New Priestly Assignments and Reactions


So, our parish’s pastor just got moved to become the pastor of a NEW parish. He has only been with us for one year, but the Bishop needs him at a newly formed multi-cultural parish. I completely understand his reasoning.

This priest is a very, very kind, gentle, loving man. He is filled with joy. A very happy man. Anyways, the priest before that was an older man, but an amazing priest. He was just more reserved. He was very down to earth. He was also AFRICAN AMERICAN. The priest before that was a man in his early 50’s. He was nice, and I personally really valued his presence in our parish and school, but he celebrated mass at the parish, and that is really all we saw of him.

Anyways, a family that became friends with our most recent pastor (the one being moved to multi-cultural parish) is now very sad that he is leaving. He says he resorted their faith in the Church, which is great. They made a Facebook post about this priest, and a parish/school employee commented “First priest I liked.” Other comments were such as “BEST priest we have ever had at our parish.” “Way better than the others.” These comments bother me greatly.

I had half the mind to comment on the post that they should be grateful for ALL the priests we’ve had at our parish. Why do people have to be this way?


It’s very unfortunate that people are so uncharitable. You are absolutely correct in your belief that they should be grateful for any priest you have. Many parishes these days have to make do with a “circuit rider” priest who must preside over two or more parishes. I hope this will improve, but it doesn’t seem like it will any time soon.

As for why they do it, it’s hard to say. People tend to be self-involved and to hate change. This is probably the case with the people who made those comments. My only suggestion would be to forgive them and to leave your own note on the FB page relating your apprecition.

All the best! :slight_smile:


I understand where the family that really loved the priest is coming from with their great gratitude towards the priest. My family’s very favorite priest (my spiritual director) was recently moved, and we are getting a new priest at the end of July. In a similar way, this priest brought my family, specifically my Mother and I, back to the Church. I look up to him as a grandfatherly figure, and losing him was very painful. However, I am also looking forward to this new priest coming, and I’d never dream of making him feel unwelcome!

I think the trouble with people dealing with a new priest lies in comparing them. Like chefmomster2 said, people hate change, and as a way of coping with this unwelcoming change, they compare them, unconsciously trying to find something familiar in the new guy. It is very likely that this new priest will be different, so they end up complaining, saying they like the old priest better, when in fact he is just different.

I pray that this new priest receives a more warm welcome in the near future. Thank you for being charitable and loving! :thumbsup:


Many people have a tendency to become over-attached. They consider the priest “theirs”. This is meant to be flattering and loving, but it is actually quite hurtful. Especially to the new priest. I’ve seen new pastors greatly suffer because of this “position taking”.
Pray that everyone embrace your new priest with joy and gratitude for his ministry, and accepting that everyone has their strong points.
But in every instance, God will bring your parish what it needs.
If only people will be open to change and variety.
God bless you.


So what? Why do you make a point of shouting out AFRICAN AMERICAN??? Was it such a shocker that he was an amazing priest?

In the various Catholic churches I have attended my priests have included:

Former military chaplain
Young white man
Ultra-conservative older white man
“Progressive” (liberal) older white man
Highly personable black man, convert from Baptist church
Married man with wife, daughter, and granddaughter, convert from Methodist church
Widowed grandfather who loved to share pictures of his many kids and grandkids
Cuban exile
Nigerian immigrant
Indian immigrant
Vietnamese immigrant
Polish immigrant
Philippino immigrant
Man who went to seminary right out of college
Man who fumbled around in life for 20 years after college before going to seminary
Man with dog named Candles
Man with cat named Will Seaton

The dark-skinned men were just part of the crowd…


Where are they being uncharitable? They are merely stating a personal preferance. Based on the information provided, they just stated that a certain person helped them the most on their faith journey - nothing more, nothing less.


I don’t know, it’s sad. BUT…when you get the opportunity let them know verbally that all priests are not the same but they all have special gifts and a calling and we should be thankful for them and always, always pray for them! Sometimes we hesitate saying this but we must speak up. Something similar happened to me and I hesitated but got convicted later. WE MUST SPEAK OUT in love and charity with support for all our priests!



The previous pastor was very upset with emotion when he got his assignment to leave the church here and go to a city to merge three Catholic churches into one parish.


I am so sorry you are losing your Priest - but think of the joy of the new parish that will be getting to know and love him.

I think you may be reading too much into the posts and putting thoughts where there are none. I don’t see anything in those posts that says the posters are not grateful for the former Priests for being there or for their vocation.

Too often we forget that Priests are people, and not everyone likes everybody and not every priest is a good person nor does every priest get along with everyone.

Case in point. Years ago we had a new priest at our parish who was a wonderfully educated man but was just not good with people. Any people. I don’t recall any good interaction stories. Our pastor at the time was a great people person and I am sure tried to counsel him, but in all honesty, Father was just not cut our for parish work. His next rotation was to an administrative post in the Archdiocese where I believe he flourished and I am not sure he ever got back into parish work.

Point is, I am grateful to that man for being our Priest and I am humbled by his sacrifice but the comments when he left were in the “glad he is gone” realm. Not a knock on him as a priest, but a knock on the way he was unable to interact with the parish.

On the other side of the coin, you will find priests who are beloved by all but are horrible priests (e.g. don’t follow the GIRM, don’t run the parish well, make horrible pastoral decisions, etc.)

My unsolicited advice? To quote a recent movie - “let it go, let it go…”:slight_smile:


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