I hope you had a great weekend and that all of our mothers had a great Mother’s Day. In case you were out of town this weekend or didn’t hear the news, I wanted to share this news on social media as well. We are blessed to be welcoming a second priest at Saint Timothy’s who will live at Saint Ignatius and we will share clergy with Saint Ignatius in Annandale. Please see my full announcement below that I read at all Masses:
I have an important announcement to share with you today. The Archdiocese, along with many others around the country, continues to look at new models to best serve the people of the local Church and also best utilize the gifts and time of the priests in our Archdiocese.
To that end, using a model that has been used in other dioceses but is just now beginning to be used here, the Archbishop has asked me, while continuing my current assignment as pastor of Saint Timothy’s, to serve as the pastor of Saint Ignatius in Annandale. Thankfully, I won’t have to do this alone. The Archbishop is also sending a parochial vicar, or an assistant priest, who will assist at both parishes as well. In other words, I will be pastor of both parishes and the associate priest will be an associate at both parishes. I believe this is the first parochial vicar that Saint Timothy’s as ever had, and that will be a great blessing. He will be introduced to the parish soon, but he is a wonderful priest and a great man, Father Andrew Stueve. I’m looking forward to him coming to Saint Timothy’s.
What are the advantages of this arrangement?
First, while our focus is always on the Lord and the Gospel, the reality is that every priest brings his own gifts and his own personality. With having two priests serving here at Saint Timothy’s, taking turns celebrating the Masses, and more, it will allow the Lord to reach more people and for the Gospel to be encountered in new ways. Father Stueve will have gifts that I don’t have and vice versa. Hopefully, by us working together we can more effectively carry out our mission. The reality is that you are going to connect better with certain priests, either in their personality or their preaching. This allows people to have more opportunities for connection.
Next, this allows us to work together with Saint Ignatius more easily. While both parishes will remain distinct and separate, we are close communities, both physically and in connections and other ways. It makes sense that we would work together in our mission as parishes. Having the same pastor and associate allows for us more easily and conveniently to advertise each other’s events, to participate in events together such as youth group activities, and more.
Having your pastor also be pastor at another parish will also lead to new ideas and insights as best practice is more readily shared between parishes. Whether it’s my teaching parish or summer assignments as a seminarian or my assignments as an associate priest myself, I have always learned from other parishes and taken some of those insights into the next parish. I know the same is true for my predecessors here at Saint Timothy’s as they have brought new ideas from their other assignments. This allows for Saint Timothy’s to have new ideas and insights and also that best practice that we pastors tend to share with each other to be used more quickly and effectively.
This model also allows for a more unified and shared vision between parishes. While both parishes will remain distinct and separate, this model means that parishes will have a more unified, shared vision.
My hope and belief is that you won’t notice much of a difference in any of your needs being met here at Saint Timothy’s and the same is true at Saint Ignatius. While my own personal time and attention will be split in two directions, we still have two parishes and two priests. Nothing has changed in terms of the overall time availability and needs for the priests and the parishes.
I think this will be a great blessing for both parishes. I’m looking forward to it. It will be great to have a second priest here at Saint Timothy’s. We will be having a meeting at Saint Ignatius this Tuesday at 7:30 PM to answer any questions or concerns, so you are more than welcome to attend that meeting. Otherwise, you can always reach out to me personally via email or the phone. Let’s continue to pray for each other, especially during this time.