Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus! Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ!
As was announced last weekend at Mass, the Archbishop has appointed me to be the pastor of both Old St. Mary and Sacred Heart Parishes. I will not be returning to LaSalle in a teaching position this Fall. I thank the Archbishop for his continued confidence in the Community-in-Formation, and also LaSalle High School for their patience and for helping me learn to teach.
There are differences between being a pastor and an administrator, but for all practical purposes you will not notice a difference.
The office of pastor is an extension of the office of the archbishop. Just as the archbishop is the chief shepherd of a defined area entrusted to him by the Holy Father, the pastor is the shepherd of a defined area entrusted to him by the bishop. For Old St. Mary’s, this is a section of Over-the Rhine and for Sacred Heart, it is Camp Washington.
An administrator has many of the same responsibilities of a pastor, with the main exception that the administrator serves so long as the archbishop desires him to be the administrator. He is sometimes given a particular mandate to work on, allowing the church to continue to function, leaving any major decision for the new pastor. It is a temporary position, not meant to be long term. The pastor, on the other hand, has stability of office with certain rights and duties enshrined in Canon (Church) Law. It is meant to be a more permanent position, giving the pastor more flexibility in shepherding his parish.
We thank the Archbishop for his continued support of our parishes. This should be evidence of the fact that the Archbishop desires both parishes to continue to exist and function within the Archdiocese. It is demonstrative that both parishes remain vital to the overall mission of the Archdiocese and the Church. Any thought to the contrary should be snuffed from our memories with this gracious act by the Archbishop.
It is true that the Archdiocese suffers from a lack of priests. Let us give thanks to God for the Community-in-Formation; that the Archbishop is seeing to its establishment as an Oratory. In this act also, the Archbishop is ensuring both parishes are cared for well into the future by a stable group of faithful priests. There would probably not be a priest at either parish without the Archbishop establishing the Oratory. Much larger parishes don’t even have one priest. So let us pray for vocations to the Archdiocese and the future Oratory, so that the Lord will continue to send us shepherds after the example of the Good Shepherd.
Pray also for me in this new role. Please continue to be patient with me, especially as school comes to a conclusion in a few weeks. I look forward to continuing to administer the Sacraments and to preach the Gospel among you. Have a blessed week ahead!