Be like Father Bob.
It’s tempting to leave our readers with just those words, but it probably bears a bit of an explanation. Many people in St. Louis — Catholic and nonCatholic alike — know of Msgr. Robert Gettinger, aka “Father Bob.” For nearly 50 years, he has provided outreach to those in need in our community. Through his nonprofit organization, Father Bob’s Outreach, he blesses many with prayer and monetary assistance. Programs include assistance with utility bills, Christmas gifts and funeral assistance.
The 83-year-old pastor of St. Augustine Parish in St. Louis said his work is driven by a calling to serve Jesus. And he intends to keep going as long as the Lord will let him. “I tell them we love them … Why are we motivated? It’s because of Jesus. Jesus loves them.” In turn, he encourages those who receive assistance to bless others with their own good deeds.
The tangible assistance is just one part of the picture, though. Through his good-humored approach to life (and never-ending rotation of hats) Father Bob has a keen ability to draw others closer to the Lord, mostly because he lets them know that they are unconditionally loved by the Lord.
Thankfully, there are many people like Father Bob doing similar work in our community. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (including the Our Lady of Perpetual help food pantry, featured in this week’s edition), Catholic Charities of St. Louis, and grassroots organizations including Social Justice 4 All, are just a few of the many, many examples in our archdiocese where people are served with dignity, respect and hope in the spirit of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Inside the front doors at St. Augustine Church is a sign that says, “exit to serve.” It’s a good reminder that driven by our faith, we’re called by our baptism to go out into the world to serve others, using our own gifts and talents, and driven by the Gospel message shared by Jesus.
Let us remember to always be like Father Bob.
For nearly 50 years, Msgr. Robert Gettinger (aka Father Bob) has ministered to people in need in the St. Louis area. Through Father Bob’s Outreach, he blesses many with his prayers, along with monetary assistance. The efforts include help with utility bills, Christmas gifts and funeral assistance.
Watch a video of Father Bob talking about his outreach here.