Fr. Joseph enjoyed every aspect of working at St. Louis Center.
Fr. Joseph Rinaldo’s dedication to serving those in need and his commitment to building communities of care demonstrates the impact that one individual can make on the world. His journey is a testament to the power of compassion, perseverance, and faith in creating positive change in the world.
As a child, the future priest witnessed the horrors of World War II in his hometown of Naro, Italy, and was drawn to the idea of serving those in need. His journey to a life of service began with his attraction to the charism of St. Louis Guanella, a priest who founded the Servants of Charity Congregation with a passion for caring for people with disabilities and the elderly.
After starting his theology studies in Chiavenna in 1963, Fr. Joseph was ordained in December 1967 and received a new assignment from his superiors to go to America in 1968. He made his way to Don Guanella School in Springfield, PA, where he remained for over a decade, building a thriving community of services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Impacting St. Louis Center
In 1980 Fr Joe was assigned to St. Louis Center where his creativity and willingness to seek out new solutions to meet the needs of the Center and its residents is commendable. He was known for his genuine care and concern for the well-being of everyone he served. He made a significant impact on the building of St. Joseph Hall, many new programs, and most recently the St. Louis Guanella Village.
After forty-two years of dedication to the people and growth of the Center, in 2022 Fr. Joe made his way back to a retirement community in Bari, Italy, run by the Servants of Charity where he can enjoy the Italian sun and speak the language of his youth. Fr. Joe’s daily presence at the Center is greatly missed, including his kindness, thoughtfulness, and service as a role model for how to live a life of compassion and care for others.
His Lasting Legacy
Fr. Joseph’s kindness and thoughtfulness, as acknowledged by the staff at St. Louis Center, demonstrate that he not only serves as a religious leader but also as a role model for how to live a life of compassion and care for others. Fr. Joe’s departure is undoubtedly a loss for the residents, staff, and supporters of St. Louis Center. His dedication to the care and well-being of the individuals who call the Center home has left a lasting impression and will be missed.
Despite this sadness, it is heartening to see the gratitude expressed towards Fr. Joe for his contributions to the Center’s growth and development. His tireless work and commitment to the community have undoubtedly left a positive impact that will continue to be felt for years to come.
St. Louis Center recognizes and honors Fr. Joseph’s contributions to the community and the inspiration he gives to countless people with his commitment to serving “God’s Special Children.”
Fr. Joe’s life of service is a reminder of the power of one individual to positively impact the world, and his legacy will undoubtedly continue to inspire others to follow in his footsteps.
St. Louis Center and the entire community are grateful for Fr. Joseph’s contributions and wish him all the best in his retirement in Bari.
If you would like to express your appreciation of Fr. Joe’s service directly to him, you can reach him at:
Centro Anziani Don Guanella
Attn: Fr. Joseph Rinaldo
Via Giulio Petroni, 121
70124 Bari BA, Italy
This post is on page 12 of St. Louis Center’s 2022 Annual Report.
If this article or any of the stories of inspiration shared in St. Louis Center’s Annual Report move you, please consider a donation of any amount in support of the Center’s Benevolent Care fund.
St. Louis Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
Federal Tax ID: 38-6038121.
77% of donations received go to the care of the Center’s residents.
According to the 2022 audit, St. Louis Center administrative and overhead expenses were only 23%, in line with well-managed nonprofit best practices. You can be confident that your donation to the Center is going to good use.