Surprise Announcement

I know that many people were surprised by my announcement a couple of weeks ago that I will be moving to St. Joseph, Winterset, and St. Patrick, Irish Settlement on July 12th. To tell the truth I was a little surprised when Bishop Pates called and asked me to consider taking a different assignment. I placed it all in the hands of Our Lady and said a prayer that “If the Lord wants me to move, then my Lady, you will make it all work out.” When I wrote to the Bishop I expressed my happiness at being the pastor of St. Mary’s and St. Patrick’s and would gladly like stay here, but the Bishop decided he would like me in Madison County. So how does the Bishop make priest assignments? Bishop Pates utilizes the Priest Personnel Board when working on assignments. Currently, priests in parishes are assigned to a 6-year team, with the possibility of 6-year extension. Every spring all the priests receive a list of parishes which are coming “Open” either because a priest is retiring or they have come to the end of their term or they are moving early. Any priest in the diocese is welcome to send in a letter applying for a particular assignment. The Bishop, in consultation with Board, determines if a priest applying for an assignment will be a good fit. He is trying to match a priest’s abilities with the needs of a parish. However, at times, the Bishop may have in mind a particular priest for a particular assignment. He then calls that priest and invites him to apply for that assignment. At other times priests on the Personnel Board may suggest a priest for an assignment. Finally, the openings are filled for the most part and announcements are made by the priest moving before it is published in the Catholic Mirror. Over these 27 years, I can honestly say that I have never gotten the assignment that I thought I wanted, but I have always received the assignment where God wanted me to be. Each assignment has been filled with challenges and wonderful faith-filled people. I have enjoyed these eight years here and I pray that I have made a difference in your lives, and know you have made a difference in my life. Blessings, Father Dooley