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Schedule for the Liturgy of Canonical Installation to the Sacred Office of Pastor

His Excellency The Most Reverend Martin D. Holley, D.D., Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Memphis and Reverend Monsignor Clement J. Machado, Vicar General, Moderator of the Curia and Chancellor, will celebrate the Liturgy of Canonical Installation of Pastor for the following priests. The celebration references the following Church doctrine and law:

Canon 833 in the Code of Canon Law 1983, John Paul II Apostolic Letter Motu Propio Ad Tuendam Fidem 1999, and Congregation of Doctrine of the Faith-Formula for Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity for those assuming an Office in the Name of the Church 1999.

Schedule for the Liturgy of Canonical Installation to the Sacred Office of Pastor

Whenever a priest of a Diocese is appointed as the Pastor of a new Parish, Church law (“canon law”) ordinarily requires that the new pastor take “canonical possession” of his parish, or, as is more commonly called, be “installed” in his new Parish by either the Diocesan Bishop or his delegate.

In years past, for various reasons, the Rite of Installation was not always used within the Diocese of Memphis in Tennessee, and was dispensed with.

In an effort to improve best practices and strengthen his personal connection to each and every Parish and Pastor, His Excellency the Most Reverend Martin D. Holley, D.D., the Diocesan Bishop has decided to visit every Parish where a new Pastor is being appointed, and install him personally using the Church’s Rite or Order for the Installation of a Pastor found within the Book of Blessings.

According to the Code of Canon Law (CIC), the Installation of a Pastor is comprised of three essential elements:

  1. The issuance of the Decree of Appointment by the Diocesan Bishop by which the new pastor is canonically selected and assigned to a specific parish,
  2. The Conferral of the Decree of Appointment upon the new Pastor, and
  3. The physical Installation of the Pastor in his new Parish.

The Installation1 comprises two important acts to be made by the Pastor-appointee in the presence of the Diocesan Bishop and the community of faithful of the new Parish, in order for the canonical possession of a Parish to be taken validly and legitimately by the new Pastor:

  1. The Profession of Faith.2 Comprising the Nicene Creed and the Profession of Faith promulgated by the Motu Proprio Ad Tuendam Fidem on 15 July 1998 by Pope Saint John Paul II, the Profession made by the new pastor aims to guarantee for the sake of the faithful of the Parish that one authentic expression of the Deposit of Faith of the Catholic Church will unite without fail both shepherd and his flock. Cf. Canon 833, 6 CIC.
  2. The Oath of Fidelity.3 This is a solemn promise on the part of the new pastor to remain faithful to the Church, the Holy Father, and the Diocesan Bishop in the diligent fulfillment of his duties. Cf. Canon 833, 5-8 CIC.

The installation of a new pastor is celebrated so that certain necessary duties to be fulfilled by the Church and its clergy, such as the canonical witnessing of marriages in a parish by its Pastor or Parochial Vicars, the canonical and legal administration or the parish’s property and goods, etc. may be performed validly and in conformity with the universal laws of the Church and State.

  1. Canon 833 in the Code of Canon Law 1983, John Paul II Apostolic Letter Motu Propio Ad Tuendam Fidem 1999
  2. Congregation of Doctrine of the Faith-Formula for Profession of Faith
  3. Oath of Fidelity for those assuming an Office in the Name of the Church 1999
Nov 09, 2017

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