(POSTED: 3/28/12) About five months ago, an Archdiocesan official asked to see me. He told me that he thought it would be a good idea for me to try to become a pastor again, that indeed I am a good pastor. I mentioned a parish that was opening up for a pastorate that I was interested in, and he thought I would be good for that role. We closed our time together very amicably.
Subsequently, I wrote in for three parishes, one in the Diocese of Joliet, where I currently work on weekends, and two in the Archdiocese of Chicago.
We are all trying to get accustomed to the new Roman Missal. During a homily in Naperville, I recently confessed to the people my frustration in using the Roman Missal. I mentioned that the style of writing in the missal was difficult to follow and understand. The people gave me a standing ovation, but someone in the congregation called the Bishop of Joliet about my remarks. The pastor of the Naperville parish was called by the bishop’s office to find out what happened. I did not hear much about this matter until recently.
Last week, I received a phone call from an official in the Joliet diocese telling me that I did not receive the pastorate of the parish in Naperville, where I was working. I was told it was because two Joliet priests applied for it, and they had a greater chance of getting it because they were Joliet priests. I accepted that. I waited for word about the parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago that I applied for. The other priests who were applying for pastorates were informed on Thursday or Friday of that week about their future. It was already Sunday, late morning, and I had not heard anything from the Archdiocesan Priest Placement Board. I called one of the members on the board. He said that I did not receive the pastorates of the two Chicago parishes, and that someone was going to call to explain that.
I received a phone call on Sunday afternoon from an Archdiocesan official. He informed me that I did not receive a pastorate at either of the two Chicago parishes. When I asked why, he said: “You did not get the Naperville parish because of a homily you gave critiquing the new Roman Missal, and that reason factored in the Chicago decisions also.” The next day I had a discussion with another Archdiocesan official, who told me that I probably would not be allowed to be a pastor in the Archdiocese of Chicago again. I must say that this whole experience has jarred me a great deal and made me very anxious and sad.