Orientation session prepares priests for new roles as pastors, administrators

June 9, 2023 at 4:46 p.m.
Orientation session prepares priests for new roles as pastors, administrators
Orientation session prepares priests for new roles as pastors, administrators

From Staff Reports

Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., convoked a day-long Orientation Program for New Parish Administrators and Pastors June 8 in The Great Hall of St. David the King Parish. Princeton Junction, bringing together eight priests who will assume these roles July 1.

Through presentations, Q and A sessions and panel discussions, nearly a dozen diocesan officials and veteran pastors joined the Bishop in sharing information and insight that each new pastor and administrator will need to have as they assume their new assignments. Participating Chancery officials included Msgr. Thomas Gervasio, vicar general and moderator of the curia; Terry Ginther, chancellor and executive director for pastoral life and mission; Kevin Cimei, chief financial officer; Joseph Bianchi, chief administrative officer, Joseph Cahill, director of risk management, and Mary Liz Ivins, assistant victims assistance coordinator. Current pastors who took part in discussions were Father Jeffrey Kegley of St. Mary Parish, Middletown; Msgr. Dennis Apoldite of Sacred Heart, Trenton; Father Timothy Capewell of St. David the King and Father Oscar Sumanga of St. Anthony of Padua, Hightstown.

Attendees and their new parish assignments included:  Father Michael Dunn, pastor, St. John Neumann, Mount Laurel; Father Michael Gentile, pastor, Resurrection, Delran; Father Marcin Kania, administrator, Our Lady of Hope, Long Branch; Father Michael Kennedy, administrator, St. Luke, Toms River; Father Michael McClane, pastor, Holy Eucharist, Tabernacle; Father Esteban Michael, SVD, administrator, Mother of Mercy, Asbury Park;  Father Jason Parzynski, administrator, St. David the King, and Father James Smith, administrator, St. Isaac Jogues, Marlton.

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In advance of the program, Bishop O’Connell solicited advice from current and retired pastors to share with the new parish leaders.  After morning prayer led by Msgr.Gervasio, the Bishop introduced the day with some reflections based upon his 13-year tenure as bishop of the Diocese, highlighting evangelization and spiritual leadership as the primary role of pastors.  Chancery officials then took the opportunity to brief the participants on important administrative dimensions of pastoral service and to respond to their questions. After lunch, Father Jeffrey Kegley addressed the spiritual life of the pastor and the development of the “pastor’s own spirituality” as the inspiration for parishioners’ growth in faith.  The day concluded with a round-table discussion with diocesan pastors.

“The seminary prepares priests well from the perspective of Catholic theology and Church doctrine,” reflected Bishop O’Connell. “Days like these help better acquaint new administrators and pastors with the benefit of ‘veteran experience’ leading parish communities of faith. Of course, the best practical lessons are learned ‘on the job’ and the best teachers are the parishioners we serve.”

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Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., convoked a day-long Orientation Program for New Parish Administrators and Pastors June 8 in The Great Hall of St. David the King Parish. Princeton Junction, bringing together eight priests who will assume these roles July 1.

Through presentations, Q and A sessions and panel discussions, nearly a dozen diocesan officials and veteran pastors joined the Bishop in sharing information and insight that each new pastor and administrator will need to have as they assume their new assignments. Participating Chancery officials included Msgr. Thomas Gervasio, vicar general and moderator of the curia; Terry Ginther, chancellor and executive director for pastoral life and mission; Kevin Cimei, chief financial officer; Joseph Bianchi, chief administrative officer, Joseph Cahill, director of risk management, and Mary Liz Ivins, assistant victims assistance coordinator. Current pastors who took part in discussions were Father Jeffrey Kegley of St. Mary Parish, Middletown; Msgr. Dennis Apoldite of Sacred Heart, Trenton; Father Timothy Capewell of St. David the King and Father Oscar Sumanga of St. Anthony of Padua, Hightstown.

Attendees and their new parish assignments included:  Father Michael Dunn, pastor, St. John Neumann, Mount Laurel; Father Michael Gentile, pastor, Resurrection, Delran; Father Marcin Kania, administrator, Our Lady of Hope, Long Branch; Father Michael Kennedy, administrator, St. Luke, Toms River; Father Michael McClane, pastor, Holy Eucharist, Tabernacle; Father Esteban Michael, SVD, administrator, Mother of Mercy, Asbury Park;  Father Jason Parzynski, administrator, St. David the King, and Father James Smith, administrator, St. Isaac Jogues, Marlton.

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In advance of the program, Bishop O’Connell solicited advice from current and retired pastors to share with the new parish leaders.  After morning prayer led by Msgr.Gervasio, the Bishop introduced the day with some reflections based upon his 13-year tenure as bishop of the Diocese, highlighting evangelization and spiritual leadership as the primary role of pastors.  Chancery officials then took the opportunity to brief the participants on important administrative dimensions of pastoral service and to respond to their questions. After lunch, Father Jeffrey Kegley addressed the spiritual life of the pastor and the development of the “pastor’s own spirituality” as the inspiration for parishioners’ growth in faith.  The day concluded with a round-table discussion with diocesan pastors.

“The seminary prepares priests well from the perspective of Catholic theology and Church doctrine,” reflected Bishop O’Connell. “Days like these help better acquaint new administrators and pastors with the benefit of ‘veteran experience’ leading parish communities of faith. Of course, the best practical lessons are learned ‘on the job’ and the best teachers are the parishioners we serve.”

The Church needs quality Catholic journalism now more than ever.  Please consider supporting this work by signing up for a SUBSCRIPTION (click HERE) or making a DONATION to The Monitor (click HERE).  Thank you for your support

 

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