How many years does a diocesan priest have to be an assistant pastor before he is assigned as a pastor of a Catholic church?
that is really going to depend on many things because each diocese determines their own rules and a lot of it is based on the needs and priests available. I don’t think one can easily say. Many moons ago when there were more priests, one may have stayed an associate for a number of years. A former priest at a former parish did right about this issue and he mentioned due to the lack of younger priests and the older ones finally retiring that the trend is for new priest to become the head or only or main pastor sooner than later.