Paulist Father Steven J. Petroff comes to St. Patrick’s from Chicago, Illinois where he’s been associate pastor of Old St. Mary’s church since July of 2017. He arrived in Rome for his new assignment on August 21, 2019. As of October 2020 he is the active Rector of St. Patrick's.
A native of Clarkston, Michigan, Fr. Steve earned a B.A. from Oakland University in Rochester, MI, and an M.S. in Hispanic literature and linguistics from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He then spent 20 years in Los Angeles working in marketing and strategic planning for both international companies and specialized firms.
Fr. Steve joined the Paulist novitiate in the fall of 2011 and spent Lent of 2012 with the American community in Rome at Sta. Susanna. He made his final promises to the Paulist Fathers on September 2, 2016 and was ordained a transitional deacon the next day at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC.
After finishing the normal course of priestly formation and earning his M. Div. from The Catholic University of America, Fr. Steve was ordained a priest by Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, Arizona on May 20, 2017 at the Paulist mother church, the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, in New York City, along with Paulist Fathers Matthew Berrios, CSP and Stuart Wilson-Smith, CSP.
In his own words: “I’ve felt a call to the priesthood since I was young, but have spent much of my adult life running from it or making excuses. After years of spiritual wandering, exploration and struggling with my Catholic faith, I came to realize that God’s love is bigger and more generous than I can imagine – and that this love includes me just as I am. I was drawn to the Paulists by their dedication to outreach, compassion and building bridges of inclusive communication among Catholics and beyond. The Paulist mission to meet contemporary culture on its own terms and present the Gospel in compelling, modern ways inspires and motivates me."