Sunday, May 24, 2009

change for twenty

Fr. Eric Andrews of John XXIII University Parish has a great new job. He is headed to Los Angeles to become president of Paulist Productions. Like the epistler they are named for, the Paulist Fathers specialize in communication. Before becoming a priest, Fr. Eric interned with The Jim Henson Company. I interviewed him on the radio after reading about the "Muppet priest" in the News Sentinel. In a column to UT students, Fr. Eric wrote that the Paulists have nominated his replacement, subject to the bishop's approval. John XXIII and Immaculate Conception are parishes in the Diocese of Knoxville but are staffed by Paulist priests rather than by diocesan priests.

During the time that Knoxville was without a bishop, Fr. Al Humbrecht served as diocesan administrator. Only a very few priest reassignments are made by a diocesan administrator. Fr. Al was forced to make some decisions when Fr. Vann Johnston was named Bishop of Springfield - Cape Girardeau. Now that Bishop Richard Stika has arrived in Knoxville, a relatively large number of priests are getting ready to move on August 1.

The list of new assignments was released this past week. There must have been quite a backlog. I wondered if the many changes were made entirely by the new bishop or if they were the recommendations of Fr. Al and other diocesan officials. A little bit of both, was the answer I got from a parish priest I saw Saturday. He also told me that a domino effect was set in motion by the retirement of Fr. Joe Brando from St. Jude in Chattanooga.

My parish, All Saints Church loses one priest but gains two. Fr. Augustine Idra is leaving All Saints to go to Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Chattanooga. He will also be chaplain of Notre Dame High School. He will be greatly missed both for his spirituality and his fun-loving Chicken Dance at parish functions.

Fr. Tony Dickerson leaves NDHS to make a welcome return to Knoxville. He made a good impression on Bishop Stika as the master of ceremonies of the bishop's ordination in March. His new duties are three-fold: associate pastor at All Saints, co-chaplain at Knoxville Catholic High School and master of ceremonies for the bishop and diocesan events. All Saints pastor Fr. Michael Woods will be the other KCHS co-chaplain. All Saints is just across the parking lot from the high school, making it easy for Fr. Michael to minister to the students when Fr. Tony is traveling around the diocese with the bishop. From what I know of Bishop Stika and Fr. Tony, they are both regular guys who will probably get along great, especially at sporting events.

Fr. Antonio Giraldo, a native of Colombia, comes to All Saints from St. Thérèse of Lisieux in Cleveland. Since the parish town hall meeting, I have been anticipating the arrival of a Spanish-speaking priest. I think a Spanish Mass will be added fairly quickly after his arrival. The luxury of having four priests (the three I've mentioned plus Fr. Ragan Schriver) at one parish comes with a bit of a price. The priests of All Saints will have to take turns making the long drive to Scott County each Saturday to celebrate the 5:30 p.m. Mass at St. Jude in Helenwood.

A couple of other priests I know have new jobs too. When Bishop Johnston left for Missouri, Fr. Al appointed Fr. David Boettner as moderator of the curia. Fr. David described it as being a pastor to those who work for the diocese. At the time, Fr. David retained his position as pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle in Lenoir City. Bishop Stika has now reassigned Fr. David to be a priest in residence at Sacred Heart Cathedral, which is conveniently located right next door to the Chancery. Fr. Michael Maples leaves Sacred Heart to become associate pastor at St. Thérèse of Lisieux, replacing Fr. Antonio.

Fr. John Arthur Orr is known for wearing a cassock almost everywhere he goes. He is also known for celebrating Mass in Latin at his current parish, St. Therese in Clinton. His affinity for the more traditional makes me think he will especially enjoy his new assignment at Holy Ghost Church, which celebrated its 100th anniversary last year.

Labels: , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home