An august assemblage of priests, deacons and laypeople will take on new or modified responsibilities this summer under an Official Decree of Appointments promulgated by Bishop W. Shawn McKnight May 1.
The appointments take effect July 1.
“These new assignments reflect our best efforts to make the most effective use of our priestly resources while we continue tilling the soil for a new springtime in our local Church,” the bishop stated.
He made the changes under the prayerful counsel of the diocesan Priest Personnel Board and his cabinet of advisors, taking into account the evolving needs and realities in the diocese.
The full decree is published on Page 4.
A time to rest
Three diocesan priests will retire from their current ministries: Father Gerald Kaimann, pastor of St. Bonaventure parish in Marceline and canonical pastor of Immaculate Conception parish in Brookfield; Father Michael Quinn, pastor of Holy Family parish in Hannibal; and Father Patrick Dowling, who serves in prison and hospital ministry.
In addition, Dominican Father Richard F. Litzau and Dominican Father Michail P. Ford, who currently serve at St. Thomas More Newman Center parish in Columbia, will be reassigned by the leaders of their order’s province to service outside this diocese.
Near and far
Father Benjamin E. Nwosu, pastor of Immaculate Conception parish in Macon and the Sacred Heart mission in Bevier, will take on additional responsibilities as pastor of St. Mary parish in Shelbina and St. Patrick parish in Clarence.
Father Simeon A. Etonu, current administrator of the Shelbina and Clarence parishes, will become pastor of St. Joseph parish in Edina, St. Aloysius parish in Baring and St. John parish in Memphis and chaplain of the Kirksville Newman Center.
He will succeed Father Colin P. Franklin, who will move to Linn and Frankenstein to serve as pastor of St. George and Our Lady Help of Christians parishes.
Fr. Etonu and Fr. Franklin will also pursue further studies in Canon Law with the online program at the School of Canon Law at Catholic University of America.
Father Daniel J. Merz SLD, current pastor in Linn and Frankenstein, will succeed Fr. Litzau as pastor of St. Thomas More Newman Center parish in Columbia and will continue as chairman of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission.
On the move
Father Christopher M. Aubuchon will move from his role as diocesan vocation director and part-time duties at Helias Catholic High School in Jefferson City and St. Thomas More Newman Center parish in Columbia, to become pastor of Visitation parish in Vienna, Holy Guardian Angels parish in Brinktown and St. Aloysius parish in Argyle.
He will continue as diocesan director of seminarians.
Father Paul J. Clark, currently part-time parochial vicar of Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Columbia, will become the diocesan vocation director.
He will move to St. Thomas More Newman Center parish in Columbia and serve as parochial vicar there.
He will continue as part-time chaplain at Fr. Tolton Regional Catholic High School in C and will serve as diocesan moderator of youth and young adult ministry.
Fr. Aubuchon will succeed Matthew J. Flatley, who will serve in the place of retiring Fr. Quinn as pastor in Hannibal in addition to becoming pastor of St. Joseph parish in Palmyra.
Fr. Flatley will continue as diocesan moderator of spiritual formation.
Retiring Fr. Kaimann will live in the Palmyra rectory and will help out with Masses in St. Joseph Church.
The other two retiring priests will live in private residences; Fr. Quinn in Monroe City and Fr. Dowling in Holts Summit.
Father Kelechi M. Uzuegbu, current administrator of the Palmyra parish, will succeed Fr. Kaimann as administrator of St. Bonaventure parish in Marceline, with sacramental duties at Immaculate Conception parish in Brookfield.
Father Jason T. Doke STL, diocesan moderator of the curia, will take on additional duties as administrator of St. Martin parish in St. Martins. This June, he will complete the Master of Science degree in Ecclesial Administration and Management at Catholic University of America.
Father Joshua J. Duncan, currently assistant vocation director with part-time duties at Immaculate Conception parish in Jefferson City, will relinquish those roles to become parochial vicar of Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Columbia and continue as the bishop’s master of ceremonies.
Succeeding him as parochial vicar of Immaculate Conception in Jefferson City will be Father Benedict F. Chagula, a newly arrived priest from the Diocese of Geita in Tanzania.
Father James Finder, currently a retired priest in residence at the Cathedral of St. Joseph Rectory in Jefferson City, will become senior priest in residence at Annunciation parish in California and will continue serving in hospital ministry in Cole County.
For the many
Deacon John A. Schwartze will succeed Deacon Raymond L. Purvis as diocesan director of deacon formation. Deacon Purvis will serve in the newly created role of director of deacon life and ministry.
Both will continue with their parish work in Jefferson City.
Bernadette Adams, secretary to the chancellor, will become vice chancellor for the diocese.
Fr. Francis W. Doyle, pastor of Sacred Heart parish in Columbia, will take on additional duties as diocesan moderator of marriage and family life.
Father Anthony J. Viviano, pastor of St. Joseph parish in Westphalia and St. Anthony of Padua parish in Folk, will take on additional duties as diocesan moderator of pro-life ministry.
Fr. Franklin will succeed Fr. Flatley as diocesan moderator of Catholic rural life.
Sister Kathleen Wegman SSND, a recently retired member of the diocesan administration, will serve as Bishop McKnight’s delegate for religious sisters and brothers in the diocese.
As previously announced, Father Stephen W. Jones, will step down from his roles as president of Helias Catholic High School in Jefferson City and administrator of St. Martin parish in St. Martins, in order to become full-time diocesan director of stewardship and part-time chaplain at Helias Catholic High School.
Deacon Mark J. Dobelmann, who assists the pastor of Sacred Heart parish in Vandalia and the St. John mission in Laddonia, will also occasionally assist the pastor of St. Clement parish in St. Clement.
Deacon Philip M. Garcia, who assists the pastor of St. Peter parish in Jefferson City, will go on medical leave.