Obituary | Msgr. Joseph D. Pins

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Msgr. Pins

Msgr. Joseph D. Pins, a pillar of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis Parish where he served as rector since 2004, died June 17 of cancer at Mother of Good Counsel Home in north St. Louis County. He was 70.

A public viewing is scheduled from 2 to 8 p.m. Monday, June 22, and a funeral Mass will be celebrated Tuesday, June 23, at 10 a.m., both at the cathedral basilica.

Msgr. Pins once said that the cathedral basilica was a place that strengthened his faith over the years. Others have said that his presence there and at his other assignments strengthened their faith.

Msgr. Pins attended St. Louis Preparatory South High School, Cardinal Glennon College and Kenrick Seminary. He was ordained in 1970.

His first assignment was as associate pastor of St. Luke Parish in Richmond Heights. He was appointed associate pastor of the Cathedral Basilica Parish in 1975 and at the Basilica of St. Louis, King of France (Old Cathedral) in 1980. He became pastor of Ascension Parish in Chesterfield in 1988 and rector of the Cathedral Basilica in 2004.

"He was a priest's priest. The priesthood was everything to him," said Father Nicholas Smith, who resides at the cathedral basilica rectory and worked with Msgr. Pins as archdiocesan master of ceremonies. Father Smith, who also is director of the archdiocesan Office of Sacred Worship, added that "I had fun working with him."

Msgr. Pins had been Paul and Lynette Raidt's pastor for 30 years, first at Ascension and then the cathedral basilica. Lynette explained that "he taught with such deep intelligence, knowledge and conviction of our Catholic faith and was absolutely unwavering ... The Catholic Church was truly the Bride of Christ in this holy man's life."

She added that "he has been a 'rock' in my life, always helping me to climb higher and higher in my already strong faith."

Nicole A. Heerlein, a member of the cathedral basilica staff, said Msgr. Pins "aided so many people through prayer, conversation, and/or actions and tirelessly lived those examples for others to follow."

In 2004, Msgr. Pins filled the newly created position of episcopal vicar at the St. Louis Review, serving as the archbishop's representative to the archdiocesan newspaper and as its adviser. He remained in that role for about eight years. He saw his task as an opportunity to fulfill "the Lord's parting command to us as He ascended to His Father (to) 'Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel.'"

Msgr. Pins served as chaplain for the St. Louis chapter of Legatus. He helped establish the chapter of the organization for Catholic CEOs and presidents of businesses while serving at the Old Cathedral, where many business people attended Mass during the week.

At the cathedral basilica, the mother church and spiritual center of the archdiocese, Msgr. Pins tended to parish business as well as a mission of hospitality to the rest of the archdiocese and visitors from around the world. He had stressed that everyone is welcome to come to the cathedral basilica.

Msgr. Pins traced his desire to be a priest to the first grade during the Stations of the Cross on a Lenten Friday. His hobbies included reading and collecting fountain pens.

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