Meet Fr. Vincent!

You might find him riding his 10-speed up Beverly-Edmonds Road on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
Or, it’s possible you’ll catch him about to launch his hand-made kayak in some local body of water.
Those are just a couple of things your new spiritual leader, Fr. Vincent Gilmore, might be doing when not making Jesus the centerpiece of Holy Rosary Parish spiritual life.
And, of course, there’s nothing to say that Jesus wouldn’t have been out riding a bicycle or launching a kayak if he were alive in the 21st century.
And it’s possible to imagine that Jesus could have made that kayak as a winter project if he, like Fr. Vincent, had been at the Benedictine monastery a year ago helping seven nuns who operate a 300-acre farm on Shaw Island. After all, Joseph was a carpenter.
“I like to make things,” Fr. Vincent said. “I’m good with my hands.”
The new pastor, who replaces Fr. Ken Haydock, came to the Edmonds parish with an open mind and without an agenda.
“I need to find out how this parish works and let it unfold,” he said. “I didn’t come in with any particular playbook, but I want Christ to be the center of everything we do.”
That means an emphasis on the Eucharist and service to others, one of the things he’s noticed that this parish already does well.
Something else he’s noticed is a lot of Holy Rosary parishioners have long and sometimes decades-long roots in the parish community. That is quite different from his long experience in Southern California parishes and in schools where the community seems more transient.
He acknowledges that the culture at Holy Rosary has been well established by FrAt Shaw with kayak 2015-16 (480x640). Haydock and other previous pastors.
He observed that the church seems to fill up for weekend services and the people have been friendly and welcoming.
Since he finds that labels are more divisive than enlightening, he considers himself neither liberal nor conservative, but only Catholic. He likes to read about spirituality, philosophy and the historical context of Christ’s time.
He likes woodworking projects and is a hiker, part of his family tradition. On Shaw Island with the nuns, he drove the tractor and took care of equipment.
Fr. Vincent, 53, was born in Southern California and he’s the second youngest of eight children. His twin brother was delivered five minutes after he was born. An older sister now lives in Port Angeles, where she taught at the Catholic grade school.
The family moved from California to the Tri-Cities area, where he grew up. He felt the calling to priesthood as a senior in high school, and gravitated to a structured Norbertine Fathers seminary in Southern California.
“I wanted to be a priest but liked the monastic structure of the seminary,” he said. At that time the seminaries in Washington were being shut down.
His ministry started in the classroom teaching religion and philosophy and eventually moved on to be an elementary and then high school administrator before entering a parish ministry in California.
When the nuns on Shaw Island needed a chaplain, the chance came for Fr. Vincent to return to Washington. He spent a little more than a year with the nuns in the San Juan Islands before Archbishop Sartain asked him to come to Holy Rosary.
It’s been a delightful early transition for the new pastor, who wants to help bridge the gap between life in Edmonds and the Lord God. His emphasis will be on strengthening the spirituality of the parish and to “affirm those good things” that are already present and keep them going.
At the same time, he will be open to new suggestions from parish members for new directions of service.
“If we know Christ, we have to know service to others. You can’t know Christ without giving yourself away,” he said. “Giving back; that’s what Christ is all about.”