I’ve made no bones about my dislike for the bureacratic, secretive, and political nature of the +Schnurr episcopate. Our shepherd is clearly a man who likes to do things “behind the scenes” and off-camera. That said, his priestly appointments have been generally praiseworthy, and his latest elevation is nothing short of stellar. Fr. Martin Fox, a friend to this site and, more importantly, a friend to tradition-minded liturgy, will soon by the archdiocesan Director of Priestly Formation, and he describes his new assignment in a recent post on his blog. Bully for him and the priests who will benefit from his care.

My responsibilities will be to organize a host of programs and activities aimed at the ongoing spiritual and intellectual formation of our priests: retreats, days of recollection, continuing education, and the meetings the Archbishop calls with his priests each year, and every five years.

Priests are expected to make a retreat every year, and to take several days of continuing education each year as well. I will be responsible for assisting priests in doing so, providing opportunities and–to the extent I can–give encouragement to take advantage of these opportunities.

Every ten years, priests are welcome to take a sabbatical–which is meant to be a time of additional learning, as well as spiritual recharging. Again, promoting and providing for sabbaticals will be my responsibility.

This position also assists in organizing training and continuing education programs for parish administrators and lay employees; and because so many of these activities overlap with many disciplines, the Director of Priestly Formation collaborates with the Worship Office, the office for youth, the school offices, the business offices–in other words, all the offices of the Archdiocese. After all, these are all areas where ongoing formation is helpful and valuable.

It’s appropriate to say that this is a position for which I did apply. But before I applied, and before I told anyone I was considering it, I did have several priests contact me to ask if I would consider it. I’m honored by that–but even more grateful to see that as a confirmation that it will be a role where I can do good for my fellow priests, and thereby for the Archdiocese.

I will be reporting directly to Bishop Joseph Binzer.