Reverend Monsignor Patrick Hambrough, Pastor of Saint Mark Catholic Parish in South St. Louis County, is the 2008 recipient of the Aquinas Institute of Theology Great Preacher Award. The award will be presented to Monsignor Hambrough at 10 a.m. Mass on Sunday, October 26, 2008, at Saint Mark Church, 8300 Morganford Road.
“Since 1995, Aquinas Institute of Theology has annually conferred its Great Preacher Award to promote compelling and imaginative preaching that powerfully engages hearers with the Word of God,” said Reverend Richard A. Peddicord, O.P., President of Aquinas Institute of Theology.
“Monsignor Hambrough was selected as our 2008 Great Preacher Award honoree from among many fine preachers who each make a valuable contribution to the faith and life of the Church,” Peddicord continued.
Reflecting on the importance of preaching in his ministry, Monsignor Hambrough said, “I was taught that the definition of preaching is Christ preaching Christ. I was also taught to rely on Holy Scripture and prayer as a source of wisdom and guidance.” Noting that for him, preaching is an exercise in humility, Hambrough went on to say, “It is humbling to consider that Christ has chosen one like me, with my faults and sins, to share with a congregation the saving message of God. To recognize that it is not I who speak, but that Christ speaks through me and to me this is likewise humbling. I try not to get in the way of the Lord, not preach my agenda, but His, not talk about what I want to tell about, but what Christ wants to talk about.”
Ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Saint Louis in 1985, Monsignor Hambrough is the second of nine children born to Patrick and Margaret Hambrough. He attended St. Gregory, Ascension (Normandy) and St. Ann (Normandy) grade schools and Normandy High School before beginning his formal studies for the priesthood. Hambrough received his B.A from Cardinal Glennon College and a Master of Divinity degree from Kenrick Seminary.
During his priestly ministry, Monsignor Hambrough has served an associate pastor of St. Mary Catholic Parish in Bridgeton (1986-1990) and at St. John Catholic Parish in Imperial (1990-1993). He served as the founding pastor of Our Lady of the Holy Cross Catholic Parish in St. Louis, which was formed from the merger of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Holy Cross Catholic Parishes (1993-1998). Most recently, Hambrough served first as the pastor of St. Timothy Catholic Parish in Affton (1998 – 2003) before becoming the founding and present pastor of St. Mark Parish in South County. Saint Mark is the new parish that was formed from the merger of St. Timothy, Most Precious Blood, and Mary, Queen of the Universe Catholic Parishes (2003 present). Pope John Paul II designated Hambrough a Monsignor in August, 2003.
Noting the school’s pleasure at this year’s large number of great preacher award nominations, Father Peddicord commented, “At Aquinas Institute, we view the conferring of a Great Preacher Award as more than simply a singular honor we see it as an opportunity to champion the importance of great preachers’ in and for the Church. In this broader sense, we intend the award to honor not only Monsignor Hambrough, but all great preachers.”
Aquinas Institute of Theology, a St. Louis-based Roman Catholic graduate school and seminary founded and sponsored by the Dominican Order, offers the world’s only Catholic Doctor of Ministry degree in preaching.