Retiring Priest Advises 'Get To Know The People'



As a young boy, Joseph Krause thought he would be a Navy man.

When he got out of the Navy he began to read and talk to Catholic priests, and a year later he began to take the priesthood seriously.


Father Joe Krause

On Thursday, after 36 years in the priesthood, "Father Joe" of St. Philip's Catholic Church in Payson will retire.

"People ask me if I'm happy that I'm retiring, but I have mixed emotions," Krause said. "I hate to leave Payson. I hate to leave the people."

Krause suffers from emphysema, and said he has to get off this mountain top because of the elevation.

"The 5,000 feet is too much for my lungs," he said.

Krause's replacement, a pastor from Wilcox, will arrive Thursday before Krause leaves for Chandler.

He had some words of advice for the new pastor:

"Get to know the people before you make any changes," he said. "I think every new pastor has to learn that, because they all come in with ideas of their own. But you have to put people first and listen to their ideas, because it is their church."

He said he's planning to enjoy his retirement after 13 years as St. Philip's pastor in Payson.

"I'll help out in parishes on the weekend," he said.

St. Philip's Church currently has about 625 families, and 500 to 600 people that attend Sunday mass.

Over the years, Krause has faced challenges with the Catholic Church being in the news frequently in the past few years.

"The church does not rest on human beings," he said. "It rests on the power of God. Therefore what human beings do is not going to destroy the church."

However, he said his greatest challenge was to help people.

"Everyone is so different," he said. "Every time the phone rings or the doorbell rings, there's something different on the other end. It was a great challenge. One that I hope I was equal to."


Name: Joseph Krause "Father Joe"

Occupation: Pastor

Employer: Catholic Church

Age: 70 on Aug. 21

Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pa., 1934

Family: Brother, sister-in-law and their three children in New Jersey.

Personal motto: To do the best for the people in my parish. If I'm able to do that, I'm happy.

Inspiration: My inspiration comes from the Bible, from the Gospel.

Greatest feat: Hopefully being a good priest.

Favorite hobby or leisure activity: Reading -- good Lord all kind. Mystery novels and scripture.

Three words that describe me best: caring, giving and humorous.

I don't want to brag, but: Proud of renovating church, paving and extending the church parking lot.

The person in history I'd like most like to meet: Jesus Christ

My dream vacation spot and luxury defined: Sitting on the beach in San Diego, which I love to do by the way.

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