When we have a holiday coming up or when the Office Manager who does the bulletin (and a great job she does with it!) is on vacation, I need to prepare my column a couple weeks ahead of time. This is one of those times. Due to the July 4th holiday and vacation for Mary Lou, our Office Manager, I am writing this on July 2nd. I try to be current in the news and information I offer here but some- times that’s not possible due to the bulletin schedule. But I would like to mention the ordination and assignment of priests which took place in the last couple of months.
We had 9 men who were ordained to the priesthood(and I should have asked for your prayers for them two months ago but it’s never too late!) on May 18th. That’s a very good number for our Diocese, though one belongs to the Congregation of St. Joseph and the other is from the Diocese of Daegu, South Korea. The first assignments for these newly ordained priests are normally announced just prior to their ordination, and it is during June that several other priests receive new parish or ministerial assignments as well. There are several priests therefore transferring from one parish to another during that time. Many of you remember the days when a parish would have more than one priest assigned to it, in addition to the Pastor. They were referred to as Assistants, then as Associates or Associ- ate Pastors, but are now called Parochial Vicars according to Canon Law. This is because they are not the Pastor’s Assistants or Associates but are “Vicars” or representatives of the Bishop at the parish level (thus the term Parochial). When I was an Associate Pastor (prior to the new title), a priest would be assigned to a parish for a period of five years although now the assignment is for four years. Except for his first assignment after ordination, he could “apply” or express interest in a particular parish if he wished, though ultimately it’s up to the Bishop, who considers the recom- mendation of the Personnel Board, where a priest will be assigned.
It’s a bit different for Pastors in that a priest can applyto be Pastor at a certain parish when it becomes known through the Diocese that a parish is in need of a pastor (due to an assignment change, retirement or death of the previ- ous pastor). I continue to be very grateful that the Bishop granted my request to be Pastor of St. Leo. A pastor used to be able to remain at a parish for as long as he desired, even until retirement or death, though Bishop Lennon instituted a new policy where there is a 6 year term limit for pastors, which can be renewed, even more than once. Come to think of it, my 6 year term will be up in January 2020. I can honestly say that time flies when you’re having fun. How enjoyable it has been to be with you and I hope I can continue to serve you well into the future. Please pray for us all that we may be worthy ministers of the Gospel to God’s People.