Meet the Rector
Welcome to the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel! I am Fr. Joe Fowler, the rector and pastor of St. Michael’s. I’m so glad that you have taken the time to visit our website! I have been at St. Michael’s since July of 2022. I love the fact that we are able to provide a sanctuary of prayer and holy silence in the heart of Pensacola’s downtown neighborhood. I hope you will take the opportunity to come and visit our church now that you have visited us online. I am eager to meet all of our visitors, so make a point of letting me know if you do come for a visit so that I can try to welcome you face to face. (My contact information is provided at the bottom of this page).
I grew up in Ft. Myers, Florida. I was born and raised there. I was never terribly interested in my faith until a major conversion experience during my freshman year of college at The Florida State University. There, I came to know God for the first time and experienced His voice calling me to become a priest. I was ordained in 2002 and love being a priest. I was sent to Rome and the Vatican to carry out my studies in theology and canon law. I returned to Pensacola in 2003 and have served in the churches of this area ever since with the exception of a four-year assignment back to the Vatican from 2010-2014.
There were several priests who cared for me spiritually when God came into my life; I believe the heart of what God called me to do when He called me to the priesthood was to give to others precisely that gift that was given to me: a compassionate, loving, and understanding father. It’s my fervent hope that, in visiting our beautiful Basilica, you too will encounter the Living God and the profound love that He has for you! I am here for you as those priests were there for me.
So come, enjoy our church, take in our beautiful stained-glass windows, statues, and decorations; light a candle if you wish, but above all, come to listen for the voice of Jesus Christ who will speak to you in the silence. He loves you and gave His life for you. Every word that He has for you will be something good for your life. I have learned that through listening for Him in my own life. Join me and our whole parish as we do our best to walk with Jesus to heaven.
We are also blessed to be under the patronage of the great St. Michael the Archangel, the heavenly warrior who did battle with Satan, himself. I ask for his help every day as do our parishioners. What a great gift to have such a guardian and protector! If you are struggling with any challenges in your life, know that St. Michael’s is a place where you can step away from the pressures and anxieties of the day and rest in the quiet peace of God’s house. I look forward to seeing you there!
May God bless you!
Fr. Joe Fowler
Very Rev. T. Joseph Fowler, J.C.L.
Rector & Pastor
Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel