[quote="Phemie, post:2, topic:251938"]
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.