To the editor,
I couldn’t help but notice the very short list of priest transfers in the May edition of the Courier, as opposed to the long lists we used to see in the past. Obviously, the reason is we don’t have the priests/vocations we used to have. And in view of the current reality, I think it’s time we take a second look at the mandatory transfers, and terms of assignments for priests.
I was also very surprised there were any transfers at all this year, in view of the fact we don’t have a new bishop. In fact, the appointments, effective the end of June, are conditional pending the appointment of a new bishop. Why didn’t we just take a year off?
We ask so much of our priests. They give up marriage and the opportunity to have a family. It would seem to me that if a priest is happy where he is assigned, and the parishioners are happy with him, then why should he be required to move every six or 12 years? At least we could give our priests the chance to settle in a parish and community they’re happy with. Why can’t we give them that much?
Certainly, there are times when a pastor isn’t a "good fit" and it’s wise that he move on to another parish. But in the cases where the pastor is a "wonderful fit" there ought to be procedures in place that would allow him to remain.
I sincerely hope our new bishop will take a good look at the policy of mandatory transfers for our wonderful, dedicated priests, and find a way to allow priests to remain in place where circumstances warrant.
David J. Dwyer
EDITOR’S NOTE: The appointments published in June reflected only the pastoral administrator positions. We anticipate announcing appointments of assisting priests in the near future.