Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Changing of the Guard

Changing of the Guard

In the spring of every year, the provincial announces personnel changes for the coming pastoral year, generally meaning from July 1.

Our provincial residence community is affected this year: we'll be getting a new director (superior of the local community), Fr. Steve Dumais (left).

Fr. Steve and I have been classmates since we entered novitiate on August 14, 1966, altho we've never been stationed together except as students (novitiate, 4 years of college, 4 of theology). We came close during our first year as priests, 1978-79, when we were both in Louisiana--I at Archbishop Shaw HS in Marrero and he at St. Rosalie Church in Harvey, a mile away.

Fr. Steve will be wearning 2 other hats on behalf of the province: vice provincial and councilor for communications (and in this last responsibility my direct "boss" in my work of editing, publishing, and PR).

We're getting a new director because our old
one, Fr. George Hanna (right), has been re-assigned to Nativity Church in Washington, D.C. , as pastor. Fr. George was here only one year. He's spent most of his priestly life of more than 40 years in parishes, and he'll do well at Nativity.

Fr. George will also be the director of the SDB community in Washington, which includes not only the parish priests but also our confreres on the staff of Don Bosco Cristo Rey HS in Takoma Park, Md. They reside at the parish.

Fr. George left us yesterday to start his new job.

He'll have a very big pair of shoes to fill, following in the steps of Fr. Steve Schenck (right), who was pastor and director for the last 6 years. Fr. Steve's a very talented and pastoral man with whom I was privileged to serve twice in Paterson (1982-84 and 1999-2002).

Fr. Steve is moving to Port Chester to become pastor of Holy Rosary Church, where he'll have his own big pair of shoes to fill, those of Fr. Tim Ploch, who in February became provincial in San Francisco after 9 years at Holy Rosary.

Fr. Steve Dumais comes to New Rochelle from the Marian Shrine in Haverstraw, where he was director for the last 7 years. He'll be replaced there by another theology and ordination classmate, Fr. John Puntino (left). Fr. John's moving in from Columbus. He was director at the Marian Shrine once before, almost 10 years ago.

The change of pastor and director isn't the only one taking place in our Washington community. Don Bosco Cristo Rey HS needs a new principal, and Fr. John Serio (right), a very experienced schoolman, is moving from our New Rochelle community to fill that post.

Fr. John will also continue to serve the province as superintendent of schools.

A couple of our directors were re-appointed for new terms. Fr. Dennis Donovan (left) will start a 2d three-year term as director of Mary Help of Christians Center in Tampa, which includes a unit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa, a parish, a retirement residence for Salesians, and sundry other pastoral/youth programs.

Fr. Jim McKenna (not pictured) will start a 3d three-year term as director-president of Archbishop Shaw HS in Marrero.

Finally, Fr. Bill Keane (right) was re-appointed to a 3d three-year term as master of novices. Our novitiate is located at Holy Rosary Church's rectory in Port Chester. Fr. Bill has also been vice provincial for the last 6 years, but he's stepping aside from that (probably very happily) and will instead serve the province as councilor for formation.

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