El Paso Bishop Mark Seitz on Thursday announced several new priest and deacon assignments that will take effect this summer.
One of the more notable priest reassignments is Msgr. Arturo Bañuelas being moved from St. Pius X to St. Mark effective June 20.
Bañuelas has been at St. Pius X since 1988. The Rev. Wilson Cuevas will be the new priest at St. Pius X.
"He is a great person and great priest. He married me almost 24 yrs ago, he baptized my 2 children, he did the mass for my daughter's quincianera," Diane posted on KVIA's Facebook page. "We love him dearly, I'm sure he will be missed a lot, but I live very close to St Marks, so it makes me happy that I will be attending his masses again. God bless you father Arturo."
Another priest with a long tenure at a parish who is being reassigned is the Rev. Ed Roden-Lucero. He has been at San Juan Diego since 1995 and is being moved to St. Thomas Aquinas on August 1.
Seitz, who became El Paso's bishop in May 2013, reassigned 10 priests and a few deacons in fall 2013.
Seitz will have a news conference at 1 p.m. Friday to discuss the assignments. ABC-7 will carry the news conference live at kvia.com.
Seitz wrote about the new reassignments in a post on his blog Thursday morning.
“If your pastor is among those moving I am sure this will be painful for you who have come to know and love your pastor over a number of years,” Seitz wrote. “In this Diocese many priests have been left in their parishes for a long time and so when they are moved it can seem almost like a punishment. Some will conclude it is simply change for the sake of change.
“In my life moving to different assignments was always a challenge, because as a priest I came to feel very much a part of the community I served. On the other hand I also found this movement to be a very rich time in my own understanding of my calling and my commitment to it,” Seitz wrote.
Seitz also wrote that when a priest is in one place for too long, the parishioners can overly identify Jesus Christ with the individual priest.
“No one priest can represent Christ in his fullness. Each Christian community is a special locus of Christ,” Seitz wrote. “It is not healthy for it to be seen simply as “Fr. Jones’ Parish”. It needs to be identified as the “Parish of St. ________, served by Fr. Jones”. When Fr. Jones moves to another parish the community retains its identity and its mission.”
Seitz wrote that he is not attempting to make the changes on his own and formed a board to help him with the decisions.
"I have formed a personnel board made up of well-respected priests of the diocese," Seitz wrote in his blog. "They are: Msgr. David Fierro, Fr. John Telles, Fr. Frank Lopez, Fr. Saul Pacheco, Fr. Joe Molina and Fr. Tony Celino. I am working with them to find the best ways to fill the needs that lie before us. And we are praying earnestly to the Holy Spirit for guidance. At least for the short term we are also seeking priests from other places who may be able to assist us. Our need for Vocations coming from our own communities for the future is great."
Read Seitz’s full blog post at http://bishopseitz.org/bishop/?p=164
"This is business as usual for the church," Jorge wrote on KVIA's Facebook page regarding the reassignments. "I'm not surprised by all the shuffling. For those of you who have practiced Catholicism for many years, this should've been expected with a relatively new bishop in charge now."
The Roman Catholic population served by the El Paso diocese is 656,035 of a total population of 811,739.
The diocese, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, is made up of 55 parishes, 20 missions, and 17 ministries.
New priest and deacon assignments are below.
Effective June 20, 2014
- Monsignor Arturo Bañuelas St. Mark
- Rev. Antonio Mena Corpus Christi
- Rev. Raul Trigueros San Pedro y San Pablo
- Rev. Rolando Fonseca San Juan Diego and Dell City, Assistant Vocations Director
- Rev. Celimo Osorio Our Lady of Guadalupe, Fabens y Santa Rita, Tornillo
- Rev. Ken Ducre Christ the Savior
- Rev. Robert Kobe Our Lady of Peace, Alpine
- Rev. Wilson Cuevas St. Pius X
- Rev. Esteban Sescon Sacramental Minister, St. Mary, Marfa and Sacred Heart, Valentine
- Rev. Jose Vera, OFM Parish Administrator San Francisco Xavier
- Franciscans from Guadalupe Caring for All Saints
- Rev. Saul Pacheco Additional duty as Sacramental Minister Santa Teresita at Fort Hancock
Effective July 11, 2014
- Rev. Mike Alcuino Santa Teresa, Presidio and Missions