Much ado about... nothing?
Update #2 - the word on the matter from Fr. Z, who also does name publicly the new pastor, Fr. John Ubel. Fr. Ubel, as I said, will be amazing, he is a very good and faithful orthodox priest. A brief bio from what I know of him, on top of personal experience - he has been a frequent guest homilist at St. Agnes in past years, also helped with the Tridentine indult down in South St. Paul, was Vocations Director for the diocese when the vocations for our region started on the upswing, and was the interim rector at the St. Paul Seminary last year to hold down the fort until the very good and capable Msgr. Callahan arrived. He is a man with deep roots in the faith, immense love of our Lord and His Mother, and great respect for proper worship that is due to the Lord alone in the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. God bless him and keep him as he continues his work of faithful service to our Lord!
UPDATE! I found out the whole scoop piece by piece, and the whole tale will be made public soon enough by all involved. NO CONSPIRACY, none, for either Fr. Altier or Fr. Welzbacher. Completely on the up and up - and done the way most pastoral reassignments are done, except in this case we've got priests with devoted followings who understandably jumped at the loud noise.
I found out who the new pastor at St. Agnes is and NO WORRIES. It is a PERFECT match. Trust me. He and Fr. Kasel will be an amazing combination, a perfect team. I half suspect that, in Providence or in planning, it is because the opportunity for this priestly team came up that things happened as fast as they did. Spread the word, joy is the proper response to all of this, thanks be to God! And I hope you say a prayer for our Archbishop as well, for all the slander and detraction used against him the last day or two on St. Blogs.
Well, this is not exactly Roman news, it is news coming from my home Archdiocese. As I know a lot of you reading are from my beloved state of Minnesota, and after reading so much already on other blogs about this, I feel that I can take a moment here to comment on this. It's probably only of interest to those of you in St. Paul MN though!
It's all over the web about the Fr. Altier/St. Agnes parish reassignments. Rather than re-hash it here, I'm going to assume you know the basics already and just give you my response to all this right now. (If you don't, go here and here.)
Below is a repeat of what I posted in the comments section of the Cafeteria is Closed post, after I read Clayton's account of the conversation between Fr. Altier and the Archbishop.
Too many responses were made, and are being made, online about this, without enough information - or enough faith! In an effort to have something a little more positive up, here is my own response, after making a lot of stupid assumptions and responses first:
(FYI - comments are closed on this topic. I'm not going to get into any arguments here, there's plenty of other places to do that.)
To throw a few cents in here too - word is out (NOTE - yet unconfirmed by the diocese) that Fr. Randy Kasel is moving to be associate at St. Agnes, as told to the staff at his current parish - a real homegrown vocation from that parish (his first Mass was the 10am High Mass actually), and so this would be a real "coming home" for him, if this is true. The same source says that there is no worries about the likely pastor to be assigned either for the people of St. Agnes and all concerned.
To put another spin on this, in combination with Clayton's report, could we not be seeing one of the most encouraging things possbile for St. Agnes and the Archdiocese? I mean, Fr. Altier has been there a VERY long time, Fr. Welzbacher has done very good work too - but think of this! At least one, maybe (who knows?) two young priests from this very parish, coming back with zeal for the faith and a love for the parish life that they were inspired by. This could truly be a renewal for St. Agnes, even if it does seem at first to be a pruning. If this was a real conspiritorial "take-down" as seems to be insinuated in various places, then no way would a priest like Fr. Kasel be immediately sent over there. We shall see for sure later on, when the shuffling actually takes place and we know who the pastor will be, etc etc. But - poor assumptions make asses out of people (myself included, when I heard the news, I'm ashamed to admit).
It may not "explain" the situation, but seriously people. Have a little patience and a lot of faith, hope, love and PRAYER.
Thanks Clayton for posting too, that does make me feel better. I can believe it, I have heard reports of other, similar conversations that the bishop has had with priests he is reassigning (a few as reported by the priests themselves), and the phrasing and everything sounds right - and if the priest has a concern about it, the Archbishop does listen.
Also, it is good to remember that Fr. Altier is a 3rd Order Carmelite - he is a CONTEMPLATIVE people, and perhaps, just perhaps, after living life on the front lines for so long, this is really and truly a call from God for him to step back and listen to the Lord. I mean, seriously, those of you who know him, can you imagine him in any other parish right away after St. Agnes? I can't (no matter how much fun we might have in our imaginations with him being sent to St. Joan of Arc!) Maybe in a year or two when the dust has settled, and he has refreshed - then we shall see.
One thing's for sure - after a year away from the Archdiocese, when I get back home all these crazy changes (more coming people, just you watch that shiny copper!) are going to take some getting used to... I might just have to be a Meandering Minnesotan for awhile until I adjust... ;)