Bishop-elect Mark S. Rivituso was born in St. Louis on Sept. 20, 1961, the sixth of eight children to August (Gus) and Rosemary Rivituso. He was baptized in 1961 at St. Wenceslaus Parish in south St. Louis, and attended St. Wenceslaus School, which later became Notre Dame Elementary School.
His father worked three jobs — as a barber, providing a television service at the former Missouri Pacific Hospital and as a bottler for Anheuser-Busch Brewery — to support the family, who lived in a two-family flat in south St. Louis.
His grandmother, Rose Darpel, lived on the second floor of their home. The Rivitusos generally attended a late-morning Sunday Mass, but he tagged along with his grandmother to an earlier Mass. "I didn't want her going alone," he said. "We had a very close relationship." She was the influence behind his devotion to the Rosary and the Immaculate Heart of Mary and Sacred Heart of Jesus. He also filled in as a server at those Masses. "That's where I started hearing the call from Jesus to become a priest," he said.
As a student at St. Mary's High School, Bishop-elect Rivituso prayed daily before the Blessed Sacrament in the school chapel, which solidified his call to the priesthood. He knew he wanted to become a diocesan priest, so he could serve in St. Louis. His parents, who were supportive of his vocation, taught him about the value of family and being generous of heart, even when they didn't have much growing up. The family went to Holy Hours and Perpetual Help devotions, and toured churches on Holy Thursdays to visit the Blessed Sacrament.
Bishop-elect Rivituso attended Cardinal Glennon College and Kenrick Seminary. He also earned a master's degree and a licentiate in canon and civil law from St. Paul University in Ottawa, Canada. He was ordained a priest for the archdiocese at the St. Louis Cathedral (now Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis) by Archbishop John L. May in 1988. Pope Benedict XVI named him a monsignor in 2005.
He has served as associate pastor of St. Ambrose in south St. Louis (1988-90), part-time associate pastor of Immaculate Conception in Dardenne Prairie and on the faculty of St. Dominic High School (1990-93), part-time associate pastor of St. Margaret of Scotland in south St. Louis and staff member of the archdiocesan Metropolitan Tribunal (1993-94).
After returning from studies in Canada in the mid-1990s, he was appointed to the Metropolitan Tribunal staff (1993-94, 1996-2004) and named part-time associate pastor at St. Jerome in Bissell Hills (1996-2004). He also had assignments as acting associate master of ceremonies to the archbishop (1997-2008), in residence at St. Mary Magdalen in south St. Louis (1997-2004) and St. Gabriel the Archangel in south St. Louis (2004-08), adjunct judicial vicar of the Tribunal of Second Instance of the Province of St. Louis (2004-05), judicial vicar of the Tribunal of Second Instance (2005-11) and pastor of Cure of Ars (2008-13).
Since 2011, Bishop-elect Rivituso has served as vicar general for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, a role in which he aids the archbishop in the administration of the archdiocese. Since 2013, he has lived in residence at Annunciation Parish in Webster Groves. Previously, he served as a canon lawyer in the archdiocesan Metropolitan Tribunal and was pastor of Cure of Ars Parish in Shrewsbury.
He also has served as a confessor for the Little Sisters of the Poor for three years, and was a chaplain for the Veterans Administration in St. Louis for seven years. RELATED ARTICLE(S):'The love of Christ impels us' | Bishop-elect Rivituso ready to serve Archdiocese of St. Louis