Father Hoefler Headed for Springfield

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Published on March 13 2014 9:48 pm
Last Updated on March 14 2014 2:23 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki has named Father David Hoefler to be vicar general/moderator of the curia for the Catholic Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, effective May 1. Father Hoefler succeeds Bishop-elect Carl Kemme who was named head of the Wichita Diocese on Feb. 20 and will be ordained a bishop there on May 1.

The appointment, made March 13, was among a number of announcements that included the appointment of a new diocesan chancellor and the director of a newly created Department of Communication and Information Services.

"As much as we will miss Bishop-elect Kemme when he departs for Wichita May 1, I am pleased that we have highly capable people to step into new leadership roles in our diocesan curia and in our parishes," Bishop Paprocki said.

In the Catholic Church's Code of Canon Law, the vicar general is described as an immediate assistant to the diocesan bishop in the administration of the diocese. He is a sort of "alter ego" for the diocesan bishop in respect to governance of a diocese.

The curia is the name for all the diocesan offices and agencies, many of which are housed at the Catholic Pastoral Center in Springfield. The moderator of the curia coordinates the administrative affairs of the curia and assists other curial personnel in performing their services.

Father Hoefler, age 52, currently serves as dean of the Effingham Deanery and pastor of St. Anthony Parish, Effingham; Sacred Heart Parish, Effingham; and Annunciation Parish, Shumway. He was ordained May 25, 2002, and served at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Springfield, first as parochial vicar (2002- 2005), then as parochial administrator (2005-2006) and finally as pastor (2006-2011). He has been serving in his current assignments in Effingham since 2011.

In addition to serving as vicar general/moderator of the curia, Father Hoefler will serve as chief operating officer of the diocese and chief strategist for pastoral planning for growth. He will oversee the Office for the Diaconate, Office for Vocations, Villa Maria Catholic Life Conference and Retreat Center, and the Commission for the Care of Infirm and Retired Priests. He will supervise the ongoing formation of clergy in the diocese; serve as liaison for prison ministries; and serve as chaplain to the Courage Apostolate in the diocese.

Together with Father Hoefler's appointment, Bishop Paprocki has named Father Christopher House chancellor of the diocese and director of the diocesan Department for Canonical Services and Policy Development, effective July 1. He will also serve as pastor of the Cathedral Parish of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield, effective Sept. 1, succeeding Father John Nolan, who will become the new pastor at Little Flower Parish in Springfield, effective Dec. 1. The pastor there, Msgr. John Ossola, will be given the title "pastor emeritus" and will remain in residence at Little Flower rectory, effective Dec. 1.

Father House, 37, was ordained in 2002. In addition to pastoral assignments, he has served as specialization director in liturgical ministry in the Office for Ministry Formation since 2004. He was director of the diocesan Office for Vocations from 2008-2013. His most recent assignment was as diocesan director of seminarians in the Office for Vocations and associate dean of formation at Mundelein Seminary, Mundelein.

In a further reorganization of his administration, Bishop Paprocki has named former chancellor Marlene Mulford, 61, as director of the newly created Department for Communication and Information Services, effective July 1. She will act as spokesperson for the bishop and the diocese, succeeding Kathie Sass who is retiring from the position in June. She will also oversee the diocesan newspaper, Catholic Times, as well as the information technology and social media functions of the diocese. She has also been designated bishop's emissary for mediation and conciliation in the diocese.

"I look forward especially to working closely with Father Hoefler, Father House and Mrs. Mulford as key collaborators in my administration," said Bishop Paprocki.

For other appointments, visit the diocesan website at www.dio.org.

The Catholic Diocese of Springfield in Illinois is 130 parishes in 28 counties in central Illinois.