Another to serve as vicar for Latino ministry
Three priests of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis have been appointed by Archbishop John Nienstedt as regional vicars to help foster communication between parishes, clergy and the archbishop.
In addition, the archbishop has appointed a vicar for Latino ministry.
The regional vicars are:
» Father Michael Skluzacek, pastor of St. John the Baptist, New Brighton, for Region 1 (Northeast);
» Father Charles Lachowitzer, pastor of St. John Neumann, Eagan, for Region 2 (South); and
» Father Robert Schwartz, pastor of Our Lady of Grace, Edina, for Region 3 (Northwest).
» Father Kevin Kenney, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe in St. Paul, will serve as vicar for Latino ministry.
The vicars will exercise several delegated canonical and administrative responsibilities, including conducting regular parish visitations and serving on the Archbishop’s Council. The vicars will continue as pastors of their parishes.
The Strategic Plan announced last October for the archdiocese’s parishes and schools included the creation of the regional vicariate structure. “I think better communication, with the priests in particular, is one of the big things I see as a value in the vicariate system,” Archbishop Nienstedt said at the time.
The vicariate structure will serve as a complement to the already existing deanery structure. The role of the Presbyteral Council — a body of priests that serves in a consultative role to the archbishop — remains unchanged.
The archdiocese previously had a regional vicariate structure from the mid-1980s until 1999 in which auxiliary bishops served as vicars. The system was disbanded when the deanery system was reorganized, according to a 2001 Catholic Spirit article.
Father Skluzacek was ordained in 1980 and served at the Cathedral of St. Paul, St. John the Baptist in Savage and St. Michael and St. Mary, both in Stillwater. He also served on the faculty at St. John Vianney Seminary in St. Paul and as spiritual formation director at American College in Louvain, Belgium.
[In response to a question, Fr. Skluzacek described his projected duties and time constraints: I have 78 parishes in my region, and the expectation is to visit a parish once every 3 years – so 26 per year. So, I’m figuring about 4-6 hours extra work every other week. ]
Father Lachowitzer has served at St. Michael in Stillwater and Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Maplewood. He was ordained in 1990.
Father Schwartz, who was ordained in 1967, has served at St. Peter in North St. Paul, Christ the King in Minneapolis, St. Mary of the Lake in Plymouth and St. John Neumann in Eagan.
He completed studies at North American College in Rome and served at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity in St. Paul as director of continuing education for priests and on the faculty.
Father Kenney, who was ordained in 1994, previously served at St. Olaf and at Our Lady of Peace, both in Minneapolis.