New Faces in Euclid's Catholic Community
Father John D. Betters is the 34-year-old, energetic founding pastor of Ss. Robert and William Catholic Parish, formed from the merger of St. Robert and St. William churches. He brings a fresh, welcome enthusiasm to this inner-ring suburban church.
“I wanted to be assigned to this parish and in this community, and therefore, I applied for the position fully aware of the challenges I would be facing in forming a brand new parish”, he said.
When asked his vision and goals for his new church he responded, “I want our parish to be a beacon of hope and light. I want to help people find God in this world, and prepare them for the world to come”. Father Betters will be focusing on faith formation for all ages including youth ministry (grades 9-12) and adult Bible studies and retreats.
Commenting on the parish’s role in the community, Father Betters stated, “Outreach is extremely important to me. It is imperative for us to live and share The Beatitudes and the Corporal Works of Mercy [the seven practices of charity toward a neighbor].” He said that Ss. Robert and William Church will do so by opening up the doors, once a month, for a community meal. He hopes to work collaboratively with other area churches, Catholic and non-Catholic, to respond to the growing needs of the Euclid community.
Assisting Father Betters is Father Joseph A. Goebel, who was the Retired Priest in Residence of St. Christine Church, which closed February 13, and merged with Holy Cross Catholic Church; the newly formed parish is now called Our Lady of the Lake.
“It was a memorable, lasting impression - very emotional, very heart-felt and very true to the past legacy that the parish left,” said Father Goebel of St. Christine's final mass. “People remained in the Church for hours after the closing Mass. Parishioners reacted with gratefulness for the past and are confidently moving into the future. The older parishioners were just as confident as the younger ones, that God is still with us, whereever we go,” he said.
Father Goebel served the parish for six years and assisted in whatever manner he could in his retirement. He has a long, rich history in Euclid, serving 24 years as the chaplain at Euclid Hospital. Today Father Goebel, who is beloved by many, continues to bring great joy to parishioners at Ss. Robert and William Parish, where he now serves as a Retired Priest in Residence.
Father David Baugh is Pastor Emeritus of St. William Church and will assist Father Betters at this new parish as well.
Read about another newly formed parish, Our Lady of the Lake, in next month's issue of the Euclid Observer.