Father Lee Piche pursued a doctorate in philosophy at Columbia University in New York on and off for a decade. He had been a visiting scholar at Princeton University and had taught at St. Thomas, his alma mater, for several years, and he long thought his career was destined to be in the classroom. . . .
“I’m still a pastoral person,” he said, but with a broader perspective “of working with all of the priests, parish councils, church leaders, trustees and others.” As moderator of the curia, he is chief of the archdiocese’s central staff. As vicar general, he is the archbishop’s representative and similar in many respects to any pastor who is the vicar of his own parish. He also serves as pastor of St. Andrew’s in St. Paul.
“It has been challenging and fast-paced – and especially challenging for multi-tasking,” he said. “The degree of responsibility and authority is very demanding. People are looking to me for decisions that affect their parishes.” He also found the archbishop’s absence for summer trips to Rome, Germany and Australia both “terrifying” and helpful “because I could feel my way into the job.”
“The aspect of this ministry that is most exciting is being able to assist the archbishop – to advise, to carry out his objectives and to understand his vision as the chief shepherd of the arch-diocese,” he said. “The things I’m learning and the people I’m meeting are fascinating – I never would have dreamed, for example, that I’d be on the Board of Trustees at St. Thomas.”
"I think I’m a good listener, and maybe that I don’t know all of the answers is a plus because I won’t make snap judgments. . . ."
He recalls how a homilist once told about a visit with a dying priest, and asking him for what he should pray.
“People are looking for someone who will listen to them and understand where they are coming from,” Piche said. “I think I’m a good listener, and maybe that I don’t know all of the answers is a plus because I won’t make snap judgments. . . .”
“His response,” Piche said, “was, ‘Just pray that I will be faithful.’ That still moves me when I think of it, and it’s what I want, too.” Read the entire article at St. Thomas [Alumni] Magazine