Bishop Douglas J. Lucia — seeking to “ensure that in various regions of the diocese there would be greater cooperation among clergy in service of the People of God, along with better communication with the Diocesan Bishop and the Diocesan Curia Staff” — has established a new order of Vicariates and Vicars Forane for various regions of the diocese. 

Promulgated on June 28, the program was first introduced by Bishop Lucia in his Pentecost letter this year, writing that his “goal in establishing the new vicariates, coupled with the idea that the work of spreading the Gospel is not just the bishop’s role or that of the diocesan staff, but we are all in this together!”

The vicariate structure is based in the Code of Canon Law (Canons 553-555). Bishop Lucia adds that “this method of pastoral care was introduced into the structure of the diocesan Church by one of the great pastoral bishops of the Catholic Church, St. Charles Borromeo.” Previously, the diocese was broken down into four geographic regions. The new system of vicariates focuses on smaller areas, making for easier and more effective cooperation and sharing.

The Bishop added that he wanted “to again thank those priests who have agreed to assume the role of ‘Vicar Forane’” for the new vicariates. Their role will be most important in fostering greater collaboration between parishes and within Pastoral Care Areas (PCAs), along with promoting greater cooperation with clergy and lay leaders alike.”

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