Saturday, May 20, 2006

Footnote on Recent Priestly Appointments

By Mitchell

Just a footnote to Ray's post on the latest pastoral appointments in St. Paul-Minneapolis, in particular Fr. Joseph Johnson's appointment as the new rector of the Cathedral of St. Paul.

Fr. Johnson was ordained from the parish of St. Agnes. I knew him slightly from his first assignment, at St. Olaf in downtown Minneapolis, after which he went to Rome for two years of studies. He struck me then as being very much in the mold of a St. Agnes seminarian; he was one of the only priests I've ever seen who did the Roman Canon during a weekday Mass. When I knew him he was very orthodox both liturgically and theologically.

For the last two years he's been pastor of St. Vincent de Paul in St. Paul (which I believe has a heavy Hmong congregation) and he'll continue in that post as well.

A friend of mine who has connections to the Cathedral said that their philosophy has always been to be a "middle of the road" venue; not too liberal, not too conservative, a place where most people would feel comfortable. Now, we'll set aside whether or not that's a good thing; I merely point this out to give you the background on the Cathedral. Fr. Skluzacek, the outgoing pastor, had been seen by some as moving the Cathedral a little more to the right. We'll see what happens - if anyone has any further insight or information they can share, I'd be glad for it - but on the face it appears to be (another?) very good appointment by the archbishop, who continues to puzzle and confound...

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