I know that with my retirement some are wondering what will happen at St. Luke. I’m just like you. I need
to have a vision of the future, too. I’m happy to tell you that the future for St. Luke is an exciting opportunity.
Fr. Don Coleman will be assigned to St. Luke. He has been well-loved in his previous parish assignments.
He likes people and even though he will miss the people of St. Agnes, where he is now pastor, Fr. Don is
looking forward to being a part of the Church of St. Luke.
One of the nice things for Fr. Don is that he will not carry the title of pastor and he will not have to worry
about any of the other things a pastor does. He can focus on the sacramental life of the parish and
pastoral care of the people. He is excited about that.
The other responsibilities of a pastor will be taken care of by a Parish Life Director. Jane Alfano is being
appointed by Bishop McElroy to that position. She will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the parish, including the financial management and business operations, human resource management, and the upkeep and maintenance of parish facilities.
As Parish Life Director, Jane will also be responsible for all faith formation programs and for fostering the
building of communion of disciples to carry out the mission of the parish, communion on behalf of
mission. She will work directly for the Bishop and exercise the authority normally given to a pastor.
This may seem like something new, but it’s not. This model grew out of the provisions of Canon #517 In
the Church’s Code of Canon Law promulgated in 1983. Several dioceses have been using this model since then because of the shortage of priests. But it is bigger than that.
There are so many opportunities that this model creates by freeing the priest up to concentrate on particularly priestly functions and turning the rest of the operations over to people whose training and life experience has given them the skills to handle them.
I envision a priest who is more in contact with his people and a community that will take even greater ownership of the parish and its mission. I’m excited about that.
I also think that appointing Jane to this position will help provide stability for the future. Jane will not report
to the priest and the priest will not report to Jane. They both work directly for the Bishop and are committed to a cooperative and collaborative relationship for the parish.
Please join me in welcoming Fr. Don to our community and Jane to her new role. May the Holy Spirit continue to guide us.
In His service,