Diocese of Toledo, Ohio

Browsing From the Pastor

March 9/10 Bulletin Article

March 10, 2024

From the Pastor:                                                      

In case you did not hear the announcement last weekend at Mass, this July there will be a change in priests staffing here in our parishes. The diocese has formed a new tri-parish grouping like our own in north Toledo, and Fr. Kevin is being sent there to assist the newly appointed pastor. The three parishes he will be serving are Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral parish, St. Joseph parish, and Sts. Adalbert & Hedwig parish. In addition, Fr. Kevin will be the “priest leader” of Central Catholic High School, whose enrollment is more than 650 students.

St. Adalbert and St. Hedwig parishes were twinned many years ago. While I was still in Toledo, St. Hedwig parish was closed because it was financially unable to sustain its own operation. The breaking point was when the large, historic church needed its roof replaced, but the parish was financially unable to do so. When the church was closed and sold, the geographical territories of the two parishes were combined into the one remaining church (St. Adalbert) and given the new name of Sts. Adalbert & Hedwig parish.

St. Joseph parish is a smaller parish that offers both the Mass as we know it and also the older ad orientum Mass (pre-Vatican II) that is in Latin. Fr. Kevin is one of the few priests in our diocese permitted to offer the older Mass, and thus part of the reason he will be going there this July 1. Additionally, he will have the privilege of serving with the pastor at our Cathedral in Toledo. Together with his work in the large high school, he will have a very dynamic assignment, just like here in Mansfield.

As you might remember from the grouping of our three parishes, there are two reasons for continued combining of parishes. The first is the shortage of priests and the second is to give younger priests more time and experience before making them pastors. Being a pastor can be very demanding in many ways. It is hard even for an associate priest living in the same rectory to understand the responsibilities and challenges of being a pastor, and I say this from personal experience. When I was preparing to be a pastor, I tried to absorb as much knowledge and experience from the pastor I was with at the time. However, it was only after becoming pastor of twinned parishes did I really begin to understand the full weight of the position.

It is for these reasons that we will continue to see parishes twinned or tripled. The good news is that here in our deanery, and particularly our three parishes, we are doing our part. Last year the three parishes in the Norwalk area were grouped together, and there will be more groupings of this kind. Our grouping of parishes here in Mansfield is one of the most challenging in our Diocese. Not only do we have three parishes, but two schools, two prisons, two busy hospitals, and many nursing homes and care facilities. We three priests happily serve here, but that is why we also appreciate your prayers for and patience with our ministry.

Fr. Miller



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