Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington



From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302


Bishop Daly announces appointments for four Eastern Washington priests

by Eric Meisfjord, Editor, Inland Register

(From the November 19, 2015 edition of the Inland Register)

Official Appointments

After seeking the advice of the Diocesan Consultors, Bishop Thomas A. Daly has made the following appointments:

Vicar General
• Father Darrin Connall
(effective November 1, 2015)

Vicar for Priests
• Father Patrick Kerst
(effective October 12, 2015)

Vicar for Finance
• Father Brian Mee
(effective October 12, 2015)

– Announced at the Catholic Pastoral Center October 12, 2015

After seeking the advice of the Priest Personnel Committee, Bishop Thomas A. Daly has made the following appointment:

Administrator
• Father Richard Semple
Immaculate Conception Parish, Republic
St. Patrick Mission, Curlew
(effective November 1, 2015)

– Announced at the Catholic Pastoral Center November 2, 2015


In separate announcements, three priests have been given additional responsibilities as vicars of the diocese, and one priest has been named administrator of a parish and its mission.

Father Darrin Connall, rector of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes, Spokane, is now Vicar General of the Spokane Diocese.

Father Pat Kerst, pastor of St. Mary Parish, Spokane Valley, and St. Joseph Parish, Rockford, has been named Vicar for Priests.

Father Brian Mee, pastor of Spokane’s St. Peter Parish, is the diocese’s Vicar for Finance.

Bishop Daly announced the appointments Oct. 12. The appointments for Fathers Kerst and Mee were effective immediately; Father Connall’s appointment was effective Nov. 1.

In addition to the appointments of the three priests to administrative positions, Bishop Daly announced the appointment of Father Richard Semple as administrator of Immaculate Conception Parish, Republic, and St. Patrick Mission, Curlew. That appointment was effective Nov. 1 as well.

In a memo, the bishop gave a brief outline of the responsibilities of each of the three vicars.

Father Darrin Connall

• As Vicar General, Father Connall has ordinary vicarious power and assists the bishop in the executive governance of the diocese. He will serve as an ex official member of the Presbyteral Council, the Diocesan Building Commission, the Catholic Cemeteries Board, and Immaculate Heart Retreat Center’s Board.

He will serve as chair for the Chancery department head meetings and facilitates annual performance evaluations of Chancery staff.

The following report to the Vicar General: Dr. Rob McCann, Director of Catholic Charities; Eric Meisfjord, Director of Communications; Brian Kraut, Director of Parish Support Services; Mary Green, Director of Technology; Dr. Anthony Clark, Director of Archives; Dr. Duane Schafer, Superintendent of Schools; and leaders of other, unspecified, diocesan ministries.

Father Patrick Kerst

• As Vicar for Priests, Father Kerst also has ordinary vicarious power and assists the bishop in the governance of those matters pertaining to priests. He will serve as an ex official member of the Presbyteral Council, the Priest Personnel Board, the Priest Retirement and Aid Association, and the Diocesan Review Board. He takes a special interest in the needs and welfare of senior priests.

He offers guidance to the Director of Continuing Education of Priests, Father Tim Hays, regarding priest retreats as well as ongoing education and formation opportunities for priests.

Roberta Smith, the Victim’s Assistance Coordinator, reports to the Vicar for Priests.

Father Brian Mee

• As Vicar for Finance, Father Mee has ordinary vicarious power and assists the bishop in the executive governance of those matters directly pertaining to the temporal goods of the diocese.

He will serve as an ex officio member of the Presbyteral Council, the Diocesan Ministries Fund Foundation, and the Diocesan Finance Council, where he will also serve as chairperson.

After having heard from the College of Consultors and the Diocesan Finance Council, the Vicar for Finance is appointed by the bishop to serve as the Diocesan Finance Officer.

Reporting to the Vicar for Finance will be Merrilin Fulton, the Director of the Office of Fiscal Services, and Andy Robideaux, the Director of Development.

According to Canon Law, Vicars General and Episcopal Vicars “are to be known for their sound doctrine, integrity, prudence and practical experience.”

Father Connall was ordained to the priesthood May 29, 1992. He has been rector of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes since July 1, 2011.

He has also served as parochial vicar of St. Thomas More Parish, Spokane; pastor of the parishes in Colville, Kettle Falls, and Northport; rector of Bishop White Seminary; and Director of Vocations.

Father Kerst has been pastor of St. Mary Parish in Spokane Valley and St. Joseph Parish, Rockford, since July 1, 2012.

He was ordained to the priesthood May 23, 1990.

He served briefly as Vicar General for External Matters in late 2014, prior to Bishop Blase Cupich’s appointment to the Archdiocese of Chicago.

He has also been associate pastor of St. Patrick Parish, Pasco; parochial vicar of St. Patrick and St. Francis of Assisi parishes in Walla Walla; pastor of the parishes in Brewster and Twisp; pastor of the three parishes in Walla Walla; and director of Continuing Education for Priests for the Spokane Diocese.

Father Mee was ordained a priest of the Spokane Diocese on July 8, 1978.

He was assistant pastor of St. Patrick Parish, Walla Walla, and associate pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Spokane, before beginning ministry in the diocesan mission in Guatemala.

Father Mee later entered Mount Angel Abbey in St. Benedict, Ore., where he served in a number of capacities in the abbey and its seminary.

He returned to the Spokane Diocese and was named pastor of St. Peter Parish, Spokane, in 2009.

Father Richard Semple

Father Semple was ordained a priest of the Spokane Diocese June 23, 2000.

He was parochial vicar of St. Augustine Parish, Spokane, until his appointment as pastor of the parishes in Oroville and Tonasket in July 2002.

The next year he joined the Canons of St. Augustine in Austria. He made solemn vows with the Religious order in 2007, and was released from the order for priestly ministry in the Spokane Diocese.

He was named parochial vicar of St. Thomas More Parish, Spokane, in July 2014. One year later he became parochial vicar of the parishes in Colville, Northport, Kettle Falls, Republic, and Curlew.

As administrator in Republic and Curlew, he replaces Father Tyler Smedley, who remains pastor of the Colville, Northport, and Kettle Falls parishes.

(IR file photos)


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