Friday, May 6, 2016


May 6, 2016

Most Reverend Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv., Bishop of the Diocese of Savannah, has announced the following appointments: These appointments will be effective June 22, 2016 unless otherwise indicated.

Pastors and Parochial administrators

Reverend Allan J. McDonald: appointed Pastor of St. Anne Church, Richmond Hill

Reverend Michael J. Kavanaugh: appointed Pastor of St. Peter the Apostle Church, Savannah

Reverend David A. Koetter: appointed Pastor of Holy Spirit Church, Macon

Reverend Scott Winchel: appointed Pastor of St. Joseph Church, Macon

Reverend Dawid Kwiatkowski: appointed Pastor of St. Augustine Church, Thomasville and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Mission, Cairo

Reverend Paulinus Chikelue Okpalaappointed ParochialAdministrator of St. Theresa Church, Cordele

Parochial Vicars

Reverend Monsignor P. James Costigan: appointed Senior Parochial Vicar of St. Peter the Apostle Church, Savannah

Reverend Jacob Almeter: appointed Parochial Vicar of Immaculate Conception Church, Dublin, and St. WilliamMission, Sandersville

Reverend Paul Ladda: appointed Parochial Vicar of St. Stephen First Martyr Church, Hinesville, with residence at St. Jude Mission, Glennville.

Reverend Peter Hung Nguyen: appointed Parochial Vicar of St. Teresa of Avila Church, Grovetown, effective June 1, 2016

Reverend Mr. Thomas Brian O’Shaughnessy: Following his priestly ordination on June 4, 2016, appointed Parochial Vicar of St. Anne Church, Columbus, effectiveJune 22, 2016

Reverend Mr. John Wright: Following his priestly ordination on June 4, 2016, appointed Parochial Vicar of St. Joseph Church, Augusta, effective June 22, 2016

Other Appointments:

Reverend Joseph A. Smith: Will serve as Chaplain at St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital, effective August 1, 2016.


Anonymous said...

Well, Fr. McD, do you think they are trying to thwart your ad orientum and "reception of Holy Communion kneeling at the altar rail" tendencies by sending you to St. Anne's? Because by the photo it looks like you'll have your work restoring the liturgy cut out for you in that "sacred space." Not sure if the pews even have kneelers!

Some joke.

God bless. I'll pray for you. (maybe you can do a 'wreck-o-vation" on this place, and buy up sacred altars and articles from closing churches. Chicago is closing some very beautiful churches soon. Come shopping!

Bee (my OpenID won't work)

gob said...

If I were you, I'd go VERY easy on that "hillbilly" thing....(In fact, I would take it down right now....)

Anonymous said...

Anyone out there know how assignments are made? OK, I know the bishop makes them, but do priests have a say? Do they send preferred parishes or cities to the bishop? How long do pastorates typically last?

And with all due respect to Richmond Hill, I suspect there are more hills in Macon than in pretty flat Richmond Hill!

Anonymous said...

At least there is something to work with: a tabernacle in the center, statues of the Sacred Heart and Our Lady, a statue of St Michael Archangel. Rather barren looking bricks that perhaps one day could be covered with marble, front pews removed and altar rails installed? I hope the EF Latin Mass can continue.

Servimus Unum Deum said...

Aww that's a real shame. I liked hearing about everything you've done with St Joseph's. My fear is the new pastor will destroy your Latin Mass offering.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Yes, Richmond Hill is a misnomer, as there isn't a hill in sight, but there is a reason for it:

Richmond Hill has a historical connection to industrialist Henry Ford. Ford used the town, formerly known as Ways Station, as a winter home and philanthropic social experiment, building the complex known as the Ford Farms along the Ogeechee River in the 1930s. After just one visit he chose this area as his winter home. Ford's dwelling was built on the site of Richmond Plantation, which was burned by elements of General William T. Sherman's army at the conclusion of the "March to the Sea". Ford was also responsible for the construction of a number of public buildings, including a kindergarten, which now houses the museum of the Richmond Hill Historical Society, and a chapel which now houses St. Anne's Catholic Church. The Ford Plantation has now been redeveloped as a luxury resort. When it was suggested that the town be renamed "Ford", Mr. Ford declined, and instead Ways Station was renamed "Richmond Hill" after the site of Ford's home on the banks of the Ogeechee River.

Gob, I think my new parishioners have a sense of humor. Did the Beverly Hillbillies offend Beverly Hills? Oh, I see you point.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Fr. Scott Winchell is a liturgist in the traditional sense and as I am and is quite excited about the liturgy at St. Joseph Church. Unlike me, he wears an amice. I prefer an alb that covers my clothes with the fussiness of an amice. He is a perfect fit for the parish and confirms that the bishop is not opposed to the diversity in liturgical expression that exists here. We have striven over the years to make sure that the Ordinary Form Mass here, which is primary, is done well, by the books and with tradition but allowing for what is allowed: readers, EMC's, altar servers of both genders, but well trained and reverent in what they do. We use the vernacular primarily and allow for the diversity of hymns that is normal in most parishes although the proper chants are always used.

As it concerns our 12:10 PM Mass, its orientation is ad orientem with Holy Communion at the altar railing and a once a month EF High Mass. Most people don't see any real difference in it and the EF apart from the Latin and Vernacular. If only this had been the case throughout the world after Vatican II; I don't think we would have the liturgy wars we have today. And in St. Joseph, there aren't liturgy wars and the EF Mass is accepted as a fact of life even by those who prefer the OF.

When I arrived at St. Joseph Church in 2004, the liturgy was basically traditional. All I did the first few months was to implement the new GIRM that had come out in 2002 but had not been implemented although Bishop Boland had mandated it in all parishes.

Over the years I added incense to every 9:30 and 12:10 PM Mass with some resistance, but today everyone is kosher with it. Over the years, the Mass was chanted by the priests and we've had priests who can and like to chant. I think this has been accepted very well.

When Pope Benedict allowed for the EF Mass, I took a survey of the parish asking those who desired it to fill out a form indicating it. We have over 200 fill one out. I then embarked on an educational process to explain the older form of the Mass and that it and the now called Ordinary Form comprise two forms of the One Latin Rite and are not any different at its core, that the one Sacrifice of Christ is perpetuated in an unbloody or celebratory way and the bread and wine become the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our crucified and risen Lord.

While there is continuity and discontinuity in the newer form of the Mass, what counts remains the same.

Only gradually did I implement this Mass, first with a separate time for it on Sunday once a month as a High Mass and for special solemnities during the year, such as St. Joseph's and All Souls and Annunciation. We also added a weekly 5 PM Low Mass on Tuesday. Nothing was shoved down the throats of those who prefer the OF Mass which by far is the vast, vast majority of this parish.

After about 8 years, this year I moved the 2 PM High EF Mass once a month to our normal 12:10 Mass time on Sunday on the last Sunday of the month. About five years ago this Ordinary Form Mass became an ad orientem one. Last year we began distributing Holy Communion at the full length of the altar railing.

I am a progressive when it comes to the Liturgy. I love both forms of it when celebrated properly and I also love the Eastern Rite forms as well as the new Ordinariate's missal which I believe is a template for our current OF Missal's reform or revision. Time will tell.

Gene said...

That is one ugly, modern, post Vat-II Church. Does the choir sit up front?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

It is a beautiful church edifice and a tribute to those who built it including the current pastor who worked so hard and had so many health issues. There is a traditional choir loft with elevator to please you Gene.

Stephen Conner said...

Sure going to miss you at St. Joseph, Father, but I know everything happens for a reason, all in God's magnificant plan. You're new parish does not realize how absolutely blessed they are! Prayers for your new assignment.

Stephen Conner said...

Dumb auto correct. In reference to my last comment. Should have been "your," not "you're."

Anonymous said...

"Notice of this appointment may be made public at the weekend Masses of May 7-8, 2016."

That's called an embargo.

Making this information public before the other priests involved can inform their families and friends is not very thoughtful.

Gene said...

RE: Choir in loft. Thank God for small (very small) favors.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The date on it is May 6th.

Anonymous said...

"Notice of this appointment may be made public at the weekend Masses of May 7-8, 2016."

Not May 6th, according to the bishop's letter.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The email from the bishop's secretary is dated May 6 and no such word as an embargo is used. All the priests have known for a week what their true fate would be and almost instantly it was known by the laity at the same time.

Anonymous said...

The bishop's letter plainly states, "Notice of this appointment may be made public at the weekend Masses of May 7-8, 2016."

The inconsiderate leaks by Priests, who start texting out the changes a WEEK before the public announcement date to family and friends do a disservice to their brother Priests.

That the laity knew is no excuse for acting with disrespect. A proper response is, "The announcements will become public soon."

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

My email says no such thing--where are you getting your information. The email sent by the bishop's secretary says to have a nice weekend and the attachment is the appointment and I have copied it exactly from that attachment.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Now you accuse me of texting out? Prove it or shut up! The only thing I have written is in this blog and dated by the bishop as May 6. This conversation is ended.

Stephen Conner said...

Anonymous, buzz off and leave Father McDonald alone! Grow up and worry about something worth worrying over. It doesn't matter who finds out what, when. I'm sure the affected priests have already told their family and friends. Most of the laity, most likely, already know of the new assignments. The important thing is to pray for and support all clergy being reassigned. Some may be relieved and happy with their new assignment, others may have reservations & be anoxious or sad. Father McDonald is one of those priests, who already has plenty to concern himself with, without you badgering him about what date this person or that person knows. I can attest that Father McDonald would never purposely disobey his Bishop or intentionally do something to hurt a brother priest. If you have a problem with someone, especially one of Jesus' priests, I would highly recommend you man or woman up and reveal your identity to Father McDonald and show some evidence to back up what you are saying. You are being quite disrespectful to my current pastor and I take offense.

Anonymous said...

FrAJM: I thought I remembered reading that the Bishop (prior, not current) had agreed not to transfer you again prior to your retirement. Is the current Bishop not tied to agreements made by his predecessor? I've taken comfort in that knowledge over the years, although simultaneously acknowledging my membership in the cult of the personality of the priest.

I regularly drive 170 miles round-trip (Southwest Atlanta to Macon) each week for mass. This may be my prompt to exit that cult and, as you advised me when I joined years ago, to become part of a parish in the community in which I live. That's scary given how much I've enjoyed what you've done at SJ over the years and how much I've learned.

SJ's has lost a great priest.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

No, there was no agreement that I remain here by the previous bishop until I retire. I am convinced that Fr. Winchell will carry on with the traditional ethos of the Mass here and not do away with the EF. He's excited about it.

Anonymous said...

To my mind, the fact that the tabernacle is in the center with statues, in particular the fact they are colored and not painted white as has been my experience - indicates to me that the parishioners are Catholic, and so I think Fr McDonald will be able to continue his aims of building up the liturgy because he seems to have the kind of personality that is not confrontational and is able to get his ideas of good liturgy across. All kudos to him for what he has done at St Joseph's and I am sure his bishop recognizes that. And, yes, if the new parish priest wears an amice it bodes well for St Joseph's and they will have nothing to be concerned about. I have to say our young priests have largely taken to wearing the amice and the alb with cincture too.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I have never liked the amice and of course it is canonical to wear an alb which has a style that hides the collar.

One of the reasons I hate the amice is that I have a hard time (as Pope Francis seems to have)wearing it properly--it always looks sloppy to me.

Yet last weekend I had several young priests who came for the wedding of a former seminarians (only finished two years of major seminary). Each of them and all of my newly ordained parochial vicars who wore one, wear the amice in an impeccable way. I don't know how they do it, but they make it look so nice around their neck. It is a real art that I haven't mastered.

Yes as for St. Anne's new Church there are many traditional elements. And let's face it St. Peter's in Rome has seating completely around the High Altar and has had this since day one when it was completed in the 1500's and so this style is quite traditional despite those who say the contrary. In fact in the basilica format the altar was originally placed in the crossroads of the cruciform floor plan and the bishop's throne at the back wall. This was maintained at St. Peter's in Pre Vatican II times but after Vatican II the papal chair is placed directly in front of the altar.

But not so at St. John Lateran, St. Mary Major or St. Paul outside the Walls where the throne is against the back wall and is still used for papal Masses. But the altars in all four of these major basilicas is in the central axis of the cruciform and of course there has never been an altar railing in these basilicas.

Anonymous said...

Are you saying that you did not tell anyone that you had texted your nephew and his wife, currently residents of Augusta but soon to be residents of Thomasville, Fr. Kwiatkowski's new assignment data? And that they were very pleased to hear that Fr. Kwiatkowski would be their pastor in their new digs in Thomasville? And that you related this information on the 2nd or 3rd of May, well in advance of your May 6th email from the bishop's secretary?

Hmmm...? You violated the confidence of the Personnel Board.

Stephen - You are wrong. Not all of the priests had informed family and friends.

Some people abide by the confidentiality expected on them for the good of those who have NOT informed family members and friends. Your attestations are, in this matter, wrong.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Fr. K texted me about my changes so it was well known by the clergy in Augusta just a day after the original PB meeting. My nephew lives in Brunswick currently and eventually in Thomasville, he was told my me over the phone. And yes he knows Fr. K and K him and he is pleased as punch to say the least.

Anonymous said...

That the clergy know about their changes is well and good. That a member of the personnel committee starts blabbing to one and all about the changes is another matter.

The facts, sadly, tell the tale...

Anonymous said...

Yes, I have to say that our young priests who wear the amice seem to wear it well. The secret seems to be to pull it very tight before tying it - one of them vested himself at Mass during the sermon one day to demonstrate the vestments of a priest and what they symbolize. I also believe that they say a prayer for each garment they put on. These young priests all offer the Novus Ordo Mass and a couple of them also offer the EF as well. One of our priests also wears a maniple also at the Novus Ordo Mass. We had a very modern bishop who pondered aloud that he didn't know how he had got such conservative priests in his diocese (We wondered too!).