The Bishop Called

On June 30th of this year I will celebrate the third anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood.  It has been a good three years and I truly enjoy serving as a priest.  There have been difficult moments both professionally and personally but I know that God has been with me through all of it.  So I look forward to continuing to serve the Lord and all his people as an ordained Roman Catholic priest.

But with three years complete it is time to move to a new assignment.  With that in mind I have been waiting to receive my new assignment.  On Friday, Bishop Clark called me to assign me to Our Lady of the Lakes parish in Penn Yan as the parochial vicar.  The pastor there is Fr. Bob Ring.  The main office is located at St. Michael’s in Penn Yan but it is a group of five churches.  In addition to St. Michael’s the others are St. Theresa’s in Stanley, St. Patrick’s in Prattsburgh, St. Mary’s in Rushville, and St. Januarius in Naples.  It also includes the area of Dundee where St. Andrew’s is but St. Andrew’s recently closed.

At this time I do not know a lot about the parish but what I do know looks to be a positive experience.  When I announced at my current assignment this weekend that I will be going to Our Lady of the Lakes, several of the parishioners said they are familiar with St. Michael’s from visits to Keuka Lake and they always enjoyed going to church there.  Certainly, the Finger Lakes is a beautiful place to live.

While five churches will certainly be a very different experience than being at one parish in Elmira, I look forward to the experience and the opportunity for growth.  The purpose of changing the assignment of newly ordained priests after three years is give us different experiences early in our priesthood.  With that in mind, I see my new assignment to Our Lady of the Lakes to help me continue to grow in service to the Lord.

The one thing I know for a fact is that as I begin this new assignment on June 29th, the Lord will continue to be with me.  Through the Holy Spirit the Lord will always give me the strength, wisdom, and courage to serve him as a faithful priest.


Fr. Jeff


  1. Congratulations, Father! Five churches will certainly be a different experience. Especially when one factors in the traveling that will likely be involved. Still, it will be interesting to interact with multiple different parish communities.

    When do new priests get to apply for pastorate positions in this diocese? Is it 6 years after ordination?

  2. There is not a set number of years when new priests can apply to be a pastor. We are told to expect two assignments before becoming a pastor. The first assignment is set as three years. There is no set length to the second assignment. It is deternimed on an individual basis when a priest is ready to become a pastor. It would also depend on what openings there are in any particular year. Some years there may not be an opening that would be a good match between the parish and priest.


    Fr. Jeff

  3. Welcome Jeff! I too heard from Bishop Clark, and am delighted that you will be joining us in Our Lady of the Lakes. It is a great place to serve, the people are truly a gift from God, and we are ready to welcome you with open arms. My prayers are with you in the good-byes between now and then! Peace, Bob

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