Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The Priors Provincial of the Federation of Augustinians of North America (FANA) recently authorized a five-year contract with St. Rita Parish in Racine, Wisconsin, to maintain this site as the location of the Federation novitiate, and to continue to administer the parish for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
This represents a change in that the contract is no longer signed by the Midwest Province, but by the Federation Prior.
Our decision was made after a search for possible alternate sites for the novitiate and following a consideration of friars available to staff the parish.
In the end, we believe that maintaining the novitiate in Racine is the best choice for us, especially since the trustees of the parish have decided to re-locate the day care center from the building that houses the novitiate, and the adjoining playground, to a new area of the property.
While there is an increase in rent and utilities, we believe the atmosphere of the novitiate will be greatly enhanced by these changes.
The personnel assignments, most of which are effective July 1, 2016, will be as follows:
- Fr. Rich Young, O.S.A., will return to Providence High School to teach Theology and to be the Department Chairman. We are grateful for his service as administrator/pastor of St. Rita over the past 18 months as we explored our options.
- Fr. Rich O'Leary, O.S.A., will become the administrator/pastor of the parish. He will also serve on the formation team. Fr. Rich has recently been serving as associate pastor at St. Augustine Parish, Andover, Mass.
- Fr. Fred Taggart, O.S.A., will be a part-time associate in the parish, the treasurer of the community, and a member of the formation team. Fr. Fred has been living and serving recently in Flint, Michigan.
- Fr. Jerry Knies, O.S.A., will continue as the prior of the community and a member of the formation team.
- Fr. Jim Paradis, O.S.A., will continue to serve as the director of novices.
- Fr. Jim Wenzel, O.S.A., will continue to be a member of the formation team and assist in the parish.
We are grateful to all of these friars who have agreed to these assignments, enabling us to maintain an Augustinian presence at St Rita, serving the parish and housing our novitiate.
On behalf of the Federation Council, I ask that you continue to pray for our men in formation, their formators, and our vocation efforts.
With Easter hope for our future together, and all of our efforts in service to the Church,
Michael DiGregorio, O.S.A.
Prior of FANA