Resurrectionists, La Salettes, Jesuits
As their membership dwindles, religious orders withdraw priests from parishes, at least two California dioceses affected
Citing a shortage of priests in the Congregation of the Resurrection, Fr. Michael Danek, provincial superior for the order in the United States, has announced that Resurrectionist fathers will be leaving parishes in the San Bernardino diocese in July.
The diocesan newspaper Inland Catholic BYTE reported that
priests of the Congregation of the Resurrection will be turning back
Blessed John XXIII (formerly Resurrection Parish) in Fontana, and St.
Thomas Moore Parish in Rialto to the diocese “after years of pastoral
“Both parish locations were notified of the province’s difficult but necessary decision in early December,” said the BYTE.
“A statement made by the Provincial Superior for the USA Province Very
Rev. Michael Danek, C.R., noted that a scarcity of priests in the
congregation made it difficult for adequate pastoral leadership to
continue at Blessed John XXIII.”
Citing Fr. Danek’s statement, the BYTE reported, “The level of priests available to minister to the congregation’s parishes in the United States was characterized as reaching a ‘challenging level.’”
In the meantime, the diocese “has begun to make plans for the pastoral care of the parish during this time of transition,” said the diocesan newspaper.
The departure of the Resurrectionists marks the second time in recent months the San Bernardino diocese has lost priests from religious orders staffing parishes. Also effective in July, the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette will transfer the pastoral care of two parishes in San Bernardino’s High Desert back to the diocese, the BYTE reported late last year.
The La Salettes are turning back Our Lady of the Desert Parish in Apple Valley and St. Paul Parish in Lucerne Valley to the diocese. The move comes after more than 16 years of service to High Desert parishes by the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette. The religious order will continue to administer St. Christopher’s Parish in Moreno Valley, and may be assigned an additional parish in the Moreno Valley area in the future.
Fr. Antonio Max Abuan, pastor of both Our Lady of the Desert and St. Paul’s, “will take a health sabbatical from February through mid-June 2010,” the BYTE reported.
The San Bernardino diocese is not the only California diocese affected by the withdrawal of religious order priests from its parishes. In a February letter to fellow Jesuits in the California Province, provincial Fr. John P. McGarry announced that the Society of Jesus would be withdrawing priests serving in parishes in Mammoth Lakes, which serves all of Mono County, and in Ogden, Utah. The California Province of the Society of Jesus includes California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah.
The Jesuits informed Stockton Bishop Stephen Blair that the society would no longer provide a priest to pastor St. Joseph’s parish in Mammoth Lakes.
Two Jesuit priests serving at St. Mary’s parish in Ogden, Utah, will be leaving the Salt Lake City diocesan parish on Aug. 3. Also affected will be St. Henry’s parish in Brigham City, Utah. “On the same date (Aug. 3), the California Province will conclude its sponsorship of Saint Henry Parish,” wrote Fr. McGarry in his February letter.
See the full article at: http://www.calcatholic.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?id=732157be-8dd7-4a77-86b3-1908bbdd3a53