This year’s Knight of the Year is a member of the Father Werner Council and daily lives out the Knights of Columbus tenets of unity, charity and fraternity. He serves the Church of St. Joseph with passion and gives generously of his time and talents. We are proud of him and are blessed to have him as a member of the council and the pastor of our parish, the Abbot of St. John’s Monastery CPA and following serving in Msli in West Africa with the Peace Corp. This background has helped him keep our parish financially strong and running smoothly.
Father Joseph Feders is a compassionate leader who is attentive to the relational aspects of those he shepherds. He has worked hard to establish and build a vibrant community within our parish. As leader, Father Joseph has many unique strengths that helped build that community. He begins with prayer, seeks out ideas and allows discussion on projects and problems to build consensus allowing all to voice their concerns and thoughts. His actions and decisions are focused on what is best for the parish community rather than what he himself wants. Under his leadership the parish has empowered five commissions (word, worship, community, social ministries and pastoral ministries) to supplement and assist with the responsibilities of the Finance and Pastoral Councils. This has gotten more parishioners active in the operations of the parish and has made it a stronger, more vibrant one.
He very tactfully worked with St. Benedict’s Monastery and City of St. Joseph to clarify the legal property boundaries of the parish. This was especially needed as the parish considered adding to the facility through the Making Room at Our Table Campaign. He leads this fundraising process with the attitude he was the leader to keep it focused, but not the person to make the decision on how the facility would look and what final function it would serve. He left those decisions to the members of the parish. In addition to this major project, he has been a leader in the consolidation of three parish schools in an All Saints Academy.
Father Joseph has brought several spiritual opportunities to the parish with his close association with the St. John’s and St. Benedict’s communities, Lent and Advert speakers, and bible studies, to name a few. He implemented Community Nights as part of the Faith Formation Program which adds a once-a-month spiritual enrichment for the parents and caregivers of the faith formation students. Another practice he has added is the youth collection at each Mass. This practice shows us all how we should delight giving to the Lord of our time, talent and treasure. In addition to these beneficial practices, Father Joseph brings the Parish Leadership together at Leadership Retreats and has Staff Retreats at the guesthouse at St. John’s. These annual meetings help build unity in our parish and help us keep a single focus on the mission of our church.