The Catholic Church relies on its Parish Pastors to lead and to be a guide in the spiritual and everyday life of any Parish. These priests are called to serve in persona Christi bringing the Body and Blood of Christ on the altar of the Lord.
From time to time a Parish requires a new Pastor and on this occasion the Bishop will appoint – after consultation with the Priest Personnel Board – and install this new leader marking a new chapter in the life for the faithful.
Bishop Frank J. Dewane installed Father Eduardo Coll as Pastor of St. Andrew Parish in Cape Coral on Aug. 22, 2021 and Father Casey Jones as Pastor of St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Naples on Aug. 23, 2021. Both Masses were in English and Spanish reflecting the diversity of each Parish.
“It is my prayer that you continue to join your new Pastor at the Altar of the Lord,” Bishop Dewane said. “A Pastor, and the priests who serve at your Parish, call down upon this altar the Body and Blood of Christ for themselves and for all of you.”
The Bishop asked that the faithful listen to their Pastor and accept decisions that are made. While they may not always agree with all of his decisions, they must strive to understand that any action is based on prayerful contemplation and the good of all centered on Christ.
“If there are differences, I ask you to strive to understand,” Bishop Dewane said. “People weren’t always in agreement with what Christ. They walked away. Don’t walk away. Stay with Christ. It is about the priest being the instrument of the Lord and bringing about the Eucharist at this Parish and you the faithful coming forward to receive the Body and Blood of Christ. When you return to the pew, with the help of your Pastor, you will go out into the society and gnaw on the Presence of Christ in your life.”
As part of the installation process, Bishop Dewane first introduces the priest as Pastor to the parishioners. The priest later begins the Profession of Faith for all to hear, including an additional part solely for him. The new Pastor then recites an Oath of Fidelity and promises to “adhere to the teachings, which either the Roman Pontiff or the College of Bishops enunciate when they exercise authentic magisterium.” The installation also includes prayers to provide the new Pastor the wisdom and guidance from the Holy Spirit to lead the Parish.
The ceremony concluded with the signing of documents by the Bishop, the new Pastor, and two official witnesses of the Parish community, who serve as witnesses for all of the parishioners. Those documents are split between the Parish and Diocese as well as the Pastor’s personnel records.
In Cape Coral, a blessing of newly installed pews was added to the conclusion of the Mass. Father Coll was also recognized for being the leader of St. Andrew Catholic School.
At. St. Elizabeth Seton, the Bishop blessed a newly installed icon of Jesus the Eternal High Priest. Father Jones was also recognized for being the leader of St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic School and Chaplain of Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers.