By Jack Smith
Catholic Key Editor
Following his own request, Msgr. Brad Offutt, Vicar General and Vicar for Clergy for the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph, will soon be returning to full-time parish ministry. In his stead, Bishop Robert W. Finn has appointed Twelve Apostles and Holy Trinity Pastor Father Charles Rowe, STD. The appointments are effective Jan. 1, 2014.
“Msgr. Offutt has served as Chancellor and more recently Vicar General since the time I took over as ordinary of Kansas City – St. Joseph,” Bishop Finn said. “I’m very grateful for his dedication and service to the Diocese. I remain confident that as he returns to parish life, his first love, he’ll serve with the same great pastoral commitment and dedication.”
“I have looked forward to returning to parish life for some time and I heartily welcome the opportunity to do so,” Msgr. Offutt said. “I wish the Diocese well. Father Rowe is a smart man with a golden heart and he will do fine.”
Fr. Rowe was born in 1969 and raised in Excelsior Springs. He graduated from the University of Missouri, Columbia in 1991 and earned a Master of Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana – Champaign in 1994.
“My experience in college and graduate school gave me a pretty good view of what I would be doing as an engineer,” he told the Catholic Key in a 1999 profile. “That didn’t seem to me to be what God wanted me to do.” Instead, he entered St. Meinrad Seminary and earned a Master of Divinity from St. Meinrad School of Theology in 1999. That same year he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Raymond J. Boland. Following service as an associate pastor at Our Lady of the Presentation in Lee’s Summit, Fr. Rowe studied in Rome at the Alfonsianum Academy of the Pontifical Lateran University where he earned both a Licentiate and Doctorate in Sacred Theology.
Fr. Rowe has been pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in Weston since 2006 and concurrently became the founding pastor of Twelve Apostles Parish in Platte City in 2008. There he oversaw the construction of a new church which was dedicated on May 25 of this year.
“Father Rowe has only recently completed the formation and building of Twelve Apostles and I know that it is a great sacrifice for him to leave daily parish ministry,” Bishop Finn said. “I know he will give of himself with similar dedication to work as Vicar General and Vicar for Clergy.”
“I’m honored by Bishop Finn’s confidence in asking me to serve as vicar general and I’m encouraged by the words of support offered by my priestly colleagues and parishioners,” Fr. Rowe said. “I recognize this is an important office so I ask that the priests and people of our local church pray that I may do it well.”
Fr. Rowe said that he will “dearly miss” Holy Trinity and Twelve Apostles parishes, but he is “comforted knowing that the faith and hope we have shared will draw us back together in the communion of Christ’s love.”