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Catholic diocese announces priest assignments

Thursday, July 11, 2013 - 10:31 am

Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of the Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend has appointed the following pastors to new parishes or positions, effective Aug. 1, the diocese announced Thursday.

•The Rev. Monsignor Thadeus Balinda, from pastor of Saint Mary of the Lake Parish, Culver, to pastor of Saint Patrick Parish, Arcola.

•The Rev. Cyril Fernandes, from sabbatical, to pastor of Saint Patrick Parish and Saint Hedwig parishes, South Bend.

•The Rev. Jason Freiburger, from vice-chancellor of Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, to pastor of Saint Thomas the Apostle Parish, Elkhart.

•The Rev. Pius Ilechukwu, from pastor of Saint Patrick Parish, Walkerton, to pastor of Saint Joseph Parish, Bluffton.

•The Rev. Jeffrey Largent, from pastor of Saint Therese, Little Flower Parish, South Bend, to pastor of Saint Mary of the Lake Parish, Culver.

•The Rev. Jacob Runyon, from parochial vicar of Saint Matthew Cathedral Parish, South Bend, to pastor of Saint Jude Parish, Fort Wayne.

•The Rev. James Seculoff, from pastor of Saint John the Baptist Parish, New Haven, to pastor of Saint Patrick Parish, Walkerton.

•The Rev. Thomas Shoemaker, from pastor of Saint Jude Parish, Fort Wayne, to pastor of Saint Therese, Little Flower Parish, South Bend.

•The Rev. William Sullivan, from pastor of Saint Thomas the Apostle Parish, Elkhart, to pastor of Saint John the Baptist Parish, New Haven.

•The Rev. Joseph W. Gaughan, remaining as pastor of Most Precious Blood Parish, Fort Wayne, to Episcopal Vicar for Region D.

•The Rev. Philip DeVolder, remaining as pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, Warsaw, to Episcopal Vicar for Region C.

Assignment of priests to new parishes or positions can result from a variety of reasons, such as retirements, health problems and sometimes requests from priests for new assignments, said Sean McBride, diocesan communications director.

Because of the shortage of priests, moving one to a new assignment often triggers a "domino effect" involving the reassignment of other priests, McBride said.

When deciding on where to assign priest, Rhoades and a priest personnel board pray and carefully discern where to send priests so parishes can be served in the best way possible, McBride said.