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  #1  
Old Aug 12, '11, 2:36 pm
T More T More is offline
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Default Do priests get rotated from parish to parish?

I wasn't sure where to ask this, but I am curious. Do priests get rotated by the bishop of their diocese? I have heard of this, so what is the criteria for determing this? Is a priest only allowed to stay a parish for a set time and then sent to another parish in the diocese? What's typically the time a priest will be at a parish, on the average?
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Old Aug 12, '11, 3:24 pm
Phemie Phemie is offline
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Default Re: Do priests get rotated from parish to parish?

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Originally Posted by T More View Post
I wasn't sure where to ask this, but I am curious. Do priests get rotated by the bishop of their diocese? I have heard of this, so what is the criteria for determing this? Is a priest only allowed to stay a parish for a set time and then sent to another parish in the diocese? What's typically the time a priest will be at a parish, on the average?
Yes, they do get moved around by their bishops. Long past are the days when a priest was named pastor of a parish and remained there until he either retired or died (the one who baptized me was in our parish for 38 years).

I think the bishop looks at what each parish needs, based on finances, pastoral care, etc and tries to place the best priest for the job in a community where he'll do the most good.

Nowadays, it's not easy, as we watch the decline in the number of priests, the demographic changes in parishes and priests who, in spite of having promised to obey their bishops, are very vocal about not wanting to be in a particular parish. Nothing can create more damage in a parish than a pastor who doesn't want to be there and makes it very obvious. I lived through 4 years of that and it was disastrous.
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Old Aug 12, '11, 3:36 pm
surritter surritter is offline
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Default Re: Do priests get rotated from parish to parish?

In our diocese I think the general rule is a 6-year term for pastors. It can be renewed, or for various reasons the bishop can move a priest before that 6-year term is up. While obedience to the bishop is a requirement, the bishop usually gets input from the pastor about reassignments, because an unhappy assignment isn't good for anyone (except as an exercise in humility, I suppose).
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  #4  
Old Aug 13, '11, 10:44 am
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Thumbs down Re: Do priests get rotated from parish to parish?

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Originally Posted by Phemie View Post
Yes, they do get moved around by their bishops. Long past are the days when a priest was named pastor of a parish and remained there until he either retired or died (the one who baptized me was in our parish for 38 years).
No, these days are not long past, at least not everywhere. There are plenty of dioceses where pastors do not get transferred. A pastor at my former parish will celebrate his 30th anniversary as pastor there, next spring. Other pastors in that archdiocese have been in place for many years, a few even for decades. Here in my current archdiocese, the archbishop's policy is not to transfer pastors unless they request it, or there is some particular reason to do so. The neighboring diocese also has pastors who have been in place for lengthy periods.

There is nothing in canon law or any other Church document that requires the transferring of pastors. I admit that in many North American dioceses these days there is the practice--one might even say the trend--of rotating pastors, but there are also plenty where that is not the case. Assistant pastors (currently called "parochial vicars") may also be rotated or not, as the bishop sees fit. These have always tended to be rotated, since one does not need as many administrative skills to be an assistat pastor, and also because many priests desire to eventually become pastors.
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Old Aug 13, '11, 12:30 pm
Phemie Phemie is offline
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Default Re: Do priests get rotated from parish to parish?

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No, these days are not long past, at least not everywhere. There are plenty of dioceses where pastors do not get transferred. A pastor at my former parish will celebrate his 30th anniversary as pastor there, next spring. Other pastors in that archdiocese have been in place for many years, a few even for decades. Here in my current archdiocese, the archbishop's policy is not to transfer pastors unless they request it, or there is some particular reason to do so. The neighboring diocese also has pastors who have been in place for lengthy periods..
Those dioceses and parishes are very lucky. My own experience, since the late 60s, is that of Pastors being transferred every 4-6 years and the list of transfers being published in the diocesan paper/website and even the local newspapers in May or June with transfers effective in September.
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Old Aug 13, '11, 12:55 pm
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asia53 asia53 is offline
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Default Re: Do priests get rotated from parish to parish?

Pastors are rotated here. Unless the pastor is older (60's or more), it's rare to see a pastor remain at a parish for more than 6 years.

Our rotation is announced in May, effective mid-June. This year, we had quite a few surprises.
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  #7  
Old Aug 13, '11, 1:24 pm
midori_ midori_ is offline
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Default Re: Do priests get rotated from parish to parish?

When I was in my old career field, it was said, "You shouldn't stay in one place for longer than five years." I was able to see what they meant-- staying put in one place longer than that tended to lead to stagnation. It was hard to grow and easy to get burned out. But if you move, you stay fresh; you've solved your old problems and bring a fresh perspective to your new place's problems; you have different faces, different challenges, different opportunities, different resources.

My current priest has been in my (small, rural) parish for 15? 16? years. He's been offered the chance to transfer several times during that period (he's ministered in other countries and far more interesting cities) but he's content with where he's at, and no one has made him uproot himself. On the other hand, a past priest I enjoyed who was an excellent homilist ended up being transferred from the DFW, TX area all the way to FL.

So I'm not sure what the rules are for transfers or rotations, how much say the priest has in his assignment, and what the rules are for out-of-diocese transfers. But I can definitely see how making an effort to rotate priests can diminish/minimize burnout.
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Old Aug 13, '11, 2:27 pm
malphono malphono is online now
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Default Re: Do priests get rotated from parish to parish?

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Originally Posted by Phemie View Post
Those dioceses and parishes are very lucky. My own experience, since the late 60s, is that of Pastors being transferred every 4-6 years and the list of transfers being published in the diocesan paper/website and even the local newspapers in May or June with transfers effective in September.
While I don't know if it's binding on individual bishops/dioceses, from what I've been told (semi-officially), the USCCB has adopted a policy of 6-year (renewable) terms for pastors (and rectors as well). Within that framework, the first renewal is almost a given unless the priest really wants to go elsewhere. Beyond that it depends.

I know a young priest who was named pastor last year (interestingly enough it was the same parish where he had been serving as curate) and the term was 6 years. As he put it, an appointment could theoretically be renewed until retirement, but while that can (and sometimes does) happen, it's not the norm.
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Old Aug 13, '11, 2:54 pm
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Default Re: Do priests get rotated from parish to parish?

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Originally Posted by Phemie View Post
Yes, they do get moved around by their bishops. Long past are the days when a priest was named pastor of a parish and remained there until he either retired or died (the one who baptized me was in our parish for 38 years).

I think the bishop looks at what each parish needs, based on finances, pastoral care, etc and tries to place the best priest for the job in a community where he'll do the most good.

Nowadays, it's not easy, as we watch the decline in the number of priests, the demographic changes in parishes and priests who, in spite of having promised to obey their bishops, are very vocal about not wanting to be in a particular parish. Nothing can create more damage in a parish than a pastor who doesn't want to be there and makes it very obvious. I lived through 4 years of that and it was disastrous.
I find what you say to be true in some respects. However; from what I've seen in patterns over the last two decades especially with the increasing decline of priests coming out of seminaries and in smaller populated cities and in particular rural areas that have ("no priests") to serve their communities. Of course I'm speaking about Canada here.

It's not always easy to get a handle on this in the United States in comparison to Canada because of the huge population differential. But both countries are experiencing diminishing numbers of new priests and even greater numbers of priests near retirement.

In my province many rural areas no longer have priests to serve their Catholic communities with the Archdiocese forced to close many existing smaller parishes, and strongly consider selling these Church buildings.
I see this happening every year. Many of the communities are elderly with little chance of traveling 20-30 miles to the next nearest Catholic Parish. And as far as Winter is concerned forget it...its unsafe.

Many Parishes today even within cities are also grouped into a Parish Unit with declining numbers of priests having one priest serve all parish units during a weekend.
This only adds to a Priest workload and stress with signs of burn-out. And it shows if your perceptive enough.

I see the pendulum swinging the other way with less priests being rotated especially with declining priests.

Peace
Chris
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  #10  
Old Aug 13, '11, 2:55 pm
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Arrow Re: Do priests get rotated from parish to parish?

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Originally Posted by malphono View Post
While I don't know if it's binding on individual bishops/dioceses, from what I've been told (semi-officially), the USCCB has adopted a policy of 6-year (renewable) terms for pastors (and rectors as well). Within that framework, the first renewal is almost a given unless the priest really wants to go elsewhere. Beyond that it depends.
Nope, not binding, only advice. Every bishop determines his own policy.
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Old Aug 13, '11, 7:20 pm
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Brendan Brendan is offline
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Default Re: Do priests get rotated from parish to parish?

Here in the Archdiocese of Detroit, the general policy is that Associate Pastors\Pastoral Vicars are appointed for 3 year terms. Those are very rarely renewed, as the idea is to get the new priest familar with several different parish settings ( large parish, small rural parish, parish with school).

Pastors are appointed for 7 year terms and are renewable at the discression of the bishop.

Of course, a pastor or an associate pastor may be transfered at any time depending on the needs of the archdiocese. For example, if a pastor died unexpectantly, another priest may be reassigned to that parish.

And then there are ethnic parishes. Those are diocesan parishes, but are staffed from other diocese. I know of two Polish parishes where the pastor is assigned to the Parish by a polish bishop and it is that bishop that assigns or removes him. Archbishop Vigneron may accept or decline the appointment, but he cannot assign that priest to another parish.
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Old Aug 13, '11, 8:26 pm
adstrinity adstrinity is offline
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Default Re: Do priests get rotated from parish to parish?

Let me tell you what is going on in my parish.

As some have probably read what I have said before, we are squatters in the church we are using, it's actually another church but the FSSP is able to use it, but, we MUST work around the other parish's schedule (which, as far as I know, hasn't been a problem).

My pastor is very much actively pursuing this....VERY much. He was told that, basically, because he is the only one crazy enough to want this, he will be with us for at least three years, (YAY! Stability!)

Last Sunday (8/7/11), the Assistant Pastor made the announcement to the parish that he has been transfered (he will now be a rector). He would have preferred staying, but, he accepts God's Will over his own. He said his superior tried to keep him with us but he just couldn't do it. Assistant Pastor was supposed to be with us at least one more year, but, he, along with two others, have been moved for the benefit of souls.
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