Parish Council

PC JFetscher20141208t

Chaplain to His Holiness
Born in Jamaica, NY, Father Fetscher came to Florida with his family in 1949 and grew up in and with Holy Family parish in North Miami. The oldest of seven children, his siblings say their mother had six more to prove to the world she could do better. (He says she did.) He attended Archbishop Curley High School and in his senior year was sent to St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield Connecticut by Archbishop Joseph Hurley because there were no seminaries in Florida. At that time the whole state was under the diocese of St. Augustine.

In 1958 Coleman Carroll came to be the first bishop of Miami and the first thing he did was build a seminary. Father Fetscher came home after two years to attend our own St. John Vianney Seminary. He continued at St. Vincent de Paul Seminary in Boynton Beach where he completed his theology studies, a member of the first class to be ordained.

He served the Archdiocese of Miami in the religious education department, as coordinator for the North Dade Deanery, from 1969 to 1971, and became founding director of the archdiocesan Office of Worship from 1978 to 1984. He served as Executive Secretary of the Priests' Senate and subsequently president of that body, the forerunner of what is now called the Presbyteral Council of which he is currently a member. Concurrently, he served as parochial vicar at St. Mark in Boynton Beach, Visitation Church in North Miami, teacher at Msgr. Edward Pace High School in Miami Gardens, member of the faculty at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, parochial vicar at St. Lawrence Church in North Miami Beach and associate rector at St. Mary Cathedral in Miami. From 1976 to 1980 he served as parochial vicar at St. Louis Church in Pinecrest, where he would return as pastor in 1982. Father also served as a member of the first archdiocesan Synod and dean of the South Dade Deanery. He remained at St. Louis until September 2010, when he was named to his current post as pastor of St. Sebastian.

Father says he was standing in an airport when he got the call from Archbishop Wenski to go to St. Sebastian. In great surprise after 28 years in St. Louis, the first thing he said to the Archbishop was, "I guess I always thought I would die in St. Louis." The Archbishop's immediate response was, "Now maybe you won't die so quick."

In 2013, Pope Benedict XVI elevated Father Fetscher to the rank of Monsignor. Given Father's weight he says it was a tough lift for the Holy Father and maybe that's why they are not naming Monsignors these days.

Maybe the only thing this bio really needs to say is that Father feels he is more blessed than we could ever imagine to have had the family, the families and the ministry he has had. "Imagine, they fed me and gave me a salary to do this."



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