St. Clement of Rome Parish Mission Statement
The mission of St. Clement of Rome Parish is to help members of its family - the old and the young, the rich and the poor - to accept their call from God to live as one Body of Christ.
This will necessitate:
Nurturing the spiritual growth of each parishioner
Accepting each other's limitations, abilities, and differences with openness and love, and
Fostering the concerns for the needs of all God's people.
St. Clement of Rome Parish was founded on August 14, 1965. At this time, the Archdiocese of New Orleans was was experiencing rapid growth as a result of the "Baby Boom" following World War II. At this time, the Archdiocese of New Orleans was being led by Most Reverend John P. Cody, the tenth Archbishop of New Orleans, after the death of Most Reverend Joseph F. Rummel. During his tenure as archbishop, twenty-five new parishes were created in the archdiocese including St. Clement of Rome Parish which was carved out of St. Benilde Parish. And as they say, the rest is history. Our parish began to thrive from the start as parishioners lovingly invested their time and effort to make St. Clement of Rome a deeply spiritual community rooted in service to God and neighbor. From that first day forward, St. Clement of Rome Parish began to form a new and unique identity.
This identity was forged through the leadership of Fr. Blaise Vosbein who was appointed the first and founding pastor of St. Clement of Rome Parish on June 1, 1965. Fr. Vosbein brought with him a blueprint, not just to build a church, but to build a parish community. The parish's first Sunday Mass was celebrated in the showroom of Metairie Ford dealership on Veterans Blvd with 596 parishioners in attendance. Mass would continue to be offered there until the following year when Mass was moved to the VFW Hall on Richland Ave. As pastor Fr. Vosbein galvanized a small group of pioneering parishioners to institute parish organization such as the altar boys, Ladies Altar Society, Usher's Society, Holy Name Society, commentators, and eventually, the Parish Council (now Pastoral Council). It was also under his guidance that most of the parish's physical plant were constructed, most notably our parochial school which officially opened on August 28, 1968 staffed by the Presentation Sisters from Ireland and with an enrollment of 365 students. Once the temporary church (now Vosbein Hall) was completed in 1967, Mass was moved to the current parish campus. After eleven years of service to St. Clement of Rome and two heart attacks, Fr. Vosbein retired from active ministry in 1976.
Our second pastor was Msgr. Elmo Romagosa who served St. Clement of Rome from 1976 to 1984. His primary accomplishment was the building of the new church using the funds raised through the capital campaign begun in 1974 under Fr. Vosbein. After four years of untiring work, St. Clement of Rome Church was completed and dedicated by Archbishop Philip Hannan on December 6, 1980. During his eight years as pastor, Msgr. Romagosa oversaw the development of more parish organizations and ministries. In particular, he began to serve the needs of the Spanish speaking community by working with them to begin a regularly scheduled Sunday Mass in Spanish. This Mass continues to be celebrated today for our large and vibrant Spanish community. He also encouraged the practice of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. As a result, our Perpetual Adoration Chapel is named in his honor.
Our third pastor was Msgr. Ralph Carroll who served from 1984 to 2009. To date, Msgr. Carroll is our longest serving pastor having ministered at St. Clement of Rome for 25 years. During his tenure, MSgr. Carroll undertook several expansion projects for both the church and the school. The most notable of these projects was the building of a new gymnasium-music facility-library complex which is also named in his honor. He also continued to form new parish ministries and continued to build on existing ministries. He will always be remembered for getting us through one of the most difficult and trying times of our parish history - Hurricane Katrina. It was through his leadership that we were able to rebuild not only our physical campus, but also our spiritual life. Less than one year after this terrible storm, our church reopened its doors for community Mass.
Our fourth and current pastor is Fr. Luis Rodriguez, a former parishioner, who was assigned to St. Clement of Rome. So far, Fr. Luis has worked closely with our church and school to bring about unity and has also made great strides in building up the Hispanic community and integrating them into the life of the rest of the parish. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment has been the reduction and retirement of our parish debt in June 2014. As of today, we are proud to boast that we have over 2,000 registered families and a thriving school with an average enrollment of aournd 500 students. Today we continue to have a vibrant parish that prayerfully celebrates beautiful liturgies and serves its members and the local community.