Sunday, March 20, 2016

Pastoral Assignments for 2016-2017: Round 1

Pastoral Assignments for 2016-2017: Round 1
Province reaches into bottom of barrel, pulls out blogger

This afternoon Vice Provincial Fr. Tim Zak published a letter to the province announcing the first assignments for the pastoral year that will begin on July 1.  The list includes 3 new directors, 2 directors appointed for 2d terms of office, and 1 director named for a 3d term.  Directors serve a 3-year term.  The effective date for all the appointments is July 1.

Fr. Mike Mendl in a Scout cap
Heading the list of the new directors--I guess because he's senior in age--is your humble blogger (he thought that his age had put him safely past any danger of such an appointment).  He's been appointed director of the little SDB community in Champaign, Ill.; there will be just 2 other confreres, which limits the damage he can do!  We keep hearing how stretched the province is for personnel--so here you go!

One of the 2 other confreres is the pastor of Holy Cross Church, and the other is part of the campus ministry team at the University of Illinois. Four Salesian sisters are also on the campus ministry team, so there's a pretty strong Salesian presence in Champaign, all good people to be with.

Fr. Mike has spent 25 of the last 30 years in New Rochelle, primarily doing editorial and communications work, and a little teaching and Boy Scout ministry.  Since 2004 he's also been vice director of the provincial house community.  He'll replace Fr. Joe Santa Bibiana as director in Champaign; Fr. Santa just celebrated his 50th anniversary of ordination and got nice coverage in the local and diocesan newspapers.

The 2d new director is Fr. James "Jay" Horan, named to head up another small SDB community, that of East Boston.  Three SDBs there direct the Salesian Boys & Girls Club and assist in weekend parish ministry.  Fr. John Nazzaro will step aside after 9 years as director in Eastie.
Fr. Jay Horan meeting with students

Fr. Jay has many years of teaching and campus ministry experience in the province's high schools, and has been almost a "lifer" as vice director.  He's been at the B&G Club in Eastie for the current year.

Fr. Mike Pace is the 3d new director, taking the responsibility for the province's formation house in Orange, N.J.  For the Toronto native, this will be his 1st assignment outside Canada (except for his participation in the 27th General Chapter as the province's delegate and his experience leading pilgrimages to Italy).  He's currently pastor of St. Benedict's Church in Etobicoke, a Toronto suburb, and vice director of the SDB community, and has also served in Salesian settings in Montreal.  He's been on the provincial council since last July.

Fr. Mike Pace (by Fr. Puntino)
The Orange community is no little one, with 7 SDB staff members this year (including 3 serving Our Lady of the Valley Church) and 12 young SDBs in formation.  The community also includes 4 priests serving in detached assignments (nursing homes and parishes in N.J. and Pennsylvania).

Fr. Pace will replace Fr. Dominic Tran.

It appears that all 3 of our new directors are getting the vice ripped out of them--certainly out of their job descriptions!

Fr. Tom Provenzano, pastor of St. John Bosco Church in Chicago, has been named to a 2d term as director of the SDB community serving the parish.

Fr. John Serio, president of Salesian HS in New Rochelle, has been named to a 2d term as director fo the local SDB community (which is distinct from that of the provincial house).

Fr. Jim Heuser, president of Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, N.J., has appointed to a 3d term as director of the SDB community there.  The school is just undertaking a major building project.


Donna Ragusa said...

Our loss is their gain! God bless you in this next chapter!

Blue Owl said...

This is something of a shock ! We wish you all the best. Was at the Order of the Arrow Conference at the U. of Illinois years ago. Nice city. Just 100+ miles from Chicago, Indianapolis, or St. Louis, depending on direction. (In case you get bored ! Hah !)

Fred Gervat