Rev. John Ozella
(719) 542-9248 Ext. 116
I was born and went to high school in Breese, Illinois. Take the county road 5 miles south and you’ll come to St. Rose, Illinois, where I grew up. Population then: 150. Largest town in the county: 2000. Rural dairy farm country.
My dad was a Budget Officer at Scott Air Force Base, but his real passion was for his trumpet. He met my mom one night when she substituted for the piano player in my dad’s jazz band. She was also the organist for 2 parishes. So my sister and I grew up to the sound of music. She’s an O.R. Nurse, with two adult children.
After high school, I lived in Minnesota for 10 years, including college at St. John’s University, and 3 years with the Benedictines. I studied in Israel for a semester, so I can visualize the setting for almost every Bible reading. This has really enriched my understanding of scripture.
I received a law degree from St. Louis University and practiced law for 8 years, primarily real estate, probate and family law. I also spent 15 stimulating years in Northern and Southern California, working in human resources management and consulting.
Besides God loving me, orthopedic surgeons love me: I’ve had 9 surgeries on my leg, hip and shoulders.
After ordination, I spent 3 years as the Director of Liturgy for this Diocese, and was also the Administrator of St. Anne’s Parish. I also spent my first year here, as Msgr. Tom Adrians liked to tease me, as his “very, very, very, very part-time parochial vicar.” That means I celebrated Mass here once a week. After 3 years of priesthood, I was assigned to St. Pius X Parish in Pueblo, where I enjoyed 6 and a half wonderful years. And now, here I am.
Most priests would be happy to get one plum assignment. But I got a second bite at the apple. St. Pius X Parish was a dream! And now I’m getting another plum here. There are a lot of envious clergy who are unhappy because they did not get this assignment. I am truly blessed!
I love being a priest. It is a blessing to join you as the newest member of the Christ the King parish family. I ask for your prayers so I will be a good Pastor for you. Please take a minute to read my letter, in the Bulletin or online, so you can learn more about my style.
Getting a new Pastor here helps us understand one point St. Paul makes in today’s Second Reading. It’s that the parish is not the whole Church. Paul refers to “the church of God that is in Corinth.” He’s reminding the Corinthians that their church is part of the universal Church. There’s only one People of God, and the Corinthians are not the whole People of God. They can’t just focus on themselves and their own problems.
Nor can we here make that same mistake, and think we’re the whole Body of Christ. Our care and concern for Christians extends beyond Christ the King — especially to our Diocese and to the American Catholic Church. We belong to them — not the other way around.