Father Joseph Gates was installed as Pastor of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish in Parrish by Bishop Frank J. Dewane on Sept. 12, 2021.
Father Gates was appointed as Administrator on Oct. 1, 2019, and Bishop Dewane said it was an appropriate time to install him as Pastor. Outwardly, there will be no changes in the operation of the Parish but nevertheless the Bishop noted this was an important moment for all of the faithful.
The Pastor infuses a great deal of life into a Parish and is entrusted with the spiritual welfare of the faithful by preaching, administering the Sacraments and exercising certain powers of supervision. Bishop Dewane reminded the people of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini to offer advice to their new Pastor, but he alone will be called to make difficult decisions that not everyone will always appreciate.
“He needs your support in many ways but in particular through prayer,” Bishop Dewane said.
During the installation, the priest begins with selected words leading to the start of the Creed at which point he is joined by the faithful. At the end of the Creed, the new Pastor has extra lines which are exclusive for him. In addition, the Pastor takes an Oath of Fidelity to the Bishop and his successors; formalized by his placing his hand upon the Book of Gospels.
Following the installation, two members of the parish, representing the entire congregation, served as witnesses and signed the formal documents, copies of which are left at the Parish, placed in the Diocesan archives and in the personnel file of Father Gates. Bishop then introduced the new Pastor to a rousing applause.
Father Gates thanked Bishop Dewane for his appointment and commented on how hospitable the Parish community has been since the day he was first assigned.
After the installation, a reception was held in the Parish Hall.