charge of Head Start programs.

After meeting with TCA, it became apparent that the building would have to be redesigned from its original blueprints to create a community space. The building architects developed a new plan that would cost an extra $85,000, which FEMA rejected. Already, $3.5 million in rebuilding funds had been allocated to the parish and the extra costs were another obstacle.

Prayers were answered on December 12, the final date the archdiocese had set for getting the plans and funding in place. TCA announced that it would cover the additional $85,000.

The parishioners and Father Pierre-Jules were delighted by the news.

After many trials and tribulations, the rebuilt St. David’s school was completed on May 31 of this year. Father Pierre-Jules said he attended over 100 meetings about the building, which stands right in the middle of the Ninth Ward. He said the school is another sign that the community is recovering from Katrina. The school will also continue to encourage people to return to their community knowing that their children have a place to learn.

Father Pierre-Jules said he sees the new school building even in his sleep. “Every time I passed by, I saw that building. I knew the building would remain a part of the legacy here at St. David’s. I feel like I can say my mission, when it comes to that parish, has been accomplished. I see what I have been through, my journey with that building, but at the end, I see the result of my fight,” says Father Pierre-Jules.

Father Pierre-Jules said the burden will be completely lifted from his shoulders on June 29 when the school is set to be dedicated.



Father Bartholomew Endslow, SSJ : 65 years in priestly service as a Josephite

By Sara Jeffers


Serving others certainly comes naturally to Josephite Father Bartholomew Endslow, pastor of Our Mother of Mercy parish in Pass Christian, Mississippi.

Going strong at the age of 93, Father Endslow celebrated the 65th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood in June. Looking back on how his vocation brought him to the Josephites, he recalls his teenage years. He attended public high school and interacted with Josephites as part of a Catholic social club he attended. He often played baseball with the group and described the club and its lasting impact on his life as being an example of “good peer pressure.”

Born in Peabody, Massachusetts, he grew up with two brothers and one sister. Although his father was a non-Catholic, he credits his parents for their unwavering support and loving assistance.

Father Endslow has seen many highs and lows throughout his religious career including living through Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Both the convent and the rectory of Our Mother of Mercy parish were destroyed and had to be rebuilt. The church also sustained damage and had to be renovated. Father Endslow oversaw that rebuilding process and experienced firsthand a test of his faith.

“God had a plan for us and together, we got through it. It was not easy, but our faith was our guide,” he recalled.

Many parishioners lost their homes and Father Endslow could relate to that reality as he lived in temporary housing (a small FEMA trailer) for two years. The loyal and faithful parishioners eventually returned and now the parish is stronger than ever with 450 registered families. They are proud of their religious formation programs and many parish activities which bring the community together.

When he’s not celebrating Mass, visiting the sick or comforting the sorrowful, Father Endslow is often found enjoying the beauty and breezes of the Gulf of Mexico. He said he loves to read outside.

When asked about his best memory that accompanies his Josephite vocation, he answered confidently, “I’ve lear-
ned more from the people I’ve served than they’ve learned from me. I have met a tremendous number of people who carry a deep faith and a strong sense of humility. It’s the people I’ve served who have truly made my calling so rewarding.”

Father Endslow is also very reflective with regard to the changes he has experienced in his nearly six and a half decades as a priest. He remembers implementing the changes that came from the Second Vatican Council, but he says the changes of the church are not nearly as drastic as the changes in our American society.

“In my mind, the changes in society are far more prevalent when compared to the changes in the church,” said Father Endslow.

A man of deep faith and unyielding loyalty to the Josephites and to his ministry, Father Endslow is truly a man of God. He’s ready to continue to embrace whatever lies ahead in his priesthood.