Rev. Joseph Rinaldo of the Servants of Charity in Chelsea, MI was born in 1940, and began his life’s story in Sicily, Italy during WWII. “We knew what real poverty and fear were all about back then growing up during the war, and while I was in school, I had a cousin that I was very close to who was constantly teased and mocked because of her disabilities. Unfortunately, she died at a young age, but I always fought for her against people who were cruel, and that was why I decided to get into special education and become a priest for the Servants of Charity. I was ordained in 1967, and shortly thereafter, was assigned to come to the United States.”
Fr. Rinaldo eventually reached St. Louis Center in Chelsea in 1980, and fell in love with the community because of the way they embraced St. Louis Center. That embrace became even more tangible on Thursday October 17, 2013 when the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce honored Fr. Joseph Rinaldo, SdC., with the Chelsea Lifetime Achievement Award at a special Citizen of the Year banquet held at the Chelsea Comfort Inn.
With nearly 150 people present for this annual event, Fr. Rinaldo joined a short list of people who have been honored with the Chelsea Lifetime Achievement Award. Rather than take credit for his own years of hard work, he gave credit to the residents, staff, and fellow priests who have served there over the years. Finally, he told the story of meeting Mother Theresa in India, who reminded him that though there will always be poor for the “religious” to serve, he should never lose sight of the purpose of their vocation and why the Lord put him on this earth.
For more information about St. Louis Center please visit the website at www.stlouiscenter.org.