Four more priests named for appealing Cleveland parishes

by Brian Roewe

NCR environment correspondent

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Bishop Richard G. Lennon of Cleveland named pastor assignments Tuesday afternoon for four more parishes as they and others move closer to full restoration.

Each of the four pastors will begin their new assignments July 16.

The announcement leaves only two parishes -- St. Peter and St. Emeric parishes in Cleveland -- without new pastors among the 11 parishes that successfully appealed to the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy to reopen their churches. Since August 2010 parishioners of St. Peter had broken away and formed their own community while their appeal moved through the Vatican.

Lennon had announced five previous assignments June 27.

The Congregation for the Clergy ruled in early March that Lennon erred procedurally and substantively in his closing of the appealing parishes.

Among the parishes receiving word of their new pastors is St. Patrick, which has become somewhat of a figurehead among the parishioner groups. Their new pastor, Fr. James R. Ols, 66, requested the assignment to the parish where he grew up, attended school and first received the call to the priesthood.

"I'm really looking forward to it, it's kind of like going home," Ols told NCR.

Ols said the opportunity to serve at St. Patrick brought him a new energy and challenge after serving the St. Vincent de Paul parish for 26 years. He and Lennon finalized the new assignment June 30.

The new St. Patrick pastor said he did not know when the first mass would be celebrated at the reestablished church.

To take Ols's place at St. Vincent de Paul, Lennon appointed Fr. Donald H. Dunson as its new pastor, also effective July 16.

Patricia Schulte-Singleton, leader of the parish coalition group Endangered Catholics, said she and others are happy to have a pastor assigned.

"We're hopeful, ready and willing to assist [Fr. Ols] in all areas of parish life," she said.

Other assignments named today include:

  • Rev. Daniel J. Reed, St. Mary parish in Akron

  • Rev. Daniel L. Begin, St. Mary parish in Bedford

  • Rev. Robert J. Kropac, St. Wendelin parish in Cleveland

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