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New parish assignments to take effect on August 2

Come August 2, several parishes of the Archdiocese will welcome new pastors and say goodbye to their former shepherds. Among the parishes are: Holy Cross Parish in Nabua will have Fr. Albert Orillo as the new pastor while Fr. Danilo Dizon, its former pastor will go to St. Barthlomew in Baao where Fr. Louie Occiano was assigned. He will take over the post of Fr. Wilfred Almoneda in St Joseph Parish in San Jose Partido. And Fr. Almoneda will transfer to San Francisco Parish in Naga. There are several other changes of assignments in the archdiocese.

Such is the life of priests. They come and go. The parish priests has 6 years term while assistant parish priests or parochial vicars has 2 years.

Before they move to their assignments, a formal turn over is held with the faithful represented by the Parish Pastoral Council and other religious organization members in attendance. Representatives of the Archbishop, usually the Oeconomus, Fr. Eugene Lubigan and the Chancellor, Fr. Darius Romualdo check the parish canonical books, financial status as well as the records of the parish. The parish inventory of properties is also checked.

The Code of Canon Law says that each parish is to be entrusted to the care of a parochus, who serves as the shepherd of the community under the authority of the bishop.

The same canon makes clear that the parish itself is not a piece of land, a church or any other collection of buildings. A parish is properly understood as a group of the faithful, usually defined as those living in a particular area.

Fr Wildred Almoneda and Fr Louie Occiano during their turn over at San Jose Parish

The relationship between the pastor and his parish is, in a technical sense, personal: a relationship between persons, defined and circumscribed by law.

In canon law, every parish has its own “juridic personality,” meaning that is a freestanding legal entity, with its own property and its own rights and obligations.

The code clarifies that the pastor represents the parish “in all juridic affairs,” and it is his responsibility to lead the community and decides what is in its best interests.

Of course, the bishop is free to establish policies for all parishes in his diocese — called particular laws — provided that they do not conflict with universal canon law or divine law. But within the boundaries established by canon law, divine law and civil law, it is the pastor’s job to lead the parish and to determine, prayerfully and consultatively, how best to govern the community with which it has been entrusted.

Because the parish priests are stewards not only of the faithful but also of the properties of the parish church, he is accountable in all its pastoral, religious as well as temporal welfare of the parish.

Later the parish priests will be formally installed by the Archbishop in a solemn liturgical celebration as he is formally entrusted to the flock in the parish. -CCComNews


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