St. Peter’s Rector Transition—Next Steps

Updated August 23, 2019

The letter below, introducing our interim rector, the Rev. Robert G. Trache, or “Father Bob,” has been sent to the St. Peter’s Parish Community. Join us in welcoming Fr. Bob on Sunday, September 8, when he will preside and preach. We also welcome Bob’s wife, the Rev. Deacon Eliza “Liza” Ragsdale.


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Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7)

 August 15, 2019

Dear Parish Family,

 It is with much joy and anticipation that we are pleased to announce that the Reverend Robert G. Trache will join St. Peter’s, Morristown starting on September 8th, 2019 as our Interim Rector during our Transition period.

Rev. Trache, kindly referred to as Father Bob or Bob, has been an ordained Episcopal priest since 1978. He has served parishes in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Wilmington, North Carolina; Sudbury, Massachusetts; Alexandria, Virginia; and Richmond, Virginia. Rev. Trache was born and raised in Newburgh, New York. He attended the George Washington University where he received a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in History. While attending school in Washington, Rev. Trache served on the Senate staff of Jacob K. Javits, then the senior Senator from New York.

Before entering the clergy, Rev. Trache was the Associate Dean of Admissions and Registrations at the Catholic University of America, the Director of Admissions, Financial Aid and Registration at Rutgers University at Newark, and served for a brief time as the Director of Admissions and Registrations at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Rev. Trache attended the Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts where he was a Roothbert Fellow, graduating in 1977. He then assumed the post of Assistant Rector at St. John’s Church in Wilmington, North Carolina where he initiated a medical ministry to migrant workers in the region. He became Rector of St. Elizabeth’s parish in Sudbury, Massachusetts in 1980 and remained there until 1984, when he was called to be rector of Immanuel Church on the Hill in Alexandria, Virginia, located on the campus of the Virginia Episcopal Seminary. While Rector, he founded and was first President of the Northern Virginia AIDS ministry, helped to develop and manage the Alexandria Network Preschool for “At-Risk” Children, which was recognized by President George Bush’s Points of Light Foundation, led the Diocese of Virginia Jewish-Christian Inter-Faith dialogue, and founded the Diocese of Virginia ministry to the Holy Land – an effort to support indigenous Christians on the West Bank and in Israel. Rev. Trache also founded and was the first President of the Virginia Episcopal Clergy Association. In 1990, Rev. Trache attended Cambridge University in England where he studied Biblical Theology and Archaeology.

In 1994, the Reverend Trache was called to be Rector of St. James’s Church in Richmond, Virginia, an historic parish founded before the Civil War. While serving in Richmond, St. James’s Church was

struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Rev. Trache led the $10 million dollar rebuilding effort and managed to grow the congregation which for three years worshiped in a nearby Jewish synagogue. He founded the first inter-racial, church-based race-relations program in Richmond, Virginia aimed at reducing racial tensions in the city. In combination with the local synagogue, St. James’s was awarded, under his leadership, Virginia’s first Freedom Award for religious and ecumenical leadership. Rev. Trache also was a founding board member of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Compass Rose Society dedicated to worldwide mission.

In 2000, Rev. Trache took the post of Chief Operating Officer for the Great Valley Center in Modesto California. The Great Valley Center is the largest regional non-profit in California’s Central Valley. Rev. Trache was charged with the day-to-day operations of the Center, managing its more than $7 million budget, overseeing fundraising, developing policies, addressing human resources, implementing organizational effectiveness and strategic planning. Under his tenure the organization grew from 14 to 31 employees. He also received a certificate in financial management from the Stanford University School of Business in 2003.

In 2004 Rev. Trache became Executive Director of Corpus Christi Metro Ministries, a 20-year-old ecumenical effort to address the challenges of homelessness and poverty in south Texas.

Rev. Trache served as Rector of the Parish of the Epiphany in Winchester, Massachusetts from February 7, 2005 until August 2008. He led the Diocese of Massachusetts’ effort to provide aid to those affected by Hurricane Katrina. He also led the Diocese Jewish/Christian Interfaith Dialogue and was chair of the Diocese of Massachusetts Committee on the Holy Land.

Rev. Trache became Rector of the Episcopal Church of St. Mark the Evangelist on September 9, 2008. In July 2011, Rev. Trache also assumed duties as Head of St. Mark’s School.  Rev. Trache retired from his posts in July 2019, having reached the church’s mandatory retirement age for a rector.

Rev. Trache is married to the Rev. Deacon Eliza R. Ragsdale called Mother Liza or Liza and is a voracious reader, loves history and poetry. Fr. Bob and his wife Liza both love to travel and experience other cultures. For decades they have led pilgrimages to the Holy Land as well as to Scotland, Ireland and England. Fr. Bob has also coached baseball for years and loves the sport among others.

Please join us in giving the Rev. Robert Trache and his wife the Rev. Deacon Eliza Ragsdale a hearty St. Peter’s welcome!

 Sincerely,

The Wardens and Vestry of St. Peter’s, Morristown, NJ