Why do priests move?
June 2, 2022
New priest assignments always signify change for the faithful in parishes as well as for individual priests. Sometimes, such changes can be difficult, especially where there is considerable affection for a priest.
However, the principles governing priest assignments allow for the stability, health, and well-being of not just some, but for all parishes, especially for those who require specific priestly talents or leadership.
Terms of office for priests of the Diocese of Rockford, in general, follow the procedures guided by the universal law of the Church, the norms of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and diocesan law prescribed in the diocesan Priests’ Personnel Policies. The term for a pastoral assignment is six years, renewable at the discretion of the bishop. There are times when a pastor is asked by the bishop to serve a shorter or longer time based on the needs of other parishes, schools, offices, and ministries within the diocese. For parochial vicars (also known as associate pastors), the term of office is, in general, three years.
When fulfilling his duties as diocesan bishop, the bishop must anticipate and plan for the future needs of the diocese for which he is responsible and must take into account the needs of all parishes whether they be pastoral, cultural, administrative, etc., along with the gifts of his priests when making good assignments. These decisions are always carried out in great discernment by the Office of the Bishop with the Vicar for Clergy, guided by God and in accord with Church law.
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