An interview with Dean Peter DeVeau, who recently concluded his ministry at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kansas City.Melissa Scheffler Five-minute read. Resources
What’s your favorite memory of your time at the Cathedral?
I have to say that I absolutely love December at the Cathedral. All the people that course through our spaces in the month of December.
Also, I think some of my best memories are of Thanksgiving Eve, when we come together without all the pressure of High Holy Days. We have a service that has a real connection to the rest of the world, in that we take the harvest altar apart because it’s going to be used for food. That seems to embody what I see as the essence of the Cathedral.
Another thing was when we had the service for Nelson Mandela here, after he died. And how the South African community has made a home at the Cathedral. They have their Freedom Day celebration here every year. That, to me, has been an important part of who we are as a Cathedral.
What will you miss the most about being at the Cathedral?
The people. I’ll miss the people and the connections, the connections to Greater Kansas City through the Cathedral. The feeling that I’m in the heart of the city. And I’ll miss staff colleagues. I guess you could boil it all down to relationships.
If you could have people remember one thing about you, what would it be?
That I had a good impact on the Cathedral. And if I’m going to be remembered for something at the Cathedral, I’d like it to be for getting The Way going, the catechumenate. That’s a really transforming time for the people who participate in it. What’s very interesting about the people who have been part of The Way, most of them stick around and are here consistently and they’re strong supporters, both in terms of their time and their resources.
What do you plan to do in the future?
Hmm, well, those doors are opening, but I’m not sure at this point. I do know that I will do some writing. I already have started outlining a book.
What words of wisdom would you offer to the next Dean?
I think that you need to understand two things here at the Cathedral. The Cathedral is the cathedral for The Diocese of West Missouri and it’s a house of prayer for all people, but it’s also a vibrant parish church and it’s important to keep that in balance.
And I would want to say to the next Dean that it’s not like a parish church in the sense that there are a lot more demands on your time here. So it’s important to gather a staff that is capable of taking care of the day to day tasks that are necessary to keep the church running smoothly.
I would also want to say to the next Dean another important thing, too, is to build many different ways in which people can be connected in small groups. So that they have one-on-one relationships with people in the congregation, so that there’s better connections between everyone.
Dean Peter DeVeau formally retires in July 2018. This interview was originally published in the Spring 2018 issue of Angelus.
ResourcesBack to Contents
- Website: www.kccathedral.org
- Angelus (spring issue): www.kccathedral.org/wp-content/uploads/Spring-2018-Angelus-web.pdf
- Angelus Archive: www.kccathedral.org/angelus/