Welcome to Father Clark Philipp. On Thursday, June 28th Father moved into the rectory and begins his ministry on Friday with his first mass at the parish at 8:15 am. To learn a little more about Father Philipp please read the article from the Saint Louis Review.
After completing his philosophy degree through Cardinal Glennon College, Father Clark Philipp has experienced the universal Church for the past four years in Rome, including the past three at Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, popularly known as the Angelicum. He has lived at Pontifical North American College, a little more than a half-mile from the Vatican.
He was advised early on: "Don't lose the wonder of being in Rome," he said. "Part of the challenge of coming over here is trying to find the balance of learning what we need to learn but taking in the great blessings that we're offered by the opportunity to come here, spending time with the pope around the city and with the saints."
The opportunities aren't solely to benefit the men studying in Rome but "so the people in St. Louis can benefit, too," said Father Philipp, who discerned a call to the priesthood in parishes after initially contemplating entrance into the Society of Jesus (Jesuit) community.
"I was part way through the application profess (for the Jesuits), but there was a certain aspect that drew me to the seminary," said Father Philipp, a 2010 graduate of De Smet Jesuit High School. "At the seminary I found peace. I discerned a little more, and God was leading me in that direction."
In Rome, he studied for a year at the Pontifical Gregorian University, then transferred to the Anglicum.
"I very much love St. Thomas; he has a lot to offer," said Father Philipp, who discovered St. Thomas through talking with seminarians on high school visits. "When I got to the (Glennon College philosophy) program I just found the clearest explanations came through Aristotle and St. Thomas as well. It was a gradual interest in philosophy and the questions that are important to human life and finding that St. Thomas did a very good job explaining them."
"Classes (at the Angelicum) have been a great blessing."
As has been the balance with the wonders of Rome. Father Philipp has made countless pilgrimages to the many basilicas and churches which house the relics of saints. Among them is his namesake, St. Philip Neri. The North American College is about a mile from the Oratory of St. Philip Neri and on Father Philipp's way to and from school.
"To pray and ask for (the saints') intersession for my classmates and for myself is pretty cool," he said.