Meet the Chaplain: Father Patrick Moses – Orange Coast Chapter
FATHER PATRICK MOSES, a priest of the Diocese of Orange, California, sees his vocation as one driven by the mission to make disciples and grow the Church.
“It doesn’t matter where I go, that’s always going to be my mission,” said Father Moses, 51, who this past July became the new rector of Holy Family Cathedral in Orange. As rector, Fr. Moses runs the parish’s day-to-day operations.
Father Moses, who is also chaplain of Legatus’ Orange Coast Chapter, moved to his current assignment from being the pastor at St. Irenaeus Church in Cypress, California, where he also served as a local police chaplain and helped to institute a monthly mayor’s prayer breakfast. Father Moses recently spoke with Legatus magazine staff writer Brian Fraga.
What does a cathedral rector do?
The real pastor of a cathedral is the bishop, but the bishop doesn’t tend to run the day-to-day activities. Basically I perform the duties that any parish pastor would do. I run the day-to-day operations of the parish, the spiritual life, the financial side and the school.
As the rector, can you set the cathedral parish’s spiritual direction?
Absolutely. When I first accepted this assignment, I told the bishop what my vision is for a parish, and he said, “That’s exactly what I want you to do — to create a parish with a vision, with a mission.” For me, that’s to make disciples and to grow the Church. The bishop is on board and he has given me the freedom to be able to do that, which is great.
Is it difficult for pastors to move to new parish assignments?
We’re not here just to stay in the four corners of our parish but to go out into our city to proclaim the Gospel and to make disciples. As a pastor, that vision needs to be laid out. You just can’t come in on day one, lay out the vision and have everybody accept it. You have to build trust, let people get to know you, and then you begin to talk about that vision, so that it’s not only understood but accepted as well .
How did being a police chaplain impact your priesthood?
I was a relatively new priest when I became the police chaplain. One thing that it helped me realize is that we need to get out of our church boundaries and into our cities and get to know people, that way we begin to bring people in, get to know them and evangelize by making relationships and friendships. It was a great ministry, not only for me but for our entire parish community as well.
What motivated you to help institute the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast in Cypress?
It was something that the surrounding cities did. One of the pastors at an evangelical nondenominational church and I reinstituted it together. We started praying with each other — we knew it was important that we pray for our city, citizens, mayor, council, police officers, firemen and EMTs. We realized that we didn’t have any kind of a central event that brought our community together. Yet it was something you could tell the people really wanted – to come together and pray, even if we weren’t of all the same denomination or the same faith background.
Do you plan to still remain active with your Legatus chapter?
Yes, because it’s a great organization. One of the great things of my police chaplaincy was that it opened up my eyes to realize there is another world out there that’s hurting, that needs friendship, and that needs interaction. In the same way, Legatus is opening that up to me as well, to a whole new level. You have business men and women struggling in a good way to live out their Christian lives and be leaders. Legatus gives me a concrete example of people who are interested, willing and hungry to know more about their faith, to draw closer to God and live that out in their workplace as leaders.