Associate Priest suddenly gone...why?

The associate priest at my parish was incredibly kind, patient, so easy to talk to…everyone one could ask for in a priest. He has been at my parish less than a year.

I spoke to him at the end of last week and no mention was ever made of his leaving. As of Monday, he was gone. No notice, no chance to even say good-bye. Our “main” priest didn’t mention it at any of the masses this past weekend even though he knew our associate priest would soon be gone.

This isn’t normal, is it? Why would a priest in wonderful standing with a parish up and leave so suddenly, without saying goodbye?

The parish he is going to had a nice farewell for their priest. There is no scandal. I’m very confused and hurt that a well-loved leader in our parish is suddenly gone without any explanation or warning…and that we parishoners are finding out bits and pieces here and there.

FYI I only found out he was gone Monday when my daughter came home from the school and said her teacher told the class he was leaving.

There could be several reasons for his sudden departure like health reasons (his or his parents). Pray for him. If he’s under going a difficult time, ask God to watch over him. Satan never stops trying to make priests stumble.

That is a bit unusual, although it is not unknown for a Bishop, in what he deems an emergency, to suddenly reassign a priest. Most of the time, though, parishes are given notice.

One of our parochial vicars was just reassigned also. This is the usual time for the bishop to reassign priests here. There was an announcment on Sunday at Mass though. His alst day will be July 1, so I expect we will also have a reception for him.

You say that the parish he is reassigned to had a reception for the priest he is replacing, so it doesn’t seem like this is anything other than the ordinary reassignment of priests. It could be that your Pastor is just not very good at that sort of social thing and it didn’t occur to him, perhaps the usualy people who would plan that sort of thing weren’t available, or it could also be that your associate had some time off planned and so there simply wasn’t a good date for a reception before he left.

I would call the parish office and simply ask, “Will there be a farewell reception for Father Smith?” If there isn’t one, that shouldn’t stop you from inviting him for dinner, or just sending a card.

I’d say this is somewhat unusual. …not the part about him being transferred but the fact that it was kept so quiet and low key.

I can think of all kinds of reasons since I have a rather wild imagination. But crazy speculation is seldom useful.

Perhaps the associate himself had personal reasons for keeping things quiet. Some people just don’t like receptions and good byes; they’d rather just leave while no one is watching. I’ve know several people like that.

On the bright side possibly it’s only a very temporary reassignment or something, and he’ll be back at your parish soon?

Even so, an announcement of some kind would’ve been a good idea - our parishes round here tend to announce if any of their priests are going on holidays for even a few weeks or what have you :shrug:

Nonetheless, there may be reasons - and even if you don’t know of any scandal it sadly doens’t mean this wasn’t the reason. Not everyone needs or wants to air all their dirty laundry in front of others.

Have you heard something official from the Parish Office itself? I can only hope that your child’s teacher misheard something and passed on incorrect information.

Perhaps he is just away temporarily. :shrug:

Since you say he’s definitely replacing a priest in another parish obviously there was no scandal. It’s probably like another poster said, he’s not the type who likes a fuss made over him.

The only time a priest disappeared from our parish like that was when the young associate’s mistress went to the Bishop to complain. He was sent packing back to his own country in a hurry – and lied trough his teeth about why he was leaving, even to the staff who knew the score.

Ask the parish office why he left in such a hurry. Unless there is a serious need, priests are usually given a few months notice, and they announce it to their parishioners in time for word to get around and receptions (both for them and for their replacement- if there is one) to be planned.

Thank you all for your answers!!

I spoke to him the end of last week, he knew I’d be away on a retreat this past weekend.

My daughter heard from her teacher Monday he was leaving. Monday afternoon I tried to contact him but his email at the parish, as well as his voicemail, is no longer available.

Someone told me he announced at the 5pm mass Saturday that he was leaving. That was it. That was the only mass he did and the only one that had any sort of announcement.

He was a part of our Right to Life committee and had been planning the Spiritual Adoption with us to begin this fall.

I stopped by our Religious Ed dept today and they were all just as shocked. They also knew that a new priest would be starting at our parish this Friday. They claim to not know anything else.

I will see our parish priest tomorrow night…I am hoping he has some annswers. Something is certainly odd here.

In our parish and diocese at his time of the year “the angel of death” aka the Bishop’s reassignments occur right after ordinations. No ordained male is safe. Pastors can be moved after being in a parish one year or ten. PVare moved anytime for any reason for any lenght of time. Deacons get moved less but also can and do get moved anytime.

:rotfl: “The Angel of Death” That is hilarious! Yes, that’s just the way it is around here. Our bishop is pretty good about moving people on a ‘schedule’ (ie, most Parochial Vicars have 3 years at an assignment), but the needs of the dioscese come first and if he has to move people around sooner to get staffing the way it should be, then he does.

There may have been a domino effect at the OP’s diocese. PV in parish 1 needs to leave for family reasons or illness, so PVs all around the diocese get swapped around to fill in holes. Her priest who could be PV #10 or 12 in this line gets moved without warning.

We should just use this as another reminder to always pray for priests! :signofcross:

Sr Sally that phrase was used by our former pastor to describe the letters that arrived seemingly in the middle of the night. Needless to say he is now at his second parish after leaving ours. I miss him.

Perhaps you can coordinate an evening social in your parish for your former PV (ask him when he’s available to come). Put an announcement in your bulletin: Bishop X has assigned Father Y to Parish Z, effective _______. Please join us to celebrate his year with us and to give him our fond farewell. Please remember him in your prayers.

Sometimes priests are reassigned in short notice and the absence of an announcement by the pastor is a little irregular. However, the likely message here is that the matter of the transfer is** private** business.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.