The priest shortage was an even greater reality in the 21st century than when Sister Jane retired. Parishioners were fairly certain that a priest would not be assigned because the parish was now accustomed to not having a priest pastor. But a priest was assigned, one who had applied for the position. Installed in February, 2000, Rev. Richard Bozzelli, the parish’s thirteenth pastor, had been a lawyer before entering seminary. Because he wanted a city parish and because he shared the professional background of many of his new parishioners, he seemed a perfect fit for the parish.
In his time as pastor, Rev. Bozzelli encouraged the adoption of an ambitious three-year plan for the parish, based on a comprehensive planning process. A successful stewardship drive was undertaken to increase the weekly offertory collection. A much-needed expansion of the religious education program was initiated, under the direction of Dr. Pat Fosarelli, the parish’s first lay pastoral associate. Rev. Bozzelli sought to heal the sense of alienation that many parishioners felt toward the larger Church through homilies, discussions, and example. He became instrumental in the Bolton Hill Tri-Church series of educational offerings and in shared prayer and liturgies.
He formed a Facilities Committee that carefully studied the physical plant of the parish. Based on their work, a highly successful capital campaign (Faith Building Community) was launched to make renovations and repairs to the church: to repair its exterior; repair and restore the church’s clock and bell tower; install a handicapped entrance; install a radiant heating system; replace the old wooden floor with a limestone floor; repair and polish the pews; upgrade the sound system; and install a raised sanctuary platform. While interior renovations were ongoing for several months, MICA graciously provided space for weekend worship. The accomplishments were celebrated in 2006. In 2009, Rev. Bozzelli received the honorary title of monsignor.