Jarvis made the decision because of continuing health issues after he suffered an aortic dissection two years ago in April. In an email, Jarvis said his health dictates that he monitor his blood pressure and his stress levels.
“Believe me when I say that it has become really hard for me to keep up with you,” Jarvis wrote in a letter to the parish about his decision.
The decision did not come easily for Jarvis. Jarvis said being part of the dynamic parish has brought him life and he will treasure his memories from St. Joe’s forever. Jarvis has been the priest at St. Joseph since July 2011.
“If I had my druthers, I would have postponed this announcement until May,” he wrote to his parishioners. “It’s too dang hard saying goodbye. But my heart’s desire is that the best possible candidates for pastor know about this opportunity as soon as possible. And so I needed to have this parish ‘open listed’ among archdiocesan priests now.”
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis will decide on Jarvis’ replacement. Jarvis said the transition to a new pastor will likely happen this summer.
Director of worship Bill Bradley said the parish will likely have some input on its new leader but that Archbishop John Nienstedt will ultimately make the decision.
Under the leadership of Jarvis, the parish has experienced a joyful energy that’s resulted in a number of accomplishments, Bradley said. Some of the accomplishments include growing to nearly 2,000 registered households, expanding ministries such as the Matthew 25 Mission Garden, and reaching out to the greater community through ecumenical events like an annual animal blessing.
“I’m really at a loss how to describe his impact,” Bradley said. “I wish I could give him his proper due. It will be a hard loss. He’s just so unbelievably gifted.”
Parishioner Craig Francois, who worked with Jarvis to bring beehives to St. Joseph as part of the church’s creation care ministry, said Jarvis has an energetic love of God that has brought joy to St. Joseph’s Church and the Rosemount community.
“He has encouraged us to enjoy God’s creation through our fellow parishioners, nature (Mathew’s Garden) and even our pets at the blessing of the animals (God’s goodness shown on everyone’s face those Saturdays). Father Paul will always be a valued member of St Joseph’s and we wish the best,” said Francois.
Over the last several years, St. Joseph’s and Rosemount United Methodist Church have worked together to bring an ecumenical ministry to Rosemount. Rosemount UMC pastor Karen Bruins said that partnership has been a joy.
“We share a vision that, while we may worship in different ways, we are part of one big church,” Bruins said. “Paul has been great about engaging in the life of the City of Rosemount from Leprechaun Days to creation care and the establishment of community gardens and beehive at St. Joe’s.”
On a more personal note, Bruins said Jarvis has been a great friend to her.
“He is an encourager. I will miss Father Paul very much. I wish him blessings on his next assignment,” said Bruins.
Bruins hopes to continue the partnership between Rosemount RUMC and St. Joseph’s.
“To continue the ecumenical work begun by Father Paul would be our best gift to him,” said Bruins.
Jarvis’ assistant, Patty Stiball, said he has lit a spark in the parish. She said that light has spread throughout the parishioners and made St. Joseph’s a great place to worship and learn.
“He’s a rollercoaster of energy and if you can go with it, it’s a fun ride,” said Stiball.
Stiball said Jarvis gets ideas going and has a unique and effective way of encouraging success. She added that Jarvis loves giving credit to the parishioners for the work they’ve done but has trouble accepting any praise.
“He’s had an impact here,” she said. “I don’t think he realizes how widespread it is. For me it’s been wonderful to be around all the things he’s done. He will be deeply missed.”