Pastor’s Weekly Message
Very Rev. Nestor L. Rodriguez, V.F.
St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church
My dear brothers and sisters,
It is with a humble and grateful heart that I have accepted Bishop Barbarito’s appointment as Pastor of St Joan of Arc in Boca Raton effective January 1, 2023. Although, due to previous commitments at my current parish of St. Ann in West Palm Beach, I will remain as pastor there until February 6, 2023. During this time, I will be commuting back and forth to both parishes.
I look forward to starting a new chapter in my priestly ministry at St. Joan of Arc. It was at St. Joan that I began my journey to the priesthood in the Diocese of Palm Beach in 1991 as a seminarian, and transitional deacon. I had the blessing to celebrate my first Mass at St. Joan of Arc. I have fond memories of the parish, and have maintained some close friendships throughout my close to thirty years of priestly ministry.
I was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and have one beautiful sister, two amazing brothers, and several nieces and nephews. Both of my parents are deceased. Our beloved mother died in a tragic automobile accident in 1982. She passed on our Catholic faith to us in our formative years, and continues to keep us together as a very close family from heaven above. We continue to miss her dearly. I am convinced that she planted the seed to my priestly vocation through her example, and love for God.
Prior to my seminary studies, I was a manager at Rite Aid Pharmacy for some years, and studied Biology at Mercer County College for two years before transferring to a college seminary. Then, I continued my studies at the Josephinum College seminary in Columbus, Ohio. After graduation, I continued my theological studies at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland. During another year of further discernment, I taught in a Catholic school in Jersey City. My continued discernment brought me to the Diocese of Palm Beach where I concluded my seminary formation at St. Vincent de Paul Seminary in Boynton Beach. I was ordained to the priesthood of Jesus Christ on September 3, 1993 at the Cathedral of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
I will continue to build on the legacy that Mgr. Michael McGraw has handed down to me, and am grateful to him for his many years of service, dedication and love for the parishioners of St. Joan of Arc. I know that together with your help and God’s guidance, St Joan of Arc Parish and School will continue to grow in faith, hope, and love. I am excited and humbled to journey together in our faith. Please keep me in your prayers. I assure you of mine at the Holy Altar of Sacrifice at St Joan of Arc where I celebrated my first Mass. All honor and glory to Jesus Christ.
Father Nestor Rodriguez
St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church Pastor