Belleville Diocese makes new clergy assignments as part of parish restructuring

News-DemocratJune 25, 2014 

Bishop Edward K. Braxton in a BND file photo from May, 2013.

DERIK HOLTMANN — dholtmann@bnd.com

The Diocese of Belleville has announced new clergy assignments, some of which reflect the implementation of the Pastoral Plan for Parish Renewal and Restructuing.

Monsignor John Myler, spokesman for the diocese and the rector at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Belleville, explained that the plan for parish restructuring is visible in the list of appointments.

"For example, the new pastor of Holy Childhood in Mascoutah -- Father Paul Wienhoff -- will become pastor of the three parishes in that partnership: not only Holy Childhood, but also St. Pancratius in Fayetteville and St. Liborius in St. Libory," he said.

Other priests appointed to serve as pastor of multiple parishes within a partnership:

* The Rev. Monsignor William Hitpas, the current poast of St. Nicholas Parish in O'Fallon, also was appointed the pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Lebanon.

* The Rev. Msgr. Marvin A. Volk, pastor of St. James Parish in Millstadt, was also appointed pastor of Holy Family Parish in Cahokia.

* The Rev. Monsignor Carl E. Scherrer, pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Columbia, also was appointed pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Dupo.

* The Very Rev. John C. Iffert, V.F., pastor of St. Mary Parish in Mount Vernon, and Vicar Forane of the North Central Vicariate, also was appointed pastor of St. Barbara Parish in Scheller, effective August 12.

"So, The Pastoral Plan is being implemented -- step by step -- not only in the rural parts of our diocese, but in the metropolitan area as well," Myler said.

Many of the pastor appointments, which are for a period of six years, are for priests formally named "administrator" of a parish.

Myler explained that young priests often are named administrators of parishes for a few years. "Then, if all goes well, he is named 'pastor' there," he said.

Most of the appointments are for a period of six years.

Here is the full list of clergy, religious and lay appointments, recently announced by The Most Rev. Edward K. Braxton, bishop of the Belleville Diocese:

Pastors:

* The Rev. Abraham O. Adejoh, until now administrator of St. Mary Parish in Eldorado, St. Joseph Parish in Elizabethtown and St. Mary Parish in Harrisburg, was appointed pastor of those same parishes.

* The Rev. Steven L. Beatty, until now administrator of St. Kateri Tekakwitha: Lily of the Mohawks Parish in Ridgway, was appointed pastor of that same parish.

* The Rev. Msgr. James A. Buerster, pastor of St. Boniface Parish in Germantown and administrator of St. Cecilia Parish in Bartelso, was appointed pastor of St. Cecilia Parish.

* The Rev. Von C. Deeke, until now administrator of St. Augustine of Canterbury Parish in Hecker, was appointed pastor of that same parish, while remaining diocesan director of International Priests, continuing to reside at the Diocesan Residence.

* The Rev. Matthew J. Elie, until now administrator of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Belleville, was appointed pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Belleville.

* The Rev. Msgr. William J. Hitpas, pastor of St. Nicholas Parish, O'Fallon, is also appointed pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Lebanon, where Brenda Pehle continues as parish life coordinator. (This concludes the term of Rev. Monsignor James E. Margason as "Canonical" Pastor of St. Joseph Parish.)

* The Very Rev. John C. Iffert, V.F., pastor of St. Mary Parish, Mount Vernon and Vicar Forane of the North Central Vicariate, is also appointed pastor of St. Barbara Parish, Scheller, effective August 12.

* The Rev. Stanley J. Konieczny, pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish, Smithton, is also appointed pastor of St. Michael Parish, Paderborn. (This concludes the term of Rev. Monsignor Marvin C. Volk as "canonical" pastor of St. Michael Parish.)

* The Rev. Larry A. Lemay, until now, chaplain at the Newman Catholic Student Center, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, is appointed pastor of St. Theresa of Avila Parish, Salem, and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Kinmundy.

*The Rev. Dale A. Maxfield, until now, administrator of St. Michael Parish, Radom and St. Barbara Parish, Scheller, is appointed pastor of St. Mary Parish, Centralia and St. Lawrence Parish, Sandoval, effective August 12. (This concludes the term of Rev. Msgr. James A. Buerster as "canonical" pastor of St. Lawrence Parish.)

* The Rev. Joseph Oganda, until now, administrator of Sacred Heart Parish, DuQuoin, is appointed pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, DuQuoin and Immaculate Conception Parish, Tamaroa, effective August 12.

* The Rev. Steven F. Poole, until now sacramental minister at St. Barbara Parish, Okawville, is appointed pastor of St. Barbara Parish, Okawville and St. Anthony Parish, Lively Grove.

* The Rev. Msgr. Carl E. Scherrer, pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish, Columbia, is also appointed pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Dupo.

* The Rev. Benjamin J. Stern, until now, administrator of St. Boniface Parish, Evansville, and St. Mary of the Divine Maternity Parish, Ellis Grove, is appointed pastor of those same parishes.

* The Rev. Msgr. Marvin A. Volk, pastor of St. James Parish, Millstadt, is also appointed pastor of Holy Family Parish, Cahokia.

* The Rev. Paul R. Wienhoff, until now pastor of Holy Family Parish, Cahokia and Sacred Heart Parish, Dupo, was appointed Pastor of Holy Childhood Parish, Mascoutah, St. Pancratius Parish, Fayetteville and St. Liborius Parish, St. Libory; continuing as Defender of the Bond for the Diocesan Tribunal. (This concludes the term of Reverend Kenneth J. York as "Canonical" pastor of St. Pancratius.)

* The Rev. Robert J. Zwilling, until now pastor of St. Theresa of Avila, Salem, and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Kinmundy, is appointed pastor of St. Mary, Mt. Carmel, and St. Sebastian, St. Sebastian.

Parochial Administrators:

* The Rev. Oliver Nwachukwu, administrator of St. Charles Borromeo Parish, DuBois, is also appointed administrator of St. Michael Parish, Radom, effective August 12, 2014.

* The Rev. Martin Edward Ohajunwa, administrator of St. Stephen Parish, lora is also appointed administrator of St. Edward Parish, Fairfield.

* Deacon Michael A. Rowland is appointed parochial administrator (pro tempore) of St. Mary Parish in Sesser and St. Andrew Parish in Christopher, effective immediately.

* The Rev. Msgr. Kenneth Schaefer, pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Herrin, is also appointed administrator (pro tempore) of St. John the Baptist Parish, West Frankfort and Sacred Heart/St. Aloysius Parish, Royalton/Zeigler.

Sacramental Ministers:

* The Rev. Msgr. James A. Blazine, retired, is appointed sacramental minister (pro tempore) at Holy Spirit Parish, Carterville, effective August 12.

* The Rev. Nicholas G. Junker, director of Vocations, is appointed part-time sacramental minister at the Newman Catholic Student Center, Carbondale, with residences at the Newman Center and the Cathedral of St. Peter, Belleville.

* The Rev. Donald Moss, chaplain at Queen of Peace Chapel, Scott Air Force Base, is appointed to residence and sacramental assistance at the Cathedral of St. Peter, Belleville.

Parish Life Coordinators:

* Deacon Robert Lippert, parish life coordinator at St. Anthony, Beckemeyer, and St. Augustine, Breese, is reappointed to that same ministry for a period of one year.

* Sister Carol Karnitsky, S.S.C.M., parish life coordinator at Holy Spirit Parish in Carterville, is reappointed to that same ministry for a period of one year.

* Sister Grace Marie Mueller, S.S.N.D., parish life coordinator at St. Luke Parish in Belleville, is reappointed to that same ministry for a period of one year.

* Mrs. Brenda A. Pehle, parish life coordinator at St. Joseph Parish, Lebanon, is reappointed to that same ministry for a period of one year.

* Sister Diane M. Turner, S.S.N.D., parish life coordinator at St. Felicitas Parish, Beaver Prairie, is reappointed to that same ministry for a period of one year.

* Sister Catherine Wellinghoff, A.S.C., parish life coordinator at St. Paul Parish, Johnston City, is reappointed to that same ministry for a period of one year.

Leave of Absence:

* The Rev. Sean M. Palas, until now pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish, West Frankfort and St. Aloysius/Sacred Heart, Royalton/Zeigler, is granted a leave of absence from presbyteral ministry in the Diocese of Belleville, at his own request, for a period of six months.

Terms of Service Concluded:

* The term of Deacon John C. Fridley as administrator (pro tempore) of St. Mary Parish in Mt. Carmel is concluded with the appointment of a new pastor.

* The Rev. Michael Mbonu, a fidei donum missionary on loan from the Archdiocese of Onitsha, Nigeria, through the kindness of His Excellency, The Most Rev. Dr. Valerian Okeke, has completed seven years of generous service to the diocese as administrator of St. Edward Parish, Fairfield, and St. Sebastian Parish, St. Sebastian. He leaves with the gratitude of his parishioners and of the diocese.

* The Rev. Justin Olisaemeka, a fidei donum missionary on loan from the Archdiocese of Onitsha, Nigeria, through the kindness of His Excellency, The Most Rev. Dr. Valerian Okeke, has completed seven years of generous service to the diocese as administrator of St. Mary Parish, Centralia, and St. Lawrence Parish, Sandoval. He leaves with the gratitude of his parishioners and of the diocese.

Departure:

* The Rev. Peter Balili, a fidei donum missionary on loan from the Diocese of Tagbilaran in the Philippines, departed from the diocese on June 3.

Belleville News-Democrat is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service