A Legacy of Faith
There is little known about Saint Simon, the patron saint of our parish. Saint Simon was surnamed the Zealot for his belief and teachings of the Jewish Law. He was one of the original followers of Christ and is commonly linked with St. Jude as the two spread the word of Christ. St. Simon's feast day is October 28th.
St. Simon the Apostle was established October 10, 1960, at 8400 Roy Road. It grew from 550 families in 1961 to 1300 families in 1971 under the direction of founding Pastor Fr. Earl Feltman.
Father Feltman set the tone in the first formal parish meeting April 19, 1961 at Scecina High School. The parish, he said, "will not be run by a few, but in keeping with the original ideas of the Apostles and the early church, everyone would contribute their talents and occupations toward the operations of the parish and thus leave the priest free for the spiritual and educational needs of the people." Fr. Feltman left the parish in 1977. Then in 1977, Franciscan Fathers from Mount St. Francis came on a five-year program to care for the parish. In 1982, they turned the parish back to the archdiocese, and Fr. Harold Knueven became pastor until 1988.
A parish retreat in 1983 pulled the parish together and members renewed their responsiblity to their parish and the larger church. They were ready that year to try to raise $1.5 million through a "Dare to Share" project meant to eliminate 21 years of debt that had grown to $900,000. The project led by Fr. Glen O'Connor, managed to eliminate the debt and burn the mortgage.
Rev. Msgr. Harold Knueven called his parish the Catholic Community of St. Simon the Apostle. Community did prevail as is witnessed in the current committees for Administrative, Athletic, Faith Formation, Parish Life, Social Concerns, Spiritual Life, Stewardship, Youth and School.
Rev. Msgr. Mark Svarczkopf was pastor from 1987 until 1991. Fr. Larry Crawford was pastor from 1991-1999. The parish celebrated it's last Mass on Roy Road October 5, 1997. St. Simon moved to 8155 Oaklandon Road where a school and temporary church were built. Fr. Bob Sims became pastor in 1999, and continued until 2007. A new church that seats 1050 was dedicated in December 2001 by Archbishop Daniel M Buechlein. Rev. Msgr. Paul Eteinne, was pastor from 2007 to 2008.
Today our congregation is guided by Father Bill Marks. Father Bill continues to strengthen Saint Simon's message of hope as our Pastor, encouraging participation by people of all ages, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds in order to complete our parish landscape.
We, the Catholic Community of Saint Simon the Apostle, are prayerful and caring. As disciples of Jesus, our mission is to lead all people to encounter and receive His love. Together, we joyfully celebrate the sacraments, generously serve our neighbor, and educate children, young people and adults in the faith. We pursue God's unique plan for our growing parish and encourage and support each other on our journey to heaven.
In this spirit we invite all - the curious, the non-practicing, the conflicted to come visit us and experience a faith based enthusiasm that is rarely found in today's society, a camaraderie in spirit found only where people pray together.