St. Francis Borgia Parish’s new associate pastor, Father Brian Hecktor, is no stranger to Washington.
Originally from Concord Hill, Father Hecktor attended grade school at St. Ignatius and graduated from Washington High School in 1994.
Hecktor’s home parish is at St. Ignatius in Concord Hill, where his father, Paul Hecktor, now is a deacon. His father was ordained in 2006. One year later, Father Brian Hecktor was ordained a deacon, and in 2008 he was ordained a priest.
His father is now a permanent deacon at the church.
After high school, Father Hecktor attended Southeast Missouri State University where he studied German language and culture and earned a minor in business. He graduated in 2000.
“I wanted to be a fast-paced international businessman,” he said. He worked as a managing consultant for two years.
He had dreams of getting a job, a house and a car. “But it wasn’t as illustrious as I’d hoped it would be.”
He had a general dissatisfaction with the direction of his life.
“It was a realization that all of the things I wanted were within my grasp, and I wasn’t as happy as I thought I would be,” he said.
The idea of priesthood had been in his mind for at least 15 years, he said, and he decided to finally give it a try.
“I tried to avoid it,” he said. “I actually did not want to be a priest.”
Father Hecktor said the lifestyle seemed odd and lonely. He had dreams of getting married and having children.
Despite that, in 2002 he packed his bags and went to Kenrick Seminary in Shrewsbury. Hecktor took one year of philosophy, four years of theology and then he completed a one-year internship at St. Mark’s Parish in Affton.
Before coming to St. Francis Borgia, he was assigned to Ascension Catholic Church in Chesterfield as an associate pastor.
Father Hecktor moved here Monday, June 18. His first Mass was June 20.
“People have welcomed me very warmly,” he said, adding that he and Father Andrew Sigmund get along well and that he can learn a lot from Father Sigmund.
He said he is impressed with the beauty of the church, as well as the pride parishioners take in the parish.
Close to Home
Father Hecktor said he was excited to be close to home. The Archbishop of St. Louis decides where priests are assigned.
“It was very surprising to be so close to home, but exciting at the same time,” he said.
At St. Francis Borgia, Father Hecktor will celebrate Mass, hear confessions, officiate at weddings and conduct funeral liturgies. He will help people with spiritual problems and teach people about the Catholic faith.
“I look forward to getting to know people and I’ve been enjoying getting to know the people,” Father Hecktor said. I’m looking forward to serving them by bringing them the sacraments and bringing them a deeper understanding of faith.”
‘Better Than I Ever Imagined’
Father Hecktor said priesthood is better than he ever imagined.
“When I first went to seminary I thought I was giving up so much,” he said. “But God showed me that when you give just a little bit, God will not be outdone in generosity.
“This has been a wonderful joy. God has given me so much, and now I have a bigger family than I ever imagined — my parish family.”