Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Bishop Cupich addresses priest personnel situation

the Inland Register

(From the April 18, 2013 edition of the Inland Register)

Priest personnel changes announced by Bishop Cupich last week will have an impact on nearly a dozen parishes in the diocese in unique and unexpected ways.

The changes, most of them effective July 1, involve the twinning of some parishes and a reconfiguration of others in the way they are served by the same pastor.

Bishop Cupich wrote a letter which he asked to be read from the pulpit at weekend Masses April 13-14 at those parishes affected by the appointments.

“I genuinely wish I had other alternatives, but I do not,” the bishop wrote. “I realize that this news may not be welcomed by all and that adjustments to Mass schedules will become necessary for your parishes.

“At the same time, I also know your strength as faith communities, and particularly your devotion to a life centered on the Eucharist,” he wrote. “All my personnel changes keep in the forefront the need to gather God’s people for participation in the Mass and to foster the mission of the Church. Change is always rather disruptive, so I ask for your patience as we all walk through this time.”

The bishop’s personnel changes, made in dialogue with his College of Consultors, were born of genuine need. Because of its own diminishing personnel pool, the Society of Jesus has had to withdraw one of its priests from three Native American parishes. The diocese will now assume pastoral responsibility for those parishes.

Four priests will move to retirement status and no ordinations to the priesthood are scheduled this spring.

The situation is not one of crisis, but it does raise awareness of the need to be more intentional and dedicated to the task of fostering vocations to the priesthood in the diocese.

“This present circumstance should impress upon all of us the need to pray for and promote vocations to the priesthood in our diocese,” said Bishop Cupich. “We are served well by our priests, but I am concerned that we are constantly asking them to take on more and more responsibilities, given the shortage of priests. Please pray for them as well, and give your full support to them as they, too, make these adjustments.”

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