There once was a time when many priests led a secluded life and stayed "home" within their own church.
They said daily and Sunday Mass and tended to the spiritual needs of their parishioners. But they seldom took part in civic activities outside the church.
The Rev. Philip A. Pinczewski—fondly known as “Father Phil”—is part of a growing breed of priests and other religious leaders who are taking a very active role in the community.
“Father Phil,” who has been pastor of St. Callistus Catholic Church in Kane for 15 years, is involved in numerous activities in the community. He’s not merely one of the volunteers, either. He has several leadership roles.
Marking his 25th anniversary as an ordained Catholic priest, “Father Phil” is chairman of the board of the Kane Food Pantry. He is the treasurer of the Salvation Army Service Unit in Kane. He is chaplain for the Kane Volunteer Fire Department and a volunteer chaplain at Kane Community Hospital. He serves as a community at-large member of the Patient Safety Committee at the hospital.
“Father Phil” is very humble when he’s asked about his many community activities and leadership roles.
“The whole purpose for my community service is not about me,” he emphasized. “I am attracted to Christ and Christ is working through me to help others.”
With his extensive community involvement, “Father Phil” has become a familiar face in the Kane area. Sometimes this creates an embarrassing moment.
“I might see people on the street who say ‘hello Father Phil,’” he said. "They know me, but I don’t know most of them by name. I wish I did.”
The son of Gladys Pinczewski and the late Leonard Pinczewski of Erie, “Father Phil,” 52, attended Catholic schools from kindergarten through college.
He graduated from the former St. Mark’s High School in Erie in 1978. He is a 1982 graduate of Gannon University in Erie. He graduated from Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora near Buffalo in 1986 and was ordained a priest April 24, 1987.
See full article by purchasing the June 16 edition of The Kane Republican.