Diocese is keeping us in the dark


#1

Here’s the short version…

3 weeks ago, our pastor of 5 years announced he was asked to take on another parish by the Bishop. Apparently this parish has some problems and 2 other priests refused the assignment. I didn’t even know they could do that.

The same day, the other parish has a big announcement on their website about this complete with a bio of our pastor. We on the other hand know nothing. We have no idea when a replacement is going to be announced.

I have my ideas on what may be holding it up. Wouldn’t it have been prudent, however, to announce both at the same time? Usually, when they make changes, they do. It really is unsettling not to know this and feel that we’ve been pushed aside.

Keep my parish in your prayers. God Bless.


#2

It may be the parish council or the priest himself that decided to do things this way.

The other pastor may not be selected yet. It is not uncommon to find priests for difficult parishes first and then work on the easier ones. It also may be that the priest assigned doesn’t want to be announced.

It also could be that you will loose the pastor all together. Likely, you’ll know soon. Remember the other parish only knows becuase your pastor chose to announce it. Had he wanted to remain quiet for a while until there was a good time for his parish they wouldn’t of been able to announce it. So perhaps the man who will be the pastor to your parish hasn’t had the abilty to inform his flock.

That’s understandable because we’ve had several crazy weekends in a row, Mother’s day (and 1st communion), Assention, (if you’re in the US besides NY and New England) Pentacost and the final Sunday’s of Easter.


#3

It’s difficult to speculate on the hows and whys of these things. I doubt the diocese is intentionally keeping you in the dark. As PurpleSunshine stated, it is not uncommon to fill the difficult parishes first. In my diocese, a few years back, there was a rather protracted shuffling of priests where one priest would go to this parish, which would create an opening, which would need to be filled by another priest, which would create another opening (and on and on). You can’t fill all the openings simultaneously as mass chaos would result.

The bishop will generally have a good reason for doing such a thing (and he’s usually not doing this alone, there’s probably some type of presbyteral council and/or and episcoal vicar which helps the bishop make these decisions.

In any case, mishaps with communication certainly happen, too.


#4

Our pastor of 15 years just announced his reassignment last Sunday. In midJune he’ll be leaving. He knows who his replacement is, but can’t tell us until the Archbishop announces it in the archdiocesan newspaper. He did tell us, however, where he is going. I’m assuming whoever we’re getting told his congregation he was coming to us, but didn’t give the name of his replacement, either. I think that’s standard operating procedure in our Archdiocese, but maybe each one is different? (Our pastor came to our parish just 2 weeks b/f I did, 15 years ago. It was my first time being registered as a parishioner as an adult (I was 25) after being “lapsed” since high school, so this is actually the 1st time I’ve gotten a new pastor, so this is all new to me).

In Christ,

Ellen


#5

In all my years as a Catholic, through priest assignment changes announced every spring, all the pastoral changes, I never recall any diocese or any bishop, ever, giving a reason for the change. ever.


#6

What parish are you in?


#7

[quote="idrum677, post:1, topic:199155"]
3 weeks ago, our pastor of 5 years announced he was asked to take on another parish by the Bishop. Apparently this parish has some problems and 2 other priests refused the assignment. I didn't even know they could do that.

[/quote]

Although priests promise to do what their bishops ask, bishops usually bend over backwards not to abuse their authority. When they are doing reassignments, they try very hard to find someone who is willing, if it is at all possible. Not only is it more humane to their brother clergy, it is the most fair thing to the parishioners getting a new pastor. It wouldn't do to saddle a parish with someone who doesn't want to be there if there is a way in the world to avoid it.

Bless that priest who is willing to do what others would not. Be aware, though, that sometimes the priests who turn down the assignments do so out of an awareness that the parish would not be a good fit for their personalities, abilities, or background, and not because they are ungenerous in their priesthood. There isn't a position in the world, no matter how good, that every one of us who are qualified on paper would feel up to accepting.


#8

[quote="kwitz, post:6, topic:199155"]
What parish are you in?

[/quote]

Immaculate Conception in Dardenne Prairie (ICD). Fr. Bob's going to Mary Queen of Peace in Webster Groves. Our Senior Associate Pastor, Fr. John, died unexpectedly about a month ago (apparently a heart attack), so we'll be getting a new Senior Associate at the same time. Fr. John was with us 8 years. Big changes for us.

In Christ,

Ellen


#9

I just sent you a PM.


#10

[quote="ALLGIRLS, post:4, topic:199155"]
Our pastor of 15 years just announced his reassignment last Sunday. In midJune he'll be leaving. He knows who his replacement is, but can't tell us until the Archbishop announces it in the archdiocesan newspaper. He did tell us, however, where he is going. I'm assuming whoever we're getting told his congregation he was coming to us, but didn't give the name of his replacement, either. I think that's standard operating procedure in our Archdiocese, but maybe each one is different? (Our pastor came to our parish just 2 weeks b/f I did, 15 years ago. It was my first time being registered as a parishioner as an adult (I was 25) after being "lapsed" since high school, so this is actually the 1st time I've gotten a new pastor, so this is all new to me).

In Christ,

Ellen

[/quote]

That's how it often works in my neck of the woods, too. They want to give the priests a chance to break the news to the people they are leaving before they inform the people they are going to serve. When people find out their pastor is leaving from someone outside the parish, it can lead to hurt feelings. So usually, one weekend they announce all the departures, and the next weekend they announce the arrivals.

[quote="puzzleannie, post:5, topic:199155"]
In all my years as a Catholic, through priest assignment changes announced every spring, all the pastoral changes, I never recall any diocese or any bishop, ever, giving a reason for the change. ever.

[/quote]

Indeed. Someone I know is fond of saying this in regard to why priests are shuffled around:

If you're a good priest, everyone should have the chance to experience you.
If you're a bad priest, no one should have to endure you forever.
And if we move around all the priests, you never have to know which one you are!

:)

[quote="EasterJoy, post:7, topic:199155"]
Although priests promise to do what their bishops ask, bishops usually bend over backwards not to abuse their authority. When they are doing reassignments, they try very hard to find someone who is willing, if it is at all possible. Not only is it more humane to their brother clergy, it is the most fair thing to the parishioners getting a new pastor. It wouldn't do to saddle a parish with someone who doesn't want to be there if there is a way in the world to avoid it.

Bless that priest who is willing to do what others would not. Be aware, though, that sometimes the priests who turn down the assignments do so out of an awareness that the parish would not be a good fit for their personalities, abilities, or background, and not because they are ungenerous in their priesthood. There isn't a position in the world, no matter how good, that every one of us who are qualified on paper would feel up to accepting.

[/quote]

That's a good point. There are other, non-selfish reasons a priest might "turn down" a particular parish.


#11

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