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Honored for Forty Years of Service to Catholic Pastoral Ministry and Faith Formation of Adults

(ST. LOUIS) – For his twenty years of service to the formation of lay students and health care professionals at Aquinas Institute of Theology and his nearly forty years of professional commitment to Catholic pastoral, parish and campus ministry that has included a special focus on preparing adults to receive the sacraments of the Catholic Church, Aquinas Institute will honor Joseph Milner, Pastoral Associate at St. Francis Xavier (College) Church in St. Louis, with the conferral of its Catherine of Siena Award on Sunday, April 19, 2009, during the 10:30 a.m. Mass at the College Church, Lindell and Grand Boulevards.
The Catherine of Siena Award was established in 2003 by Aquinas Institute, a St. Louis-based Roman Catholic graduate school of theology and ministry founded and sponsored by the Dominican Order, to “recognize the increasingly widespread role of the non-ordained in the Catholic Church and to highlight what the Church can accomplish when it calls upon and nurtures the gifts of lay women and men,” said Fr. Richard A. Peddicord, O.P., president of the Institute.

Milner is a native of St. Louis who has served the College Church parish since 1989, coordinating liturgical ministries and adult formation activities, leading the Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) process and serving as a spiritual director. During the same period, Milner has served Aquinas Institute as a student field supervisor, adjunct faculty member, co-founder of the Institute’s Lay Formation Program and currently as the Co-Director of Formative Spirituality for students in the Institute’s M.A. in Healthcare Mission degree program.

Milner received an M.A. in Religious Studies from St. Louis University in 1974 and a Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Ministry from Seattle University in 1977. In addition to his work for Aquinas Institute and the College Church parish community, Milner has led adult and ministry formation initiatives in the Archdioceses of St. Louis and Seattle and in the Dioceses of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Salt Lake City and Charlotte in North Carolina.

Milner currently serves as the author of general intercessions for the Center for Liturgy at St. Louis University, where his written intercessory prayers are made available to an international audience of English –speaking assemblies through the Center’s “Sunday Web Site” ( He also is involved in integrating spirituality into wellness in his work as director of spiritual development for the Renaissance Centers in Missouri.

“I am deeply honored to be the recipient of the Catherine of Siena Award,” said Milner. “My work for almost forty years in ecclesial ministry has been a response to my baptismal call to be a disciple and to the exhortation of the Second Vatican Council in Apostolicam Actuositatem which stated that ‘there arise[s] for each believer the right and duty to use [one's gifts] in the Church and in the world for the good of men and women and the building up of the Church, in the freedom of the Holy Spirit” [AA3].

“It has been a great privilege to be able to use my gifts in the church and to companion many people on their journey of faith,” added Milner. “This award recognizes not only what God has done through me but celebrates the faith and trust of many people who have been open to the work of God through this ministry.”

Milner lives with his wife, Mary, and two sons in Ferguson, Missouri.

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