Dear Parishioners and Friends of the Cathedral,
Greetings in the risen Lord! These past several weeks have been challenging on many levels for many individuals; however, we look to the future with hope for a return to life beyond the days of this current pandemic, because, as Pope St. John Paul II taught the Church, we are a resurrection people. Part of that return means normal acts of governance in the life of our diocese and in our parish. Looking forward, it is time to announce the upcoming priest personnel changes in the diocese and these will greatly affect the parish. These changes will take place on July 1st.
Bishop Paprocki has asked Father Rankin to assume full time duties as Priest-Secretary to the bishop and master of ceremonies as well as becoming Associate Director of the Office for Vocations. Father Rankin will remain in residence at the Cathedral but he will no longer be serving as parochial vicar of the parish.
Father Friedel will complete his service as parochial vicar of the Cathedral Parish and as chaplain at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School, and become pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish and St. Thomas Parish, and chaplain at Millikin University, all in Decatur. He will also continue to serve as an associate vocation director for the diocese.
Finally, I will be stepping down as Rector of the Cathedral and as Diocesan Chancellor. I will remain as Vicar Judicial of the diocese and Director of the Department for Canonical and Pastoral Services while also becoming pastor of Christ the King Parish here in Springfield.
I am happy to announce to you that Father Brian Alford, currently Pastor of St. Jude Parish in Rochester and Vicar for Priests, will succeed me as rector. Father Alford is no stranger to the Cathedral Parish, having lived here when he served as Bishop Paprocki’s priest-secretary and master of ceremonies from 2013-2016. Father Alford is a fine man and a holy priest who will serve you well. I am also happy to announce to you that Deacon Dominic Vahling and Deacon Peter Chineke will both be assigned as parochial vicars here at the Cathedral following their ordinations to the Priesthood.
These announcements are always made with mixed emotions, which are even more complicated this year by our physical separation from you due to the COVID-19 pandemic. God willing, we will soon return to prayer as a community in the Cathedral Church and to other aspects of parish life. Until then, I ask that you please keep us priests of the parish, and those who will succeed us, in your prayers and know that you remain in ours.
May God bless you and yours with the fullness of Easter peace. I remain
Yours in the risen Lord,
Very Reverend Christopher A. House