What To Expect When A New Priest is Assigned

What can one expect to oçcur when a new priest is assigned to a parish. The parish only has one priest assigned to it. The existing priest has stepped down due to health reasons. Will access to the Sacraments be increased, stay the same, or decrease? What will happen with the Pastoral Council and Commisions? Are there any other changes that may be expected?

To a large extent, that would depend on the bishop. Presumably your last priest (or pastor if you’re in the U.S.) had the bishop’s approval for the things he did. Similarly, even if there are changes that the incoming priest would like to make, he will need the bishop’s approval for that.

I don’t think anyone can tell you. There’s no universal answer. The new priest may change some stuff, or he may not.


Pastoral council members are elected for X number of years and if one member moves then there will be a new election to fill that persons place at the next time elections are held. Up until then a “substitute” will fill the “mover´s” place. My experience is that the pastoral council and financial council continue until they have served their years.

The new priest might change the days and hours Mass or other sacraments are celebrated after asking around the parish members if times need to be changed to better suit the parishioners. He will inform the bishop if there are major changes. Sometimes Mass times are changed if all parishes in the neighbourhood celebrate Mass at 6 pm on Wednesdays but none has a morning or mid day Mass on Wednesdays.

If the new priest loves Adoration or some other devotion then it is likely there will be more of that.


Every priest has his own personality, his own “flavor”. He may make sweeping changes or he may change nothing at all.

Pray for him, invite him over for dinner, make him feel welcomed!


If the new priest is assigned as pastor (that is, permanently assigned) he will have more freedom to make changes. If he’s been assigned as an administrator (pending the return of the current pastor, or he’s only assigned until next summer, etc.) he would likely keep things status quo and wait until a new pastor is assigned.

At any rate, most priests will wait awhile and become familiar with the parish before they start making wholesale changes.

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The previous priest received approval from the Bishop and the Bishop assigned the new priest.

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