Diocesan priests named pastors

By Jim Wogan

Father Arthur Torres

Bishop Richard F. Stika has announced that three priests serving as parish parochial administrators are now elevated to pastors of their respective parishes.

Bishop Stika has appointed Father Arthur Torres as pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Chattanooga.

He was previously assigned to the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in Knoxville before moving to OLPH as a parochial administrator in

Father Mark Schuster

Father Mark Schuster has been appointed pastor of St. Alphonsus Parish in Crossville. Father Schuster was ordained a priest in 2019. He was initially assigned to St. John Neumann Parish in Farragut before moving to St. Alphonsus as a parochial administrator in 2021.

Father Miguel Velez

They join Father Miguel Vélez, who was appointed pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Morristown. Father Vélez was previously assigned to All Saints Parish in Knoxville before moving to St. Patrick as a parochial administrator in 2020. He was installed as pastor of St. Patrick in a Mass celebrated by Bishop Stika on June 26.

Dates for the installation Masses of Father Torres and Father Schuster are pending.

“I am excited for our new pastors and also for the parishes that they are serving,” Bishop Stika said. “As parochial administrators, these young priests have demonstrated their abilities to lead a parish family both spiritually and administratively. This is a good time for the Diocese of Knoxville and these parishes.”

Father Michael Cummins

Additionally, effective July 15, Bishop Stika appointed Deacon Eric Dadey as parochial administrator of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Newport. Deacon Dadey will oversee the daily operations of the parish until a new pastor is named to replace the recently deceased Monsignor Robert Hofstetter, who died July 7 at the age of 94.

Bishop Stika also has appointed Father Michael Cummins the diocesan vicar for priests. Father Cummins is pastor of St. Dominic Parish in Kingsport and also serves as dean of the Five Rivers Deanery in the Diocese of Knoxville, as a diocesan consultor, and as chair of the Presbyteral Council.

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