‘Some priests may choose not to become pastors.’
Via the California Catholic Daily:
San Jose Bishop Patrick McGrath has named a lay “minister of parish life” to administer a large Santa Clara parish instead of appointing a new pastor — even though three priests are listed in the parish’s online staff directory.
Bishop McGrath, according to the diocesan website, named Dorothy Carlson to run St. Justin Parish in Santa Clara, which this year celebrates its 60th anniversary. The parish website lists the following priests associated with the parish: Fr. George Mancha, parochial vicar; Fr. Edsil Ortiz, OFM, parochial vicar, Ministry to the Sick, the Dying and the Grieving; and Fr. Joseph Pendergast, CPPs, “In Residence.”
According to the diocesan website, Carlson had previously served as pastoral associate, business manager and director of liturgy at St. Justin’s before being installed as minister of parish life on July 24.
“In November 2005, Bishop McGrath named Elizabeth Lilly the first Minister of Parish Life, serving Sacred Heart Parish, Saratoga through June 30, 2006,” explained the entry about Carlson’s appointment on the diocesan website. “Lilly, an experienced pastoral minister, now retired, had served several parishes in a variety of roles over 25 years and at the time was serving at Sacred Heart Parish as Pastoral Associate and twice served as Administrator pro tem there. Lilly said then that she viewed her role as a work in collaboration with those who are ordained.”
“This is another example of the variety of gifts,” Lilly was quoted as saying on the diocesan website. “We have to work together to use all the gifts available among all people in the parish community.”
The decision to use ministers of parish life instead of priest-pastors in the San Jose diocese dates back to 1995, when the diocesan Council of Priests urged then-Bishop Pierre DuMaine to pursue the idea of using lay people instead of priests to lead parishes. Before his retirement in 1999, Bishop DuMaine approved of the concept…
There’s more here.
It seems a tad bit like the shirking of responsibility if you ask me. Could it be the start of an iffy trend? Why not simply appoint her to assist in the administration of the Parish if the priests struggle in that area? A Priest should lead, assisted by the laity – that should be the order.
But I’m actually wondering, why do such innovations always seem to start in America?