ST. CHARLES – Monsignor Stephen Knox, the current pastor of St. Mary Catholic Church in Huntley, has been named the new pastor of St. Patrick Catholic Church in St. Charles.
Knox will move to his new parish July 1.
After graduating from Northern Illinois University, Knox attended St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein. Knox said he first felt the call when he was 20 years old.
“I felt a strong sense of God’s presence, and something in that grace moment was where I first felt the call for priesthood,” Knox said.
Knox said the most rewarding part of his job was the opportunity to make a positive impact on people’s lives. He described the most challenging part of his job as dealing with the diversity of people's needs. St. Patrick’s new pastor described being a priest as being a “general practitioner of the soul.” He explained that both human beings and the world we live in are complex and that there are a wide array of problems parishoners encounter.
The Illinois native said when he joins his new parish, he will focus on listening and maintaining presence with his parishioners in order to connect with them and their needs.
When asked about Pope Francis, Knox responded with enthusiasm and said he is encouraged by the Pope’s leadership and ability to connect with people across the globe.
“People of all different faiths and backgrounds see him as a person of humility, sincerity and great compassion,” Knox said.
Looking back at his last 10 years with the St. Mary’s "family," Knox said it is often hard for a priest to move. He said he had established a lot of relationships and leaving a parish is a grieving process for both the priest and the family.
Maria Maddox, St. Mary’s parish secretary, said Knox is loved and will be missed by all the parishioners. She also said while he is a lot of fun to work with and has a great sense of humor, he works hard.
“He’s genuine,” Maddox said. “Everything he does is for the parish and for God.”
Ultimately, Knox said he is excited to meet his new parish.
“I look at it like the Lord is calling me to a new parish, where I will be able to share the same spiritual gifts to help a new faith community grow,” Knox said.