Father Noelker to begin serving in Latin America Apostolate
Father Timothy J. Noelker was assigned last month to the Latin American Apostolate as associate pastor of Maria Reina Parish in LaPaz, Bolivia.
The parish serving some 70,000 parishioners is staffed by priests of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Father Patrick Hayden is the pastor. The priests also celebrate Masses and other sacraments for 10,000 parishioners at St. James Parish in the high plateau outside of La Paz at 14,000 feet elevation. It has a main church in Calamarca and a chapel in each of 30 villages covering 600 square miles.
Father Noelker, ordained in 2010, is a graduate of St. Francis Borgia Regional High School in Washington. He had been serving as associate pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Valley Park.
Father Noelker has been in Bolivia studying Spanish and the history of the Church in Latin America. He is scheduled to complete his missionary preparation in mid-October.
Father Hayden, who has been a part of the apostolate for 19 years, also serves as head of one of the deaneries in the Archdiocese of La Paz and is diocesan director of the small Christian communities. The other priests serving at Maria Reina are Father Robert Menner, who has served in the apostolate for 37 years and plans to return to St. Louis for a new assignment in October; and Father James Michler, who has served in the apostolate for more than 19 years. He also serves as diocesan director of Marriage Encounter in La Paz.
The Latin America Apostolate also has supported Bishop Morgan Casey, who on July 18 celebrated his 50th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood. He has been a member of the apostolate since 1965. Bishop Casey is vicar apostolic of the Vicariate of the Pondo, which has some 150,000 Catholics.
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