Sunday, 03 May 2020 17:33

I love my parish priest! Why is he being reassigned?

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It’s a common question: Why is my parish priest being reassigned to another parish? This question especially comes up when the priest is beloved by parishioners and then, quite naturally, there is angst about what the future of the parish will look like.

The first thing to remember is that diocesan priests don’t “belong” to a parish, but in fact, belong to the universal church. Diocesan priests, through their ordination by their local bishop, therefore, serve the people of their diocese.

When they were ordained priests, they made a promise of respect and obedience to the bishop and his successors. The purpose of obedience is not a matter of arbitrarily imposing authority or seeking to exercise control for its own sake but flows rather out of a sense of mission — a mission to serve the Catholic faithful in their diocese, not just one parish.

If your parish has a priest that is beloved and has brought new life and a spiritual awakening to the people, and he is now being reassigned, give thanks to God for the blessing that he has been to your parish. Then, look at it from a perspective that with the new assignment, that priest can now help people at another parish in our diocese grow spiritually. Think of it as “paying it forward.” Also, think about how your new priest will be able to bring new gifts to your parish that will enable you to continue to grow.

It’s also important to remember that priests have different strengths and talents. The dynamics of parishes change over time. So, the strengths and talents of a “new” priest might fit the needs of that parish better. In addition, it’s easy for parishes to sometimes go into “cruise control” when a pastor has been in place for a long time, even if things are going well. A new priest can bring new ideas, which in turn, sends a signal to lay leadership at the parish to get out of “cruise control” and try new initiatives that can help people grow in our faith.

There are also other practical reasons for moving priests. It allows them to expand their experiences and gain new perspectives. Priest retirements and new priests being ordained each year naturally translates into having some rearrangement of assignments.

You might also ask: Why make these changes now with the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic? While being mindful of the pandemic, the Catholic Church must still prepare for the return to normal life when this crisis passes.

If you are getting a new priest, make him feel welcome. Remember that transitions are difficult for the priests themselves, so they deserve the same love and support that you gave to your last priest. Avoid forcing him to conform to something he might not be familiar or comfortable with by saying to him, “That’s how we’ve always done it here” or “That’s not how the previous pastor did things.” Don’t gossip and don’t publicly voice your objections about a new priest to anyone. Patience is a virtue, so give him a chance, and help him navigate the parish, the school, and city. Invite your new priest over for dinner or write him a welcome card with perhaps a gift card to a local eatery.

Our priests are very dedicated and work hard, so please pray and support all our priests, especially if you are getting a new pastor. Remember, without our priests, we the faithful don’t have access to the sacraments.

Official Appointments

Pastor

Very Reverend Brian Alford, V.E.
Very Reverend Brian Alford, V.E.
Appointed Rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Springfield, and Vicar for Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations from Pastor of St. Jude Parish, Rochester, from Vicar for Priests, and from Director of the Office for Vocations, while retaining duties as Director of the Department for Vocational Services.
Reverend Steven Arisman
Reverend Steven Arisman
Appointed Pastor of St. Francis Solanus Parish, Quincy, from Pastor of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Parish, Mount Zion, St. Isidore Parish, Bethany, Chaplain of St. Teresa High School, Decatur, and, Associate Chaplain of Millikin University, Decatur.
Reverend Paweł Augustyniak
Reverend Paweł Augustyniak
Appointed Pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish, Shelbyville, of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Assumption, and of St. Francis De Sales Parish, Mowequa, from Parochial Administrator of these same parishes.
Reverend Christopher Comerford
Reverend Christopher Comerford
Appointed Pastor of Ss. James and Patrick Parish, Decatur, and Chaplain at Decatur Correctional Center, Decatur, from Pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish, Quincy.
Reverend Charles Edwards
Reverend Charles Edwards
Appointed Pastor of St. Jude Parish, Rochester, from Parochial Administrator of St. Louis Parish, Nokomis; St. Mary Parish, Farmersville; St. Maurice Parish, Morrisonville; and St. Raymond Parish, Raymond.
Reverend Michael Friedel
Reverend Michael Friedel
Appointed Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Decatur; St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Decatur; and Chaplain of Millikin University, Decatur, from Parochial Vicar of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Springfield, and from Chaplain of Sacred Heart-Griffin High School, Springfield, while retaining duties as Associate Vocation Director for the Office for Vocations.
Reverend Patrick Gibbons
Reverend Patrick Gibbons
Appointed Canonical Administrator of St. John Neumann School, Maryville, while retaining duties as Pastor of St. Cecilia Parish, Glen Carbon.
Reverend Joseph Havrilka
Reverend Joseph Havrilka
Appointed Pastor of St. Clare Parish, Altamont; St. Anne Parish, Edgewood; and St. Mary Parish, St. Elmo, from Pastor of Mother of Perpetual Help Parish, Maryville, and Canonical Administrator of St. John Neumann School.
Reverend William Jeffry Holtman
Reverend William Jeffry Holtman
Appointed Pastor of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish, Alton, from Pastor of Holy Family Parish, Granite City, and St. Mary and St. Mark Parish, Madison.
Very Reverend Christopher House, V.J.
Very Reverend Christopher House, V.J.
Appointed Pastor of Christ the King Parish, Springfield, from Rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Springfield, and from Diocesan Chancellor, while retaining duties as Vicar Judicial and Director of the Department for Canonical and Pastoral Services.
Reverend Robert Johnson
Reverend Robert Johnson
Appointed Pastor of Mother of Perpetual Help Parish, Maryville, from Parochial Vicar of St. Boniface Parish, Edwardsville, while retaining duties as Chaplain of Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, and Associate Vocation Director for the Office for Vocations.
Reverend Aaron Kuhn
Reverend Aaron Kuhn
Appointed Pastor of Holy Family Parish, Mount Sterling, and St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Camp Point, from Parochial Vicar of St. Peter Parish, Quincy.
Very Reverend Thomas Meyer, V.F.
Very Reverend Thomas Meyer, V.F.
Appointed Pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish, Quincy, from Pastor of Our Saviour Parish, Jacksonville, Chaplain at Illinois College, Jacksonville, Chaplain at Jacksonville State Correctional Facility, Jacksonville, and Dean of the Jacksonville Deanery.
Reverend Joseph Ring
Reverend Joseph Ring
Appointed Pastor of Our Saviour Parish, Jacksonville, and Chaplain at Illinois College, Jacksonville, from Pastor of Christ the King Parish, Springfield.
Reverend Jason Stone
Reverend Jason Stone
Appointed Pastor of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Parish, Mount Zion, Illinois; St. Isidore Parish, Bethany; Bishop’s Delegate for Legal Professionals; and Chaplain for the St. Thomas More Lawyers’ Guild, from Pastor of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish, Alton.
Reverend Stephen Thompson
Reverend Stephen Thompson
Appointed Pastor of Holy Family Parish, Granite City, and St. Mary and St. Mark Parish, Madison, from Pastor of Holy Family Parish, Mount Sterling, and St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Camp Point.

Parochial Administrator

Reverend Christudasan Kurisadima, SAC
Reverend Christudasan Kurisadima, SAC
Appointed Parochial Administrator of St. Louis Parish, Nokomis; St. Mary Parish, Farmersville; St. Maurice Parish, Morrisonville; and St. Raymond Parish, Raymond, from Parochial Administrator of St. Clare Parish, Altamont; St. Anne Parish, Edgewood; and St. Mary Parish, St. Elmo.
Reverend Ron Lorilla
Reverend Ron Lorilla
Appointed Parochial Administrator of Sacred Heart of Mary Parish, New Berlin; Visitation of the blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Alexander; Sacred Heart Parish, Franklin; St. Sebastian Parish, Waverly; and Chaplain at Jacksonville State Correctional Facility, Jacksonville, from Parochial Vicar of Blessed Sacrament Parish, Springfield.
Reverend Suresh Sambaturu
Reverend Suresh Sambaturu
Appointed Parochial Administrator of St. Elizabeth Parish, Robinson; Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Oblong; and Chaplain of Robinson Correctional Center, Robinson, from Parochial Vicar of St. Michael the Archangel Parish, Sigel; Sacred Heart Parish, Lillyville; St. Mary Help of Christians Parish, Green Creek; and St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, Neoga.

Vicars Forane (Deans)

Reverend Daniel Bergbower
Reverend Daniel Bergbower
Appointed Vicar Forane (Dean) of the Springfield Deanery, for a term of five years, while retaining duties as Pastor of St. Agnes Parish, Springfield.
Very Reverend Thomas Hagstrom, V.F.
Very Reverend Thomas Hagstrom, V.F.
Appointed Vicor Forane (Dean) of the newly erected Jerseyville Deanery, for a term of five years, while retaining duties as Pastor of Pope St. John Paul II Parish, Mount Olive.
Reverend John M. Titus
Reverend John M. Titus
Appointed Vicar Forane (Dean) of the newly erected Mattoon Deanery, for a term of five years, while retaining duties as Pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish, Mattoon, and St. Columcille Parish, Sullivan.

Pastors Emeriti

Reverend John C. Burnette
Reverend John C. Burnette
Appointed Pastor Emeritus of Ss. James and Patrick Parish, Decatur, from Pastor of Ss. James and Patrick Parish, Decatur, and from Chaplain of Millikin University, Decatur.
Reverend James Anthony Flach
Reverend James Anthony Flach
Appointed Pastor Emeritus of St. Elizabeth Parish, Robinson, and Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Oblong, from Pastor of St. Elizabeth Parish, Robinson; Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Oblong; and Chaplain, Robinson Correctional Center, Robinson.
Reverend Richard W. Weltin
Reverend Richard W. Weltin
Appointed Pastor Emeritus of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Decatur, and St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Decatur, from Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Decatur; St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Decatur; and Decatur Correctional Center, Decatur.

Parochial Vicars

Reverend David Beagles
Reverend David Beagles
Appointed Parochial Vicar of St. Francis Solanus Parish, Quincy.
Reverend Michael Berndt
Reverend Michael Berndt
Appointed Parochial Vicar of Christ the King Parish, Springfield.
Reverend Peter Chineke
Reverend Peter Chineke
Appointed Parochial Vicar of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Springfield, and Co-Chaplain at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School, Springfield.
Reverend Florence Kanga, SAC
Appointed Parochial Vicar of St. Louis Parish, Nokomis; St. Mary Parish, Farmersville; St. Maurice Parish, Morrisonville; and St. Raymond Parish, Raymond, and is granted priestly faculties for ministry in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois for the duration of his ministry in the diocese.
Reverend Piotr Kosk
Reverend Piotr Kosk
Appointed Parochial Vicar of St. Paul Parish, Highland.
Reverend Pawel Luczak
Reverend Pawel Luczak
Appointed Parochial Vicar of St. Peter Parish, Quincy.
Reverend Michael Meinhart
Reverend Michael Meinhart
Appointed Parochial Vicar of St. Boniface Parish, Edwardsville.
Reverend Divakar Talluri
Appointed Parochial Vicar of St. Michael Parish, Sigel; Sacred Heart Parish, Lillyville; Mary Help of Christians Parish, Green Creek; and St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, Neoga, from Parochial Vicar of St. Louis Parish, Nokomis; St. Mary Parish, Farmersville; St. Maurice Parish, Morrisonville; and St. Raymond Parish, Raymond.
Reverend Michael Trummer
Reverend Michael Trummer
Appointed Parochial Vicar of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Decatur; of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Decatur; Chaplain of St. Teresa High School, Decatur; and Associate Chaplain of Millikin University, Decatur.
Reverend Dominic Vahling
Reverend Dominic Vahling
Appointed Parochial Vicar of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Springfield, and Co-Chaplain at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School, Springfield.
Reverend Adam Zawadzki
Reverend Adam Zawadzki
Appointed Parochial Vicar of Our Saviour Parish, Jacksonville, and Chaplain at Routt Catholic High School, Jacksonville, from Parochial Vicar of St. Paul Parish, Highland, while retaining duties as Chaplain for the Deaf Apostolate.

Diocesan Curia

Mr. James A. Bock, Jr.
Mr. James A. Bock, Jr.
Appointed Chancellor and General Counsel for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois from Director of the Office for Legal Services and Policy Development.
Reverend Dominic Rankin
Reverend Dominic Rankin
Appointed Priest Secretary to the Diocesan Bishop and Associate Vocation Director for the Office for Vocations, from Parochial Vicar of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Springfield, while retaining duties as Master of Ceremonies to the Diocesan Bishop and with residence at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Concluding Appointments

Reverend Robert Barko, OFM
Reverend Robert Barko, OFM
Concludes his appointment as Parochial Vicar of St. Francis Solanus Parish, Quincy, and his faculties for ministry in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois are withdrawn with the conclusion of this assignment.
Reverend Donald Blaeser, OFM
Reverend Donald Blaeser, OFM
Concludes his appointment as Pastor of St. Francis Solanus Parish, Quincy, and his faculties for ministry in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois are withdrawn with the conclusion of this assignment.
Reverend Seth Brown
Reverend Seth Brown
Granted a leave of absence, ad experimentum, to the Trappist Monastery of the Holy Spirit, Conyers, Georgia, and concludes his appointments as Pastor of Sacred Heart of Mary Parish, New Berlin; Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Alexander; Sacred Heart Parish, Franklin; St. Sebastian Parish, Waverly; Vicar for Religious; Chaplain to the St. Thomas More Lawyers’ Guild; and Theological Consultant to the Diocesan Curia.
Very Reverend Jeffrey Grant, V.F.
Very Reverend Jeffrey Grant, V.F.
Concludes his appointment as Dean of the Springfield Deanery while retaining duties as Pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish, Springfield.
Reverend James Isaacson, SJC
Reverend James Isaacson, SJC
Concludes his appointment as Chaplain of Hospital Sisters Health System St. John’s Hospital, Springfield and Memorial Medical Center, Springfield, while retaining duties as Pastor of St. Katharine Drexel Parish, Springfield.
Reverend Kevin Mann, SJC
Reverend Kevin Mann, SJC
Concludes his appointment as part-time chaplain at HSHS St. John’s, Springfield, and Memorial Medical Center, Springfield, while retaining duties as Parochial Administrator of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish, Springfield, and Director of Campus Ministry and Chaplain at the University of Illinois, Springfield.
Reverend John Nolan
Reverend John Nolan
Concludes his appointment as Bishop’s Delegate for Legal Professionals while retaining duties as Pastor of St. Joseph the Worker Parish, Chatham.
Very Reverend R. Dean Probst, V.F.
Very Reverend R. Dean Probst, V.F.
Concludes his appointment as Dean of the Effingham Deanery while retaining duties as Pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Newton; St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, Ste. Marie; and Judge of the Diocesan Tribunal.
Reverend Rafal Pyrchla
Reverend Rafal Pyrchla
Concludes his assignments as Parochial Vicar of Our Saviour Parish, Jacksonville; Chaplain of MacMurray College, Jacksonville; and Chaplain of Routt Catholic High School, Jacksonville, while remaining on a Medical Leave of Absence. Father Pyrchla’s residence at Holy Angels Parish, Wood River, is also hereby completed. This decree is effective immediately.
Reverend Michal Rosa
Reverend Michal Rosa
Concludes his appointment as Chaplain of St. Anthony of Padua High School, Effingham, while retaining duties as Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Effingham.