Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 3, 2002
Collins announces priest changes
By GLEN ARGAN
The Edmonton Archdiocese will again have a full-time vocations director and has obtained the services of two priests from India for the next three years.
However, the parish at Mayerthorpe (now twinned with Onoway) will be combined with Drayton Valley and its missions at Evansburg, Tomahawk and Wildwood.
Those announcements were among the annual changes in priest assignments released recently by Archbishop Thomas Collins. They will take effect Aug. 7.
Retiring from priestly ministry will be Msgr. Donald MacDonald, vicar-general and pastor of Edmonton's St. John the Evangelist and Holy Spirit parishes, as well as Father Francis Villeneuve, pastor of St. Michael-Resurrection Parish.
Father Stephen Hero, part-time vocation director for the past year and a part-time associate pastor, will now devote all his activity to promoting vocations.
"It shows that this remains a priority with the diocese," said archdiocesan chancellor Father Greg Bittman. "We need someone devoted full-time to vocations, if we are going to see any fruits from it."
The two priests from India - Fathers Thomas Maliakkal Devassy and Paul Payyapilly - come to the Edmonton Archdiocese after spending three years in the United States.
Bittman said the archdiocese is also having discussions with other bishops in India in its quest for more priests.
Although the archdiocese ordained three priests this spring, Bittman said, "The long-term prognosis is that it's going to be very tight."
"But in the very long term, it looks more positive," he said. At least six new seminarians will begin studies this fall.
The archdiocese is also developing a plan for the future of the four parishes on Edmonton's 118th Avenue. Currently, three priests serve those parishes.
Ongoing discussions are being held with those parishes for the day when two of the priests retire and only one priest remains to serve the four parishes, he said.
The 1998 Faithful Into the Future plan recommended that in August 2000, St. Alphonsus, St. Paul, St. Patrick and St. Clare parishes would be merged at St. Alphonsus. However, two priests delayed their anticipated retirements in order to staff St. Patrick and St. Clare parishes.
Bittman noted the number of priests being moved is much less this year than in previous years. Many changes, dictated by necessity, have been made in recent years, and the archdiocese is trying to be sensitive to the needs of the people.
"It's hard on people (to have their priest moved) because the priest has developed a bond with the people."
The changes announced by the archbishop are:
- Father Patrick Baska of Edson becomes pastor of St. Alphonsus Parish and administrator of St. Paul Parish in Edmonton.
- Father Stan Blaszkowski of Drayton Valley (and parishes in Evansburg, Tomahawk and Wildwood) becomes pastor in Onoway (and parishes in Lac La Nonne and Wabamun).
- Father Andrzej Bogdanowicz, now in Rocky Mountain House, becomes pastor in Drayton Valley and administrator of attached parishes (Evansburg, Mayerthorpe, Tomahawk and Wildwood).
- Father Joselito Cantal, recently ordained and associate pastor in Wainwright and Provost, becomes associate pastor of St. Joseph Basilica.
- Father Thomas Maliakkal Devassy of India, becomes associate administrator in Edson.
- Father Raymond Guimond, now pastor in Onoway and attached parishes (Lac La Nonne, Mayerthorpe and Wabamun), becomes pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish and administrator of Holy Spirit Parish in Edmonton.
- Father Stephen Hero, now associate pastor of Holy Family Parish in St. Albert and part-time vocation director, becomes full-time vocation director.
- Basilian Father Brian Inglis becomes administrator of the parish in Edson as well as continuing as pastor in Hinton.
- Father Paul Kavanagh, newly ordained, becomes associate pastor of Holy Family Parish in St. Albert.
- Father Tesfu Kelati, now pastor of St. Alphonsus and St. Paul parishes, becomes pastor of St. Michael-Resurrection Parish in Edmonton.
- Msgr. Donald G. MacDonald, pastor of St. John the Evangelist and Holy Spirit parishes, retires from active parish ministry.
- Father Michael Mireau, newly ordained, will serve as associate pastor of St. Theresa's Parish, Edmonton.
- Father Paul Moret becomes administrator in Rocky Mountain House as well as serving as pastor in Rimbey and attached parishes (Sylvan Lake, Bentley and Winfield).
- Father Paul Payyapilly of India becomes associate administrator in Rocky Mountain House.
- Father Francis Villeneuve, pastor of St. Michael-Resurrection Parish in Edmonton, retires from active parish ministry.