Archbishop Charles J. Chaput announces the following appointments, effective as noted:
Reverend Michael F. Hennelly, from Pastor, Queen of the Universe Parish, Levittown, to Pastor, Sacred Heart Parish, Oxford, effective January 23, 2017
Reverend Michael S. Olivere, to Parochial Administrator, pro tem, St. Martin of Tours Parish, Philadelphia, while continuing as Pastor, St. Timothy Parish, Philadelphia, effective January 30, 2017
Reverend John F. Wackerman, from Parochial Vicar, Queen of the Universe Parish, Levittown, to Parochial Administrator, pro tem, Queen of the Universe Parish, Levittown, effective January 23, 2017
Reverend John F. Meyers, from Pastor, St. Martin of Tours Parish, Philadelphia, to Parochial Vicar, St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Ambler, effective January 30, 2017
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Sacred Heart is a strong, faith-filled parish & our I pray our losses will be surmountable, they truly have been heart breaking. Only God knows what is in store for us. Queen of the Universe was lucky to have such an inspiring Pastor, be thankful for the time he spent with you. Every parish faces transfers at some point, or illnesses & death as ours has…nothing lasts for ever ! I have been a parishioner @ Sacred Heart since 2001…a life-long Catholic formerly of Bucks Co. myself. St. Joe’s of Fallsington & Bishop Conwell graduate. I hope and pray that our new pastor can heal our wounds.Thank you Lord for his presence.
Agree with previous comment. My husband and I have been parishioners of Queen for 20 years. When Father Hennelly arrived our spirituality was elevated to a higher plane. He has seen us through a school consolidation, a parish downsizing and major renovations. Through it all he maintained his piety and commitment to the people. More importantly he never lorded it over us. He is respected by his fellow priests here and every age bracket in the church. His departure signals to me the arbitrary detachment of the Archdiocese which doesn’t consider the fragility of the masterpiece Hennelly created here. There is no secret about the problems at Sacred Heart. They are deeper and more secular than is admitted to. Its problems cannot be resolved by repeatedly putting a body in the pastors seat. It requires for lack of a better phrase a coming to Jesus of parish representatives and an in depth evaluation of the issues. It takes a great Archbishop to rescind a decision like the Hennelly transfer. We are praying you are that person.
Being a cradle Catholic and well over a half century on this earth, I am more than aware of how traumatic it is when a dedicated and much loved pastor is transferred from a parish. I have experienced this several times in both my early years and later as an adult who became intimately involved in assisting in the parish functions both practically and liturgically.
As a member of Sacred Heart Parish for over 12 years, we have more than a typical parish’s share of heartbreak. My first pastor was removed from duty secondary to abuse charges. Our second to last pastor who had been installed for only a year, became very ill at a young age and physically incapable of performing his role, and our last pastor who had been installed for just two weeks died suddenly on Dec 31.
I am compelled to say that your comments regarding the issues at Sacred Heart being “deeper and more secular than is being admitted” displays a lack of sensitivity to a parish congregation that has suffered terrible losses in the leadership of the parish due to illness and sudden death. I pray that your comments were made out of ignorance of the true situation at Sacred Heart and that Archbishop Chaput guided by the hand of God will send the help your parish needs.
I SEE HERE THE WITNESS OF HOW SOLID AND STABLE IS THE CHURCH OF PHILADELPHIA. BLESS YOU AS THE WITNESS YOU ARE TO ALL CATHOLIC S!
Don’t understand why you had to transfer Fr. Michael Hennelly from Queen…he has done so much for us, he is the reason people came back to their religion. I am a lifelong member (55 years) of Queen and cannot help but feel that we always get the short end of the stick…I can only pray that you will send him back to us after he does what he needs to do at Sacred Heart.
PS. The whole parish is devastated, please do not make it worse and transfer Fr. Wackerman…
Maureen, devastated is an understatement. We have come so far at Queen because of Father Mike. Closings which included mergers, and even renovations. Father has done so much for families going through hard times. No matter what he has always been there to listen to the concerns of his perishioners and make such that never lose faith in God, that he has a plan. Father Mike is truly missed at Queen but we know God has a plan for him and it was to go to Sacred Heart and renew the faith in this church as they go through this most difficult time. May we all lean on each other for strength and pray for the parishioners at Sacred Heart.