Announcement from Fr. Jeremy

Friends, you may know that in our diocese, terms for a pastor are six years. Believe it or not, this June will mark six years that I have served as your pastor. And I am happy to share with you that last Saturday, the diocese announced my appointment for another six years as your pastor. This is what I had requested and so I am quite relieved because the prospect of leaving this summer was very sad for me to think about. I can’t imagine myself being anywhere else at this point in my priesthood. I want to thank everyone who participated in the anonymous six year evaluations sent out by the diocese last fall, which helps guide the bishop’s decision on these appointments in consultation with the priest personnel board.

If you saw the announcement of this in the Blade or elsewhere, you also saw that I was given an additional responsibility. I, along with the pastor of St. Thomas More in BG, were appointed part-time Associate Directors for Vocations. We will work alongside the full-time Vocation’s Director in the promotion of diocesan priestly vocations. Some of the details are still in the works, but it will require about 10 to 15% of my time. The diocese will compensate our parish for that percentage of my priestly salary.

Even though this will take me away from the parish a little bit, I wanted to let you know that this new assignment was an idea initially proposed by Fr. Jeff at BG and myself for a number of different reasons. First, given the shortage of priests, it seems there would always be a future chance of being twinned with another parish, like we were with Blessed Sacrament for six years. Since university parishes are so different from other parishes, we hoped this new arrangement would ensure that our parishes remain distinct, individual parishes. If the pastors of the university parishes have an additional vocational responsibility, it is very unlikely that our parishes would be joined with any others in the future. Second, we thought it made sense because much of what we will do as associate vocation directors is visits to our Catholic high schools in the diocese, which both of us already do to promote our respective universities and to meet with seniors who are coming to BG and UT. Finally, most young men who enter the seminary to discern the priesthood do so after attending college, so to have an on-site vocational presence at our two largest universities in the diocese seems to make a lot of sense.

So while my time may be a little divided, I am excited to remain here and to see what this new assignment has in store. I want to thank all of you for your support over the past six years in which I have served as pastor. We have been through a lot together, and I know I’ve made mistakes. This is my first pastorate, so I know I have a lot more to learn. Thanks for your patience and kindness, and I am hopeful that, with your help and God’s grace, I can be a better leader in the next six years. Thank you!

Categories: Corpus Christi