As part of the ongoing reorganization of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Archbishop Charles Chaput has announced the appointment of 12 deans throughout the Archdiocese.
“The role of the deans offers a better means of communication between the Archbishop, the priests and the people,” said Msgr. Arthur E. Rodgers, coordinator for Archdiocesan Planning Initiatives in the Archdiocese.
The Deans will also aid in the pastoral planning process in their particular area. Also, as part of the process, the six vicariates have been abolished, as well as the 39 former clusters. In their place there are four regions, each overseen by an auxiliary bishop, and divided into the 12 deaneries. Unlike the previous vicariates, the regions do not follow county lines.
Although the process has been in the planning stages for about a year, according to Msgr. Rodgers, Archbishop Chaput has made some important changes. All the priests of the new deaneries were asked to nominate candidates for dean from among the pastors. They voted for a dean from among the three highest nominees from among those who accepted the nomination, and the Archbishop appointed their selection. Also, all the deans will be among the members of the Council of Priests as reconstituted by Archbishop Chaput.
Region I, overseen by Auxiliary Bishop John J. McIntyre, includes four deaneries.
Father Roland D. Slobogin, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Drexel Hill, has been appointed Dean of Deanery 1 in Eastern Delaware County.
Father Robert V. Vogan, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Aston, has been appointed Dean of Deanery 2 in Western Delaware County.
Msgr. Daniel J. Kutys, pastor of SS. Peter and Paul Parish in West Chester, has been appointed Dean of Deanery 3 in Western Chester County and the Oxford region.
Father Joseph C. Dieckhaus, pastor of SS. Philip and James Parish in Exton, has been appointed Dean of Deanery 4, Northern Chester County.
Region II, overseen by Auxiliary Bishop Daniel E. Thomas, includes three deaneries.
Msgr. Joseph J. Nicolo, pastor of St. Helena Parish in Blue Bell, has been appointed Dean of Deanery 5, Western Montgomery County.
Msgr. Michael T. McCulken, pastor of St. Matthias Parish in Bala Cynwyd, has been appointed Dean of Deanery 6, Main Line, Bridgeport and Roxborough.
Msgr. Stephen P. McHenry, pastor of St. Anthony Parish in Ambler, has been appointed Dean of Deanery 7, Eastern Montgomery County and Northwest Philadelphia.
Region III, overseen by Auxiliary Bishop Timothy C. Senior, includes two deaneries.
Father William C. Kaufman, pastor of St. Richard Parish in Philadelphia, has been appointed Dean of Deanery 8, South Philadelphia and Northern Liberties.
Father John F. Babowitch, pastor of St. Barnabas Parish in Philadelphia, has been appointed Dean of Deanery 9, West Philadelphia and Center City.
Region IV, overseen by Auxiliary Bishop Michael J. Fitzgerald, includes three deaneries.
Msgr. James D. Beisel, pastor of St. Robert Parish in Warrington, has been appointed Dean of Deanery 10, Central and Upper Bucks County.
Father Thomas J. Dunleavy, pastor of St. Anselm Parish in Philadelphia, has been appointed Dean of Deanery 11, Upper Northeast Philadelphia and Lower Bucks County.
Father Thomas M. Higgins, pastor of Holy Innocents Parish in Philadelphia, has been appointed Dean of Deanery 12, Lower Northeast Philadelphia.